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Sylvia, probably my best French friend, is very ill. I’m still trying to get my head round it.   She  has been ill for about two months – first with a very nasty tummy bug (it is still  not clear what is behind this, she has been having more tests). Then with depression and acute fatigue. And yesterday evening her partner, Yves, rang to say she was in the Montpellier clinic Millenaire and had had  a small stroke (I was too shocked by the news to ask when). He said there seem no bad effects from the stroke. For the time being only he is visiting. I await more news, but meanwhile I think of her often.

I first met Sylvia about ten years ago, when we both joined the alto section of the choir, Rinascenza. We hit it off immediately. Sylvia is (normally) a vivacious and extremely attractive woman, with a colorful past and a huge repertoire of current activities. She continues to sing, mainly solo, French chansons of earlier decades; she writes (including a heavily autobiographical novel); she does the occasional programme on local radio; and she is an active member of a national association which exists to receive family papers that would otherwise be thrown away or rot in attics.

Yves, a retired teacher,  is another (even greater) polymath – author, painter, photographer, broadcaster……  Since they got together a few years ago it has sometimes been hard to see as much of them as I would like!

so let’s hope that the doctors get to the bottom of what is wrong with Sylvia and my lively friend resumes her multi-faceted life, albeit at a slightly saner pace!

evening update. It turns out to be a small tumour, not a stroke, so far no signs that it is cancerous. Tests are continuing, with a trip to another hospital tomorrow, then out of intensive care and into her own room. Yves says she is in a better frame of mind, has stopped fretting about all the things she should be doing, and has confidence in the doctors.

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