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2008 - January 27th - Sunday

JH’S 67TH BIRTHDAY!  JH had received cards from Lorraine and family, and from Kathy and Ralph.  The Skinners invited JH to visit them at Easter.  Kathy phoned JH whilst the latter was chatting on the phone to Lyn, who had given JH a thank-you pocket garden (because all her friends had been ‘solicitous’ about her back troubles) containing pompom daisy seeds.  JH phoned K back just as she was rushing out.  JH went to the Holocaust Remembrance Service held by the evergreen oak planted in Mount Edgcumbe Park in 2001: JH phoned Kathy’s answerphone on returning from a delightful trip across the Estuary in brilliant sunshine!  {Regretfully, the pompoms never germinated.}

Winter Aconites in JH's Winter Garden

Eventually . . . Kathy and JH had a long chat in the evening.  JH observed that Easter was exceptionally early this year – Good Friday being on 21 March 2008; JH suggested that she would prefer to come when the days were longer, and the weather was warmer.  Furthermore, JH explained that Ann and Walter Elflein were coming to England in the last week of April, and would be staying at a hotel (owned by a German company and from whom Walter could obtain discounts) in London, and so wondered if we could all meet again at the God Samaritan.  If JH could arrange to have her yearly FU appointment with the surgeons some 6/52 before the middle of June, she could stay overnight in JHH.   JH wondered if she could stay with the Skinners, after this rendezvous; however, because of the recent death of Lorraine’s step mother last autumn, Lorraine would be going to Spain to visit members of her step family sometime in April,  and the grandparents would look after Myles, and so JH would need to avoid coming to the Skinners and having to share a bedroom with Myles, as we would disturb each other!  Hear Hear!


Kathy has managed to stop taking morphine for her pain, and was now managing with just paracetamol.  She said that one of her clinicians, whom she had seen at Southend Hospital, had explained to her 'what happened to her muscles' to give her such pain postoperatively and for weeks afterwards.  (On Tuesday 29th January) JH spoke to her ‘musical’ friend, Jinny, whom JH had, many times before, asked about things to do with biochemistry, and Jinny said that the pain was akin to tetany which is caused by the disruption of calcium absorption during renal failure; however once you have kidney function 'back' you can be dosed up with Vitamin D and, eventually, the tetanic pain in the muscles will subside.  Whilst Kathy and JH were chatting, JH heard a shout of greeting from Ralph in the background who has recovered from his hernia operation, is managing his diabetes, and not getting any ‘racing pulses’.  Kathy gave JH Edwin in Canada’s new email address, ie, since he and Sheila got booted-up again after their computer crashed in late 2007.  Kathy also gave JH the dates for the fourth Millennium Reunion as 10th 11th and 12th July 2009, but these were subsequently changed: brother Bill would be 80 on 24 August 2009.  Kathy sent a notelet, with some more newspaper cuttings, giving the dates:– 21st, 22nd, and 23rd August 2009 for the fourth Millennium Reunion.

In their birthday card to JH, Ann and Walter told JH that they were staying in London from 25th April 2008.

2008 - January 30th - Wednesday

JH collected her RADAR key from the Cashiers’ Office at the Civic Centre.   JH was just extracting Dr Hateley’s letter from her handbag to hand to the Cashier, when the latter said that JH could keep the letter.  [JH had the wicked thought that she need not have bothered her GP after all, but could have typed out something on a bit of paper herself!]  JH received a list of the locations of the public conveniences which could be accessed in Plymouth using her RADAR key; JH had to sign a list in a book to say that she had received her key – the fee for which was £4: Kathy told JH that she only paid £2!  Subsequently, JH started patronising all the ‘disabled loos’ in Plymouth: firstly she went to the loo in St Budeaux Square – but she could not manage to unlock the door, so she made representations to the appropriate person at the Civic Centre; the next time she tried to unlock this door, she was successful.  In the ensuing weeks, JH also accessed the Loo in Armada Way, and on Mutley Plain.  Later on, JH importuned the PCC about the hand washing facilities in St Budeaux not functioning: JH had a phone call back from the engineer who had found the electricity switched off!
On Friday 25th January, JH had left a copy of the letter – from her GP to whom it may concern - in the WRVS Tea Bar, and JH wrote thereon an explanation to Kourosh Katibeh, WRVS Project Manager, that JH was no longer prepared to bend down and defrost the fridge in the Tea Bar.   But . . . Kourosh misunderstood JH’s purpose of leaving the annotated letter, so he apologised to JH for not being able to get her a key – when we next met {JH doubts if Kourosh will detail the defrosting to someone else}!