I know I said that I wouldn’t be back until the weekend but you know me. I cannot go for one day and one journey without something happening that I simply have to tell you about. It had been an odd start to the day. I woke at 4:30am and struggled to get back down. I didn’t have to rush this morning so could have had a lie-in but by 6am it was clear that there was no further point trying. And all that kept me awake was worrying that I had packed everything. I had lived out of a suitcase or a rucksack for years so could not understand the sudden panic.

Nevertheless I rose at 6am to confirm that I had indeed packed everything so took Georgie out for a 2 mile walk in the rain.

Heather was performing in the matinee of the pantomime so wasn’t going to school this morning and wanted a lie-in. James was up and shining bright in the knowledge that he was doing well at school. His face positively glowed. I was struggling however. My coordination was very poor. I was struggling to unload the dishwasher as James came down so stopped so he didn’t see or hear me muttering to myself as I yet again failed to grasp the plate I was trying to get a hold of. We sat to eat breakfast which James had laid out for us. I managed to slice up a Banana into the bowl – messily but got it in. I managed to pour the cereal in. Still not been rumbled as James chatted away about his favourite subjects and then he screamed ‘Dad!!’ And jumped up. I was pouring Coconut milk everywhere. We laughed it off but I knew that it wasn’t good. I wasn’t feeling sharp. I was struggling to focus. I was struggling full stop. But James’ cheerfulness was pulling me through. I remembered as we finished breakfast that I wasn’t going to be back from the funeral until very late on in James’ birthday. So before he went to school I wanted to give him his birthday present early so I could see him opening it. He had been after a penknife/multi-tool for Scouts for some time but had to convince me he was mature enough for such a tool first. He had convinced me. His face was a picture of surprise and glee. The high emotion of such joy in a child was pulling me back, slowly, but I seemed to be returning to normal. Then he hugged me tight and with a rush like a fast train through a tunnel I was back, eyes focused and smiling.

Jake from next door rang the bell for James and then they were off bounding down the street for the school bus like a pair of Roe Deer. Time to wake Heather and make my packed lunch. My head was better but bodily my coordination was weak. I felt like Pinocchio being guided by strings. As I reached for a kitchen knife my whole arm clattered in to the knife block before my wayward fingers managed to grasp the hilt. I cut the tomato smoothly enough. Laid the knife down then went to pick up the sieve I had loaded with grapes to go to the sink and wash them. As I picked it up the wires on my fingers failed and the whole lot went clattering to the floor; grapes rolling every which way as it all settled on the floor. As I managed my simmering anger and disappointment with myself I realised that my whole cognitive and motor function seemed to be struggling. I persevered and eventually managed to finish the packed lunch although it wouldn’t have won any awards for presentation. Then it was time for Heather to go. Pauline kindly came to collect Heather and as I shouted after her ’Break a Leg!’ I waved my right hand. A straight fingers broad hand sort of a wave. My fingers flapped about like they were on loose hinges like a cartoon wave from a Mickey Mouse Cartoon. I felt okay but knew I was struggling. The temptation was to sit down with a cup of tea and cry. But NO. THIS IS EXACTLY THE TIME TO FIGHT IT. To force the brain to find a way to make the body work.

Perhaps I should have stayed at home. But then I wasn’t going to miss Robin’s funeral. And if I had stayed at home I wouldn’t have been around to help an old lady off the bus with her stroller in Stirling. I wouldn’t have been in Edinburgh Train Station to form an impromptu 3 person team with total strangers to reunite a young lady with her glasses when she dropped them in front of me oblivious to all the people trying to attract her attention as I shouted after her, but with her headphones in she jogged on. She got them back. And I wouldn’t have met James Nicholson who, of all the tables in all the carriages on all the trains decided to sit opposite me at my table. After a short time I felt a need to talk to him. I discovered that his very family are having such a vicious fight with Cancer but their determination to keep fighting after losing a brother to Brain Cancer has given me the strength to continue. To keep fighting. Today I Beat the Beast. No seizures. I’m back!!