From hopeful to hopeless, from dark to light, from cheerful to miserable. Sometimes all of these emotions overcome me in one day. Whatever is the matter with me!
The first few days of solitude, when the last of the carers said “Well, I suppose I’m redundant now” because I had had the temerity to take a shower without supervision, and she left, possibly in a huff because I had made a decision for myself, I felt free. And hopeful. I was still very slow - as I am now to a lesser extent - but I knew that, with care, things would improve from that day onwards, and the time would come when I could return all aids and equipment. So it was, two walkers, one crutch and one commode were duly collected last week; I have kept hold of a set of crutches which I have had for years, ever since I broke a leg a long time ago. I am still using at least one crutch for rough patches outside and when I am in a hurry to get somewhere inside the house. I have gradually added a detour here and there to lengthen my walkabouts. I may soon be able to get to the village shop, although walking with an aid, having a dog pull on a lead and carrying a shopping bag doesn't seem a sensible way of perambulating. We’ll see.
So, really, I should be happy, shouldn’t I. I can feed myself and Millie again, do small jobs around the house; with the help of a driver friend I've been to have my hair cut, taken Millie to the vet, seen the podiatrist for a treatment, and yesterday this friend took me to a supermarket to buy some early Christmas treats. German specialities disappear quickly from the shelves although the feeble pound makes them very expensive for the average shopper. I’ve been to a couple of concerts and a live streaming of a National Theatre play, again with the help of friends. I am making progress, albeit my walk resembles that of a penguin.
Is it that the dark days of winter are with us? Is it that I am beginning to think of the holidays on my own? Who knows? I was out in the field with Millie just now for a final walk before the light goes and I was thinking how nice it will be to get back inside, lock all the doors, turn on the lamps, pour a glass of wine and get comfortable. What’s not to like?
In 1634 Henry Peacham wrote in 'The Compleat Gentleman': “Keep up your spirits with healthy exercise. Leaping being an exercise very commendable and healthful to the body, especially if you use it in the morning. But upon a full stomach and bedward it is very dangerous, and in no wise to be used”. Best not start leaping then.