Always a bittersweet time of year: my annual check-up and Louise’s birthday. Here we are on her 18th about to go clubbing. She styled my outfit, Kate Moss Topshop dress…an embarrassing mum moment.
The good news first. I always know when all’s well when I get the registrar rather than the consultant to give me the results. This year it was another smooth NHS performance, timings like clockwork. And the consultation so relaxed she forgot to look at my leg as we were too busy talking about diving. Next year – 10 years on – time for my sign off and the ‘big party’ in the words of my surgeon. I have already received the appointment letter for the CT scan in November 2023 as final belt & braces.
A busy week follows: compering at the African-themed Carol concert for Farm Africa where I am a new trustee; and Louise’s 33rd birthday the next day. Each year the crowd diminishes which makes me sad – but I understand the reasons: her friends have mostly moved on, moved out and are happily getting on with their lives…so now we’re down to the odd oldie for us, an Tommy’s mates who supported him throughout that time. A few sips of peaty malt at the bench before dashing to the warmth of the pub.
To remember Louise I made some scotch bonnet hot sauce (recipe here), made from my own chillis. Just what she would have liked. We loved to cook and eat curry together. Since this hectic week, I’ve been ill in bed! Despite all the healthy eating sometimes the body just rebels against all the sadness and stress of life. But like the Terminator, I will be back!