No news!

27th October 2023

A short distance down River Road, the driver made a right turn saying we’d not been that way for a long time.

Sounded good to me.

The roads are lined with bright red sumac.



Black walnut (left)


Our frequent routes tend to get nicknames. I shall think of this one as Black walnut route!

There are plenty of these trees around, but I only notice them in this stage of their cycle.


When I first got here, I thought I would get a book about the trees of North America and learn to identify them, but it turned out to be way more complicated than I had imagined.

Except for the few that are clearly identifiable, you need to get close to examine the bark or a leaf and often this means scrabbling about in places where there are ticks.


Ticks find me even in places where they are not supposed to be. I have an itchy welt on my arm from the other day, so I’m hoping it was not infected. At least I know the symptoms of tick fever now and once on the right antibiotic, it passes.

When I was infected the first time, I merely thought I was dying. I asked Grant to take me to hospital only so he wouldn’t have to deal with me expiring at home.

It’s hard for me to recognise being actually sick because I almost never develop a fever and the aches and pains are part of daily life.


Helpful advice offered by spine specialists and neurologists:

“If it hurts, don’t do it.”

It all hurts! Life must go on.

For the most part, pain management does just that, which keeps me functioning but recently there was a hiccup.


Uncertain which nerves in my arm and hand might be the current problem, I was sent to another clinic to have them tested.

This involved a long wait which meant that I fell out of my slot with pain management.

Oh say it isn’t so!


In the meantime couldn’t we inject something else? I mean there’s plenty to pick from! But you have to work with the system and be grateful for it.

And I really am grateful.

But I reserve the right to grumble, occasionally.


On this penultimate day of October, I am trying to ignore all those upcoming events which follow.

It has been my habit for several years to compose a Christmas letter to enclose with cards, the number of which dwindle yearly

But I’ll be hard put to think anything up for 2023 that could be of the slightest interest to a single soul.


At boarding school in the early 60’s, at weekends we were supposed to write to our parents.

For me, this was never a problem, but many of the girls had no idea what to say, so often I would offer items and suggest the words to use.

That was easy. But now, I’m out of ideas for a festive letter.


Christmas used to be a difficult time of year for me, when I was around other people. I didn’t want to be one of those dreary creatures who put a damper on other people’s fun, so I avoided festivities as much as I could.

How do you explain to someone that the sound of laughter and forced jollity makes you want to weep?

That was what it had become for me.


What bothered me most about Christmas was hearing talk of Christmas feeling. This season of joy.

Christmas cease-fires!

Peace on Earth should not be seasonal.


We shouldn’t be nice because it’s Christmas.

We should be nice.

There are plenty of other niggling ideas I have about the whole commercial enterprise it has become, but I think most people feel the same about that.


Now, I am detached from any involvement except for those few cards I still mail out and the letter which may be awfully brief this year.

At the age of 75 it’s probably a good thing not to have much news to offer.

8 thoughts on “No news!

  1. I’m completely with you over Christmas Carolyn. I ignore it because I don’t like it. I doubt that we shall send one card or receive one either. I hate all the forced jollity

  2. I agree – the commercial side of Christmas doesn’t appeal to me at all. As for your Christmas letter … sometimes it’s good to be brief. You can include just one photo from each season in your world and it will have an impact. Yes, I know …how do you choose just one photo?

  3. I fell out of love with Christmas during my teenage years. I loved it as a child, but just grew out of it. I think every adult should do the same, and stop ‘enforcing that jollity’.
    Best wishes, Pete.

  4. Just send some of your wonderful photo’s – who wouldn’t appreciate it? PS I spend my life trying to be the kind of friend I’d like to have – and I love Christmas (but not from half way through November!)

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