Tuesday, January 12, 2010

How the world changed in the Past Decade. Past 7 Health and Holidays

This may seem a strange title but having twice been ill just after or while on holiday it seems a natural combination to me and an account of health deteriorating with age would be most depressing. The depressing holiday thing was being taken for a ride and a four figure sum by a fraudulent discount holiday company. We also had a booking with a Christian tour firm that went bust but there ATOL came to the rescue. For most of the decade I had to holiday with a supply of antibiotics lest the cellulitis caught in Slovakia returned. We did have a recurrence but no more hopitalisation for it.

2000 we holidayed in self catering accommodation near Llanelli, Wales and Nairn, Scotland. We have never been back to Wales. The rugby was good but the pushing of their minority tongue to the top of road signs I find irritating, even dangerous to safety. In 1990 this was not the case in Scotland but is increasingly so even there. Totally ridiculous when barely 1% of the people speak Gaelic. But Scotland I love and we returned several times in the decade. Nairn is near so much history, e.g. Culloden and near Speyside with its multitude of distilleries. We returned there in 2001. I love the land north of Inverness, particularly the sadly cleared Highlands of the north west.

2002 we had two weeks in Bucharest, Romania. I was teaching prospective elders a course in church history. Romania was more like the developing world than Europe. It suffered greatly form communist misrule. We were helping a Korean missionary.

2003 We had a week self catering in Instow, North Devon and a hotel week in County Durham. Three weeks were on the West Coast, the first in Canada then we motored to Los Angeles and back to Vancouver 3650 miles in 10 days' driving. The highlight was Crater Lake, Oregon.

2004 we had a week in a Kent hotel awaiting the arrival of our third granddaughter. We enjoyed a cruise on the Rhine, Cologne to Strasbourg and back. Then we were in the US, DC and states north east enjoying friends' hospitality.

2005 first with family in Kent, Yorkshire and Staffordshire. I went on my own to Timosoara, Romania by train after flying to Budapest, Hungary. This was a church visit.

2006 we had two weeks in a hotel by lake Lucerne and went to our most unfriendly church ever. If it was not for beautiful scenery no-one would go to Switzerland. Locals in Afghanistan are more friendly. We stayed with friends in Kabul then enjoyed a couple of days in Dubai. For the second time in the decade I lost a camera.

2007 I received treatment for sleep apnoea. The machine stopped me forever falling asleep. I even once fell asleep while reading aloud in house group. It also cured snoring. We enjoyed a great week in a friend's apartment in Rovinj, Istria, Croatia, our first Mediterranean holiday, a gift for our 60th birthdays. Katy retired from school teaching so we were, in midsummer, able to do what I had wanted for years, a holiday in the Outer Hebrides. We were B & B but half way through I was transferred to different accommodation, threee night in the Hospital of the isles, Stornoway. Thanks to Ealing hospital haematology changing my hypertensives without monitoring I had heart failure induced by uncontrolled hypertension. Ealing was treating me for too many red and white cells. Nevertheless I reckon the islands to be heaven on earth if the sun shines and the midges do not bite. The Golden Road on Harris had one intoxicated by the beauty of creation. Later in the year we stayed in the gold rush country of northern California and visited Yosemite. But Scotland beats them all for me. We returned to Nairn for a winter weekend and the most sumptuous wedding ever. We were told the reception cost was six figures. Too much of a good thing was wonderful. This proved to be a start of a year of weddings.

2008 After Easter we took all 14 of the family to the Pas de Calais then Katy and i went for a week with missionary friends in Belgium. We had a week in Riga, Latvia for the Wedding of a Bulgarian friend. We stayed in Durham Castle for a second wedding the Graham alone flew to Sacramento to be toastmaster at another wedding. Later we had a family wedding in Staffordshire.

2009 started with Graham suffering abdominal pain which several quacks failed to diagnose as a return of heart failure, this time caused by atrial fibrillation. Hammersmith hospital was very good. It helps to have a consultant friend. We had a week self catering in Glossop, Derbyshire hunting Katy's ancestors. Graham enjoyed a very expensive week in geneva celebrating the 500th birthday of John Calvin. A wedding took us to Ireland for a week. Finally we flew to Verona, Italy then Belgrade, Serbia. From there we went by train to Timosara, Romania before returning from Belgrade by car with hotels in Austria and Germany en route.

All in all having surveyed the decade one can say that a benefit of being older, no mortgage, most children flown the nest, is that one can travel more. I much prefer going where we have friends.

My chronic health problem is obesity. I am a comfort eater. Part of my reason for this decade's observations is the awareness that I may not reach the end of the next one. Intimations of mortality. My father died at 75 but he was fitter than me. My grandfathers were both much younger when they went. Katy has chronic neurological pain because despite two spinal operations she was not treated promptly enough by the NHS. Over the decade I have learned better how to live with spells of depression. Why it comes and goes is often a mystery but I am coping better now and am more disciplined - except in diet.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

haven't you got the decade wrong with your years?

10:02 am  
Blogger Graham Weeks said...

Thank you. Now corrected.

11:37 am  

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