It’s the evening of Christmas Day. I’m in Penzance.
I spent the morning walking out on the cliffs and beach with Ali, Milli, Anne, Mandy, Bob, Zoe and Peggy; friends and dogs and fresh air. And look at these dogs, I love their boundless energy and enthusiasm – I’d like to play like that!
And delicious roast duck at Alison’s house this evening at Nanquidno, then a roof-down star light cold night drive back home, the roads frosty with salt, no moon and proper dark.
I can’t remember when last I wasn’t with Mum and Dad for Christmas – many many years, and so not being there this time is strange but actually I know how it looks and feels so clearly, the warmth and love and the feast of it that I don’t need to imagine it at all – it’s in me and I’m surrounded by it all even in my absence.
The last couple of days have been a bit testing though – the news of the cancer taking such rapid hold is a tough one. And maybe the knowledge that the ache in my chest is the cancer has sharpened it, made it ever present so I feel folded up over it; I can feel it altering my posture and twisting my dreams at night, the frightful ending of a nighmare a spike a shot a cry that justify my concerns.
So my deep dreamless sleep this afternoon for two hours was a delight – I nodded off in an armchair at Alison’s, after mushrooms on toast and a big leaf salad and was given a hot water bottle and a bed and I slept while downstairs potatoes were peeled and sprouts prepared and the oven roasting. I woke to delicious foody smells and a memory that this time last year I had also fallen asleep but at Mum and Dad’s dining table exhausted by the cancer I didn’t know I had. It’s been a long year. So I called and spoke to them and to Si and Dan too. So lucky to have family and friends and thank you all for cards and messages, texts and emails, thoughts and ideas and suggestions and questions and answers.