Friday, 11 January 2019



Through everything I have been,
wished for, or dared to dream,
You are a constant at my side,
my dearest friend, my one true love,
my steady ship upon a sucking tide.

And always I have loved you,
so proudly watched you,
felt your strength guiding me,
living life alongside me.

When dark storms came,
sad memories, distant dreams,
We battened down together;
faced the warlike weather.

How could our story be
that two souls so lost at sea,
would find such gentle harmony
within each other's company?

Ann's new poem is about companionship, a reminder of how valuable and supportive our friends and some relatives have been. She particularly had been my one true companion, there through each turbulent day to cheer and sooth the troubled brow.

I enjoyed a visit from Chris today, the husband of Bible Ann. She was too ill to come with him, but we played some good chess. Though born in England, his parents moved him to Zimbabwe as a small child. Then it was still Rhodesia, and they worked on the farms until the coming of independence in 2000 forced them to flee leaving everything behind.

British colonialism is generally frowned upon these days, but Rhodes united a number of territories and waring tribespeople, all with diverse languages, cultures and leaders, and brought peace and prosperity to the region with the emergence of a new country. This coexistance collapsed with idependence, and many millions of people fled the country, with a majority of the remaining Zimbabweans living in total poverty. Chris's father could have chosen Australia to emigrate to; they'd still be there if he had, such are the vagaries of fate.

Addenbrooke's had warned me that the two weeks post treatment might be the worst, and they were right. Though getting stronger and eating better, down below is hell. I am going every two hours, with very disturbed sleep, it burns like fury, and seems to take for ever to wee. The other side is also painful, and for the first time in my life, I've developed haemorrhoids. The pain eases with painkillers: regular doses of ibuprofen and paracetamol. I don't generally advise anyone to waste their pennies on proprietary brands, for the generics are identical and a fraction of the price, but I do recommend Anusol - the relief is well worth the money!

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