Within You, Without You

We’re sat listening to Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. It’ the sort of thing you should listen to when you’re little and getting into music. Luke loves Led Zeppelin and dances like Robert Plant. He especially loves songs which have an animal in the title, or have some sort of animal theme.

 Yesterday I sat in the sun with my mum talking for hours and watching the children play in her garden. I am now bright red and sore from the sun. But we did have a lovely time, we ate a picnic on the lawn and then did an aerobics class in the kitchen. I have recently realised how devastating my illness has been on my relationships. These days people have more time for me and I understand that in the past it was difficult.

 We are about to make crowns for the royal wedding. I’m sewing a dress and a cloak for them to wear. Life now is simple and good. I am a good mother to my children and they are happy and well adjusted. I don’t quite know how we came to be in this place but I imagine I fought a good fight and it’s largely down to perseverance. Only a year ago everything still felt like an uphill struggle.

 My launch is on Saturday at 7.30 in Nexus Cafe Manchester, and I am nervous. Mostly because I went and got sunburn.

 My care-coordinator came today and we talked. We agreed that I should be moved to the green team: the recovery team. I am satisfied with this as I feel so well and so in control. It’s a big step, really. But I don’t need the support anymore. Mostly we talked about Alzheimer’s. It’s not something I’ve felt comfortable about writing about before. My maternal grandfather suffers with Alzheimer’s and is in a nursing home now. My mum is doing a 10 km run for him in May. If anyone would like to sponsor her please get in touch. Alzheimer’s is heartbreaking. My grandad was always such a funny man, he could make anyone laugh. He was always telling jokes. Now we have to laugh sometimes, because if we didn’t we would just cry. I like to go and see him because I feel better for seeing him looked after (the staff are AMAZING), and reasonably happy and comfortable in his surroundings. He’s not agitated or stressed, he must feel safe even though his world is baffling. He doesn’t know us. I don’t know what he knows, occasionally there is some spark of recognition about something we say and sometimes he says quite intelligible things which seem to come out of the blue. I really love him. And I feel so sad, especially for his lovely wife and my mum, who dote on him and are being really brave.

 There’s an interview with me on Nik Perring’s blogsite: http://nikperring.blogspot.com/2011/04/melissa-lee-houghton-interview.html

I get very nervous about things like this…but it was nice to be asked questions about the book. Nik’s lovely, I read and reviewed his brilliant short story collection, Not So Perfect, on The Short Review here: http://www.theshortreview.com/reviews/NikPerringNotSoPerfect.htm.

My niece will be round soon, it’s her birthday today. Happy day. She’s three, and gorgeous. Luke can’t wait for her to get here. I am happy because the cherry blossom is out. One of my happiest memories is shaking the boughs of a cherry blossom tree with my girlfriend when I was about fifteen, and us laughing and laughing and the blossom showering around us. It is a snapshot in my head of a moment of bliss. Simple things. I like walking in the park when the cherry blossom is out and I love the smell of hyacinths there. Hyacinths remind me of a happy time in childhood.

 Let’s hope the sunburn calms down for Saturday. Silly me. It will be a good night, and I can’t wait to see everyone.

 Thanks for stopping by,



2 thoughts on “Within You, Without You

  1. Have a great night Melissa! Don’t forget to take some time to appreciate what you’ve written (its really really good)… I’m with you in spirit x

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