The ups and downs of life!

Saturday was an ‘up’. My young friend and I took a stroll around Greys Court, near  Henley. Nestled in a tranquil valley this picture-perfect place is full of delightful surprises. Some days the smell of home baking in fills the air in Lady Brunner’s kitchen

As it was a lovely day, we wandered around the gardens, bursting with the delicate blooms of springtime.

And, to one of my favourite places in  the garden – the site of this full-size wooden carving of a faithful retainer.

I painted a picture once of this kindly old man and entitled it ‘The Good Gardener of Greys Court’. Eventually, after walking round the grounds, past the Chinese bridge …

… we entered the wide wood. Just like a scene from ‘The Wind in the Willows’ except that it wasn’t wild on Saturday. It was covered in bluebells.

So that was our Saturday ‘up’.
Currently I’m working flat out on my 24-page catalogue and brochure for my exhibition. I’ve finished the design. It includes over 50 pictures, and nearly all the text has been written. 

Luckily I’m ahead of myself because now I have to talk about a ‘down’. Last week I saw Mr Ladas, the surgeon, in London. (He’s the man who performed my lung cancer operation two years ago.) Unfortunately the Pet-scan showed that the cancer has returned to my lung. It hasn’t spread – which is a good sign, and all other organs are in good nick. But this time the tumour is in a difficult place as it has attached itself right on the main blood vessel to the lung. Half-an-hour ago I was told that I have to go to the Royal Brompton Hospital in London next Monday evening for a major operation early the following morning.
So keep your fingers crossed tightly. I’ll probably be in hospital for a week or so. and I know my young friend will be there for me. 
We have planned to spend the weekend in the West Country, where on Friday I’m giving a short talk in the evening, after the opening of the Hilliard Miniature Show.
Next day, on to Devon for two days. It’ll be nice to relax then and hopefully put the imminent operation out of my mind temporarily.
I probably won’t write a blog for a couple of weeks, unless I dictate a few words to my young friend.