We are about to leave for the beach, a few days break from our daily life, unfortunately Amigo, the Cat is nowwhere to be found so we cannot leave. He needs to turn up, be placed in his travel cage and deposited at the local pet Motel. “Here Puss, Puss, Puss”. No Cat, no Trip to the Bach beside the Beach. Bugger.
Ah, there he is, out in the garden sheltering from the sun, “Emily, he’s here!” Whew, we can go now.
It’s hot today. Not ideal for eating. Not ideal for much apart to sit, sip cold water and relax. In fact, that is what I am going to do right now!
‘Moana’. The Bach at CastlePoint! Sitting, finally! Looking out to sea.Not a cloud. Warm breeze. White waves. This is a glorious spot. But I am challenged, but I am not going there right now. For now, this moment. A 90 minute drive from Featherston is totally worthy of the discomfort. I am going to try and do the best I can with what I have. It’s that simple and so, for now, time to put away what I can’t do and focus on what I can. Writing.
The sun setting slowly, muy Emily back from a walk along the beach. I sit reading ‘Angel of the Anzacs’ the life of Nola Luxford. Fascinating woman, fascinating story. I am facing East nor’ East as white tipped waves surge onto the beach. Seagulls wheel and scream, I guess it’s home going time for them.
I am feeling somewhat melancholy. Sad. Not able to walk with muy Emily and not very comfortable in an upright chair. Small issue however, when compared to the state of the world in which I live. To my far left the setting sun is creating lengthening and dramatic shadows on the coastal hills. To my right is the CastlePoint Lighthouse. This year, it’s 100th Anniversary. Seagulls perch on poles directly in front of me. It’s a peaceful, tiny, coastal village, in a country setting. Nothing has been done to disturb the tranquility and simplicity that has existed since the first settlers arrived. Bright white light on the leading edge of waves, disappearing into the shadows cast by hills blocking the setting sun. A cold edge to the wind has me rugged in warm layers. Not at all what I expected. Crisp delight. “Food in two minutes” calls muy Lover. A sip of beer through a straw. My breathing mask, the one that allows for eating and reading and writing and beer. Good night :)
The sun creates a shimmering, sparkling ocean in front of me, seagulls entertain me, a lone surfer, a beginner, tumbles from waves to rise again and start over. A morning at the beach is magical. Peaceful. Especially after a challenging night where I froze in bed until I realized it was my body telling me to wake up and dress up. I did with the help of muy Emily, putting on a winter top in the middle of summer. But then, for the rest of the night my legs and hips remained cold. Tonight I will dress more appropriately.
Before bed last night we were given a treat. We had eaten dinner, I was sitting in the front room overlooking the ocean. The lighthouse was sending it’s beam out over the ocean. All of a sudden I looked up from my reading and there, appearing next to the headland, just climbing above the horizon, a golden full moon. I was totally awed. It was like a magical stage performance presented for our own pleasure. I called muy Emily and we both tried to take photographs and capture the moment. Not to be, my hands were too weak, the windows covered in salt spray reflected too much light. The only recourse was to sit. Quietly. And observe the magic as the moon rose, reflections on the ocean increased. Spell bounding!
And here, this morning, the sun has risen as the moon rose, reflective light sparkles and creates hypnotic beauty.
I have eaten, drunk my protein drink and a cup of coffee. Muy Emily sits reading beside me. Kiri asleep at my feet, well at least she was the last time I looked.
This is a magic place. The fourth time we have rented this cottage and each and every time the light has been magical. The ideal place, a home away from home. A place to sit quietly. No conversation. Absorbing the never ending, always rolling ocean. The Pacific Ocean. The ideal name for a body of water that stretches east toward North America and Venice Beach, my last home in America.
I roll my head to stretch muscles a little tight from sleeping in one position all night. And I ask myself, where am I today? How is my health? Dare I ask how I ‘feel’?
