Fillon, Le Pen or Macron?

My French friends are agonizing over their particular political trauma. Not as black as Brexit, I suspect, but still, pretty grim.

As in Britain and the States, it is not just the outcome that is depressing, but the knowledge that there are so many millions of people swept off their feet by a populist and anti immigrant agenda.

It is good news if Fillon’s star fades as the result of the sordid nepotism story, as he really represents a totally unappealing right wing programme.  That is, of course provided the even worse nightmare – a victory for Marine Le Pen – comes to nothing.

So who is the ‘saviour’? I don’t know much about Macron but he seems to me to be the Tony Blair of French politics, trying to appeal to both left and right with his newly created party, En Marche.  His main appeal is he is neither Le Pen nor Fillon.

If I were French I would probably vote for Hamon, the doomed young ‘Corbyn’ of the Socialist Party in the first round, and then for Macron in the second round, assuming it becomes a fight beteeen him and Le Pen.

But then, we have learnt to our cost that pollsters have been getting things very wrong over the past year. And already the bizarre system of choosing a candidate for the two main parties had resulted in the favourite being knocked out – and a new party being formed.

There are currently ten candidates for the first round in April, which will be narrowed down to two for the second round in May. Who knows what will happen between now and April!


Reminder of future hurdles

On Friday I had the scintigraphie prescribed the previous week.  As the technician came to get me off the (uncomfy) table, he asked what was up with my left ankle.  Nothing, I replied, except arthritis.  Then the doctor dictating the report also picked out the ankle for special comment, then adding the usual list of knees and spine. Cheery, eh?

Difficult for me to understand his report, which is after all meant for the doctor here tomorrow, but I think he was saying the shoulder replacement was a bit spread out but more or less ok.  He suggests that the pain may possibly be a slight algodystrophic reaction. From what I have read on the internet I hope not and any I’m convinced the problem was a tendon and that the worst is over. (Trying to ignore the fact that the shoulder has been hurting more generally this weekend… ..)

Once again I have been struck by the fortitude the most seriously damaged patients here display.

Catherine, the maths teacher who has been here for over a year, at last went back to the hospital for her long awaited graft.  The op was apparently successful albeit major and she now has to wait 6-12 months before putting weight on her leg and starting rééducation to walk again.  Except – we heard that the next day the wound haemorraged and she had to go back into theatre. No more news yet.

Then a young woman has joined us in the pool.  She has two legs badly broken when her wheelchair stuck in a pothole and turned over, and she has to wait several months with her legs stretched out in front of her before the knees can be treated. She apparently has some condition like brittle bones, and although confined to a wheelchair obviously needs to be able to bend her legs.  She was petrified the first time she was gently descended into the pool.  But Pablo, a lovely, gentle Spanish kiné, comes into the water with her and is gradually helping her gain the confidence to relax. What a cruel disease.

Then there is a boy of 18 recently arrived with absolutely no legs, not even real stumps.  He is here to have articial legs fitted and to learn to walk with them.

Meanwhile there had been an influx of new patients, mainly older and with joint replacements, including quite a few shoulders.  The clinique is once again completely full.  I have the feeling of a new ‘generation’ arriving as I prepare to go. This is the first time I leave with so much recovery still to come.  But it is time to move on.