Saturday, 29 January 2011

temptations, twinges and a baby step forward

Last Saturday was supposed to be a mixture of culture and socializing.  However, we succumbed to the temptation of lingering over a long lunch at the Ashmolean Museum with Anne, Colin and Ruth and didn't leave ourselves enough time to do the culture bit before leaving to prepare the evening meal for everyone at our house.  No matter. It was a good excuse to pay a return visit this weekend with our son Jack, back in Oxford for a flying visit to various galleries, and to return to the Ashmolean for tea this time!

In between the two Saturdays, Steve has noticed some twinges on his right side in the area around the "ports" where the chest drain and camera were inserted for the pleural effusion operation, back in June 2009. Perhaps twinges is too strong a word. It's more a matter of being aware of his chest, whereas in the normal course of events it's not something he gives much thought to. One of the problems with mesothelioma is that you think that every twinge, however small, may be the start of a flare up; that thought alone can magnify the significance of the feeling and enlarge it out of all proportion.  

However, as the week has worn on, the chest awareness has worn off.  So may be the twinge was a bit of RSI brought on by all the work he's been doing on the computer, updating the Oxford Studio website.  Please don't bother looking now!  The update is still a work in progress designed to move away from the emphasis on botanical photography and reflect a wider range of work due to be exhibited in March and featured in a photographic magazine due to be published around the same time.  More of that exciting news in a future post!  

Not long ago, I mentioned how our "planning" horizons have shrunk - we tend not to make commitments beyond the date of Steve's next assessment, just in case....However, we have been tempted to look a bit further ahead recently, making arrangements for social get-togethers in late March/early April, a few weeks after Steve's next hospital assessment.  And we have both applied for Associate level RPS distinctions, with a photographic assessment in mid-June.  It feels just a little bit like we are tempting fate, but to do otherwise would be so limiting.

The baby step referred to in the title of today's blog isn't a new member of the Wride clan!  It relates to Steve's damages claim. The case management conference took place in court on Friday. Steve's presence was not required, so we had to wait to find out what happened. A short e-mail from Steve's solicitor advises that the presiding judge has reserved the case to deal with himself. That sounds promising, even though we don't know the significance.... The judge has also allowed "inspection".  I assume that means he has agreed our team's request to test further samples from the building where we think Steve was exposed to asbestos.  However, it might be a legal term with a completely different meaning!  All will become clear, I hope, when we receive a full note of "the directions" from our barrister, which the solicitor will pass on when available.  

Last but not least, if you yourself have children, are a teacher or a member of support staff in a UK school (or know someone who is), you might like to check out the Asbestos in Schools website (link on the right).  The site is a mine of useful information, research, reports and intelligent commentary on Government policy relating to the management of asbestos in UK schools. Such information is a powerful tool, which I truly hope you will never need to use.

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