How Do I Love Thee? Let Me Count the Rays

Yesterday, I was fortunate enough to receive every single blessing wished for in this beautiful song.

In chronological order (because I wouldn’t even want to try and rank the abundance of sunshine and love in my day), here are the highlights:

  1. I got Brucie Bonus chats and hugs (scandalously outside regular visiting hours!) with one of our dearest family friends before she headed back to East 17 (home to the poshest “SPAR” known to man). As Graham explained to guests at our wedding, this amazing lady enriches our lives essentially because of Scope’s decision in 2004 to seat its 40 (or so) Kilimanjaro Trekkers alphabetically on the plane to Africa. My brother and the lady legend were seated next to each other and bonded initially over a shared: terror of flying; sense of humour; and, joie de vivre.
  2. Graham and I enjoyed a “Date Afternoon”. Committing to the rarity and romance of the occasion, I only spent the first hour of our date on my iPad. Graham then whisked me off the ward (on wheels) for the first time since my admission. We sat together and ate at a table and everything! Subway and diet pop: the meal of champions. We reminisced that we were sitting about 15 feet away from where we shared our last supper before we became parents. Jennifer was induced a couple of weeks early because of pre-eclampsia. An hour or so after I was given the baby-bringing drugs, we were allowed off the ward for a dinner date while we waited for the magic to begin. That meal was, sadly, a disgusting pizza and chips monstrosity that we would happily erase from our food diaries, but the occasion is noteworthy nonetheless.
  3. Leo had a good first day at nursery. He didn’t eat or drink as much as he usually would at home (he does like his food, much like his mother and her friends!). He’s an adventurous boy who embraces challenges, but starting nursery is a big change so it’s bound to affect him temporarily. Jennifer was exactly the same when she first started nursery, and she was two months older than he is now. On the plus side, he had two short naps on his first day, whereas Jennifer refused to nap at nursery for, as I recall, the whole of her first week. She came home each day looking like a victim of sleep deprivation torture. But enough about my London days….
  4. I saw both kids together for more than five minutes for the first time in 10 days. My increased mobility and energy allowed us to make our first family trip into one of the day rooms on the ward. We had some long-overdue and wonderful time as a foursome as well as with the Rents. My soul soared “playing” (from a stationary but sitting position) with the two of them and watching them interact. My little lady enjoyed hitching a ride with me and never ceases to amaze me with her wit, insight and imagination. Leo, meanwhile, has come on giant leaps for babykind over the last few weeks. Since I last had any childcare responsibility, he’s grown further teeth, started “chatting” incessantly, learned to stand on his own for short periods and developed an infectious laugh. Rather movingly, he showed off a new skill in the day room: he took his first-ever steps on his own (all three of them) in front of mine own eyes!
  5. I rounded off the day with lovely visits from other family and friends and then made ambitious plans for today. More on those later if they materialise but I don’t want to tempt fate. As a spoiler, they are very much regular activities that would neither register as ambitions, nor require plans, had my seizure tsunami not rolled in.
  6. Happily, there are still no further seizures to report, and a another millimetre’s foot movement to confirm.


Date Afternoon! The lady in blue with her back to the wall is, I believe, sitting at the scene of the crime against pizza that occurred at about 6pm on 8 January 2013.

Disrespect My Authoritah!

In a disregard for my own blog categorisation rules (akin to Trump’s abuse of grammar and syntax conventions, except mine is deliberate, whereas his appears to be borne out of ignorance), I’m promoting some Miscellany to this higher realm.

On this day in 1825, rail transport was born with the formal opening of the Stockton-Darlington line. I hope you can forgive this indulgence; I have so little hometown pride to shout about, I’m using this happy anniversary as the exception that proves my rule.



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