Wednesday, 30 December 2009

That Was The Year That Was

As we slide down the razor blade of life (as Tom Lehrer had it) into 2010 I am compelled by convention to look back on 2009 with consideration.

I had a run of deterioration in my Muscular Dystrophy which caused me some concern early in the year but a new super-duper wheelchair has gone some way towards compensating for that. I lost the ability to raise my arm in such a way as to be able to eat meals. A devise called a Neater arm has greatly helped with that problem. Frankly it was a bit scary at the time but I've got a new consultant at Kings who actually knows something about FSH MD and managed to reassure me that my condition was not spiralling out of control, just reaching a tipping point. The new wheelchair combined with a decent air mattress has meant I've been able to cut down on about 90% of the painkillers I was on. I've decided to postpone my demise for another year.

Sam has had his kidneys scanned and they have been deemed satisfactory. Matty is now wearing glasses, something he is perfectly happy with and he is now perfecting his geek-chic look. Polly has now qualified as a fully fledged junior Clown Doctor. She works once or twice a week at Great Ormond Street Hospital and the Royal Marsden. The work is sometimes traumatic but always deeply rewarding. For reasons I don't fully understand she has decided to learn how to play the ukulele. And since Matty is intending to learn the guitar I dread to think what our home will sound like next year.

A highlight of the year was when we received our new car, a Volkswagon Caddy. It is significantly longer than our old van which means we all have a bit more space. We only have this fabulous new vehicle because of the generosity of my brother and sister. Best of all, it arrived in time for our holiday in Wales.

Since I last blogged we have attended the deadly Christingle service where hundreds of children wave oranges with lit candles stuck in them around. This year both Matty and Sam took part in the Nativity play. Sam was a fearful shepherd. He was given the direction to look scared when the angel of the Lord appeared. While the other shepherds stood rooted to the spot Sam 'acted'. You would have thought that the angel Gabriel had appeared in the guise of Freddy Krueger. Matty meanwhile was cast as Joseph. He managed, with 9 year-old aplomb, to walk Mary to Bethlehem in a manner that showed loving, husbandly devotion but at the same time subtly conveyed the message that, in real life, he and the girl were not actually an 'item'.

Christmas day morning was spent at home in a frenzy of present opening and included a visit from Nanny, Pam, Polly's mum. In the afternoon we travelled to Dulwich and my brother Simon's new house. To get into the house I had to cross the gravel driveway in which I got stuck. The tread of my wheels became embedded with tiny stones which had to be individually removed before I dared move onto the newly fitted real wood flooring. We had a great time as my entire family gathered, including my sister Helena and her family all the way from Texas. Fortunately Simon and Jaspreet's house is huge so 6 boy cousins and 9 adults had plenty of space. In fact, had we wanted to, I think we could have played 5-a-side football in the living room.

So, as 2009 comes to an end I'd like to thank everybody who has kept me alive this year and to everyone who reads this blog. I appreciate your company and your comments. I hope you will stay with me for the new decade. I'm certainly intending to stay with you. Happy new year.

Until next time...


  1. Glad to hear you'll be sticking around for a while. We're kinda getting used to you..!

    Happy New Year to you all.

  2. I'm glad you're sticking around for a while, too, Stephen. What would I do for sheer comic writing if you decided to leave us? I am always amazed at your humour in what can only be described as "difficult" circumstances. I so love your sideways view of life that I always open & read as soon as I see a new one posted.

    Have a great year - and many more of them!

    Blessings to all the family, Brian

  3. A very Happy New Year to you all.
    Ukulele, intresting.

  4. Happy New Year from Malaysia! Cheering you on!

  5. ....and may the new year bring you a new coffee machine....

  6. Happy New Year to you all :) love from us all Patrick et al

  7. Happy New year from a faithful reader :-)

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