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June 24, 2014


When I was growing up we had a basket for mending.  These were clothes that needed a stitch or a darn, or a complete re-think sometimes.  I say we, but the only person who ever did any mending was my mother.  I sewed what were, in my mind, dainty little initials on handkerchiefs for my father’s Christmas presents, or made tiny tapestry needle books for long suffering Aunt Ginnie, or teeny, weeny little doll’s clothes.  We were a very industrious household.  These were the days when clothes were made to be worn out, not thrown out, and they weren’t going to be worn out until they were completely threadbare, which due to my mother’s pretty good darning skills was often way past what it should have been to my mind. When the clothes finally got too raggedy they were turned into dusters. That’s how we rolled in the 60’s.

So, that’s one kind of mending.  Another kind of mending is the kind I am doing right now.  Last week, if you remember, I went off, a sacrificial lamb to the alter of science and surgeons, to have a what I thought was a bit of a gland taken out from my throat and off you pop home dear.  Not quite how it was.  Being gaga in the few hours post op was quite fun, and also quite depressing in turn.  Dosed up on pain killers my son described me as looking stoned – well, I was.  In and out of reality, fed ice cream and asked about my stools.  There I was, high on painkillers, but not high enough to actually remove the pain, sleepy, no spectacles on hand and all unexpecting-like I was presented with the Bristol Stool Chart, and asked to choose mine from the line up.

Shift change came and no more mention was made of stools so I think I passed (ahem).  A sweet nursing assistant came by and poked me with needles while murmuring soothing noises.  Having only had some fruit salad and a teeny tub of ice cream since the day before I asked her if there might be a sandwich lurking around possibly, maybe, a vegetarian one (no, I haven’t turned, only on planes and in hospitals)?  She brought me a coronation chicken one, saw my face and asked if I might like toast instead.  Suddenly the all was right with the world.  Toast, I thought.  White, sliced, pap bread with lashings of butter.  Heaven.  And so it came to be.  Heaven.

words cannot describe how delicious that toast was.

words cannot describe how delicious that toast was.

I made it through the night, and the next morning.  Passed out with flying colours by my bouncy surgeon who seemed slightly disappointed that I was similarly bouncy, but he loves my scar, very proud of his work.  Still in a fog, blood turned to liquid lead and feeling about 150 I went home.  And slept.  For two days.

Here I am one week, one day down.  I have a very neat, very sore scar.  I have the remnants of hormones washing about my body, unaware they have lost their home. I have thyroxin pills which I must now take forever.  That’s all fine and as it should be; I am mending.

My Mum (who is 87, not 88 – sorry Mum!) too is mending.  Her visit to the alter of science and surgeons was much longer and her scars are bigger and sore-er.  I have no idea how her hormones are but when I spoke with her yesterday for the first time since the op she sounded bright, clear and utterly remarkable.

Rosemary Haughton

Rosemary Haughton

I am very proud of her, and proud to be of her genes.  She will hopefully be going home at the end of the week, with hers and our beloved Nancy who has been, is and always will be a tower of strength, all 5′ 1″ of her, and where she will continue to mend for some goodly time to come, and where I will visit her very soon.


8 Comments leave one →
  1. June 24, 2014 9:23 pm

    I am very proud of both Haughton girls. Both remarkable women, and i the lucky one to be married to the younger and son-in-law of elder (ok, that part probably was a bit on the obvious side). Happy mending to you both.

    • June 25, 2014 1:55 pm

      my mending aided and abetted by you – je t’adore. x

  2. Susanna permalink
    June 24, 2014 10:46 pm

    I love my sister. I read this on between mending a not very old garden chair with string – yes really – and it’s worked and is now quite comfy, and watching a couple of men mending a very old wall with proper lime mortar. All very satisfying; as is the knowledge that other mending is going on as it should in both Bristol and Leeds. Come and sit in my chair soon darling sister and bring your beloved husband with you. Xx

    ISusanna From my iPhone

    • June 25, 2014 1:56 pm

      three things we need to keep everything together – gaffer tape, wd40 and string. Perfect. Will be there soon. xxxx

  3. Luscious permalink
    June 25, 2014 5:58 am

    My mending basket is always full. Also lost in there are projects, linen to make some more comfy dungarees. Aspirations. Life? Big kisses darling one. How I love your bites xxx

    • June 25, 2014 1:57 pm

      Life is a big aspiration in itself yet somehow we all do it, and most of us pretty well! Come down again soon. xx

  4. Olivia permalink
    June 25, 2014 4:20 pm

    So the monogrammed handkerchief I inherited from Algy was probably embroidered by you? Awesome! Keep mending beautifully – that’s a pretty impressive scar you’ve got to show off 😉 xx

  5. June 28, 2014 9:04 am

    I read this on the fly (on my phone) and – what with Madrid and Mario – haven’t had a chance to reply until now (though I did see The Scar on Instagram – impressive!).

    I am so happy to hear both you and your mum are on the mend. Boy, do I know about post-op pain and whatnot, so I do know how good that toast was (for me it was water after days of no fluids allowed).

    Love you and hope to see you in Sunny Sevilla soon. Or we can meet up in Málaga? xx

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