In the hood…

Phase three of lockdown is already peeping and I’m hoping that somebody will find me a bottle of sulphur free bubbly soon. I am as excited as everyone else. Not that I’m able to go partying. That’ll have to wait a little longer for me. But I’m okay with it. It’s enough to feel the lightness. I am particularly happy this morning, despite my gnawing tummy ache.  Xeloda cycle five  is having a cumulative effect. Prune juice and a brisk walk should do the trick. I trust my body to sort itself out.

Neighbours I’ve never spoken to before, walk past my front garden and stop for a chat these days. Our house doesn’t have a wall around it, so I’m easily visible soaking up the morning rays on the wooden bench. I learn that my gentle Xena’s occasional bark irritates someone on my block. Perhaps I should tune into the gossip a little more! Despite that snippet of news, I’m absorbing all the good vibes in this peaceful neighbourhood. 

Our fir tree is filled with tiny white eyes. I’m hoping one of them will nest in the empty owl box but Archie’s mark is probably a deterrent. One of the neighbours will be back later, to drop off masks she’s made. The small profits will go to our Malawian community here in the valley, who have sadly fallen between the food parcel cracks.

The Pathcare nurse, Katherine, has arrived to take my blood. There is no need to fret as she chats about her morning and extracts a sample in one painless prick, despite Xena’s anxious presence between us. This time, I manage to persuade my angel nurse to stay for another five minutes and enjoy some coffee. Every time she comes, I feel uplifted. Her shiny blonde hair reminds me that my newly silver crop will continue to grow back. I am surviving cancer. She has survived it and now climbs mountains of all descriptions. And she has no idea how much of an inspiration she really is.

Archie peeps around the corner but disappears quickly. The nurse is still a stranger to him. He takes a long time to make new friends and if he does, then his terms apply. I call him back, knowing that its a fruitless exercise. Xena escorts the nurse to the door. She doesn’t like the blood letting part of the visit but senses that it’s for my own good. Katherine’s already in her inner circle.

Archie has just retrieved Xena’s tennis ball from under the couch and is playing soccer in the passage. I get the distinct feeling it is for my benefit and I am delighted. His dexterity thrills me and I wish I could film the performance but my phone is upstairs.

Hanging up the washing, making up beds and preparing a meal for this evening, are all still on my to-do list. Easy enough and at a leisurely pace too. There’s still time to read a little, write a bit and tackle a small editing job.

June seems like a good month to turn the corner for both journeys. A new normal awaits us and as we begin the downward stretch, I urge us all to keep strong and as safe as possible.



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