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“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the things you did.”  Mark Twain

 

My fellow blogger, writer Tina Frisco, recently published a moving article — Chronic Illness and Self-Acceptance — about coping with social media when you are beset by bad health, in our case, autoimmune conditions. She put into words many of my feelings and experiences, ones I have wanted to express for months so that you would understand how challenging it is and why my ability to sustain the blogs is peripatetic. Finding the right words was proving impossible so I am grateful to Tina.

“When I visit blogs, my ability to comment depends on my cognitive state at that moment,” Tina tells us. It is exactly the same for me and I’ve been horribly conscious of comments I’ve not made on other people’s blogs or the answers to comments on my blogs that have been impossible for me to dredge up from the brain fog.

“My biggest challenge is keeping up with social media,” writes Tina. “Writing can be accomplished when I’m feeling well enough, but maintaining an online presence can be demanding. I often find myself merely treading water. And when in a flare-up, I feel as if I’m trudging through neck-high water, pushing myself to complete the simplest of tasks.”

My experiences exactly!

I may not have the twenty years that Twain talks about if the latest results from the hospital are to be taken seriously. I question whether they can be regarded as sacrosanct because the news included the withdrawal of a recent diagnosis, namely the Ulcerative Colitis. Whatever is wrong with me (it’s a year and counting since they started to investigate), it ain’t UC. But who knows? That may change back again and it wouldn’t surprise me what with the state of our NHS and the medical staff at whatever level doing the job of four in most cases.

What I can tell you is that they saw, from the various, scans, X-rays and biopsies, something else and that something else has gone from ‘mild’ to ‘severe’. I’ll have to wait about eight weeks to be given a prognosis from the relevant department. I’m not going to go into it because I don’t want to talk about it and would ask you not to question me about it below or in an email. I know you care and I know that your first instinct will be to open your arms and embrace me with love and strength. I thank you for that.  This is not because I’m having trouble and feeling miserable but because I have better things to do with my time! You know me. I keep smiling and I’m rarely bored except by certain people, plays and films. Oh, and golf.

And so forgive me but I really don’t want to be on my deathbed saying, “Why on earth did I spend an unconscionable amount of time visiting, reading, and ‘liking’ those blog posts when I could have written all my books?”

I shall still post any art that I create as well as theatre and history on the other blogs but I will quite understand if you choose not to visit after this.

Have a lovely weekend!

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah

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I’m still not up to writing about my unexpected stay in hospital, the beginning of which coincided with a hotly anticipated visit from dear Janet Weight-Reed but here are Janet’s Isle of Wight impressions for you to enjoy and a description of her stay in Dorset with a friend from art school.

Part of the beautiful Isle of Wight coastline.

“Happiness is not a matter of intensity but of balance, order, rhythm and harmony”   Thomas Merton. Stair Hole, Lulworth, Dorset – part of the Jurassic Coast, a World Heritage Sit…
Source: When life is manageable | My Life as an Artist (2)


Janet is joining me on the Island next week.

On my Lambretta scooter in 1965 (the same year that the Beatles wrote the song – ‘I’ve got a ticket to Ride’)   My friend Maureen is on the back.   She and I went to art col…

Source: ‘I’ve Got a Ticket to Ryde’…and remembering a much simpler time. | My Life as an Artist (2)


The news is good on the ♥ front.

The consultant at the hospital in Southampton (what a soulless place the town is) said that although the condition was serious, there was no need to put me through an operation just yet. He’s happy to have the heart checked every six months and go from there. The echocardiograms between last December and this week have shown that progress is slow. If any sign of increased deterioration is detected, the first thing they’ll do is try me on medication. The surgery will have to happen at some point but he hoped it would be a few years down the line.

I feel as though I’ve been holding my breath for six months and at last breathed out. In order to give me time to continue breathing out, you may find that my posts are not as regular as usual. I want to enjoy the summer (such as it is in the UK) and get out and about rather than pore over the computer and social media.

In between time, ain’t we got fun!

If you’re not aware of Ellen Hawley and her blog, Notes from the UK, you’re in for a treat. An American living in Cornwall, she casts her beady eye on the English — our laws, foibles, oddities and customs — in ways that will have you hooting with laughter. I’m re-blogging one of her recent posts partly so I can showcase my ducks. (Ellen talks about ducks, real and rubber) I say ‘my’ but they’re actually based at the duck pond within the grounds of the Isle of Wight hospital.

