Friday, 21 June 2019

On retreat

Edwin has retreated to Kathmandu to a Buddhist monastery, for ten days of contemplative silence. We also contemplate ten days of silence, but in the peace of our own home in Suffolk. The water supply in Kathmandu is reputed to be lacking any official certificate of  hygiene, and Ann cautioned him to be careful where he eats and drinks. Ann was telling MA about this general lack of hygiene in the East over lunch in Bury, when a blackbird walked in through the open door and hopped down the steps to peck a few crumbs from the floor beneath their feet. It then pooed on the floor, hopped back up and walked back into the street. "You were talking about the general lack of hygiene in the East?" asked MA. No one else in the cafe seemed to have noticed the bird, and Edwin said it was his spiritual self come to visit them.

I used to have a lovely soft Australian hat, but I have a poor habit of leaving things in restaurants, and I lost it some time ago. At the hospital today for my three monthly check up for myeloma, the dermatologist asked how long I'd had the other mark on my ear. He diagnosed actinic keratosis, a pre-cancerous skin condition also caused by too much sun. He prescribed a powerful anti-cancer cream which should reduce it; if not, they might be slicing off the top of my ear to match the bottom slice, leaving just a strange little flap in the middle.  I really must get a new large brimmed floppy hat to keep the sun off.

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