Rest for the Wicket

©2013 Edward C. Lunnon

Monday 25 March 2013: 6 years 6 months on …

Physical: Deuce / Mental: Advantage ED

ED is in week EnDing wED 27 March 2013

Wed 20 Mar:        AlgoaFM; Gym; Sean Old Grey Rugby vs Crusaders

Thu 21 Mar:          Human Rights Day; Grey 1st bt Westville in Grahamstown; lunch at Rat

Fri 22 Mar:            Braai at home with Clarkes and Stapletons

Sat 23 Mar:           Kings vs Crusaders; Michaela’s 21st birthday party at Dexter’s Den

Sun 24 Mar:          Lunch at Bluewaters café; Proteas bt Pakistan; Rest …

Mon 25 Mar:        Meeting with Melanie (Hospice); Physio; Visit Ackermanns; Rugby Madibaz vs Maties

Tue 26 Mar:          Visit Sr Gill (Hospice); Rest …

It was diarised as a quiet week! A week of rest …

But, this has been a busy week and Human Rights Day long weekend. By Saturday, I was exhausted and had to leave Michaela Botha’s 21st birthday party early. Thank goodness for Sean driving me home at ten. They got home at two am, I was told! This has become the 21st birthday party season!

Friday and Saturday were especially difficult for me – I think it’s partly due to the heat (36 degrees in Grahamstown on Thursday!) and partly due to the busy schedule. I’m just not up to all the travelling, late nights, and occasional beers anymore!

Anyway, I woke up late on Sunday morning feeling much better and, after lunch at Bluewaters café, just lazed on the couch – watching the Proteas beat Pakistan in the last of the One Day Internationals. It was also a cool day and hopefully the start of autumn and the approaching winter weather. I thrive on the colder weather!

The long weekend was special.

It has become a lonely world for me. No work to go to in the morning, no daily interaction with other people, no work functions, few and fewer visitors – as the months go by my world becomes a smaller place and it becomes more difficult to understand what my contribution is to this world.

Even when I have company it becomes difficult to share my world with them. They are so busy with their worlds that no longer have relevance for me and so we live in two different worlds. We live past each other.


The daily programme involves Charlie, our Jack Russell, who is my company when I get up in the morning and for the rest of the day. Barbara, our domestic, is there … with the vacuum cleaner! For the rest, I am kept busy by all my medical appointments, hospice visits and whatever other projects that I have found to keep me busy.

 I am not good at keeping my own company!

However, there’s my desktop, my laptop, my IPad and my Blackberry that I couldn’t live without.

They are so challenging but so exciting, and when they go on the blink like this weekend (because of the Seacom cable problem in the Mediterranean Sea somewhere between Egypt and France, MWEB tells me) then I have withdrawal symptoms. Thank goodness for DSTV and Discovery and BBC and SKY and CNN and Richard Attenborough’s AFRICA and Great Britain! We live in an exciting and wonderful world!

So, yes, the long weekend was special to have everyone home – Pera from her work, Sean from his work and Phillip from the boarding house at school.  Suddenly, there is chatter and laughter and banter and talk in the house again. It makes a huge difference and is even more noticeable when I get up on Monday morning in an empty house again!

This weekend is Easter long weekend and then school holidays – I look forward to having everyone at home once more!

And a huge congratulations to Phillip who was awarded his academic half-colours at school on Monday!

What started out as a possible 24-hour internet problem is now being touted as possibly a two week problem! How did we work in the years BG (before Google)?


It’s a Dog’s Life?

Tuesday 13 September 2011: 5 years on … Advantage ED

My Dad was born in Muizenberg, Cape Town in 1915 – ninety six years ago today. He died in Paarl in May 1976 just short of 61 years old. In 1969, when I was in Standard 5 (Grade 7) he had a stroke that left him paralysed on the right side and unable to talk (other than two or three words).

For seven years we cared for him at home: my eldest sister, Lynn, was in High School when Dad became ill, Ingrid and I were in Primary School and June was not yet in school. Those were difficult days for us as a family, and I always said that I would not like to sit like that for so long.

Now paralysis (and whatever else comes with CBD) also stares me in the face. As I write this, my left hand and leg are possibly the worst that they have been since I became ill. I have to bend my left arm open with my right hand when I wake up because the elbow stiffens up at night. My left leg tries to do the same at the knee – my foot just wants to curl upwards and my calf muscle is always tight.

So Tuesday mornings is my date with Julian Fletcher. He is a sports therapist and gives me a real deep massage. It feels so good and I am sure that it is keeping the muscles moving.

