My first three days home are a bit of a blur, dominated by the heat, my fatigue and the need to prepare regular but unappetising meals.
While I was in hospital the strange monsoon weather we have had all spring was replaced abruptly by an equally relentless summer heat. Afternoon temperatures soar to the mid thirties. All that tropical green vegetation is turning brown overnight.
My house, with all its big windows, does not keep out the heat as efficiently as old Cévenol farmhouses. I spend the day opening and closing shutters and windows, as the sun passes round the house. Poppy is also overcome by the heat and is happy to doze alongside me in the afternoon.
I’m definitely on the mend, though regular twinges around my rib cage – amongst other things – remind me that the doctor predicted three months to recover.
The biggest challenge is making my three meals a day. Breakfast is OK. Coffee is sadly replaced by a worthy tisane, and I eat my toast with jam but no butter.
But lunch and supper, c’est une autre histoire. I eat out of duty rather than pleasure.
I regard the job of producing tasteless baby food – no fat, no raw vegetables, nothing acid, and virtually no spices – as a major challenge, especially for someone like me with no interest or aptitude for cooking.
To divert myself I have bought a steamer. So far I have cooked meals based on rice or pasta with steamed fish or burger (tasteless) and carrots. I cook enough for the two meals to avoid a repeat performance in the evening, when I am more tired. Next challenge: to make a sauce using yoghurt and mild spices. Pudding continues to be fruit purées, but thank goodness I am no longer restricted to the apple purée I had in hospital.
I am trying to resume normal activities – the Tuesday market (too early-I was exhausted), a short trip to Intermarché, a haircut, and a couple of lengthy sits in my favourite cafe. On Tuesday night I went to hear my fellow cellists play at the end of term concert – for which I had been preparing Mendelssohn’s Song without Words. Frustrating to have not been able to perform it eventually
Today has turned into a medical day – a trip to the pharmacy, on to Charlotte, my physio, and now a very long wait in the waiting room of Maëlle, my doctor – enough to write all this!