12th January ~ Oh dear, where is grace? ‘Grace was a dirty girl, who didn’t wash her face.’ I’m still prone to vengeful thoughts. Quite childish. It’s a good thing I’m not dead yet as my character still needs what amounts to piles of ironing.
The most enormous old wreck of a boat has arrived. Mum doesn’t even want to look. It’s filling the whole yard. My father is so pleased. He keeps stroking it.
The snow fell again last night. I’m not sure how they got the boat down into the valley but it’s standing starkly against the white fields. Solomon and Leonard, the spotty donkey, are both looking on with great attention. Dad learnt an interesting thing: his vessel was originally housed in a boatshed in Scotland that once belonged to Robin’s family. We’ll have to get him to come aboard.
13th January ~ Went to see Dr. Prior for my last magnesium injection. I must have benefited from them. He said that women need about 350mgs of magnesium a day, men 300mgs. I should be able to absorb it naturally from green vegetables, grains, seeds and nuts ~ including chocolate. (I suppose chocolate is derived from a nut.) ‘Otherwise eat ¼ teaspoon of Epsom salts a day.’
‘Yes, or bathe in it. Fling a handful or two into your bath; you’ll absorb it through the skin.’ I learnt that most of the body’s organs need magnesium, which improves immune function, energy, sleep, blood pressure as well as cardiac function. Apparently you need vitamin D for the body to utilise magnesium. I don’t see how I can sunbathe in January. ‘Take cod liver oil.’ All these old fashioned remedies; but they aren’t a cure are they, just a treatment.
Dr. Prior said that I must still take good care of myself, as I’m likely to contract viruses very easily. He says the key to recovery is in careful pacing.
This is difficult. Daisy is ill. The snow and ice on the roads were so bad that Dad said I shouldn’t drive over. But I did. She’s sick with a bad tummy but we are told it’s not complicated. I just sat with Mary-Dieu. She told me how desperate her depression has been, ‘The darkest, greyest experience of my whole life – you’re constantly wishing you weren’t the way you are but can’t do anything about it. At times it was torture to keep my eyes open; I felt my forehead physically bulging out, like the Elephant Man. There are emotional bits, you get in a state, worried about what people think of your parenting skills and stuff, but it’s a physical thing – very real, very here.’ She looked up. ‘Tell people about it Sophie, so they can understand it’s the most hideous, hideous thing that could happen. You couldn’t be sadder if a mass murderer wiped out your entire family.’
14th January ~ My car is making a very funny noise when it moves; it’s clanking. Dad says the universal joint is worn out. Perhaps I just need new universals too. I’ve gone down with yet another bug and can’t stop coughing. It amazes me how there can be so many variants to influenza. I’m reading a book about colonial India. Despite the risks of horrendous diseases like cholera and dengue fever, most British troops were healthier than they had been in England, as they rarely caught a cold. I should emigrate. At least I could live in the sunlight.
My father now tells me that he puts a cup of Epsom salts in his bathwater whenever he feels tired. He’s been doing it for years.
15th January ~ It seems I’ve caught the bug of the week ~ everybody is down with it. My version also includes the profound exhaustion, which, frankly I’m getting used to. I’m not feeling anxious or confused any more, yet I’m not sure that I can go abroad if I’m forever breaking down like this. ‘But I am trusting you, Oh Lord, saying, “You are my God!” My future is in your hands.’ and little Daisy’s future, and everyone’s.
While it’s our responsibility to do what we can, when things get beyond our control, we have to let God take over; there’s often no choice anyway. Do the possible and let God do the impossible. Jesus says we must just pray that God’s will be done. I suppose this means giving our free will, freely back. Relinquishment. If we ‘surrender unto him’ a thing, like whom we are going to marry, or whether in fact we marry at all, we jolly well surrender it. The thing’s submitted. I’d be so likely to make the wrong decision myself I’ve got to trust God on something like that, and yet I keep thinking, ‘Is it ever going to happen?’
‘Nothing’s impossible for the Lord.’ It says that somewhere too.
16th January ~ Granny describes being ill as, ‘very tiresome’ or ‘being under attack’. She’s quite right, but I can cope with ‘tiresome’ now and am getting used to fighting when I feel weak.‘...be strong and take courage, all you that put your hope in the Lord!’Psalm 31
Yes. I’m going to ‘embrace suffering’; rejoice in the fact I’m ill. Rejoice in the blows and trials, the setbacks that are allowed to rain down on me. I’m going to thank God for his mercy. Mercy for not allowing an idiot like me to suffer one tenth of the natural consequences of my idiocy.
17th January ~ Still ill. I shall overdose on vitamin C and avoid doctors’ waiting rooms. Mum is right. They’re unhealthy places, full of people with viral infections.
I also need anti-freeze for my brain. Am down to my last Dick Francis book. He has a character in it called Erik. Erik’s brother is a policeman called Knut and has a dog; a Great Dane called Odin.
18th January ~ Wobbly... but in a brighter frame of mind. The tide is turning. Apparently there are 57 varieties of herring in Norway and not one of them is red. I must go and see Granny, but she says she would rather not catch my cough.