16 hours to go.
Yesterday seems like yonks ago now, but this is me in fast catch-up mode once again. The weekend was dedicated, as promised, to a sort of celebration cum get-together, cum farewell, cum whatever you want to make it.
And the day went well, if ever so slightly hectic. We started the night before, really, with the arrival of Faith and Arron and Edward and Hannah, who came and variously gave gifts (chocolate chilli puds from Faith) and sat on our sofa and ate chinese (edward and hannah).
By next morning i wasn’t much packed, but i did have a long list of stuff to do. Mostly detail, and mostly done by about 11 – including cooking almost every spare veggie in the fridge and then freezing the result. Part neatness on my side, part cunning: when i get out of hospital, i have some nice lemon chicory and a celeriac soup ready waiting for me.
Then rush, rush, rush. The TV crew turned up around mid-day, ostensibly to join the throng, but inevitably did a bit of filming. I didn’t mind – though the rule, from the off, was that this was meant to be celebration first, film event second – and that a long way second.
Friends turned up from school. Neighbours came and went. The boy was made totally happy by the procession of other children through his house – and was in and out of the garden alternately luring them on to his trampoline and showing off his chickens.
I wish it had been longer, wish more had been able to come, because it did much of what i intended it to do. It was fun: a space to meet and greet people i have known a long time – and even if my daughter’s principal contribution to the fete was to invite half a dozen friends of her own and stay up til five in the morning talking, that, too, was good.
A few presents too (and thanks will follow). That said, with the tests still to come and that uncertainty hanging over me, i felt it was not a good idea to tempt fate by actually opening them. They are with me now in Brighton, waiting post-op to be opened.
Then, by mid to late evening, the flow gradually dried up, leaving myself and andrea to contemplate maps and timetables. Various options were tossed around. But the bottom line was that i absolutely HAD to be in Brighton for my scan by 11 on Monday morning – else the op would be off.
Briefly toyed with the idea of setting off at 5 am: not a good idea. We’d hit our first major pinch point (the M25 going in to London) at around 7 am – and our second (the M23 leaving London) at around 9 am.
Almost certainly OK. Almost certainly safe, but not a risk i was prepared to take. So we drove down that evening. Left the house at about 10 and, with a half hour stop over for coffee and another MacDonalds (to which Andrea is rapidly becoming addicted) we still made the Hickstead Travelodge by 1 am.
A night’s sleep (i won’t call it “good”). Then up and onward to Brighton.