I've been delaying this blog in the hope that I would be able to report that Marion is well on the road to recovery and feeling well again but I'm sorry to to say that nothing could be further from the truth. I've known her for almost fifty years now and cannot remember her ever being so unwell and that includes a bout of pneumonia in her thirties. Doctors won't prescribe anything so she is having to fight off the "virus" on her own. She is spending long periods coughing continuously and has not eaten properly for over ten days. I'm pleased to say that her temperature has finally returned to normal today after days in the region of 39 degrees but she has had hardly any sleep and is feeling very weak. Thank you to all those who have written expressing concern and wishing her a speedy recovery. I am keeping my fingers crossed that this weekend will see an upturn.
It's such a pity that she has been unwell this week as there has been no less than three events that she would have loved to go to.
The first was a lecture by John Sheeran at Fram College on Wednesday. I went on my own as there was little that I could do for Marion. I've been to a few of John's lectures when he held them in St Michael's rooms here in Framlingham. He is a wonderful speaker on art and has a marvellous ability to infuse his audiences with his love of the paintings that he discusses. This lecture was on the masterpieces at the Met Museum in New York. We've been to that museum and seen a number of the paintings that John highlighted but he was still able to show elements of the pictures and interpretations of their meanings that are easy to miss. We hope very much to be able to take in a couple more of his lectures that he is running around Suffolk during the spring months. You can check out his website and lecture dates here.
I know that I've mentioned it before but ,before John's lecture, two local young men Henry and Sam spoke about their mammoth track to Kathmandu to raise awareness for their Charity Annie's Challenge set up when Henry's sister was diagnosed with an incurable brain cancer. They invited the audience to join them in their challenge and, whether this be by simply donating or by walking some of the way, it is something that Marion and I will be keen to be involved in. You can check out the website here. Please watch the video appeal on it. I know that some people sometimes think that challenges like this are a bit of a holiday for the person seeking sponsorship but I can assure you that this is no holiday and will be a gruelling challenge for the young men. They raised a great amount on Wednesday.Let's hope that they raise much more in the forthcoming twelve months.
Speaking of gruelling challenges, the second event that Marion has missed due to her illness was the FramSoc book club. A Brief History Of Seven Killings won the Booker Prize but our members were not all convinced that it was worthy of it. Nobody could argue that it is not a brilliantly written piece of work and, at almost seven hundred pages long, a modern epic but seven hundred pages is a lot to invest your time in and, when it is page after page of drug fuelled violence or drug fuelled sex, however clever the multiple viewpoint and convoluted plot is, it starts to wear you down. One of the ways to differentiate between the story's narrators is which of the Jamaican curses, bumbaclot, rasclot, bumboclot or rasscloth they use as their swear word of choice (google them) and that pretty much sums up the book. It is coarse and it is foul but it is also a fascinating insight into Jamaican politics from the sixties through to the end of the twentieth century with a bit of CIA spy stuff thrown in. I love Bob Marley's music. The book is heavily influenced by and centres around an assassination attempt on Marley in the 1970's. I don't believe that the book does any favours to Marley or to his poetic lyrics. Although other members of the book club would disagree, this is not one that I would recommend.
I do a little bit of voluntary work here in Framlingham by helping elderly people. It's usually just a bit of shopping for the Hour Community but today I took an elderly lady to a local care home to discuss the possibility of her husband becoming a resident. He has dementia and it is a struggle for her to cope. When we arrived, Imogen Sheeran (wife of art lecturer John) was setting up for a talk for the residents on jewellery making. I took the opportunity to buy Marion this lovely necklace. Imogen explained how the beads are created naturally in China using real mussels to create the mother of pearl. Marion was very pleased with the necklace but, sadly, it didn't cure her.
Tomorrow night we've booked for the third event of the week. Slice Of Life Framlingham are putting on a show about Jane Austen which is being performed by an actress from The Archers. Marion loves Jane Austen, The Archers and Slice Of Life so it will be a huge disappointment if she misses it (which is 90% likely as I write). I really hope that she is on the mend soon. I'll keep you posted.