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John’s Travel Diary

Saturday, 06 Apr 2013

Location: Louth, Lincolnshire, UK

MapYep, that last post wasn't too upbeat - I feel that there are sometimes things that have to be said. But it's not all gloom and doom. I mentioned the new medication regime - that's been interesting! It's completely different and it took us a few days to get that sorted out. I think we have now, and it's good! I've got MUCH less pain, and it feels like it's catalysed more energy. I'm definitely more active, and feel much more myself. I can walk better, climb stairs (albeit slowly) and eat small amounts almost normally. And perhaps the best bit is that a side-effect is feelings of euphoria. Euphoria!! We like that!! It's changing our plans. I think I might actually be able to do some VO work (voice-overs), and drive moderate distances.

But perhaps the most critical thing is that the hospital does not propose any more specialist treatment. That means I do not need to be based near to a specialist hospital - so where will I be based? I don't have enough income to live independently, so it means a solution involving the family. Fortunately Mathew and Sally have been planning to convert the space over their double garage into a studio apartment, they had wanted me to do the design, and build it with Rene (my South African builder mate), and they are ready to start NOW!
The only other realistic accommodation alternative is to stay here with Brian and Bridget (unless there are other offers - speak up!), but a 50-mile (say) driving radius in Lincolnshire includes Grimsby, Hull, York and Lincoln - whereas based on the South Coast it brings me within reach of a lot of my friends, and lots of places I actually want to go to.

So I'm VERY excited by all that - not least because it needs to start soon. Brian has been waiting for a heart operation for months, and it will happen at the end of April - so I need to be away from Louth for a while, which means I'll be based in Christchurch from 24th April, then probably to and fro whilst we're designing and doing the alterations - and then I'll be based in Dorset!!

One of the projects I did back in the early 2000's was a studio-to-one bedroom conversion in which I was inspired/heavily influenced by Terence Conran's 'Small Spaces' (brilliant book), with all sorts of clever tricks making the most of a tiny space. Rene (and the other guys on the job) loved it because it was so ingenious - and it looked good! This looks like the way we'll go with Mathew and Sally's conversion. You know how Ikea do these clever set-piece apartments in their stores where they squeeze the maximum from a tiny floor area? That sort of thing. But better.

Today was lovely. I sat outside in the sun for more than two hours, loving it. We need more like this!

Off to bed now.