2018-02-17 – Just me and the dog.

My wife is working today, so it’s just me and the dog again.  I take the dog for her morning walk and then sit on the sofa in the lounge with a nice hot mug of tea and my nutriblast to read The Metro online and catch up with the week’s news.

I manage to get off my backside this afternoon and give the bathroom a good clean, wash the quarry tiles in the hall, clean the hearth, split a few logs and fill the log basket, vacuum downstairs and (finally) light the fire.

My mouth is still sore from my tooth extraction and is still taking my mind off my Parkinson’s symptoms – I am eating on the other side of my mouth at the moment, and managing to catch the inside of my lower lip with my teeth on a very regular basis, so I’m not enjoying eating my food at all at the moment, in fact I may well stick to having soup for the next few days…

2018-02-16 – Lunch at the Gunton.

My wife has our eldest granddaughter for the day, so she is up early and out of the house before I have even woken up properly.

I am supposed to be going to see her accountant this morning – he has agreed to provide me with a formal letter of identification so that I can legally deal with certain aspects of my mother’s estate – but he is unavailable when I phone to confirm our appointment, so it’ll have to wait until another day.

I drive to the Gunton Arms at 12pm to meet up with my wife’s parents, her younger brother, my wife and our granddaughter – we are treating them to some of the quirky (and delicious) bar snacks on offer there, as a gesture of thanks for looking after our dog while we were away on holiday recently.  Also my wife is hoping that she can show our granddaughter some of the wild deer that roam the Gunton estate, in which the pub is situated.  We spend a pleasant hour and a half eating, drinking and chatting, and then take a stroll around the estate where we finally spot the elusive deer (I’m not sure who was most excited – my wife or our granddaughter).

I return to Southrepps to walk the dog (again), and then publish my weekly vlog and post links to it from my Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts.

I prepare another basket of kindling, split a basketful of logs and get the fire lit – it’s chilly, even though it’s a beautiful sunny day!

My sore jaw (from Tuesday’s extraction) continues to overshadow my Parkinson’s symptoms, so I’m evidently feeling pretty good at the moment!

2018-02-15 – A busy day tomorrow…

It is going to be a busy day tomorrow – looking after our eldest granddaughter and also taking my wife’s parents and her brother out for a pub lunch to thank them for looking after our dog while we were away on holiday.  This will interfere greatly with my weekly vlog schedule, so I make the decision to do my vlog today instead.

I walk the dog, and then spend the rest of the morning researching and writing a script about psychosis in Parkinson’s Disease.

The afternoon is spent filming (with a large number of re-takes due to my voice, which is sounding a little indistinct today) and editing the video.  I upload it to my YouTube channel just before my wife returns from work, and I’m all set to publish it tomorrow.

My jaw is a little on the sore side following my molar extraction on Tuesday, and I think that this didn’t assist with clarity of speech when filming.  My Parkinson’s symptoms are fairly well under control at the moment – bubbling away beneath the surface, but everything is tolerable.

2018-02-14 – Valentine’s Day.

It’s Valentine’s Day, so my wife and I exchange cards (I gave her her flowers when she got home yesterday evening) and gifts.

I spend the day buying another holiday.  Ever since I met my wife I have gone on and on about how wonderful the Sugar Cane Club in Barbados is, and when we were in Egypt the other week I rashly promised to take her there this year.  So, I have been in touch with number of travel companies this week, trying to get the best possible deal.  When we were discussing getting each other a gift for Valentine’s Day, we agreed that our gift to each other would be a holiday to Barbados for our fifth wedding anniversary this October, so that’s what I have booked.  Not quite sure where the money is going to come from, but I have a few months to find it.  I justify the expense by telling myself that I have to do these things while I still can – nobody knows how quickly (or slowly) my Parkinson’s will progress, or which symptom will be next to emerge.  In any case, my wife deserves to be taken somewhere special – she’s a very special lady.

My mouth is still pretty sore following my molar extraction yesterday, so our romantic Valentine’s day meal this evening will be broccoli and stilton soup with soggy croutons – yum!

2018-02-13 – Having a broken tooth extracted.

