Silliness, frivolity, whimsy, - call it what you will, it is essential to me.
Medically this has not been a good year. I have developed another auto-immune disorder and my partner has had three hospital stays and three operations, with the promise of more to come.
In March after his first operation of the year my partner was sent home to gain some condition before the next operation which was scheduled for June. He was nauseated and found it difficult to eat. He was told that the best thing to combat the nausea was to put something in his stomach. He still couldn't face food. Logic, nagging and cajolery failed. So I resorted to silliness. It worked and he began eating again.
In late June he was discharged from hospital after the operation we had been told would be his last. He was re-admitted three days later when it became obvious that something was very wrong. It was a tense and worrying time for us all. We were exhausted and brain dead. His sister and I shared a brain. A small not entirely functional brain which produced some interesting moments. One morning I wanted a cup of tea. I put the tea-bag in my mug, and added water and milk. I had a sip. Something was wrong. I had another sip. I hadn't boiled the jug. I finished the cup of tea. A little later in the day his sister did the same with a packet cup-of-soup. She also drank it.
Finally it became obvious that the problem was not going away and he was scheduled for more surgery. Surgery which would take him backwards. The night of the operation we came home after our evening visit to the hospital. MS means I don't drive. Like a good passenger I hopped out of the car, and opened the garage. She drove in, and I shut the door. I was wandering up towards the house when I heard a plaintive cry 'Sue, haven't you forgotten something?' 'No, what?' 'Me'. Yes I had shut her in the garage. So I went back and let her out and we reeled up to the house, clutching at each other and giggling. Neither of us are big drinkers, but we began looking forward to a glass of wine each at wine o'clock. Then one of us had a brainwave. We continued to have a glass each (red for me and white for her) but we also shared the glass that the patient would have had if he were home. And a fortnight later we told him firmly that he was drinking a bit much, and needed to cut down as we were now up to two glasses each rather than one and a half. He looked miffed. We laughed.
Where does Walter fit in you may be wondering? In between hospital visits we picked up some books for me to send to my youngest great-nephews in California. I never send them any books I haven't read. In this truly dreadful period his sister and I chortled heartily at the exploits of Walter - reading bits out loud to each other. We went back the next day and bought another from the series. It also brought smiles to the faces of worried women. The pictures are a delight as well. Knowing that towards the end of this year or perhaps early next year my partner is to have another two operations I may go back to the bookshop and buy more books from the Walter series. For me.