A High and Eyes

Well, I did it! When I finally sent my revised manuscript on its way on Monday, it was with some relief and a certain amount of satisfaction. It’s been a challenging year. This time, last year, Ma was lying in the grimmest of hospital wards waiting for an operation. Her progress might have better if that same arm hadn’t been injured again in August when she was struck by a dustcart riding the pavement. Then, you may remember, at the beginning of November she broke her big toe. Ma’s fine, as feisty as ever, but I do hope for her sake that she’s a lot less accident-prone next year.

Moving and then renovating the entire house has been a massive upheaval too, but we’re nearly there. In fact, if B&Q would only send us the hinges that failed to arrive with our loo seat, we’d almost be sitting comfortably.

On the bright side, we’re very happy in our new home; waking up and seeing the sea beyond the bedroom window takes some beating, believe me. And there’s been plenty of good news from our children too.

What’s made this year especially tough though, is that I haven’t been able to burn off all the negative emotion with a good run. In March, just after we moved in, I woke up to a strange-shaped floater, like a folded elastic band, in my left eye, and some disturbing flashing lights. I’m very short-sighted, with a big chunky prescription that makes even hardened consultants suck in their breath (usually with a pleased expression, I have to add, and comments such as, ‘my word, you are myopic, aren’t you?’) so my immediate fear was that my retina had come to grief.

Fortunately, it’s a far less serious problem, a posterior vitreous detachment, a normal part of ageing although in my case probably caused by my prescription and lifting too much during the move. It’ll be fine so long as I avoid high-impact exercise until it’s completely settled down. What’s especially frustrating is that it really seems to be taking its time, but I have to be patient.
Running or seeing – I don’t think there’s a contest, is there?

The photo was taken from my bedroom window today. And can I just say, I hate new Blogger, I just don't have time to fiddle with wretched formatting!


Frances said…
Chris, you have indeed had quite a full year. Like you, I wonder how different 2012 might turn out to be.

I so agree about vision's importance, and think it is my favorite of all the senses. Thank you for sharing a sampling of that marvelous view from your window. Wow!

Congratulations on sending that manuscript off to your publisher.

Hoping that those hinges will arrive very soon.

Let the festive season begin! xo
Pondside said…
What a year you've had! To have another book come out of all of that is an enormous accomplishment!
Remember where you're staying on that North American book tour......
Milla said…
hi Chris, well done on getting the MS in, fantastic. Look forward to reading it idc! Your poor eye, God! My father is blind in one eye and has his sight damaged in the other (and is an artist, having been a photographer). Said to help you keep the faith! Doing up a house (as well as the emotional strain of worry over your ma) is exhausting. Next year can only be better!
Flowerpot said…
You have had a year haven't you Chris - I remember that awful time you had with your Ma last year. Blimey. Do hope the eye settles down very soon adn you can get running again. And well done on sending off your ms!
Lins' lleisio said…
The view is indeed fantastic. Your sight - no competition. Hopefully now you can have a restful Christmas break and look forward to an injury free 2012.
Preseli Mags said…
I take my hat off to you. How did you manage to write a book in the face of all that? I know how vital running is to the state of mind and creative process too. I hope your eye is soon fully better and that 2012 is a good year for you - oh and that you are soon sitting comfortably!
Debs Carr said…
I can't wait to read your book!

So relieved your Ma is okay after all she's been through this past year. Hopefully your eye will settle down soon and you'll be able to start running again. x
Jenny Beattie said…
I'm glad that your Mum has recovered well to all those accidents. She sounds a feisty woman to bounce back so well.

I'm frankly astonished that you've managed to write AT ALL during a year like that. I must give myself a kick up the back side...

Oh dear; the eyes. I recognise the consultants' tone of relish though. My astigmatisms have gone way beyond the normal range and no, I don't find that nearly as interesting as they do! I hope yours recover quickly.
Fennie said…
Well done, Chris, for getting the manuscript in. So sorry to hear about the eyes - and your Mum, too. At least she came to no great'arm. But better not let her sit on the loo or you might have another disaster - quite fundamental too.

Wonderful view of the sea (can I make out the tide turning?) - must inspire your writing. Hope you are back to running soon and burning off the emotions. What's the new book called? 'All Quiet on the Maternal Front'perhaps.
elizabethm said…
As so often when I read your blogs I feel that odd connection. Our year has been a hard one too, some of the same sort of things, some different. Good for you to have done your manuscript anyway. That takes some determination.
And you are entirely right: sight or running is not even a question. It will be worth it in the end.
Here's to a less stormy 2012 for you and yours and me and mine!
Talli Roland said…
What a year! Well done for sending in your revised MS, and what a wonderful view you have to look out on...
Shirley Wells said…
Well done on sending that revised manuscript on its way.

What a year you've had. Glad your mother's recovered well and I hope your eye soon settles down.

Fabulous view!
Crystal Jigsaw said…
That's a beautiful photograph. Yes, I agree, no contest - eyes and running.

Take care,
CJ x
Liane Spicer said…
What. A. View.

Glad your mom's doing well and really, there's no toss-up between running and seeing. The eyes have it! *groan*

Congrats on completing that book!
Chris Stovell said…
Thank you for your kind wishes, Frances.

Pondside, it felt like climbing a very big mountain! I'm pleased to have made it.

Sorry to hear that your father's afflicted with sight problems, Milla. Always such a worry and frustration. And thanks for your good wishes... I hope it's easier next year too.

Flowerpot, you haven't exactly had it easy, have you. Sending you my best wishes for next year.

Lins, another kind reader who's had tough time of it, your kind words are much appreciated.

Mags, they sent the wrong hinges. Sigh. I'm trying some power walking, but it's not the same as good blast of a run.
Chris Stovell said…
Debs, thanks for you good wishes. Here's wishing you the writing news you deserve in 2012.

And Jenny - you've been backwards and forwards not to mention washed away, so it's a wonder you've hung on in there. Commiserations on the eye consultant front. Not much fun being on the receiving end of that relish!

Oh don't Fennie - it is quiet on the maternal front... at the moment! Yes, now that work on renovations has settled down a bit, I've had some time to look around and feel glad to have landed in such a lovely location.

Elizabethm, I couldn't agree more! Let's both hope for less interesting times in 2012. Or more agreeable interesting times, anyway!
Chris Stovell said…
Thank you, Talli. All good wishes to you and yours in 2012. I hope you get some much-needed rest over Christmas and the New Year.

Shirley, thank you for your kind thoughts.

Thank you, Crystal!

Thanks, Liane. Here's to a great writing year for both of us in 2012.

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