Thursday, 31 October 2013

Mini Vampires and Tiny Witches

In case you haven't noticed today is Halloween.

Now usually this would mean frantic pumpkin carving, cake baking and candlelight. Tonight it will mean sitting in the dark and hoping no one calls. Now this isn't because of recent events or the fact I'm feeling a bit poorly but purely because I no longer have children of my own.

Spooky House 2005

When Andrew and Laurence were little I made cakes decorated with spiders webs and flies or marzipan gravestones. I put on my witch costume, which I still have, messed up my hair, doesn't take much, and do my scary make up. Then we'd wait and watch as various witches, wizards, and ghosts stumbled up the drive way with bags and buckets. We never went trick or treating as I disagree with it but I made sure my boys didn't feel left out by letting them dress up and giving them buckets and each time someone came to the door they got a sweet too.

Their biggest pleasure was my pumpkin though. I was pretty nifty in the carving and costume creation department thanks to my art background and the unveiling come dusk always drew gasps of delight. On one particular Halloween we got a knock on the door and expecting kids I opened it to find a well dressed city gent standing on my doorstep. He'd called to say how wonderful my pumpkin was and how he looked forward to seeing my next one. Yep, I was the pumpkin queen of Harlington for a brief period of time.

Graveyard 2007

However time have changed. My boys are grown up and neither will be here tonight and the strength in my hands no longer stretches to wielding a very sharp knife safely. I have bought a bucket of sweets though, just in case the odd fairy decides to try their luck but mostly I'm hoping for a quiet night.

So how am I, well I'm pleased to say I'm feeling better in all senses of the word.

I woke up this morning able to breathe without feeling as though my ribs were encased in iron. My cough has improved and my bunged up head has cleared.Thank goodness for antibiotics.

Emotionally things have improved too. The raw grief has passed and I'm feeling a lot happier, if that is the right word, about my decision. Sometimes I think grief is mostly guilt. To end the life of a much loved and loving pet is an awful thing to do but it is the final loving act you can perform for someone you love. Although the deep sadness remains there are chinks of light popping through and I'm concentrating on the funny, loving Tarmac, not the sad, ill one.

One thing Tarmac's death has shown me though is that no matter how deep or dark the tunnel there is always that pinhole of light if you look for it.

Witch 2008

The trip out yesterday did me the world of good. It was a mostly sunny, if not chilly day but in the car I was lovely and warm and shooting through the countryside with my camera on my lap allowed me to think of something else for a while. Sadly it didn't do much for Peter who has caught my cold and is himself coughing and sneezing all over the place. At least I hope it is my cold otherwise I'm in trouble.

Kath is still doing well though she had a slip on the stairs yesterday, almost giving her husband heart failure. It was nothing serious though and by her own admission came about by trying to do too much too soon. That is going to be my problem too. I just know that as soon as I start feeling better I'll be asking my body to do things it just can't cope with. That's the problem when you feel ill all the time, as soon as you feel the slightest bit 'normal' you go and overdo it and make yourself ill again.

I had two items of news yesterday which did bring me down a bit.

The first was from the Brompton to say they would not be getting the new drug they promised me until 'sometime in January' which means another two or three months wait before I'm free from the tyranny of daily drug prep. I'm more sad than annoyed as I was really looking forward to the new freedom it was going to give me. I was even eying up the autumn theatre programmes knowing that it would take me just five minutes to change my drug over rather than the 50 - 60 minutes it takes me now.

The second was from the Civil Service politely enquiring whether I was still alive as my pension was due to be released in two years time. Apparently I still qualify for an early pension under the old rules so could take it from the age of fifty five or I could defer it until sixty if I preferred.

This got me thinking. Without transplant I definitely won't make it to sixty. There is a chance I'll still be here at fifty five, if a slim one. And if I am still here then I probably won't still be working so an early pension would come in handy. On the other hand if I get my transplant there is every chance I'll make it into my seventies but I doubt very much that I'd want to waste a minute of my time working, so again, an early pension would come in very handy. So I've written off confirming my continued existence and asking for forecasts for both scenario's. After all I've worked continually since I was eighteen, only taking time off to have the boys, so I think I'm entitled to a bit of payback.

Well I have to go. Svet is going home this afternoon so we are having an early lunch before taking her to the airport. I'm going to miss her, she has been lovely to have around and I'm already looking forward to her next visit in January.