I am having a problem with the blog which won’t publish my Christmas good wishes but I can assure you that it will be sorted before the 25th!
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After 26 months of cancelled cruises, in January we managed to find the last wheelchair friendly cabin on Queen Elizabeth for a cruise to the Med. The detail is on the blog if you click on January 2022.
Kim was with us to look after Jane. She has been coming with us for 6 years now and without Kim, cruising would be impossible. We were so lucky to find her.
In February I received an invitation to speak on Zoom to the Southern Californian Chapter of the Steamship Historical Society of America. I had written the history of my fathers career at sea, which was published on the blog (July 2021) but I chose the broader topic of “Famous Cunard CaptaIns, their ships and their Royal connections”. A friend Cark coached me on Zoom and the presentation delivered in May seemed to go well.
In June we were due to sail away on Queen Victoria, but in the weeks beforehand, I was aware of pains in my left leg. My GP’s were unable to come up with a prognosis, so I found a consultant rheumatologist, and she told me I needed a whole hip replacement! It meant cancelling the June cruise and getting the operation done quickly so that I had time to recover before a cruise booked for September. All these cruises arose as a result of Covid cancellations and moving the money forward!
It was then a matter of finding one of the recommended hip surgeons who could operate by mid July to give me 6 weeks recovery time. Jeremy Latham, who I had known for 20 years, found a gap for me on the 18 July. Kim came to look after Jane for the 3 nights I was in the Nuffield. The morning and evening carers continued throughout. A live in carer was here for 3 weeks. She was very good at cleaning the kitchen floor.
The operation went really well and I was quickly up and moving (not running!). Physio by Marie (she was also my physio when I had a new knee 6 years ago) in the Nuffield pool helped enormously.
On Sunday 4 September we set off on Queen Victoria. The usual trio of Jane Kim and me. A voyage to the Eastern Med taking in Dubrovnik and Trieste and many other ports. More details are on the blog (September 2022)
After our return Jane was lined up for an operation on 25 October. 18 months earlier she had been added to the URGENT list for bladder stones to be zapped (lasered). After 4 hours of waiting, form filling, hoisting and 2 nurses undressing her and getting her gowned up, the surgeon turned up and said the operation had been cancelled as there was an emergency. No suggestion of Jane being dealt with after the emergency or in a different theatre. Inevitably the Smith emails are still asking why Jane was chosen to be axed! The NHS avoid difficult questions.
Mike, Gretchen and Archie are off to NZ for Christmas with Gretchen’s Mum, MaryJane and Bruce. Louise, Red, Ethan and Charlie are coming here to celebrate with us and Louise has invited all the Holts and Atkinson’s here on the 27th. 22 at the last count. It will be great to see them all.
Thank you to Jane’s friends who take her out in the adapted Peugeot to garden centres and Hilliers gardens and to all of you for accepting an electronic card. As you know the savings go to the MS Society and I have been instructed to double the Christmas contribution this year!
Have a peaceful Christmas and a great New Year. Love Richard and Janexx