An excerpt from Wind in the Willows

Nice? It's the ONLY thing, said the Water Rat solemnly, as he leant forward for his stroke. Believe me, my young friend, there is NOTHING - absolute nothing - half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats. Simply messing, he went on dreamily: messing - about - in - boats; messing----'
From 'Wind in the Willows' by Kenneth Grahame.

Friday, 10 June 2016

Oh Dear

Perhaps I could have been a little more forthright!  I attended Northampton General Hospital (NGH) after requesting an appointment.  The X-Rays, which were quite invasive, showed a badly degenerated right hip (well the ball part) which is crumbling like chalk - it is known as Avascular Necrosis and was one of the risks (1:10 chance) explained to me.

Sadly the femoral head has died but to give NGH their due they said it might happen, and they have me booked in for Wednesday 15-June as a trauma patient rather than an elective surgery patient.  Then another week or so in hospital and another six weeks of taking life easily - I think I'll just write 2016 off!

Monday, 14 December 2015

The Fracture Clinic appointment

Tim and Bridget Carter's small dutch
barge Friesland, the winner of Stoke
Bruerne Illuminated Boats 2015 (my lights!)
Well here we are - D-day - the day when I will hopefully know what the slightly longer term future holds for me, where I may go from Cliftonville and, perhaps most importantly, how my broken hip is repairing itself (with the help of screws, plates etc etc). I'll also find out if I am permitted to weight bear.  I'll update this page once I am back from the Fracture Clinic - I think it may be quite a long appointment as I am sure I will need to go to Radiology for some X-Rays and I may have to wait up to 2 hours for the contracted private ambulance to take me the 213m back to Cliftonville.

Been ready to go since 07:30 and it is now 08:40 and no sign of anyone.  I could have had an extra hour in bed!

Finally the ambulance came at 09:20 so I was late for my appointment - the good news is that I was allowed to come home by myself with my friend Vicky keeping an eye on me - my electric wheelchair skills need enhancing a bit.

Well - the answer I received was not quite what I was expecting.  The X-Rays looked fine (must try and get hold of some copies) and the screws look to be nice and tight.  I am told I can use the Zimmer frame and the crutches (but the Physio says no crutches without him being there) and take as much weight as I can tolerate.  Does that mean full or partial weight bearing - well no one seems to know and my notes are still at Northampton General (NGH) because they didn't give them back to me. How much longer will I be here - well initially it seems to be 7 (yes seven) more weeks (that's 1-February-2016) but I can go home when I think it is OK - well it is not my area of expertise so I have asked if the Discharge Matron (Naomi Walters) can pop in and discuss things with me because I think I'd find 7 more weeks a bit mentally challenging to be honest. I really do need that care plan so I can understand the road to full recovery.  The chap I saw said that the femoral head could take up to 2 years to die (if it is going to die) so I shall be under the care of NGH for quite some time.  I could think of a few terse Kiwi words to use but I shall refrain just in case I need them in the future!

I think I can find things to do with my CRT volunteering hat on which may involve a day a week in the Milton Keynes office - probably not until the new year and only then if it fits in with CRT's ideals.

An update following a chat with Alison one of the nurses here.  My notes were returned from NGH this afternoon and there is nothing new in them.  To say she is cross would be an understatement because it means the Physio can do nothing with me tomorrow because he can't use my understanding of the appointment so we have to wait until a letter comes from Mr Northover's secretary saying what I am allowed to do.  Alison thinks I should be going elsewhere for longer term rehab, that the consultant (registrar) I saw today thinks I am living at home already (because of the statement that any medicine should be ordered through my GP) and that staying here is not in my longer term interests. I remain extremely disappointed by today's appointment; I think it is a huge opportunity lost for me and I rather hope that another appointment at the Fracture Clinic will be forthcoming before Christmas when perhaps a sensible discussion can take place. 

Sunday, 13 December 2015

Thank you

I'd just like to express my heartfelt thanks for all the kind comments here and on my 'Hip' blog. I shall update both blogs tomorrow when (if) I find out what the immediate future holds.

I am feeling much better (although not that much more mobile yet).  Fantastic events in Stoke Bruerne yesterday with the opening of Ark Stained Glass by our MP Andrea Leadsom with Richard Parry and Vicky Martin from CRT, then the opening of the Stoke Bruerne Interpretation Project (I was working on that when I broke my hip!), with Andrea, Richard and Vicky again.  Finally Illuminated Boats and Carols on the Cut which was great, if somewhat oversubscribed, with the village brought to a standstill by the number of cars and people.  We shall need to review car parking arrangements rather urgently I think.

I have discovered that in lieu of a DVT injection in my tummy every evening a couple of glass of (good quality) red will suffice - no choice really - just need somewhere to store the bottles!

Friday, 11 December 2015

The broken hip

I thought I'd better do an update just to say that I have been in Northampton General Hospital (NGH) for five weeks today following a fall at the Stoke Bruerne Canal Museum, the result of which was a broken right hip!  That's not a very pleasant thing to have.  There's a blow-by-blow account if you click here.

Thursday, 2 April 2015

Doris Obsorne

Front (L to R) Tony Osborne and Philip
Osborne. Back (L to R) Rob Westlake,
myself and David Blagrove
We were given the honour today to take Doris (the daughter of Stoke Bruerne Canal Museum founder Jack James) on her final journey.  She arrived in the village of Stoke Bruerne by boat and she left by boat, her coffin borne proudly by historic boat Sculptor, from the southern portal of Blisworth Tunnel to the lock waiting area outside the former James' family home at No 3 Canalside Cottages in Stoke Bruerne. There's nothing much more to say other than it was a privilege and an honour to steer Sculptor for her final journey.

Thursday, 25 September 2014

Living Waterway Awards

Village at War
Stoke Bruerne has won a first place in the Recreation and Tourism section of the Living Waterway Awards.

This is well deserved recognition for The Friends of The Canal Museum and their Family Festival/Gala, Village at War and Carols on the Cut events.

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

A lovely trip to Byfleet (by car)

Leo outside my house (the one with
the hanging baskets)
Byfleet Boat Club had their open weekend this last weekend so I decided to pay a visit as it's been almost 12 months since I was last there - to bring the boat back up to Stoke Bruerne.

I had a thoroughly enjoyable day topped off by an excellent BBQ and the Croydon Steel Band. It was lovely to meet old friends - as in long standing and not because they are old (well some of them may be!).  Chris and Suzanne - do hope your injuries heal quickly.

Leo is in Stoke Bruerne at the moment courtesy of my friends Mike Partridge and Chris and Roy Sears - it is lovely having it so close as it enables me to do all those little jobs that need doing and to be able to walk home for lunch!