I wore my 20th birthday present today, a ring that the Sage bought me on our honeymoon in the Seychelles. They are beautiful islands, I expect it's a lot more commercial now than it was in 1973, but they won't be less beautiful. I showed Sean my ring and warned him about the sudden chilly downpour that often happens in the afternoons before dusk, before the beautiful balmy evenings.
This afternoon was the village school nativity play and carol concert, and I played the music for the carols. The littlest children acted out the nativity scene - you can be as unreligious as you like, it's still a magical tale that catches anyone with a heart.
I phoned Gill this morning, Andy has had MRI scans and today a lumbar puncture was scheduled. She had the impression that they know what they're looking for, but would rather not say until they have proof. He has been up, and walked across the ward on a frame, and he can eat a little and drink normally. All medication has been withdrawn until they know what they are treating. Apparently, it's likely that his fever was caused by an inflammation or an infection; the former would be treated with steroids and the latter with antibiotics and it would be dangerous to get it wrong. In Madeira, he was given antibiotics and was delirious and terribly ill - Gill thought she would lose him - so that indicates it may have been the wrong treatment. He has had at least two strokes. She needs nothing herself, other friends and family are rallying round, so I suggested that I might visit her mum. Gill is calling in every evening, but only for a little while, and she thought that was a good idea, so I rang Mum and have invited myself round tomorrow afternoon. Anything for a free cup of tea, darlings. She's a charming lady, and very talkative. I will not need to say much. Anyway, I thought that I could call in once or twice a week while things are tricky, and regularly after that. She lives close to the High School and I'm there often enough, after all. No trouble to pop in afterwards for half an hour or so, it's doing something that takes half a day that needs to be scheduled.
I've been given the carols for the Christmas Eve carol service, most of them are fine but one has a calypso-ish rhythm that doesn't go too well on the organ, so I'll play that on the clarinet. I need to do some practice. I will have some free time, I must make sure I do it. I've offered to spend some time helping Tim at the shop, he'll be on his knees by the end of next week otherwise. I'll talk to him about Christmas orders. Al prided himself on doing them at the last moment so that everything was absolutely fresh - Derek before him used to get non-perishables ready days in advance, but if it was cold, they could be damaged by that and I used sometimes to find the odd rotten orange or potato when I picked up my Christmas order. But Al went in at 4 am on the two days before Christmas and it was exhausting for him - I was all right, I'd go in until 8.30 and then beetle off home. He'd be there until the last customer left sometime after 5.30 pm. Still, we all loved that shop.