The situation is this: I am, post-shingles, or very nearly, rather more debilitated than usual. To re-iterate my idea of chronic illness being like living in another country, I have moved further abroad. I am trying not to let it feel like exile but, let me put it this way – you don’t want to come here, really. Let’s imagine I am here so you don’t have to be. Anything you want to know, I’ll tell you, I can still write – a bit. Short sentences, and if I suddenly trail off in mid sentence or thought, you will understand. So, no, don’t come here: there’s no night-life, not much day-life either, and you can’t move around much. The food’s rubbish, just marmite sandwiches (ok, and fruit), and whatever else is around, you won’t fancy it. Books, yes, but you won’t be able to read them for more than ten minutes at a stretch. Friends are those dots on the horizon that wave to you and shout things like hope you’re better soon. In reply you are allowed to send them smoke signals. I saw one today in the doctor’s waiting room and ignored her in case I ran out of steam mid-conversation. However one explains, it always makes a bad impression.
It’s not so bad once you get used to the light. You have to get new spectacles, obviously, to carry on reading the signs and see what’s around. My neighbour’s tree is full of small cherries. My apple tree already heavy with fruit. I hear the floods have been very bad. News reaches me.