Big thanks to Marco and Helen for sending in pictures of Die Kleine Backstube from Bangkok and Villeneuve les Avignon respectively. Keep the photos coming!
July 24th, 2016. The last night I slept in the house. Sitting, talking at the end of Valentina’s bed. Telling Sebastian stories from the bottom bunk. Blessing before dinner. Ping pong trick shots. Reading together on the sofa. A hug. National Geographic. Valentina laughing at my clarinet. Sewing, baking, Radio 2, cooking, garden, sorting out the garage, street tennis, school projects. Cleaning the fridge, ironing – things I enjoyed. Laughing, raised voices, behaving well and not. Home office. Driving the kids places, watching climbing, golfing. Being there, just being there for them. Take some weight from Jane, I could have done more. Bike riding in Windsor Great Park, bikes on the rack, flying down the steep hills. Now I can’t raise my hand to my face. Part boil the spuds before roasting, Valentina’s crumble and cakes. Of course, the family has moved on. Even if I was still there, it wouldn’t be the same at all, due to all my disabilities. It’s a gigantic wrench, years in a busy family, then not. Same for them. Suddenly gone, days become weeks, weeks months, and now it’s over a year.
Still I am the dad. Now, with Marta’s help, I park by the practice green at the West Herts, and watch Sebastian for a couple of hours. Afterwards, I sometimes write what I wanted to say at the time. ‘I saw that chip hit the blue pin!’ I feel totally useless, but I will keep going to watch and deal with thoughts which come up.
The loss of drinking has hit me hard. There’s not much left to fail. I hope my breathing muscles are strong. It drives me mad to hear about people whose MND has progressed slowly, and who can do more than me.
Anyway, focus is on getting two books ready for Christmas sale. With Sarah, the Choir Press and Wil, we will achieve what seemed impossible a few weeks ago.
If you are interested in football, and human performance, I recommend a movie on Netflix titled ‘Trainer!‘. To me, the film suggests why the German national side is consistently more successful than the English one. See what you think.