We have made it to Shropshire. All work has been put aside. The wild meadow is swaying in the breeze. Even the break in the heatwave is welcome as the vitamin-A supplement which Isita is on means her skin is ultra-sensitive to sunburn. But it is warm enough to lie in a hammock, which is my plan for this afternoon and tomorrow afternoon and the one after, unitl next Saturday. Unlike our previous attempts to get away, which have been fairly stressful because of the complexities of looking after Isita, this break feels like it is going to be properly relaxing. Not having anything on the agenda for the next six days except for some gardening, and reading books in my new hammock – a birthday present from my twin – definitely helps. The last time we had a break similar to this was over Christmas 2016 just before Isita was diagnosed.
While we are relaxing here, my niece Cecily her sisters, parents and my mother are in the final stages of a magnificent challenge. They are collectively swimming the equivalent of the length of the River Mole in their swimming pool. You wouldn’t want to swim the actual river which is pretty murky – although according to an Environment Agency report I saw a few years ago it has the greatest diversity of fish of any river in southern England. They are doing this to raise money for neuroblastoma research at GOSH. Swim on!