I’m having a broken tooth extracted at the dental department of the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital this afternoon.  I don’t expect to be feeling too sharp afterwards, so I need to get a few things done before leaving the house for my appointment.

First and foremost, the dog needs to be walked, so I wrap up well (it’s still chilly out there) and take her for a leisurely stroll around the field by the village hall.

Next on the agenda is a basketful of logs for the fire this evening.  This is an easy win – I have a stack of logs that I split the other day, just waiting to be carried indoors.

It’s Valentine’s Day tomorrow, so I drive to North Walsham to get some flowers and a card for my wonderful wife – I definitely won’t have an opportunity to get anything later on.

I have a shave, brush my teeth and change my shirt (a red t-shirt in case the dental surgeon gets blood on it) before my wife arrives home to take me to hospital.

The operation goes smoothly and quickly and is relatively painless.  I wasn’t nervous about having the tooth extracted, but I guess the adrenaline must have been flowing – my tremor went through the roof when the surgeon was injecting me with local anaesthetic, and there wasn’t a thing I could do about it.  I even had tremor in my right side (especially my right arm) which is very unusual these days.  By the time the anaesthetic has taken effect, though, things have settled down a little, and I’m no longer conscious of shaking.

I’m back home in Southrepps less than 3 hours after my operation, drinking lukewarm carrot and coriander soup with soggy toast croutons – delicious!

My wife takes the dog for a walk while I light the fire – our day is done, apart from an episode of Suits on Netflix.

2018-02-12 – Video editing.

I’m determined to get my neighbour’s safari holiday video edited and out of the way, so today is spent moving all of the completed videos (there’s one for each day of their holiday) onto a network drive so that I can free up some space on my MacBook.  Eventually, I manage to free up over 25gb of disk space, which should make a big difference to the performance of my laptop.

It’s still very cold here, even though it is a bright and sunny morning, so I warm up by splitting a few logs (even though I didn’t need to – I split a couple of days worth yesterday), fill the log basket and light the fire.  By the time I’ve vacuumed downstairs I have to take off my fleece and sweater because I’m too hot!

I prepare dinner (for a change) to save my wife from having to do so – she’s had a long day, and doesn’t get home until almost 8pm.

2018-02-11 – Freezing cold.

Nothing much going on here today – it’s freezing cold outside, so I’m trying to stay in the warm.  My wife takes the dog for her morning walk and I sit and drink my morning cuppas.

I decide to continue with editing my neighbour’s safari holiday video – the sooner I have that finished, the happier I will be.

We go over to have dinner with my wife’s youngest son, his wife and our youngest granddaughter this evening, so I don’t bother with bringing any logs in to the house today, since we won’t bother lighting the fire – I do spend half an hour splitting a few logs, though, because I feel that I’m being a tad lazy and they’ll come in handy later in the week.

We get back to Southrepps in time to watch an episode of Suits on Netflix.   I’m suffering with restless legs at the moment, so I take a little cannabis to calm it, which it does.  It also helps me get off to sleep (and stay asleep).

2018-02-10 – No big deal!

My wife is going to work today, so I am left to my own devices – no big deal, it’s just like a normal weekday!

I take the dog for her morning walk, and discover how flipping cold it is outside – I’m ready to light the fire already, and its only 9.30am.  I warm myself up by splitting a few logs in the back garden and filling the log basket.  Resisting the temptation to light the fire immediately, I drink a couple of mugs of tea whilst reading The Metro online and posting links to my weekly vlog on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

I relent, and light the fire at 11am – I’m still feeling the cold, in spite of my log splitting exertions.

I have a number of videos that I need to edit, so I try to make some progress with my neighbour’s safari holiday video – I have now completed 10 days worth of editing, so I’m hoping that I have broken the back of it!

The pain in my side is getting fainter and fainter now, although it still makes itself known if I lie on my right side in bed – very strange that it should take this long to heal.  I am still on group “A” settings from yesterday – tremor doesn’t appear to be to much worse than when I am on group “B” settings, but I do think that my voice is generally a little better, so I’ll stick with it until the tremor becomes too annoying.

