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Cancer - progress report

When someone tells you that you have advanced prostate cancer you tend to enter a dark tunnel, not necessarily in fear but not knowing what kind of a world now envelops you and what kind of world awaits, if and when you eventually emerge from the other end.

Well, I've finished round one of my hormone treatment and I have to say I am indeed feeling a lot better. Mind, I was never and am still not worried about dying. As Shakespeare said, We all owe God a death. But I have less pain therefore less need to pop the analgesic pills. Most importantly for me, I'm able to do more; almost as much as I was doing before Delia disappeared from sight, 29th November, down that dark tunnel..

The light at the end of my tunnel may be as yet only a pinprick but my curiosity about what awaits grows day by day ...

The doctors said I would l lose my 'libido' (interest in the opposite sex, for the uninitiated). Difficult to say when passing my 80th birthday whether that's true. My libido must have been nearing its sell-by date anyway. They told me I would likely be beset with occasional hot flushes. True but so what? And that I may develop breasts of female conformation. Interesting indeed, but hasn't happened yet. I'm fascinated. There's always a silver lining!

I have believed that my tunnel - and yours - will end not in a brick wall cul de sac but in another place. Christianity and other religions say it's a better place. In the meantime I plan to resume my painting and especially my writing, (this blog included), and to persist with marketing my cards and prints and calendars etc. And of course to maintain my links with our extended family and with a good and satisfying social life here in our small West Highlands community. 

Above all I now have time to think.Think about what has been and what may be to come, not just for me but for the physical and spiritual world into which I was born in 1934. Shall I and indeed any of us be leaving a better world that that which we entered? What part has one's own presence played in this, however infinitessimally, for better or for worse? 

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First of the many - Me and Billy McGhee (alias Dee Islip)

First of the many - Me and Billy McGhee (alias Dee Islip)
Photograph courtesy of Colin Robertson

How it all started...

Our packaging business was based in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia. On the 11th of September 2001, in a hotel bar, I watched the fall of the twin towers.

Three days later I met my wife, Dee, at Heathrow. We made out way north to a long planned holiday in the north west Highlands of Scotland.

By the end of that holiday our decisions were all made; we would close up our Middle East operations. I would come home to Winchester and in due course we would move up to Wester-Ross.

All my life I had played around with painting pictures and with writing verse and fiction. Now I would do this for our living, and in a place where you only had to lift your eyes to lift your mind.

In September 2002 we moved north; we had come home.

What you see here and at Pictures and Poems is some of the result thus far.

'Come on along o' me, for the best is yet to be.'