October 4th 2010
An email from the redoubtable Loretta Oliver, Chief Exec of Ovarian Cancer Action.
She says she has spent the weekend walking through a dark tunnel after her last chemo. She had forgotten how bad it is. I was in that same tunnel – I am sorry we didn’t meet!
I spent the weekend feeling so lonely and neglected.
I was shut in thinking of that doctor of doom with his two percents and his “highly unlikely,” saying I had no chance. Facing this alone, with just the radio and the cat for company, I ended up thinking that even in the condemned cell at Newgate prison they sent someone to sit with you.
On Sunday night I suddenly started hearing from friends, messages came towards me like a flurry of birds and I immediately felt better.
This morning I know I am almost through it. My feet are very numb, can hardly walk, but feel that I can keep going out of this, and as an example of forward going, I am off to
Among the Christmas catalogues arriving on the mat I found a parcel from Fiona Kenworthy, containing a beautiful black and white headscarf. She sent me my turbans a couple of months ago when I turned into Joan Collins, and keeps in touch. Such a kind person. I recommend her. www.christinesite.dk
Cathal, who lives in
For lunch try a recipe from the River Cottage, never bothered with Hugh Fernly Whatsit before. It’s a Sardine Bake, but replace the sardine with salmon as that’s what I’ve got in the fridge and it’s about to go off.
This turns out to be a truly delicious marriage of softly fried onions, potato, fish, butter and milk. Absolutely yummy – one of the best meals I’ve ever had and it makes me think about the character in the Tin Drum, late in the novel, when the war has just ended, everything has been blown to smithereens, but he meets a friend and they eat a sausage together. All the food that went before doesn’t count because this meal marks the start of something new and different. They’ve survived and there was a future, even if it was east Berlin.