Monday, December 31, 2007

Bonne Annee

So this is it then. Goodbye and, more or less, good riddance ’07.

It’s not been a specially great year here in Ambridge. A bit like the Nikkei, we’re closing the year a good few percentage points down. That said there have been highlights, both personal and professional along the way. It just seems they have been significantly outweighed by the lowlights this particular year. As a prime example, the year that began with exuberant chocolate fountains (yes I did mean plural) to a full house on New Year’s Day, goes out to a much more sedate chocolate fondue for five tonight, and for the first time ever we get two New Year celebrations exactly one hour apart, as one of our little flock will be celebrating Bonne Annee in mid exchange visit far away from the familial bosom.

(And if he doesn’t ring us close on the stroke of Minuit local time there’ll be ructions).

So all in all ’07 goes down in the Jest family annals as a bit of a damp squib.

We’re hoping for better in ’08, and despite the preceding misery (“the poor old lad’s come over all Seasonally Affective on us again” I hear you all shout, and you might have a point…) I would like to take the opportunity to wish all who tread here hereafter, the very best of years ahead.

And, of course, as much chocolate as you can comfortably accommodate ;-)

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

For want of a nail...

Ivy has had a bad winter so far. She started coughing and wheezing in October. The cough has never really gone away, and after three courses of antibiotics (the last two with a steroid chaser) it is becoming apparent that her COPD has really taken a significant downturn, and now she is left breathless on minimal exertion.

And then, last Friday she arrived back at surgery in grip of another nasty respiratory virus. It’s still not exactly clear how she made it this far, because she arrived in extremis. Indeed after one look at her I was afraid she was on the verge of a respiratory arrest. With judicious use of the nebulizer we managed to get her breathing rate down to below sixty a minute and removed the awful dusky blue tinge from her lips and tongue, but she was plainly still in a lot of trouble and needed to go in to hospital to get sorted out, or at least to be assessed for oxygen therapy.

Except that there was no way to persuade her to go into hospital.

“You see I’ve got to get home to look after Mr. Tiddles.”

No,Ivy’s surname doesn’t even approximate to Tiddles.

She was, of course, referring to her cat, Mr. Tiddles the little black and white bundle of fluff she calls family. It appears her nearest relative lives about as far away from Ambridge as is possible and still be technically resident in Blighty, and may not be in the best of health either. Her closest neighbour on whom she might call is a sprightly ninety five, but not steeped in the lore of feline husbandry, and anyway “it wouldn’t …be right…. to impose … she has ….problems …enough.” All this between gasps which just go to underscore the imperative of Ivy’s admission to Ambridge General.

And so it is that Mr. Tiddles now has a daily entry in our home visit book for the duration of Ivy’s stay on the wards at A.G.H.