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‘The world’s scruffiest man died today. His body is lying in a state.’

View from my window this morning. It’s a frosty but gloriously bright start to this day that will hopefully change my life for the better.

Simon’s latest offering between the header and photo.

Ten o clock in the morning. Still four hours to go. I’m gasping for a drink of water but not allowed. Why is thirst so much worse when you know you can’t have a drink?

Simon wanders off site to find some breakfast and as I watch him walk away from the hospital the nerves are really starting to kick in. He photographs his food and sends it over to me. I respond with a very unladylike reply with four letters and beginning with C.

Adrenalin is coursing through my arms, prickling to the end of my finger tips. I repeat over and over to myself, ‘It’s normal to be nervous. They are the experts amd they will do a great job’.

The surgeon popped in yesterday evening at 22.15 to check all was well. It strikes me that surgeons are like policemen. All looking fearfully young nowadays.

So many lovely people, known and unknown to me are sending best wishes and I thank you all for that. Even a lady who is having exactly the same procedure today as well - bonne courage Kim.

I’m very lucky that this is elective surgery and I don’t have a life threatening condition. It’s debilitating yes, but there are others who have no choice and their life entirely depends on their particular surgery.

I remind myself to be thankful for everything in my body that still works well and hope it sets me in good stead for a speedy recovery.

‘It’s normal to be nervous. They are the experts and they will do a great job.’

So much activity in the corridors outside. Meds trolleys, cleaners, porters with beds. It’s non stop and I’m relieved to have a room to myself where I can try and be calm.

‘It’s normal to be nervous. They are the experts amd they will do a great job.’

Yesterday was a first. A nurse shaved my back. Very strange experience as hirsutism is not something I suffer from.

One Betadine shower down, and another to go in an hour or so’s time. Top to toe scrubbing, hair included, every conceivable nook and cranny lathered and scrubbed until sparklingly and squeaky clean. Rinse and repeat again very soon.

Then on with the lovely stockings and gown and I’ll be off.

As it’s St Valentine’s Day and I’m going nowhere romantic, I have to thank Simon for everything, but most of all for being my husband. I love you and all our three wonderful children totally. Picture above is of one of the very best days of my life which was last summer. I was never happier than that day to have so many people around that I love so dearly.

‘It’s normal to be nervous. They are the experts and they will do a great job.’

See you on the other side.


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.

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