As ever, no rest for the wicked:
Tony & I respectively busy, although he kept his telephone firmly switched off as still persisting in his ‘not talking to you’ mood. I fretted about him all day, however; wondering how his Line Performance Check was progressing, & whether he’d managed to cram in sufficient revison to catch up. Being an unpleasant, damp day I put a couple of chicken carcases with herbs, vegetables, peppercorns & cloves, onto the stove; at this time of year I like to make plenty of nutritious stock for soups & stews (takes longer than using a cube, of course but is far healthier – less salt for a start! – & makes the kitchen smell warm & cosy). I persuaded the goats to go out but it soon had to put them back to bed as the clouds piled in & the rain started. In spite of the dampness of the day I went for a long & vigorous walk after lunch with Nanuk, in search of a few hazelnuts; but was sorely disappointed as my scrabbling amongst the fallen, ochre-tinged leaves did not yield so much as a single nut.
During the afternoon I made some creme anglaise bases for ice cream, setting them to age in the cold room; & undertook some Internet research after finishing the evening chores.
As darkness fell over the Ffarm, it became a night of bad news. First I learned that Andy’s wife, Toni, had been diagnosed with cancer & would require surgery & probably chemotherapy. Then I had a chat on the ‘phone, with Mum: to hear the awful news that she now appears to have lost the sight in both eyes. She had been suffering from dreadful headaches for a couple of weeks; & on Friday evening had gone to bed with everything a green blur. Her sight had gone by morning, so she called the Medical Centre & was told to report to the Accident & Emergency Department at the local cottage hospital. When she arrived, they said they could not help because there was in fact no Doctor in attendance; they were only open to treat injuries such as a foreign object in the eye, not to offer diagnoses. Rather than directing her to a General Hospital she was told to go home for the weekend & make an appointment with her GP for Monday morning. There has been no improvement, since; naturally, I am extremely concerned & hope that the damage is irreversible for having been left unattended.
Having not heard from Tony I was surprised at his appearance at around 9.30pm, having assumed he was still in his silly, grumpy mood & had opted to stay away to simmer in his negativity for another evening. I was surprised, therefore, when he appeared so silently, having left the car at the top of the drive. By this time I was very angry as he seems to have an uncanny knack of proving unavailable when I need him most; all I will say about what transpired next, is ‘Hell hath no fury……’ What a dark day.