TTWWD – Sydney, wet,wet,wet

Not sure that Sydney is playing the game here! I didn’t come all this way to be soaked to the skin three times a day. It was quite lovely when I arrived and I was meeting a friend, we went on a Cook’s Cocktail Cruise BUT because this was about meeting and catching up I didn’t take my camera, my iPad or anything because I thought I would get other photo-ops. I am not sorry, firstly because without a camera you really look at things, it isn’t “snap, snap, snap – I’ll look at that later”, and anyway my friend and I had 25 years to catch up on – my three children have grown up and done things, hers have arrived (all since we met last) and are doing things; then there is life, jobs, mutual friends and gossip. When would I have had time to take photographs?

So why am I catching up after 25 years with people on this side of the planet?

My husband was on dialysis, waiting for a kidney transplant at Addenbrookes Hospital, but after quite a long wait he was becoming increasingly unstable and exceedingly ill, and although we were fortunate and had two dialysis machines, one at our London home and one at our home in Sussex (which we bought in case anyone was thinking that someone else might have needed it) his health was such that our nurses in Sussex refused to go on dialysing him: “too far from the nearest hospital”. Going to Sussex was his life line, so we had to do something. At the time I had an Australian nanny for our three young children, and her mother worked as an Almoner at Newcastle Hospital, New South Wales. Apparently, even very sick people dialyse miles from hospital (big country, long distances) so this wonderful lady put a notice on the board of the dialysis ward at Newcastle Hospital NSW: “Dialysis nurses required to journey to London; everything paid for, dialysis duties only, otherwise free time, car provided for travel opportunities.” The list filled in days, and across the world they came and helped out. That was 25 years ago.

If this rings a bell with anyone, please get in touch. One grateful mother and three grateful sons would love to hear from you! Meanwhile, and in any case: thank you for coming! We have not forgotten you, it has been lovely meeting up with some of you again and hearing about your lives since then. I am sorry not to have found you all…but I did try. Look for the sons on Facebook, two of them have pages you can find easily in their own names. Find us if you come to London, we will gladly put you up.

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