To be honest, I feel like shit. A really uncomfortable nights sleep. My body is becoming less productive. My typing fingers are reduced from where they were to a slow but sure tapping. My legs are almost useless. I can stand, I can walk a short distance with my rollator. To bend is courting disaster as I saw this past week. I fell. My legs simply buckled and I fell. Not badly but I felt as though my legs would simply snap. Muscles which have powered me through life have wasted away. Atrophy! My arms, my chest, all pale reflections of my past. I need more help in the simple pleasures of life. I cannot button shirts. Using a zip fastener? Pretty useless. No more belts. Muy Emily dresses me, showers me, lifts me when I cannot lift myself. That is becoming the norm. My ability to eat, to chew is fast being challenged. I notice that typing tires my arms and I need to have a chair with arms so my elbows can be supported. Yep, a slow spiral down from a totally active life to a totally, physically at least, inactive life. My mind is fine. Just don’t ask for me to solve a complex issue. My memory, eye sight, taste, smell, never better. And so I am faced with an ever changing situation. It is a challenge, no question about it. At this moment I have my feet raised and resting on a chair in front of me, my laptop is propped on my thighs and my fingers roam the keyboard as I type my thoughts and describe my circumstances. Neighbors stroll by along the foreshore. Locals wave, visitors simply stare. Muy Emily and Me? We sit peacefully and that has me smile. Not all bad really. It could be a whole lot worse. A whole lot worse. One day at a time. Today is all there is. Mindfulness comes to ‘mind’ being at one with myself, in the present, not allowing or encouraging myself to look forward. To simply be here. In the presence of muy Lover and Nature, the great Nurturer.
With each wave that rolls onto the beach, comes a new idea. Being receptive, trusting my environment and my intuitive self. Faith in the Great Spirit. The God of my Understanding.
There is a new book due out. An American author, a professor. Challenging the Church of Rome. Challenging those who wrote the Bible and to the Holy Spirit, the Great Spirit, made captive and denied access to all other beliefs. I have embraced this concept for a long time and thought I was alone. But as I have come to realize and accept, there are many of us on the Planet who do not accept the status quo. Jesus had nothing to do with the Church of Rome, the so called World Church. He was a gnostic, he sought knowledge, he shared it with friends. Simple. And here we are torn apart on this planet by complex, convoluted beliefs and theories and fear. Marx was quite possible right. Religion is the Opiate of the Masses. Anyhow, right here right now, I am not about to tell anyone, command anyone, suggest even, that they should listen to me. Nope, listen to your own intuitive self, your own Great Spirit, whatever you like to call is and hold it close. No proslytizing! (sp!)
Time to take a break and read, ciao!
A lone surfer in front of me, practicing, over and over, not great waves, but great perseverance. Reading Nola Luxford’s story in America I am swamped, over and over by emotion. This woman was indeed an Angel to the ANZACS. Her tenacity, perseverance and humanity. A true Kiwi in New York. I am glad that Zane Grey did not have his way with her. She was truly, a class act.
Muy Emily has gone for a walk up to the Lighthouse as I read and write. I feel profound sadness that we cannot share our time out hiking. Life can be a true bastard at times. Amen!
Back from a trundle along the foreshore in my power wheelchair. Kapiti chocolate and vanilla ice cream on a stick, snapped a couple of images, met a young local dude, also in a wheelchair. Result of a motorbike accident 20 years ago, has lived here at the beach since he was 5. Dean. Neat guy, goes fishing, uses a winch to get himself out of his chair and onto the boat. Paralyzed from the chest down. Amazing. We sat on the edge of the beach chatting away, both of us in wheel chairs, both of us with old female dogs, both of us laughing. Such is the adventure, the journey we call life. He is young and physically active, I am old and intellectually active. It’s not been an easy day today, after a disturbed nights sleep. My breathing has been challenged. But, in spite of that I have enjoyed myself. Sitting in the front sun room, propped by pillows, stretched out in the sun. A bit too hot at times. Finished reading Nola Luxford’s heroic tale of life in America. Tinges of her story, her family, her marriages, her career are similar to mine. Her view of New Zealand in the 1950’s is similar to mine some 60 years later.
Venus was also out in it’s glory last night and that seems to affect me. A Full Moon and Venus. Many people write off the effect of nature upon our lives. I have learned not to. The tide is ruled by the rise and fall of the Moon, I believe my emotional ocean or oceans of emotions are also effected. To ignore these aspects of life is to live in the black and white of experiences. To me, life is in the shadows, the light and dark, color. Shadings. Life is in the details. At least I believe. Works for me if not for everyone or anyone. Which brings me to my concept of Nature the Great Nurturer. The more we ignore it the less we are aware of our path through life. Trees die, they shed leaves, bark, branches break, lightning strikes them hard. Trees become diseased. They die. Just like us humans.
