top of page


‘I had a neck brace fitted. I haven’t looked back since.’

Morning arrives after yet another disturbed night. I thought it would be me that was restless with the hospital admission happening today, but it seems it was mainly the others housed under this roof. Simon itched, scratched and harrumphed his way through the sleeping hours. Apparently, his stomach was also still too full from a supper of roast pork. Maybe an excess of broccoli was fermenting inside? It certainly sounded like it.

There must have been a deer outside in the garden too as the dogs were shouting their heads off for a while. Being a trifle short in the leg, they are both cat flap sized and Arnie easily slides it open, shoulders wedged, shoves his head through it and barks angrily at any passing hedgehog, deer, cat or mouse. Perhaps they simply sensed something was afoot with Simon and I?

A noisy night all round. Not exactly conducive to allaying the pre-op nerves.

Racing down to the pharmacy this morning Monsieur Pharmacist measures me up for the trend setting compression stockings which I need to take into the hospital with me today. Unhappily, the only colour choice is beige (bleurgh!) but as Simon reminds me ‘It’s not a fashion parade’. In addition, M Pharmacist informs me they will be in stock in two days time. Bugger! I need them today. Monsieur l’Anesthésiste was insistent they accompany me upon admission.

I’m happy to say that M Pharmacist rummages around. In the very bowels of his store cupboard he finds a pair that are the right size, with toes, which is not as requested, but they are at least a slightly more chic black colour than beige.

So now, after a quick walk around the garden to check how the bulbs are doing, I’m all set... case is packed, even remembered my back brace to wear afterwards, a pair of sexy black knee length compression stockings, my tidily filed bag of paperwork, negative PCR test and a hearty dose of courage.

Safe to say it’s a pretty quiet two hour journey to the hospital. Even Simon’s chirruping to distract me from my nerves is a little less ebullient than usual.

The room is clean, the staff are super friendly and happily my French appears up to the mark so far for the reams of admission questions that flow forth. It seems stockings with toes are ok too. Supper is reasonable as hospital food goes and I even have half of a ‘mother’s little helper’ tablet to take later this evening to lessen the nerves slightly.

Brace yourself for the ‘jokes/witticisms’ which Simon promises to furnish me with, which I shall duly pass on to you. Number one is at the top of the post. Groan! I bet you can’t wait…

Nil by mouth from midnight. Boxes all ticked; it’s simply a question of waiting until 14h00 tomorrow.

Off we go.



Hi, thanks for stopping by!

I’m Jill, a RHS gold medal winning English professional gardener, garden designer and landscaper living in South West France since 2012. This is a personal account of my gardening life, some of the jolly and occasionally not so jolly japes that ensued while working, that probably caused my subsequent back problems.

Let the posts
come to you.

Thanks for submitting!

  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
bottom of page