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Next week Danny (aka Rich) and I will be celebrating our 20th Wedding Anniversary. As many of you know we have been through many tough times to get here, but they have all made us stronger. The old adage ‘what don’t kill you makes you stronger’ is true.

So why the picture of the toilet? This is our old loo, the one we have had in situ for four years (yes we have lived here four years last Friday). The cracks that are in it were there when we moved in and the ‘thrifty’ or tight, depending on how you want to look at it, French farmer who sold us the house had sealed the cracks with mastic! I kid you not, mastic!

As you know if you follow this blog, money has been tight and other jobs have taken priority, but because we planned to celebrate by inviting the Frenchies and some other friends over for a BBQ on Saturday, we knew that we needed to get the loo replaced.

We had bought the new all singing, all dancing toilet come spaceship from a really lovely couple Danny had worked for many months ago; they were kind and they sold it to us very very cheap. But we struggled to pull the money together to get it fitted and something else always got in the way. Then along came Bob.

Rich has been working on a lovely ladies house (and doing an excellent job) and life showed us the way because Bob said he could fit our loo. He came over, made us laugh and told us that we had been lucky to have not crashed into the cellar below because of the state the toilet had been in. Life, as always, had shown us the way, and it had to be done before the shindig…or so we thought

Danny had put in a holiday request form, and I had booked him (and me) out for an eleven day holiday. Living in a rural environment there is something to do twenty-four hours a day, and I was aware of how we never seemed to have a day when we ‘did nothing’. But because of the shindig on our first day ‘off’ we found ourselves washing curtains, bringing the garden chairs round from the barn, putting shelves on the wall, hoovering and mopping and on and on and on. As always we had a very late lunch which seemed to knock me out, even though it was only a small sandwich; but being me (with her ‘doer’s attitude’ as the counsellor told me years ago) I got up and told myself onwards and upwards’ and went to hoover and mop my stairs. But then life took over, I began to sweat and felt really ill, but still I carried on, when I had finished I said to Danny ‘I need to sit down, I don’t feel well’. Within minutes I was in the smallest room in the house putting the new loo to use, and that has been the pattern ever since.

I am one of those people who has to get out of bed even when they are ill, because staying in bed makes me feel worse. But if on the rare occasion I do stay in bed then that is a sign that I feel really ill. On Friday I could not get out of bed. We were due to go to a fish and chip supper with some friends, but I sent Danny on his own and I can honestly say that if I had healthcare cover at that moment in time I would have gone to the hospital. And there lies the crux: we have winged it, Danny has seventy five per cent cover because he is in the system, I am still waiting for my cover to come through, and I actually found myself thinking ‘I can’t go to hospital I don’t have the money’. Then a voice in my head said ‘what is the point of having this house if you are dead!’

We lose perspective don’t we.

This was another of life’s lessons, as Bob said to Danny ‘good job I put the new toilet in!’ But the toilet was not put in for the shindig, everything that happened was to make me think about our priorities: we need to get healthcare cover sorted, maybe at the cost of something else; we are both in our mid fifties and we have to wake up to reality that we need to cover our health, wherever we live.

For the last two days Wiglet would not leave my side, in fact I knew I was in a bad place when she growled at Harley because she knew I was weak and took to guarding and protecting me. I made it to the chair yesterday morning, she ousted Danny and sat in the chair opposite me, just like a Welshie version of ‘Nanny’ from Peter Pan. When she finally left me to go into the garden, I took that as a positive sign.

Of course I googled my symptoms and scared the shit out of myself (literally) but I also realised, from what I read, that we have to make some lifestyle changes, even though my husband is resistant;and change them we will. Watch this space.

Needless to say the shindig had to be cancelled; and everyone was so understanding. My lovely French friends brought me a gift (by this time I had made it down to the sofa, but couldn’t get off it.) others messaged me, and ginger biscuits saved my life.

I am still not out of the water (or toilet) yet, but I do feel seventy per cent better than I did.

Life shows you the way, and I am listening, we will have healthcare by the end of the year, even if I have to sell my car.

But right now I am recuperating by sitting in the garden, with tea (it finally tastes okay) and toast made by Danny, the weather is fine, with intermittent sun, and a light breeze, and just sitting with nature is making me feel better.

Rosie

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