An evening in front of the fire watching Suits on Netflix follows.

2018-02-09 – Back into the routine.

Back from holiday, and back into the routine, so the day is spent scripting, filming and editing my weekly vlog.  My wife suggested a subject (special assistance available at airports for those of us that require a little help), so that’s what it’s all about.

The only symptom that is impeding my progress is my voice, which is (to my ears) slurred and indistinct.  I change the settings on my neurostimulator to group “A” (because those settings appear to have slightly less of an effect on my voice) but I still have many retakes before I’m anything approaching satisfied with its clarity – if I listen to myself and can’t be certain of the words that are coming out of my mouth, then how can I expect anyone else to understand me?  At least the subtitles, that I routinely put on all of my videos, help a little in that respect.

It’s another very cold day here in Southrepps, so I split a few logs, fill the log basket and light the fire quite early in the day.

The dog eats something that she found whilst out for our afternoon stroll (Labradors do this!), and promptly throws up over the rug in the lounge when we get home – so half an hour of precious vlogging time is spent on cleaning up after her.  It’s an achievement, therefore, to have finished the video, uploaded it to my YouTube channel and published it by the time my wife arrives home from work.

2018-02-08 – Sorting stuff out.

We are awake at 7.30am, which is a bit on the early side considering we didn’t get to bed until after 3am, but once we’re awake we get up and start sorting stuff out.

My wife empties the suitcases and sorts out the dirty laundry.  I clean out the woodburner, bring in a few logs from the back garden and get the fire going (because we are feeling the cold).

The pain in my side has almost disappeared now, which is a major relief.  Left leg tremor is still present, but no better or worse than it has been over the last week or so.  Voice is a touch weak at the moment, and I am still having to make a conscious effort to enunciate clearly to make myself understood.

We go to North Walsham this evening to visit Lidl to get some groceries, and also drop in on my wife’s parents in Worstead to collect our dog – home just isn’t home until the dog is back in residence!

2018-02-07 – The last day of our holiday.

It’s the last day of our holiday today, so we pack our suitcases as soon as we get up, take them to the hotel reception for safe storage, and head for the beach to make the most of our last few hours of sunshine and warmth.  Our taxi arrives at just before 4pm to take us to the airport for our flight back to Gatwick.

Everything goes to schedule and we are back in the UK by 10.30pm – it feels a bit chilly as we load the cases into my car, and the computer confirms that it’s -2 degrees Celsius.   We drive back to Norfolk (with a quick stop at McDonald’s in Clacket Lane services), arriving home (-4.5 degrees Celsius!!) just after 3am.  We bring the suitcases into the house (leaving them in the lounge to be dealt with later) and collapse, exhausted, into bed.

2018-02-06 – A beach day.

It’s a slightly cooler day in Marsa Alam today – still just a gentle breeze, but sunshine is a little hazy.  We venture out along the pier from the beach this morning to do some deep water snorkelling, but find that there are a large number of jellyfish (of the stinging variety) in the water, so our swim is cut short. Today is a beach day, which is fine by me, especially as the sun isn’t too strong.

The pain in my right side is less intrusive today, which is nice!  Tremor remains the same – annoying, but bearable.  My voice is definitely weaker and strangling my sentences.  Overall?  Can’t complain!

2018-02-05 – Deep water snorkelling.

The weather forecast was correct, and there was just a gentle breeze in Marsa Alam today, so deep water snorkelling was very much on the agenda.  We got to see a couple of fish that were have never seen before (a spotted reef stingray and a conger eel) as well as the usual array of colourful marine life that makes swimming in the Red Sea akin to swimming in a well stocked aquarium.

Tremor remains prominent in my left leg, but it’s not bothering me unduly.  My voice is a little weaker than it was yesterday, and I feel that I’m slurring my words (and it’s got nothing to do with the number of all-inclusive cocktails that I’m enjoying).  The pain in my right side is still there, but no worse than it was yesterday – I’ll go to see my doctor about it if it hasn’t disappeared by the time we get home.

2018-02-04 – A much more gentle breeze.