I love trees. I have hugged trees. I have leant against the trunks of trees 500 years old and more. I have photographed, drawn, filmed, climbed and even fallen from trees. They are a mysterious and magical part of my life. Especially indigenous trees. Kauri, Pohutakawa, Puriri, Tree Ferns, Totara, Black Beech, the trees of Aotearoa. Waka, built from Kauri, last for multiple life times. Trees of other climates also intrigue. California She Oak, Eucalyptus of Australia. Giant Redwoods of Northern California. In the Moab Desert, giant Joshua Trees inspire, especially at sunset, their outline stark and mysterious. Pinon Forests of Arizona and New Mexico. Aspens through the changing seasons of the Colorado Rockies.
Trees are our parallel life and yet . . . we hack them down.
Mass clear felling, just like we kill and are killed in war. Death at the hands of the human race. Destructive. We honor nature no more than we honor human life itself. We remove a tree that has been growing for a hundred years, just so our view of the ocean is uninterrupted. We do not honor our environment. Trees are clear felled and then transported to China to be made into cheap products. We grow artificial forests that destroy our rivers, our oceans.
We humans are the most destructive force on the face of the Planet.
Lightning, earthquakes, tornados, flood, fire, all these are natural and yet we call them ‘An Act of God’. Excuse me? We live on a Planet that is alive. It moves, constantly, the core is a ball of searing heat and molten rock. Occasionally it simply builds to a point where it needs to relieve itself of pressure. Voila, an eruption that destroys whole societies. The Tsunami effects following an Earthquake wreaks enormous destruction as do Lighting triggered forest fires. Deluges of rain sending sides of mountains to wipe out communities. All this and we appear not to learn. We create artificial destruction. We poison our rivers, oceans, our food chain. We release man made diseases onto unsuspecting populations. We are destructive. Oops! Dinner time! Ciao . . .
Thin crust pizza, home made by muy Emly, these days one of my favorite meals. My taste buds continue to work and the topping muy Lover creates, tomato paste, anchovies, olives, tingle my palette. I love to sit and hold a slice with both hands. My right hand hold the crust which rests on my left hand so I can maneuver it to my mouth. My teeth are good albeit most of them false, and so my bite is solid and taking a small manageable mouthful of exquisite flavors is a real treat. Along with a glass of Leffe Blonde bier made my the Monastic Monks of Belgium. Life is indeed, in the details.
The sun has come to that time of the day when it rests it’s fiery head beyond the local mountains. Time for the Moon and Venus to continue their nightly dance. The images I captured last night were not great but they are fun and the best I can do with a splendid camera and lens held by hands that are slowly dying. I love photography as I love life. My Life is my Art and for that, I am profoundly grateful. Maybe it’s time for me to watch a movie or my 911 Documentary, my hands are fading as is my neck. Time to kick back and enjoy. Amen
Oh my God . . . Kevin just drove up and parked his car outside. Now Kevin is a local, we met on a previous stay, when we bumped into him on the road opposite the beach. We chatted, he found out where we lived and brought us 4 large freshly caught and freshly cooked crayfish. Delicious. The ‘kindness of strangers’ springs to mind. And here he is again, four large, fresh caught and cooked crayfish. My favorite food on the Planet. Kevin runs the local crayfish business and is friends with young Dean who we met earlier today. I feel as though we are part of community. I guess we are. I feel that we are being taken care of in ways beyond our imagination. This is the true Nature of Nurture. Oops, battery running low and I do not trust my stability to plug the computer into the wall power supply, wait for muy Emily, ciao!
A shady faded night sky, I can make out a blue tonality, it’s not yet black, the horizon is faint but present. Will there be a Moon tonight? Will Venus show herself? All is quiet apart from two sounds. My Bipap machine as it breathes in and out, over and over, relieving my fading muscles of the need to work at breathing. The steady roar of waves on the beach. Well not exactly a roar more a subdued rise and fall as the waves glide and curl and dissipate on the sand. Does that describe the Ocean? New York at night, the strong hum of traffic reminded me of the waves of childhood. I love the sound. Regular as clockwork, the Worlds pulse. In and out, in and out. The day that stops is the day the Planet dies. Cheers.
And the Moon gave me no warning, suddenly there it was four inches above the horizon, casting a silvery reflection on the ocean. Wondrous, magical, mysterious. And there, out the other window, the Moon’s dance partner, Venus. Time to simply sit and experience, the windows are so covered in a layer of salt that the Moon is blurred. And, bloody hell, I cannot do what I could do, race outside on legs with muscles and grab a series of images. Boo Hoo!
