Very early this morning, Jackie drove me to New Hall Hospital for a follow up visit to Mr Kask, the knee surgeon, who pronounced himself satisfied with progress. The right knee is already more flexible than the left.
Our Lucky pheasant takes a violent exception to the others beyond the mirror.
This morning, Matthew took these two photographs of him looking askance at the enemy.
Later he pecked away at his lookalike intruder,
and was really taken aback at the sight of Matthew’s reflection taking aim.
Having stayed overnight once more and remained talking much of the day, Mat, Tess, and Poppy left late this afternoon.
This evening we dined on salami pizza with extra cheese served with plentiful fresh salad.
Matthew, Tess, Poppy, and Becky travelled up to Redhill for a family gathering with Heidi, Emily, Oliver, Alice, Emily’s partner, Sam. This was physically and emotionally exhausting, yet supportive.
I have occasionally mentioned that I have given each of my children albums of their childhood photographs. They run to several large volumes. On our way home Becky produced what she considers her favourite ever photograph.
She and Michael were singing with the flowers in August 1971.
Matthew, Tess, and Poppy came to visit this morning. Becky and Ian followed on this afternoon.
I printed Matthew and Becky each a copy of this image of Michael being big brother taken from ‘The Hat’.
This afternoon we were visited by a very tame cock pheasant. Poppy named him ‘Lucky’.
This evening we dined on Hordle Chinese Take Away’s excellent fare, after which Becky and Ian drove home and the others stayed the night.
I had posted early this morning before Jackie and I twice attempted a drive. First we visited Barton on Sea where, at 10.30 a.m.,
the Isle of Wight looked as hazy as our minds.This, in fact, is the only photograph I took today as I could raise no enthusiasm.
This afternoon we travelled around the forest in glorious weather. It could have been dull and wet for all we knew. Between relevant telephone calls and our own reminiscences there was no respite from the thoughts of Michael’s death.
What we were experiencing was that, when locked in one of life’s time lapses, what becomes surreal is such as people walking their dogs along the coast or ponies cropping grass in their customary manner.
This evening we dined on Forest Tandoori’s excellent takeaway fare. My choice was king prawn Madras, while Jackie’s was chicken dopiaza. We shared poppadoms, a plain paratha, and special fried rice.
As will be no surprise to anyone who has read my last two posts, I have been dwelling on memories. Yesterday’s was one to treasure.
‘One Life Cut Short, Another Changed Forever’ will be known to longer term readers. It is forever linked with Michael’s life and death.
Jackie and I have been much heartened by the caring comments on yesterday’s post.
A number of people spoke of the good memories we would have. These have prompted me to provide links to two consecutive posts from 2014;‘Long Day’s Journey Into Night’ and ‘On The Road’, being a recounting of a trip to claim back my French house which I could not have done without Michael’s active support.
This is just one of many.
As Jackie and I set off for a drive this afternoon I received a phone call informing me of the death of Michael, my eldest son.
This was not expected. I can write no more now.