Up until now we have been snorkelling in a shallow lagoon close to the beach, because the strong breeze made it more difficult to enter the water at the end of the pier.  The pier stretches out from the end of the beach, across the shallow lagoon to the edge of the coral reef where the depth of the water is more than 10 metres.  The sea has been very rough at this point, breaking into surf as it reaches the edge of the reef.  Today there is a much more gentle breeze, and there are scarcely any waves breaking over the reef, so my wife and I have been enjoying snorkelling in deeper waters.  Tomorrow is also forecast to be less windy, so we will make the most of it while it lasts.

I am still extremely uncomfortable with the pain in my side, but it isn’t stopping me from enjoying my holiday – I just wish it would go away!  My tremor is much the same.  My voice has definitely improved in strength, although I feel it is bordering on indistinct because of the number of times that I have to repeat myself to be understood.

2018-02-03 – Another beautiful day.

Predictably, the sun is shining this morning, it’s another beautiful day (if a tad breezy) in Marsa Alam.  My wife and I spend another day lounging on the beach with frequent snorkelling excursions.  The colorful marine life is absolutely amazing, and we spend hours marveling at it.

The hotel that we are staying at has its own beach with a fine stretch of coral reef that attracts a huge variety of marine life, so there’s no need to go anywhere else (unless, of course, it doesn’t interest you).

My tremor (left leg) remains pretty much the same, the pain in my right side (which was a lot better yesterday) is really uncomfortable today, and I can’t think what I can have done to aggravate it.  Hoping it goes away…

2018-02-02 – Another day in paradise…

Another day in paradise dawns – 24 degrees Celsius is forecast, and there isn’t a cloud in the sky.  I think the pain in my right side has eased a little since last night, and I’m very relieved about that – it’s still uncomfortable, but the pain is not as sharp. Tremor in my left leg is still there, but it’s manageable.

We both overdid the sunbathing yesterday (very deceptive with the cool breeze that is blowing here), so we smother ourselves in high factor sunscreen and I make sure I cover up well.

More beach, snorkelling, eating and drinking today – as you do when on holiday.

2018-02-01 – Awake quite early!

I’m awake quite early, around 7.30am which is 5.30am in the UK, but we don’t actually get out of bed until 9am (well, we are on holiday!).

It’s a sunny 22 degrees Celsius in Marsa Alam today, and there isn’t a single cloud in the sky.  After we have had some breakfast, we get our swimming cossies on, and head for the beach.  Marsa Alam is known for being quite a windy resort, and that certainly proves the case.  The sea is quite choppy, but that doesn’t prevent us from snorkelling and seeing some wonderful colourful marine life, which is exactly what we came here for.  The constant breeze also has the effect of making you less aware of the strength of the sun, so I cover up around lunchtime so that I don’t get sunburnt.

The pain in my side is still giving me grief – I probably didn’t help it any by lugging heavy suitcases around yesterday (even though my wife tried to stop me), and my tremor is being a nuisance in my left leg (probably because I’m tired from yesterday’s travelling).  Hopefully both will improve as the holiday progresses!

2018-01-31 – An early start.

An early start this morning. We are up, cases loaded into the car, and on or way to the airport just a few minutes after 3am.  We have a good uneventful journey without the drama and expense of last week’s blowout, and we are parked up and in the terminal in plenty of time.

For the first time, I have booked airport assistance because I know how long it takes to get from the departure lounge to the boarding gate, and I have to say that the experience (which I had been worried about) was very positive. Once the gate for our flight had been announced, we were transported directly to the aircraft steps – no standing around in long queues, which made a hell of a difference. Once we were airborne, tiredness caught up with me and, although I had real difficulty in falling asleep, I spent most of the journey with my eyes closed.

Assistance at Marsa Alam airport was a somewhat different experience, but they did their best and we were safely delivered to the arrivals hall to queue for our visas and to get through passport control.

We had booked a private taxi firm to take us to our hotel, so we avoided the usual hassle of being transferred by coach and visiting every other hotel in the area before reaching ours.

We had some dinner and a drink or two, and then retired to our room to have an early night.