Monday, April 09, 2018


the cries of gulls

stopped at the lights

by the car wash



after a day of rain

an unexpected slice

of lemon drizzle

28th March 2018 

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

insider knowledge

it's who you are

on the inside that counts

. . . CT scan . . .


Sunday, March 25, 2018

untitled - temporary post

Last February, we had the unexpected discovery of J's breast cancer, the surgery and subsequent treatment thereof occupying our attention for much of the year. She has recently had the first of her annual check-ups - always going to be a stressful time - and she is clear. I'm not.

This February, I had a bout of alarming symptoms which seemed at first sight to be entirely congruent with a kidney stone. While I myself was quite happy with that explanation, when the discomfort and visible signs had receded, I could tell that my GP was thinking along different lines and, quite unnecessarily I thought, insisted on referring me to the hospital for further tests. And so, on the 5th March, with the aid of a torch and camera inserted into one of the places where the sun doesn't shine, it was discovered that I have a tumour in the bladder.

Funny story. On the 22nd March, the other day, I went in for surgery. I had been through all the pre-flight checks, was gowned up and wearing those strange compression socks, I'd been talked to by the nurse, the consultant and the anaesthetist, I was ready to go in and get that cancerous thing cut out!

Then the surgeon (I assume) came to find me. Opened my case folder, drew a diagram on a sheet of paper, at which point I learned that my one tumour in the bladder was in fact two, and informed me that the procedure was not going ahead today. Because my recent CT scan, that apparently no one had studied earlier, revealed a more pressing problem. A much larger tumour on one of my kidneys. To paraphrase: "We're going to need a bigger hospital." So all I could do was get changed and go home. With three tumours, two different cancers, still lurking in there.

So. Instead of the hospital a short walk down the road, I'm being handed over to Addenbrookes, Cambridge, thirty miles away. But they are the centre of the universe for this sort of thing, so it'll all work out, I'm sure. Interesting days.

Update 27th March:

Summoned to local hospital for a meeting. Preliminary appointment at Addenbrookes, April 12th, with surgery not long after that, presumably. I'll be in for the best part of a week. One thing at least is clear: I'm going to lose my right kidney.


& the ignored

places of the body

bloom celandines

24th March '18


spring equinox

topping up

Shrodinger's mower

21st March '18


after the diagnosis

i find myself

planting snowdrops

5th March '18


at the piazza

she clears the snow

from around each

tiny red flower

3rd March '18

follow the arrows

follow the arrows

in snow the everywhichway

of pigeon tracks

3rd March '18

fresh snow

fresh snow another page in the gardener's work diary unmarked

28th Feb '18



her daylight worries

a little chuckle

in her sleep

27th Feb '18

flat whites

our flat whites

among the squabbling geese

a swan glides

26th Feb '18


overnight, in a straight line diagonally across a board,

three small white petals have fallen to the floor

26th Feb '18