1 May 2011

OK. Sorry for the delay – is everyone sitting comfortably?

If you have been paying attention, you will know that I am currently in the States visiting Mom and Dad (and if you haven’t been paying attention, it doesn’t really matter). Presently we are at Lake George on a gloriously beautiful Spring day. The sky is clear, the sun is blazing and the temperature must be approaching 70 degrees Fahrenheit (about 21 degrees Celsius). I flew from London to Boston on Wednesday morning, the flight was fine and I had a chance to see some decent films which I have been looking forward to (The King’s Speech, The Social Network and True Grit [the new Coen brothers version] just about filled up the flight). I made a convenient connection with the Dartmouth Coach and arrived in Hanover just before 6.00 pm local time.

Sandy's BBQ Chicken BreastsThursday we took things easy and we drove over to the Lake on Friday; we had a great meal with Sandy and Pam and generally enjoyed the splendidness which is the Lake. (Those of you who are familiar with Stragnell reunions will be delighted to know that we are continuing the tradition of all such gatherings – wonderfully delicious food expertly prepared and served in abundant quantities. Sandy barbequed chicken breasts stuffed with pesto, cream cheese and three Italian cheeses – delicious). Oops! I forgot Penny was reading this – no, that’s a complete fabrication designed to make everyone jealous, my love. We are subsisting on salads and root vegetables.

On Saturday morning, however, I began to notice a significant increase in the number of “floaters” in my right eye and the occasional flash of an arc-shaped light. Being familiar with the experiences of our very good friend and neighbour, Pete Taylor, and his detached retina in Albuquerque, I thought that this was perhaps something which should be investigated. So, here we are at Lake George which most of you know is miles from anywhere, it’s a Saturday and the nearest decent town with appropriate services is an hour away. After trying somewhat unsuccessfully to secure an emergency inspection with an ophthalmologist we eventually decided to retrace our steps and return to Hanover to avail ourselves of the splendid services of the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Hospital, figuring that if the eye did need treatment it would be better to be in Hanover than anywhere else. So, we packed our bags and drove back to Hanover calling in at the emergency room where I was attended to swiftly and efficiently. The first round of investigations suggested that I did indeed need to see an ophthalmologist so the on-call specialist was summoned. He filled my eyes with drops to produce pupils the size of dinner plates, gazed longingly into my eyes, peered at and examined my retina in detail and finally pronounced that what I was experiencing was a Posterior Vitreous Detachment with no evidence of anything more significant. The good Dr Miller explained that very commonly (in middle age, he tactfully said) the vitreous gel in the eye can thicken or shrink forming clumps or strands inside the eye. The vitreous gel can pull away from the back wall of the eye, causing a Posterior Vitreous Detachment which is a common cause of floaters and, as the gel pulls away from the back of the eye it can “snap” which causes an electrical charge causing the flashes of light I was seeing. He said that I should see the eye folks when I get back to the UK but, for the time being all was fine and it should settle down. A great relief for everyone!

So, after spending the night in Hanover we hit the road again this morning to return to the Lake and resume our enjoyment (and fine food)!

BluebellsHad I not been delayed in posting this week’s news, I would have written about attending the wedding reception of two of Nick and Lucy’s friends, Boz and Vita, last Saturday which was a most enjoyable occasion. I would also have written how Penny, Nick, Lucy and I thrilled the assembled audience with our karaoke performance of YMCA complete with flailing limbs and wildly erratic gestures. I would also, perhaps, have included a slideshow of some of the better photos of the walk through the bluebells I enjoyed on Easter Monday with Nick and Lucy. As it is, I guess one will have to do.

Since we are short of time, I guess you will have to be satisfied with Nick’s time-lapse videos of the wedding and reception – enjoy!

The wedding:

and the reception:

Love to you all,