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Date: 26 Nov 2012 18:10:19
Title: A bit of a hiccup

It's raining. No let me correct myself: it's pouring. There's water everywhere, everything is damp and dank and dark ridiculously early in the evening and stupidly late in the morning. And it's cold. We have to put .. what are they called again? Oh, yes, socks on our feet and shoes and layers and layers of suffocating clothes on.

There are queues and queues of cars everywhere, christmas tunes burrow their way deep into your brain and re-emerge when you don't want them to, tinsel is sprouting in shop windows and house windows and even on the aerials of cars.

Yes - we're back in England.

Sometimes the sun shines. Then the colours are superb, greens and browns in every shade you can imagine, skies deep pewter, turning purple as the evening approaches (can you call it evening at 4 in the afternoon?). Black birds, in their shiny new winter black coats with freshly polished yellow beaks, pull at the leaf litter in our garden looking for worms to woo their mistress with. The robin knocks at the window. William, the horse in the field opposite us gets spooked by the wind and canters all around his field, shooing the sheep back to their side of the switched off electric fence and kicking up his heels. The chickens remember us (well the skinny brown ones do, the fluffy lighter ones and the white ones don't seem to have a clue) and come running, wings flapping, for scraps.

Don't worry, we're flying back to Lanzarote again in a few days, we'll be back in shorts and t-shirt, flip flops and bare feet, bright sunlight, sailing off to discover new anchorages, fresh beaches, soft salty water to jump overboard into in the mornings.

You see, Phil gave me, and himself, rather a scare a couple of weeks ago. He had what's called a mini-stroke, a TIA. When I said we should see a Doctor, his response was "No, they'll only tell me not to sail". When I said we should call an ambulance, his response was "No way, I'm not having all that embarrassing flashing lights rubbish". However, we got to hospital and got well looked after. An hour or two after we arrived he was dancing in A&E, just to show he could :-)

We were lucky. If we'd been running to schedule we'd have been sailing up the Gambia river when it happened. Bad weather meant we were in the Marina: we just had to get onto the pontoon, no climbing in a dinghy and braving rocks or a swell to get ashore. We'd rented a car (well, Spike had to see the place didn't he?) so flashing lights ambulances weren't needed.

We thought it was probably a good idea to get Phil checked out here, and we had some business to sort out and some stuff to buy we couldn't get in the Canaries (like a new loo seal - whoopee!!) so we've come back for a few days.

Don't worry, he's absolutely fine, a little more tired than usual just now is all, these things take a little getting over. After seeing three consultants, being scanned by every machine going (by the way, TAG watches can survive MRI machines!!) it seems it was just due to high blood pressure which is now lovely and low due to those magic pills Phil will have to keep eating. We're all cleared by the Doc to carry on with the trip, but we've decided to slow things down a bit. We'll drop down to the Cape Verdes in January now, instead of right away, exploring the Canaries over Christmas instead, and we may well spend a season in the Caribbean instead of dashing though to the Pacific by April as we'd planned to.

In the mean time we'll run another hot bath, pull on another jumper, enjoy the company of friends and family and look forwards to going back home to our boat.



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