A glorious summers morning and the light sparkles on the ocean surrounding the CastlePoint Lighthouse. Hypnotic. The surface of the ocean belies the depths. Far out the ocean surface appears to drift right to left while close in it is left to right while beneath the tide or current moves of it’s own accord. Receding, pushed by the forces of the Moon. Mid morning. Although that seems strange to say as its only 2 hours to mid day and 10 from midnight last night. Mid morning? What should it be? 6:00 AM? 10:00 AM? Not for me to say. Us humans are so concerned with time, we have devices from Atomic Clocks to iPhones that give us, to the inth degree, the split second timing and so we live our lives. ‘Suffering’ from MND removes all that dependence on time. It becomes irrelevant. Nature is in charge, not me. Suffering is an interesting word. I do not ‘suffer’. I am challenged, yes. I have no pain, no. But do I ‘suffer’ . . . Nope!
I have heard it said, again ancient wisdom, that in life ‘Pain’ is necessary, that ‘Suffering’ is optional. Makes sense to me as I sit here with limited mobility. Pain is not simply physical, it can be mental, emotional as well as physical. In my life emotional pain has been a challenge and I have experienced it way more than physical pain. Divorce, children, lovers, rejection, even success has given me a taste of emotional pain. Success? Yep, the pain I experienced, emotionally, when receiving some reward or accolade. Excruciating! Who am I to deserve this? Who do I think I am? Ouch! It’s real, based on fear, ‘false evidence appearing real’. I guess that is where a great deal of pain originates from. False evidence. Appearing real. Interesting. The internal human conflict unseen from the outside, creates enormous inner conflict aka pain. Nikos Kazantzakis “The Last Temptation of Christ’ said it all. As though addressed to me. Personally.
Waves, on the small side, roll and curl before breaking, they reflect the sun with an intensity that is so beautiful to almost become painful. Emotions attached to beauty have had me, on occasions, in so much pain that I weep. Tears spill like rain drops, very cleansing as they leave the soul and roll down my face. Physical pain also brings tears. An interesting observation. Tears of pain, tears of joy. The difference? Not much. Maybe none. The Grand Canyon at sunrise. Corral Pink Desert. Death Valley, Zion National Monument. Mohave Desert. The Rocky Mountains. Aspens in Autumn aka Fall. Sailing into Cape Cod Canal at sunset in October. Red water, red leaves. Eucalyptus trees in the North West of Australia, rich red earth, intense blue sky and the silvery grey white trunks of trees. Dolphins, Porpoise, criss crossing the bow of my yacht as I sailed the California Coastline. I have been blessed with the ability to not only see beauty, but to experience beauty. Making love can bring tears to my eyes. Reading a poem, The Journey. Listening to Maria Callas perform Madame Butterfly at La Scala, experiencing a great piece of John Steinbeck’s writing, Lars Von Triers movie making. A painting by any number of artists. Especially Cezzane. Photography by Joseph Sudek, Cartier-Bresson, the philosophy of the ancient Greeks. The medical practices of Egyptians, the Body/Mind connection. The images in words by Zane Grey. All these and more, all bring tears which touch on the beauty or the pain of beauty. Overwhelming images, sounds and thoughts. Heroes even, Abebe Bikila, Peter Snell, Jesse Owens, Jack Lovelock and so many more. Even the flawed humanity of Lance Armstrong has me in tears. Sir Edmund Hilary, Sir Peter Blake. Climber, Sailor, adventurers both. The birth of a Monarch butterfly. The swoop of an Eagle. The running of a thoroughbred. A Cotton Tail looking back, fearlessly on the edge of the Grand Canyon. Utterly fearless.
To sit here, with the morning sun soaking into my neurologically dying toes, is bliss. Gratitude and wonder. Beauty is indeed in the eye of the beholder and I am blessed with two good eyes, measured at 20/12. Five years ago I thought I had lost my sight, my vision, similar but different. Helen Long played magic with laser surgery and today, amongst my muscular dysfunction my eyes are as good, if not better, than they have ever been. Sailing North from Marina Del Rey, threading my yacht through the Channel Islands, to see an Orca leap from the water and crash back onto the surface of the Pacific Ocean had me enthralled but my crew frustrated, they could not see the reflective black and white monster of the deep. That was a moment I will treasure.
