The last two days have been a traumatic experience for me. They have been painful and tonight I feel saddened and I feel a sense of loss. I have had a Rowan Tree in my garden for around 35 years. It has been a part of my life and has furnished bird photography opportunities that I have been able to share here with you. It starred in one my earliest posts when I first started blogging – Magic Tree.

In recent times and possibly due to changes in our climate, we have seen a couple of cracks develop in our home. Those are something that we cannot ignore. Investigations into the cause suggest that a combination of the dry summers we have recently experienced, along with the amount of water that the Rowan needs to grow and fruit each season, is behind the shrinkages of the soil undermining the stability of our house. Sadly that means the tree had to go. Yesterday the tree surgeons turned up to begin removal 😦

Today it feels like the loss of a friend or a family member. It is certainly causing some serious issues for the wildlife that calls my garden home – I expect the Blackbirds and the Robins to be redrawing their territories over the next few weeks. I’m currently devastated and it’s to my Son’s credit that he has caught my mood and given support. Grown Men do cry and sometimes for the strangest of reasons…

There’s something strange about the way that sitting in the artificially subdued quiet of a hospital ward lends itself to hearing so many snatches of conversation from around you. People choose some very strange things to whisper about – perhaps without realising that others can hear clearly in the clinical reflectivity of the lino and unadorned walls. It can be frightening to learn that a person’s voting decisions are driven by a version of history that bears no relation to any reality, either one conjured up by the victors of the last war or one carefully researched afterwards. Such is the nature of democracy in a world of half-truths and carefully concocted stories. Now you’re probably wondering – what am I doing in a hospital ward? This is a story that is not manufactured although, even as one of it’s participants, I still suspect that I don’t have all of the facts!

Friday was a day of pre-Christmas meet-ups with old work colleagues. Normally I would attend both the Lords Telephone Exchange event in Holborn and the Rasor Team gathering in Spitalfields. With my current health issues I decided that I would be best sticking to just one of these gatherings and I opted to go to the Rasor meet. We were due to meet up at 17:00 so I left home at 15:45. My journey to the Pride of Spitalfields public house was uneventful and a pleasant evening with old friends got underway.

On Friday afternoon after leaving work my Wife, Epi, was doing some ‘Retail Therapy’. At around 14:30 (the actual time is a little unclear) while crossing Tottenham Court Road, she was knocked down by a moped. A big ‘thank you’ at this point to some passersby who stopped to render assistance and called the Ambulance and Police. London Ambulance took her to University College Hospital where she was treated by the A&E staff – once again, my thanks to these dedicated professionals.

At this point, things become a little fuzzy. Epi called our Son, Alasdair, to tell him where she was – he was still in College at the time, so that was before 17:00. She then called her brother to tell him too. But, for some reason, she didn’t call me!!! So there I am enjoying an evening out, totally unaware that my Wife is lying in a hospital bed. Finally, around 21:00, Epi sent me a text message asking me to bring in some clean items in the morning. Because of the noise in the restaurant / pub I didn’t hear that text pop into my inbox. I said goodnight to the guys and headed down the underground to go home at around 22:00. I finally pulled out my phone at East Finchley circa 22:50 to call Epi and let her know I’m almost home. That’s the point at which I finally became aware of the drama that had been unfolding over in Fitzrovia. The good thing is that Epi’s Brother was able to get to the hospital and spend the evening with her – thanks mate!

Communication restored I was able to confirm with Epi what she needed and arrange to bring things in on the Saturday morning. Even so, one of her text messages was so ‘slurred’, for want of a better word, that I spent a very restless night worrying – nothing I could do at that point as visiting time was long since over. So I went down to the hospital on Saturday morning with the change of clothes and spent the whole day with her as we waited for final assessment and discharge. We finally got home around 19:45 in a minicab.

Epi is lucky not to have had a bleed on the brain after banging her head against the kerb – she has an excellent roadrash just below her eye and a deep cut from her glasses frame just above it. Equally fortunately, nothing was broken but she has extensive bruising to her hip and chest. It’ll be a while before she can walk properly – currently she needs assistance from me, and has to use a stick. The stairs are a problem but will become less so over the coming week.

It’s amazing that in our modern world we can still find ourselves out of communication with our loved ones for all sorts of reasons. Epi thought I had already left home when I hadn’t, and thinks that was why she didn’t call me. I wonder if she subconsciously didn’t want to disturb my day out. I guess we’ll never know the answer to that one!

Or should that be Father’s Day?

One thing I have learned – and as always it’s lots of things encapsulated in one event – is that Fathers Day is… well, it just is! You just can’t win on Fathers Day. Your child will grudgingly present you with a card and gift – after all, it ain’t your birthday. Your Good Lady will pay lip service (without using her lips) to the concept of a Fathers Day while expecting a significantly more direct response to Mothers day. So Dad’s – that’s how the world is – get used to it 😉

Me – I’m settling down to a pleasant evening of music starting with https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f3Kf1Iy5E6U

And enjoying something from my Son – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UF3Ueqww7M8

You know Fathers Day is great – Mom’s got the Spaghetti Bolognese almost ready – that makes Fathers Day really worth while 🙂

So it ain’t as I painted it, is it?!!

With apologies for video content not appearing in post – Must’ve said summat wrong to Youtube