Boots on

  • Cornwall Cogitation #7, 22 March 2015–Half a baguette with Emmental cheese, the other half with peanut butter, that’s tea (supper) tonight. At lunch we sat for two delightful hours with Robert and Emilie Walson at the Carbis Bay Hotel. Well nourished we are.

This past week I’ve worn my walking boots five times. I’ve worn my other shoes, too, but walking boots means potential for mud, rough path, greater distance. It’s so good to be back on my feet. Here’s our bulletin note today: “Dear St Anta and St Uny Friends. Your prayers, rides, calls and related support during John’s surgery for an infected cyst, and a different infection a week later resulting in a three-day hospitalization at Treliske, have been an amazing gift sustaining body, mind and spirit. Thank you! Praise be to God for healing, health . . . and friends. God is good.”

I’m still seeing the nurse for the daily bandage change on my back; the healing is progressing wonderfully. No more need for antibiotics or other meds. The first hymn we sang today was “There’s a wideness in God’s mercy, like the wideness of the sea, there’s a kindness in his justice which is more than liberty.” (Frederick William Faber, 1814-1863). So true, so real; I’ve felt the blessing of those words from both sides of the pond. And, oh yes, I’m so grateful we bought travel insurance with our air tickets. No one at the hospital asked to see an insurance card or ability to pay criteria. I expect the bill to come through the referring Stennack Surgery (clinic) in St Ives. I pay the Stennack for each visit to see the nurse or doctor and should be able to submit those and related bills to the travel insurance company.

Tuesday’s St Patrick’s Day may have been celebrated in Cornwall pubs–I don’t know, the only green I saw was a chart of interesting factoids in The Independent newspaper. Did you know St Patrick was born in 387 CE just south of Hadrian’s Wall?He died on 17 March, 461. There are an estimated 10,000 three-leaf clovers for every four-leaf clover. An estimated 13 million pints of Guinness were consumed on St Patrick’s Day, more than twice the normal amount. A total of 39.3 people living in the US claim Irish ancestry. A good book to read is Thomas Cahill’s, “How the Irish Saved Christianity.”

Another bit of information I’d have missed had I not read the Friday 20 March Independent. Friday was the UN’s International Day of Happiness. Rhoodi Marsden, the columnist, wrote with “a weary cynicism,” but added, “We can do something nice. Show some understanding. If you ask someone how they are, and they pause to think for a bit, don’t say to them, ‘No. I don’t want to know. Maybe give them GBP10. They’ll like that.”

The Friday Independent had a fine report on the resilience of the people of Vanuatu who defied the odds of the devastating Cyclone Pam. The country has a disaster plan. People bury food and water and have shelters they flee to when storms come. One sidebar read, “For 5,000 years this type of event has occurred every year,” just not as severe as this year, The people survived and can now rebuild.

The world’s oldest person, Misao Okawa, in Japan, celebrated her 117th birthday on 5 March. Asked how she felt about living so long, she said, “It seemed rather short.”

As you may have done from your patch, we saw a bit of the partial solar eclipse on Friday 20 March. At least I caught some image of it on my camera.

Sometime I’ll write about the NHS (National Health Service), but not today. Austerity measures across the board in England impact this vital service, as they do social care for patients discharged from hospital. More treatments are projected to be offered outside hospitals, but staffing and other resources need to be in place. The government has designated GBP200m for 29 pilot schemes across England.

There’s an election coming up May 7, two days after we leave. We got a letter addressed to Current Resident(s) at our apartment saying NO ONE REGISTERED. It added, “If all information is correct, you do not need to do anything.” We’ve left well enough alone.

A final note from a recent newspaper: “A bride walked out of her wedding ceremony in northern Uttar Pradesh [India] after her husband-to-be failed to solve a simple maths problem, saying he had lied about his education. She asked him what is 15 plus six? When he answered “17” she refused to marry him, and refused to reconsider despite pleas from the groom’s family.”

A good week to you. -John

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