Today, the light and shadow that plays across the South Wairarapa intrigues me, my camera has been fortunate to capture images that will last a life time. With my limited mobility I get to sit in my wheelchair, in front of a computer screen and play with these images. Hopefully I will create collections to share and hopefully sell. I need the money :)
10:48:37 AM and Kevin just drove past with another truck full of Crayfish pots. What a guy. Time to set aside my computer and absorb the World before me. Ciao!
The Body/Mind connection fascinates me. Early Egyptian Doctors were Poets as well as Medical experts. Today I ask myself as to the origins of my ‘Disease’. My Body is atrophying, so what is my Mind doing? It feels to me like my Mind is now finding it’s place in the Universe. My Body has enjoyed 69 years of high activity and now it’s my Minds turn. But what is the correlation between the two?
On returning to New Zealand my mind was having a constant dialogue, with it’s self it seemed. It appeared to be saying, enough, I have done enough, I am burned out, it’s time to stop and here I am, stopped. Ah, the irony! Careful what you ask for. The Body does not lie, that is my life experience. Most of my physical injuries have been to the head, from the neck up. Fractured, skull, broken nose, head split open, eye issues, hearing loss, teeth knocked out. And sometimes more than once with quite a few of these issues. It would seem to me, and I am sure I have written this before, that my environment has been trying to tell me a truth, that I have a very good mind, that I needed to slow down and pay attention. That I needed to put my intellect to good use. In 1996, when I had my near death experience, a bike accident, I began to write as I lay in bed recovering. I bought my first computer, a Lap Top, Apple of course. I also sought out a writing class. I began to play with words and thoughts. Jack Grapes, The UCLA Writers Extension, these were my guides. I could not go the full course with either but they did have me practicing. I loved it. And here I sit, reflecting, allowing my mind to drift and my intuitive self to create words and thoughts. Do they, does any of it make sense? Not up to me, Just Do It! And I Am. Simply write and let go that it means anything to anyone but my self. Let go and let God even. Amen.
My mind can get fixated, especially when bureaucracy is involved.
I just worked out that I earn an income of US$7.69 pr hour. This is based on my Social Security of US$1000.00 per month times 12 divided by 52 divided by 30 hours. This is the amount of hours that Enable wished me to prove I worked and earned for them to provide me with the Power Chair I needed to continue my work and life. I need to find a lawyer who will act in a Pro Bono manner and support me in tackling the Bureaucracy of the Government Health Carers. Just thinking. That’s NZ$9.54 per hour. And then there is the income I earn from selling a few photographs and such. Laugh out Loud! Let it go Dickey!
A whole day gone by. Full and rich and a great deal of fun. We dined, lunched actually on Fresh Crayfish and Fresh organic Avocado mixed with Hawkes Bay Olive Oil. I cannot complain, at all. Fruits of the Land and Sea. A wheelchair ride to the Lagoon to the left of our Bach by the Sea. I ventured down onto the hard sand and voila, my indoor wheel chair did remarkably well. I did not get stuck but I could not go far enough to go as far as I wanted to photograph a fishing boat coming on shore. But I snapped as best I could and photographed a series Baches on the way back to our Bach. Toilet break and then down the other end of the Beach and snapped away, managed a couple of decent images. Home again and muy Emily ventured back to buy Ice Cream.
I have begun working on Transcripts of recordings I made 13 years ago, on a quick trip back to see my Mother. 2000 AD. It’s interesting reading my thoughts from that period as I explored my way from Wellington to New Plymouth. I had the tapes transcribed years ago in Los Angeles and now, who knows, a story may exist. The funny aspect was seeing the typos my American Transcribers used to translate my New Zealand accent. Priceless. And then I sat and read some Greek philosophy, Epicurus, awesome. And muy Emily went hiking up to the Lighthouse. I am somewhat jealous but not really, I am realistic. I am truly grateful that muy Lover takes care of her self. A gift. Acceptance is the Key!
As dinner was being started our new local wheelchair bound friend, Dean dropped by, two large freshly cooked Crayfish. Now we have five Crayfish in the Frig. Awesome. Sitting here now, muy Emily reading Epicurus and me tapping away waiting for the Moon to rise. The surf tonight is awesome and before the sun went down the surf was bathed in light that couldn’t quite translate to a great image even though the scene was spectacular. I simply couldn’t get outside and stand and hold my heavy Leica. At least I could absorb the spectacle and now, the sound of rolling waves hisses loudly. Music to my one good ear.
