The festive season has begun along with cold nights, cuddly cats and hospital


Here we are approaching Christmas of 2018 and I will be staying here in France. As yet I haven’t been invited anywhere, although I have invited someone for Christmas lunch. John the elderly gentleman whose wife died recently. He is missing his Joan a great deal so I decided to offer my support in a number of ways. I would be fine having Christmas dinner on my own but I’ve chosen to share the afternoon with him. We get on quite well and manage to have good conversation and we laugh. He arrives with his trusty companion Mary. an elderly Scottie dog. She is extremely well behaved and equally missing Joan, who idolised little Mary. I am sure that I also benefit from his company but it’s not the reason for my actions. Christmas day is not one that should be spent alone.

I have made an effort to make my home festive with a tree and some decorations – mainly lights. A friend who has a house in France but lives and works in England sent an unexpected gift for Christmas of some very tasty edibles. I was very touched by her gesture which took me completely by surprise. It’s nice to have friends who think about you when you are not close enough to visit easily.

As we approach the year end I am beginning to feel that things haven’t been going quite as I had hoped. I remain happy about myself and my life while some of these factors may affect my future. If I progress no further than I have managed to achieve so far, I can live with that. In honesty, I never thought I would have got as far as I have. So every day is a bonus and a precious moment for me, something I hope continues much, much longer. I’ve already outlived my father in years.

Health-wise I’ve had a set back after my last visit to the hospital. I went for a check up which was exercise based while being wired to a cardiograph machine. Essentially it was to see how my heart functioned during exercise when my heart would have to work harder. During the test an anomaly was discovered resulting in a visit next Monday and a one night stay for a heart coronagraphy.  A camera will be inserted into my vein to examine my heart. From experience I already know that this is a little unpleasant, but necessary.

Apart from the obvious health implications, the outcome may affect many aspects of my future on a personal and physical level. I am trying no to worry as I don’t really do ‘worry’. But I cannot say that I haven’t thought about the situation a lot. I will not add to that until I am back home on the following Tuesday.

In the meantime I have my two gorgeous cats to keep me company on these chilly evenings. But sadly I have to add that Bertie is not in good health. I had taken him to the vet to have his teeth cleaned as he appeared to have problems eating. I am not sure if they removed any teeth as I was asked if I had noticed a lump on his side at the base of his rib cage. They took an x-ray and confirmed that he had a tumor which is probably cancerous. I was extremely upset by the news and wasn’t able to mention this until now, a month later. He has lost weight but is active, goes out and eats ok for a cat of 13 years appearing to be in a fair condition. I am not fooling myself and do not wish to put him through unpleasant surgery to no avail. I want him to enjoy the life he has remaining and trying to attend to his needs the best I can. Hugo is making up for the sadness with his adorable cuddles and affection. Such a beautiful cat. I have been so lucky to have two amazing creatures in my life. I have had a number of cats in my life and these two are both very special. I am privileged to have them in my life and home.

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