Friday, 29 January 2016

London and Spreading Joy

Yesterday - my afternoon in London.... feeling provincial ....but loving the bright lights, the familiar sights of the big city....remembering all the times I've visited before.... as a schoolgirl when my father made a protest fast in Westminster Abbey for  a week....he stayed the nights in the Crypt in St Martin's in the Field in 1960 something.....  and in  March 2012 when we came up to his Memorial Service at Wesley Chapel.

And all the hundreds of times between... I used to work in Fetter Lane, riding in on my blue bicycle  from Putney.....before there was ever a London Eye and the taxis were aways black, not yellow....and there were pigeons in Trafalgar Square. But the changes didn't matter yesterday which was a little pocket of pleasure out of my ordinary life.

When I arrive at the hospital today Robin's drip machine is beeping, the red light flashing. His IV treatment is over for the day but I can see he's exhausted. He hasn't had a shave or a shower and he looks rough. He sleeps on for a while and I sit in the cafe with a bottle of water and answer emails on my phone.

I buy him a box of mini flapjacks at the hospital shop and when he wakes up he tries to go to the loo but I have to get the nurse to help him and I take away his pyjamas in a plastic bag for washing. I tell the doctor on duty he has a headache. She says it's a normal reaction to the treatment and the staff nurse should give him paracetamol. We go for a little walk up and down the corridor.

Later, the lady with the tea trolly stops by his room and says to me,

He's such a sweetie I could take  him home with me.

Robin introduces me as his lovely wife and says to her,

You are lovely too...and I'm not trying to seduce you.

 She laughs and says,

He says nicer things to me than my husband does.

Still spreading joy even from his hospital bed.....

Thursday, 28 January 2016

Unshared Untouched Wholeness

Just ducks at Torcross tonight....too tired to write.

 Robin leaves me a message on the answerphone which I pick up this evening when I get home. He sounds cheerful.  He's started the drip. Everyone on the ward is being lovely with him.... and he gets tired. Like he does at home.

It's quiet for me without him here. The night wraps itself round me - a delicious stillness. Listening to my own breathing. Sometimes a car goes past but mostly it's all my own air. The space of it belongs to heart growing bigger in the unshared, untouched wholeness of it.

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

A New Feeling of Trust

Tonight I leave Robin in the hospital.... in his own private room.... tucked under clean white sheets......his glasses on the bedside unit....the buzzer bell for the nurse in easy reach.

 I'm leaving with a new feeling of trust....that he's in the right place at the right time....that he's safe and will be looked after - and it doesn't always have to be me - the first face he sees in the morning.

He starts the IV treatment tomorrow....

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Hukka Farewell

The thing about the service at the crematorium
was that I couldn't hear the soft voices
of her white haired brother
her beautiful granddaughter
her friend
reading their tributes
to her 
and her musical life.

So it was a good thing when the father of the
two little girl twins
who had been making lots of bored children 
picked them up 
one in each arm 
and whisked them down the isle 
 and outside,

because when her son-in-law

from the island of Tonga
stood in front of her coffin
painted with all the wild flowers she loved
 bent his head 
 struck his chest
 and roared his great Hukka farewell to her,

they would have been frightened 
those little girls.

But the rest of us were silent and in awe
 when the honour in his voice, 
his love for her
filled the building 
to the rafters
I knew then how loved she was.

And how much she loved us.

Monday, 25 January 2016

Deep Pockets

Playing with the moon from Robin's office window.

Harbour at the Barbican, Plymouth, where we had a fish lunch on Saturday.

Sea mist in Sidmouth on Sunday.

Had that in-limbo feeling all day - unsettled - getting ready for Robin to go into hospital but still going through the motions of my routines.

While he's in the TLC of  dear friends  I walk into town, walk in the late afternoon streets, people heading home....looking for  a new handbag. I'd almost given up and then in the last shop I found it - deep brown, deep pockets, too big really, big enough to carry a book and an umbrella and an iPad and  much more than I wanted to spend. At the till I said,

  I don't suppose it's on offer is it?

But it was -  with a third off the price. So I didn't have to dig as deep into my pocket after all.

Friday, 22 January 2016

Thank You, Moon

This afternoon walking up one of the steep paths 

at  the NT's Killerton House, with an orchestra of crows all around us,

I'm thrilled to see

snowdrops -  I love their tiny bell abundance -  but I never seem to take a photo of them that  I'm satisfied with  - the same goes for crocuses. But then, lying in the grass, I spy a large pink petal, look skywards and 

 gasp to see this glorious 


in full waxy bloom which I would have walked straight past.

More unexpected spring....

 still not satisfied with the focus on this sweet snowdrop..

but love the late light brightening, softening everything...

We head back to the house, for a cup of tea, cake...

and pass by this Skimmia berry arrangement that someone has left in the hollow of  a tree - a shrine of rubies to winter.

As we leave the cafe Robin says,

"To be perverse, would you be OK to go home a different way?"

I hesitate, it's getting dark, I always want to go home the quickest way. But I say yes.
Then I say no. Then I say yes again. But grumpily. I know how much he likes to drive around. So we turn left - the scenic route -  narrow, rutted, muddy lanes.

Then I have a tirade in my head about why I just had a coffee and a slice of Bakewell tart I didn't want and why I'm doing it yet again  - trying to please him, but resentfully- such little skin off my nose to drive a different route home.

  Some of my internal tirade leaks out. He says, sorry, sorry. I say, how is it your fault I say yes when I mean no?

 But he just says sorry, sorry.

 And suddenly I notice the tall hedges beside the road in front of me and  the sliver light in the puddles and the black skeleton of the trees and the luminous peach sky....and how determined I am to be cross.....
So I say, Sorry and this is a good way to go home....and we can drive this route another time.

Then I stop the car, get out and cross the road 

to take photos of 

the sun sliding behind the clouds...

darkening, muting this raw Devon farmland. Turning back to the car,

I see the moon on the other side of the road,

suspended there between the pylon wires,  where it's been all the time, waiting for me to notice it ....waiting for me to love me ......especially the me who wants her own way - all the time....that me who needs extra love ....that only I can give her. 

Thank you, moon, for hanging in there with me. 

Same moon, later, at home..