And now for Ellen’s musings —

‘People involved in British politics swear that politicians get elected (and unelected) mostly over potholes and garbage pickup, although it isn’t called garbage in Britain it’s called, um, somethin…’

Source: Of potholes and politics | Notes from the U.K.

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


Cuttings from the “I”, “The Guardian” and the “Evening Standard”‘ June 17th & 19th 2017

I’ve never liked tower blocks. I had a friend who lived on the 13th floor of what used to be called a “hard to let” block in east London. She loved the view from her balcony, and …

Source: Authors for Grenfell Tower – jessicanorrie


This is quite the most extraordinary automaton I’ve ever seen and I suspect you might enjoy it also.

‘The story of Pierre Jaquet Droz and his sons is one of the most moving in the history of Horology. Born in 1721, Pierre Jaquet Droz, master of time in the Age of Enlightenment – mechanical genius, avant-garde creator of jewellery watchmaking and composer of poetry and dreams — is one of the most fascinating figures of the period.

After a few years’ absence from the world of watchmaking, and an intermediate period marked by the presence of foreign shareholders, the brand was acquired in 2000 by the Swatch Group. It returned to its town of origin, La Chaux-de-Fonds.’

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


“The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there.” L P Hartley The Go-Between

I’ve cropped and re-cropped this image in hopes you can put yourself right there on this path amid the fa…

Source: Who Sells The Pasts-That-Never-Were ~ Are We Seeing The Danger Signals? – Tish Farrell


I have Synesthesia, as I believe I have mentioned before. It is not very pronounced and is more or less restricted to days of the week which I see in colour and shape. My Tuesday, for instance, is a half-moon shape with see-through curves in a watery blue-grey.

When I told my doctor that the sight of a starfish tastes like copper she sat across from me in silence, waiting for the punchline.

“I’m dead serious.” I laughed. “It tastes like a penny in my mouth.”

For as long as I can remember I have experienced an overlapping of senses of some sort. Sometimes sight is combined with…

Source: Synesthesia: When Tuesday Is The Color Red – Neuroscience News


Dear All,

This coming week, I shall be moving into my cottage and only sporadically on the internet. I will catch up properly as soon as I can. In the meantime…

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


This is a shameless plug for my friends Ana-Luisa and Simon Scrutton who recently moved to South West France to open two exquisite, traditional gites for idyllic holidays. As soon as I am properly settled back in England, I shall be booking myself in for a restorative break, of that you can be sure.

Fancy-Keyhole-Ornament-GraphicsFairy

‘We offer the visitor the most wonderful and unique experience in the tranquillity of a beautiful traditional Charente village of Lesterps, which is famous for its bonhomie, 11th/13th Century Abbaie (which can be seen from our garden) and the Richard Coeur de Lions trail which begins nearby. Lesterps has many public events including a famous accordion festival. The gardens here are extensive, We offer two splendid gites, Garden Gite, opens directly onto the landscaped grounds, from its beautiful kitchen, equipped with a splendid cooker range and log-burner. It has its own dining terrace which invites the visitor to…’

Source: Traditional Charente Holiday Cottages

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


One day a farmer’s donkey fell down into a well. The animal cried piteously for hours as the farmer tried to figure out what to do. Finally, he decided…

Source: CLIMB up, USING Your Obstacles!


Not real. (Image: Smithsonian Institution Archives/SIA2012-6095)

Pranks are meant to be discovered—what’s the point in fooling someone if they never notice they’ve been fooled? But one 19th century prank, sprung by John James Audubon on another naturalist, was so extensive and so well executed that its full scope is only now coming to light.

The prank began when the French naturalist Constantine Rafinesque sought on Audubon…

Source: Audubon Made Up At Least 28 Fake Species To Prank A Rival


I just adore anything skew-wiff!

Back of The Crooked House Tea Rooms, South Staffordshire, England (Photo: Toby Oxborrow/CC BY-SA 2.0)

Whether due to construction errors, shifting ground, or just the accumulated weight of time, buildings all over the world have become crooked masterpieces. We look at a few of the most whimsical examples…

Source: The Asymmetrical Charm of Crooked Houses | Atlas Obscura


Excellent idea for the artistic book lover.

Rethinking Life

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Picture from:  Pinterest

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avatar_medium_squareIn case you were wondering—and I’m sure you’ve got better things to do—why I’m not visiting, liking and commenting on your blogs as much as usual, or as active on social media as I have been, please read Reclining in Comfort. Thank you. And don’t forget to keep laughing! Sarah

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