Castle Point is an amazing Seaside haven, it is based around Castle Point Station, a very large farming property owned by New Yorkers. The strip of beach is dotted with a line of small, simple Baches in the Kiwi tradition. Bachelor Pad is what they represent and are the dream of Kiwis. To own a Bach has certain bragging rights. Luckily we know people who own the one we rent at a very reasonable cost. Right on the beach. A stones throw from the edge of the surf. A view out the front window to die for. To the right is the headland with Castle Point Lighthouse, built in 1913. A century ago. To the left are the hills that make up the grassland of Castle Point Station. And directly ahead, the rolling surf. Way beyond is the hazy outline of Cape Turnagain. All in all an awesome place to sit and observe, ingesting the changing light. I love it. Behind us hills rise steeply and along the hills are the city dwellers beach houses, far, far different than the classic Baches, like the one we rent. I do not like the larger holiday houses, they have very little to add to the character of the coast line and many look like an architectural bad dream.
Tomorrow, tomorrow we return home, to Featherston. To our small Bach like cottage. ‘BachFortyThree’ I have no idea as to why I am drawn to small cottages but whatever the reason, they work for me. Manageable, cosy, fun. Since 1974 I have lived in 1000 square foot residences. I need no more. What I have done however, it to build a studio in our garden. First in Venice Beach and now in Featherston. Working in a garden setting, footsteps from the house, is my idea of living and working. Screw commuting. I have done my share. Time for bed I guess. My fingers run out of puff real fast. Have I mentioned that Motor Neuron Disease is a true bastard. Ciao!
And the surf rolls in, spectacular in the early morning light. Rolling wave, leading edges tinged translucent green blue and spray, propelled backward by a gentle breeze. They come in clusters. Small neat and then large and ferocious.And as far off as I can sea, flat and calm. I try and count the seventh wave but get lost.
Our last morning of this holiday, back home today and I don’t know what to think. I feel despondent. A sense of helpless hopelessness. I can see the toll my disease is taking on muy Emily and it does not make me happy. Negative thoughts swirl and go. I know I have a choice as to my attitude but today it’s a challenge. Not being able to wash and shower and dress myself. I feel unclean. And the phrase “how important is it “ comes to me, smiling I realize, not very. I am alive, sitting in a comfortable chair looking out over natures wonder. But the thoughts are there and I am not about to deny them, they are what they are and they will pass, this I know.
Inside after sitting outside. A glorious day. Certainly a good day to die. Sweet perfection. A morning of letting my mind be. Absorbing the light. Mindfulness. The last Day of the first Month in our new Year.
31:01:2013 = 11 in Numerological terms. A master number.
What do I have to say today? Not much! Being in the moment, listening to the surf rolling, watching the light sparkling on the ocean. Allowing the breeze to do for me that which I find hard to do for my self, breath. Sea Air in, Toxic Air out. Life. The pleasure of our senses.
Lunch over, time to pack the car ready for the homeward journey.
I didn’t realize I had written so much and I had hoped to write more. That will wait for tomorrow. For now it’s time to say a fond farewell to this place we love. This room, at the front of the Bach by the Beach is ideal for me. Windows, Doors, open for a breeze to give me Life. It is the rest of the house which is a challenge. Definitely not for mobility challenged tenants. The toilet is too low and no grab rails to help me rise. I have fallen twice. Steps up and steps down to get in and out of the Bach. The shower is in a bath so is, for me, unusable. Three days without a shower, not nice. But they are small challenges that we cope with. Time will see if they become insurmountable. That’s enough for me for now, Ciao!
It’s now the 1st February, 5:32:11 PM
Back home in Featherston, showered, eaten, slept in our own bed, awoke early and very refreshed. Muy Emily left for the first day of school, my Speech Therapist arrived as did my carer. We chatted away, my condition is good, it was fun. Talking about Art and Life as well as my speech and swallowing abilities :) Found we have friends in common and after they left I set to in my Studio, working on the few images I managed to capture at the Beach. A couple of goodies, nothing great but fun nevertheless. Life is back to normal. Not that the beach was abnormal, but it’s good to have my tools of creativity at hand. Life is interesting, Life is good, Life is in the details of . . . Life! Ciao.