Loss and found

It’s been a bit of an odd time since my last update at the end of October.

While we were in Germany, I was told that one of my only two Uncles (my Mum’s only brother) had died. He had been in hospital for a while, but had recently moved to a nursing home, so while the news of his death wasn’t entirely a surprise, it was obviously one of those sad occasions which put you in a reflective mood.

Then, no more than a week after we had returned to work, I had a phone call from my Dad to tell me that his only brother had also died a couple of days previously. Within the space of a fortnight, I had lost both of my Uncles.

Consequently, we have had two funerals to attend, both in the south of England. It has meant that I have caught up with my only cousins, whom I haven’t seen since my Grandfather’s funeral in 1987… 27 years ago. Can’t exactly claim to be a very close family, I’m afraid. But sitting there in the crematorium chapel on Friday, it struck me that my small family has just got a bit smaller.

But, what have I found?

I have found that winter tyres really are a good idea. Having experienced my car in the snow last March and the winter tyres on the German hire car, I have been umming and ahhing about having them fitted. They were delivered to the tyre shop in the week and were fitted yesterday. I’m glad I had them done. This morning I went to a stage of the Rally of Wales, where we were directed to a car park which was at the top of a muddy hill, at the end of  a long, single track, dead-end road. If I’d tried to get up the grass last week, I’d still be there. With the new tyres, however, despite the ESP system kicking in a little, the car just drove up the grass without any fuss. This bodes well for the winter – which looks as if it might be starting next week. We will see.

Incredibly, the normal tyres that I had taken off the car, and which are now in my garage, still have 5 – 6mm tread on them. After 33,700 miles. Thank you Mr Bridgestone…

I have also found that I am beginning to get to a stage where I am no longer thinking about being in remission. The news from the CT scan is starting to sink in – I was sort of unconvinced to start with, but I no longer worry too much about it. Which is good. I see the new consultant again in a month’s time, and I am hoping that he might propose that we leave it six months between visits from now on. Again, we will see.

The decision was taken to go to Istanbul for the Leica Forum Challenge next year. Not a city that was on my “list”, but I am looking forward to it now. We are having to combine it with our annual holiday this time, otherwise we would be away twice in two months – which is too much even for us. So, we will be flying there from France, where we will have been touring vineyards and gorges a couple of weeks before the weekend. It should be good.

The winner of this year’s Challenge has been decided – not me. I only got 3 points, but that’s fine. There’s always next year. The winning shot was very good, I thought.

And finally, my thoughts and love go to my Mum, who is in hospital tomorrow having an operation on her back. Get well soon Mum x