Barry Clark's fabulous art work that Kate sent me

Kate, Alan, Will and Agi

Just a quick word tonight ~ in spite of my qualms about asking the doctor to come and look at my bent finger it was the right thing to do ~ the condition has a name which she wrote down for me which I can't read ~ I'll see if Barbara can decipher it tomorrow ~ apparently it will almost certainly effect the middle two fingers of BOITH hands ~ there is ther possibility if an operation but at my age I don't think I could face it ~ Dr Brown (who looks like a teenager) suggests that if I can bear it for now, we'll talk about it again if it gets worse ~ I like her very much.   Now let me see whether I can copy this name she wrote down for me : dupytrennus contrature ~ that can't be right, surely !   Otherwise a good day ~ Ellen came and Dr Brown and later Barbara and good chat with Georgie ~ but that's enough for tonight ~ since Christmas I seem to be giving up on the bloig and with bothe hands crippled I may not be able to type though I ONLY USE THE RIGHT HAND INDEX FINGER AND ALWAYS HAVE DONE

Thursday ~ Diana here as usual and brought me some gorgeous chocs from her trip to Belgium ~ sent S's order for delivery tomorrow and spent more than usual ~ £90 ~ but mostly stocking up with necessities ~ Kate alerted me to a program tonight about the history of a Victorian house 9pm ~ just my sort of thing ~ first of a series ~ should have offered Will and Kate a mat or two from the attic ~ D chose one but because of heavy rain left it here for now ~ yesterday Ellen gave me a carton of delicious spicy soup and I've ordered it again ~ realise I have never bought ready-made soup before but very tasty and convenient (I've made plenty of my own, of course) ~ the next finger on my right hand shows signs of curling over like its neighbour ~ I am learning how to cope but hope doctor is wrong about BOTH hands going the same way ~a really wet and dismal day again but then it is winter ~ it must be my carelessness, but anytime I type a capital letter there follows a string of capitals until I realise and delete them ~ what with my eyes and my clumsy fingers, I'm a bit of a wreck !

Saturday 5pm and delicious smell of the veggy bake which will be ready shortly ~ of course I regularly make soup or a stew but Agi made us a very good meal one night with veg roat in a baking tin DRY ~ no tinned toms, no stock ~ mine has an onion, a carrot, a couple of parsnips, 4 small spuds along with herbs, bay leaf and seasoning ~ I have lost the baking sheet that I use for scones ~ have searched kitchen drawers and cupboards but np sign of it ~ I'm becoming such a fool, surely I haveb't thrown it out ~ I regularly have panic looking for something, searching high and low only to find it where it should have been all along !  But as for my good baking tray, where can it  be ?   Infuriating ! 

Two hours later having been seduced into watching two ROYALTY programs ~ one about Edward and Mrs Simpson, the other about Diana's step mother Raine Spencer ~ and I'm not even interested in royalty but fascinating stuff nevertheless (is that really one word ?)  I keep making excuses for not keeping this blog going, but in truth my eye sight is now so feeble I can scarcely see what I am doing ~ hope I can keep going for a while yet though for anyone of 84 I am amazed I've been able to keep going till now.   I can only read books I bring up on the Kindle and then with largest possible sized print, its back lighting is a great help though I'm still dreadfully slow ~ it takes me two or three weeks to read an average length novel.   The veggie bake was scrumptious and enough left for tomorrow ~ I put more garlic than Agi did ~ I really love garlic.

LOURDES ~ in the Fourth Form U was lucky enough to go to Bordeaux with the first Bristol/Bordeaux Exchange ~ because of my history of epilepsy I was paired with Annie le Goff whose father was a country doctor way out of town so for the first fortnight of the visit I joined her at boarding school which was a wonderful experience for people like me reared on boarding school stories ~ then after a few days in Annie's home village, her mother took us both to Lourdes ~ I only realised afterwards that this must have cost a good deal with train fares and hotels ~ in Lourdes itself Mme le Goff ate nothing which I put down to religious fasting in that town but maybe she was saving money ~ I do hope I was sufficiently grateful ~ they must have been told by the school how after a lifetime of fits, I was cured by the laying on of hands and never had another fit although two of my own children were epileptic ~ Georgie and Will ~ both of them with it well under control ~ Mother told me they were desparate about what would become of me and before the healing were contemplating putting me into one of the sheltered communities that were being established after the war ~ I think the one they had approached was in this area funnily enough ~ a MacMillan comminiy I thnk it was ~ James Fearnley took me over there once to see where I might have spent my life ~ with no family, no challenges, no mistakes or small triumphs ~ I have a great deal to be thankful for ~  it was on the Maundy Thursday that the vicar of St Martin's Knowle, Bristol did his magic, and until her nineties Mother would always ring up to give me a lecture : Why aren't you a Christian ?  You must start going to church, considering ~ I'm afraid I was a big disappointment to my mother, bless her.   All this to explain why Mme le Goff took me to Lourdes some seventy years ago,   The most amazing part was that huge processions which wound around Bernadette's grotto each evening carrying special candles singing the special Loudes hymn ~ pure magc.   The crutches and wooden legs and things in the picture are said to have been lefy by those St Bernadette cured ~ the stretched half way up the cliff tight packed ~ thousands of them.

Monday 8.30pm ~ it was 9 o'clock before I woke and Sue coming at 9.30 ~ a bit of a scramble but made it ~ a marvellous help !  How lovely ~ clean sheets tonight !   I had a bath before supper ~ long chat with John in Wells swapping stories of our increasing decrepitudes ( he'll be 86 shortly)   Had a carton of S's soup for lunch ~ chicken and leek and very good ~ maybe I'll add a carton to my delivery order ~ I've not bought soup before but it is good and making my own I generally end up with enough for three or four days which can get monotonous ~ I still find it hard to adapt to cooking for myself alone instead of the six of us round the table.   Cold again but a lovely bright morning ~ Saul Black the Foot Man tomorrow ~ hope I've got enough yo pay him (£30 for both feet).   A good supper pasta with fried onion and garlic and spring greens.   I am enjoying the poncho-thing Will and Agi brought me - light weight, soft, warm and colourful ~ I'm pulling it round my shoulders whenever I sit down ~ to read, to watch telly, or when I'm on the phone ~ ~ wonderfully snug ~ long chat with my poor Georgie ~ the bloody Parkinson's seems to be getting a grip ~ she said something about 2014 ~ didn't pick her up on it but suspect it started back then and not in past year as she would have us believe ~ sparing us all some of her miser, my Best Girl ~ I wish I knew of someone who could heal her as I was healed of epilepsy some 72  years ago ~ Annabel is a healer and helped me while I was waiting for hip replacements ~ she and Dave were up in Skye and she sent healing while they were out in the car ~ meanwhile I lay quietly on the sofa ~ incredibly, within half an hour all the fearsome pain had gone ~ after this, she gave me a top-up every week or so until I had the ops !   Annabel did try to help Georgie a couple of yeats ago but at that time we didn't know it was bloody Parkinson's (though Georgie had already been diagnosed without telling us.

Lourdes which I visited during our Bristol Bordeaux exchange when I was in the Fourth Form