End of September 2017 Update

It’s been a bumpy ride since paradise.  At least the otolaryngologist was the most encouraging concerning Richard’s deaf ear. He determined that Richard can receive some sounds on his left side and said that a cochlear transplant would be a possibility but suggested first a hearing aid either to augment the sounds the ear actually hears or to transmit to it what Richard hears with his right ear. When I mention that in the UK Richard would not qualify for the cochlear replacement unless he was deaf in both ears, Dr. Geier said, “I think that is ridiculous.” So I am adding that to my list of what is wrong in Albion along with the Brexit decision, the “We do not get second opinions in the UK” medical declaration, and the impossibility to insure a car but only specified named drivers/users for the vehicle – informed in advance.

The Focus

According to Dr. Maistre, our ophthalmologist, my eyes are “perfect.” Strange since I cannot read without glasses, but he said that I have the eyes of a twenty-year old. So that much was gratifying. Back home, we visited the Musée Simon Segal to see Chris Avella Bagur’s paintings, and the next day we were off to Paris – with Catherine driving us to Les Arcs and Marie-Laure meeting us at the Gare de Lyon. In Paris we were not able to get together with Saskia and Paulien let alone Anne-Laure, but we did get to the Orangerie to see the paintings of Saskia’s father, Constantin Macris. The day also included the Tea Caddy where we felt as if we were being welcomed home. That evening it was negroni and delicious pizza napoletana at Popine. The next day was the most magnificent Musée d’Orsay – perhaps my favourite of all in Paris. We both lunched there and saw the Cezanne portaitures. After this, we found Françoise in Charenton and had a visit. The evening finished with dinner and margaritas at Anahuacalli with Marie-Laure and Toby.

Our last full day in Paris, I continued with the revisions to “Pagan Mysticism” and, since it was sunny and pleasant, went for a walk with Richard. After, we had a visit from Ralph and Francis. And then on the 11th, we took the Eurostar to London. We found the corridor of the flat full of the things from Rhode Island that Jacqueline and Hans had fetched and sent for us. We could still squeeze by and have taken the rest of the month to unpack everything. We now have my mother’s silver and our Leung “Going Home” painting but not the paitings by Michael Barnes. I have yet to sort through the papers that were also shipped.

The next night, we heard Philip Shallcross talk on Druidry at Nova Stellar. I thought he was excellent. The following day, I met with Dr. Thompson at the Royal Marsden Hospital to learn the results of the PET scan I had had in July. I did not hear what I had wished. It seems that the hyperthermal treatment in Germany had accomplished little if anything. At least my PSA had gone down to 4.34, but Dr. Marsden said that the PSA means nothing now (it has since gone to 1.96) since my prostrate cancer is aggressive and has apparently expanded. So I have begun now hormone therapy and eventually there will be radiation. Later that day, Nancy arrived from visiting Warren in Amsterdam.

So for my birthday the next day, it was mostly a time of sober disengagement. Nancy, Richard and I shared a brownie and then wandered along the Portobello Market. That evening, at Cantina Azteca, we had a lovely time (and three pitchers of margarita) with Chloe and Matt. The following evening, it was negroni at Fish in a Tie with Gin, Rix, Nancy, Richard and me. And then the ketogenic diet began. Since then I have avoided all sugars (ice cream, shortbread, fudge, etc.) as well as fruit (for the sugar contained) and restrict myself to only limes, lemons and raspberries. The worst of course has been no alcohol. It has not been fun or necessarily easy, but Richard is insisting that he does the same with me. And so we go.

There has been the START Art Fair at the Saatchi as well as a wonderful phone call to Marlowe. Gin has been to us for dinner, Nancy has departed for Colorado, and Richard and I – after seeing the Jasper Johns exhibition at the Royal Academy of Art –  have been to Stratford-on-Avon where Meg and Harry took us to an incredible performance of Coriolanus – so surprisingly relevant to our own times of today. Haydn Gwynne was a superb Volumnia.  We spent two nights with Meg and Harry, Richard had driving lessons from Ryan, but, alas, he did not pass his driving test. So we are now back to square one.  Saga would not provide provisional insurance for Richard, so he had to use Ryan’s virtual van of a car and stick shift with his left hand. It was too much for him. We then had one night in Gloucester where we saw both Pavel and the Cathedral with its magnificent stain glass windows. I did, however, get a speeding ticket on the way to Gloucester.

Since we have been back to London, I have been working with the Mysticism revisions and may have completed them. We went to a vernissage at the Saatchi that included several of Thomas Mailaender’s photos. We also have had a lovely dinner with Penny, Hamish and Elisabeth Collins at Taverna Aphrodite, and we have met John Kiely at Fragomen concerning Richard’s visa extension. The cost on this last has been staggeringly exorbitant.

And for our last night tonight of my birth month, we will go to American in Paris at the Dominion Theatre. We are now far from those halcyon days in the Midi, but life is still good and comfortable, and it is a good feeling to be back home in London.





















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