In order to get there this morning, I had to leave our new 9 week old Jack Russell puppy with Barbara, our domestic assistant.

Life has been hectic since Charlie arrived in our household last Monday. He is extremely busy, to say the least. His arrival has been quite an adaptation and very ironic.

When Pera and I got married in 1990, I had said “No kids and no dogs!”

However, the kids arrived in quick succession – Sean in 1992, Phillip (1) who was still-born in 1994, and Phillip (2) three months prematurely in 1995.

Till last Monday, we still had no dogs!

When I went to Graaff-Reinet two weekends ago to “hunt”, Helen Harris asked whether I would like a pup (from their new litter of seven). The family have really always wanted a pet, so I thought that in my retirement I would relent. I texted the boys to ask them if they wanted a pup and I got a reply from Pera: “Has the disease spread to your head?” (Well, in fact, the disease is IN my head!)

So Graeme’s folks brought him down to Port Elizabeth last Monday.

It’s like having another baby in the house. Life has surely not been the same since then. Feeding bowls, toys, basket, cuddles, barks, bites, howls, fences, gnawed furniture, eaten-through cords, walks, leashes, pellets and wees and poos have become the order of the day (and night). As with our boys, I am not good on the night shifts, and barely much better with the day shifts! I guess babies, puppies and I just don’t go together!

So all the activities of the last week have taken place (or not taken place!) with Charlie’s welfare in mind.  He dictates the pace, and sometimes I rue the day when I relented. However, he takes my mind off the CBD which I believe will be a good thing in the long run. Talking about runs, I’m not sure whether I took him for a run on the golf course this morning or whether he took me!

Last Thursday was a busy day – first my weekly visit from Sister Gill le Roux (and sometimes Sister Janice Malkinson) from the St Francis Hospice. They, together with social worker Jenny Nickell and Isaac Rubin, do an extraordinary job in keeping an eye on me, and we shall always be grateful to them and to the Hospice for their assistance.

Then, I spoke to the monthly meeting of the Parkinson’s Support Group in Walmer. It is a humbling experience to see so many people who live life with Parkinson’s disease. We have many symptoms in common and hence many stories to share. It helps so much to realise that you are not the only one out there, and that help and assistance are just around the corner.

When I first became ill, the neurologist thought that I may have PD – and hence my relationship with the support group since then. It is also where I first met Briar Wright, mother of the Wright clan that I have written about previously.

After the meeting, I headed off for my weekly hour and a half session with Julian, which also now includes doing a set of exercises on his newly designed exercise “cube”.

Then I had a meeting with Pierre-Louis Lemercier about (anti-)fracking at The Deli, one of the sidewalk cafés on the newly transformed Stanley Street in Richmond Hill – the now trendy place to be!

And then, after a quick supper, off to the Grey Junior Grey Way Concert at the Feathermarket Hall. It seems like just the other day that Sean was playing the trombone and Phillip the sax in the Orchestra and Jazz Band. Now they have moved on, and we just attend because it’s really good.

Friday morning was the opening ceremony of the Rugby World Cup in New Zealand. Then lunch at Old Grey, the Wrights arriving for the weekend, dinner and a very late night (maybe I should say, a very early morning!) In fact, in time to watch the two early rugby games broadcast from Aetearoa (the land of the long white cloud). Breakfast was squeezed in before the England/Argentine game, then a snooze and then off to the Bartons for our personal official launch of the Rugby World Cup 2011.

Each couple came dressed in the clothing of their country of choice (we chose Ireland) and brought the appropriate food and drinks from that country. Another good party was had by all there!

By the time Sunday morning came round, I was feeling rather tired when the Bokke took on Wales. Possibly, I was just as tired as the players when they came off the field with that oh-so-close 17-16 win for us! So tired I was, that I did not make the Outdoors Expo (and the artificial snow ski ramp!) that was pencilled in on my calendar – that will have to remain for next year!

The last commitment of the weekend was a visit to the Walmer Methodist Church to discuss the logistics of Phillip’s baptism next Sunday.

Who said it’s a dog’s life?

Charles Dickens said in The Tale of Two Cities:It was the best of times. It was the worst of times!”


Tuesday 6 September 2011

LUNNON – After 21 years,  Ed Charles and Pera Claire happily wish to announce the safe arrival in Port Elizabeth on Monday 5 September 2011 of Charles IV (Charlie) from Graaff-Reinet – a puppy for Sean Charles and Phillip John.

Our grateful thanks to Dr and Mrs Jack Russell, Graham and Helen Harris and all at Tandjiesview for their role in making this delivery possible.

The boys are very excited, grandma is apprehensive and grandpa is recovering from shock!