Wednesday 22 July 2015

A humanist wedding

On Monday some of my choir (The Suitcase Singers) were asked to sing at a wedding taken by a friend of mine who is a humanist celebrant.

I wasn't sure what to expect, and the weather was against us to start with. Jen picked me up on Monday morning and we drove through increasing fog and drizzly rain to pick up two other choir members, until we reached Treslothan church. We parked there and rehearsed under a tree with rain dripping from the leaves - very atmospheric, and surprised the dog walkers....

Then we made our way to the house where the wedding was taking place. In fact it took place in the garden (the rain was sort of mizzly by then and it was warm so not too bad) and a semi circle of chairs for the guests had been laid out. The couple were in their late 50s maybe 60s and obviously really happy to have their friends and family around them.

Sally gave a wonderful service - it was incredibly touching, with each member of the family contributing, and we sang 5 numbers including Perfect Day and It’s Getting Better and Dance me to the End of Love.

True to form, I started welling up at the first reading and by the time we got to the vows I was trying desperately to blow my nose quietly, with mascara running down my cheeks. One of my friends whispered, “Sue’s gone,” and then I got the giggles as well.

Thankfully I didn't spoil the wedding (I am known as the Choir Blubometer) and the happy couple were very happy indeed.

As I said to Sally later, “if ever I get married again I’d like a service like that.”
She grinned and gave me a hug. “I hope I can marry you then,” she said.

NOT, I would hasten to add, that I have ANY plans to marry right now.
But you never know, I may get lucky…..

Wednesday 15 July 2015

Hypertrophic scars

I’m sitting here on tenterhooks as I realise it’s 3 weeks till my book launch and I don’t have a book. I was assured by my publishers that they would be ready for 4th August - but you can’t help thinking….. Still if the worst comes to the worst, I could always take orders. But it wouldn’t be quite the same as having copies in my hot little hands.

On a completely different matter, I went to the see the dermatologist last week about my very large hypertrophic (hysterectomy) scar that hasn’t healed. “That’s some scar,” she said, almost admiringly as I bared my stomach - the scar is about 8 inches down, with a wiggle where it goes round my tummy button. (They couldn't do keyhole in case the tumour turned out to be cancerous - thankfully it wasn’t, but that’s also why the scar goes down rather than across.)

I’ve tried Bio oil, Vitamin E oil/cream, silicone strips - you name it, I’ve tried everything, so my surgeon said to get a referral to a dermatologist.

I expected that he (in fact she) would look at it and suggest - I wasn’t sure what. As it happened, she suggested injecting me with steroid and using a steroid impregnated tape on the scar. Well, I wasn’t at all happy about any injection but somehow before I knew it I was lying on my back on this couch and she stood there with a syringe.

Now I’m not a wimp and have quite a high pain threshold but this was absolute agony. She injected the scar about ten times and I swear (which I did, loudly) the poor scar must have grown some incredible nerve endings. She did apologise for hurting me so I gripped the nurse’s hand and swore and hoped it would be over soon.

It was (though not soon enough) and the strange thing was that the pain kept recurring - for about another 4 hours it felt exactly as if needles were still being stuck in my stomach.

Thankfully the next day the pain receded, and now with the tape on, the scar already looks flatter. I have to see her again in 9 weeks and whether I will let her stick needles in me again is debatable. Depends how soon the memory fades!

Wednesday 8 July 2015

Don't mention grid references

This past week has been very busy, proofing my book, “Walks in the Footsteps of Cornish Writers”, doing a car boot last Wednesday where we all made a profit (hooray!) and getting out for a few sunny walks. My dear sister in law, Shelagh, who lives in Vermont, has also been proofing the book, bless her - on the basis that two lots of eyes are better than one.

However, I realised to my horror that I hadn’t provided grid references for the start of the walks, which I needed to do. Well, me and words are fine. Me and numbers are anything but fine. As Mr B says, “I can see a shutter come down” and I panic. Still, I watched a video on You Tube about how to take grid references and thought, “Oh that’s fine.” Well, the first one was. But the second one I started having doubts. And by the fourth I was so confused I didn't know what to do with myself. I asked Mr B who helped a bit and said keep referring to the example last the bottom of the map, but even so my brain swam.

Finally I got them done - I thought. Then I thought, well I really need someone to double check these as my confidence in my mathematical abilities is zilch. Thankfully my dear friend John offered, went over the whole list for me and amended the ones that needed amending. As they obviously needed to be 100% accurate, I am more grateful than I can say. The relief!

One final check, and I can send the whole book with required changes back to my publishers, and they can get going.

I’m then going to lie down in a darkened room. But first I will have a large glass of wine or two.

Pictures taken at Rinsey Cove with Mel and Moll on Sunday afternoon.