|Tenom Railway Station|
As for planes, that started in 1972 as a huge thrill and now it has become one big yawn, herded like cattle from one airpen to another.
Now, when you get to the autumn of your years, one's mobility is circumscribed not by distance but by the state of the knees, the back, the hips and umpteen other parts of the body. It is no more a question of traversing wild open spaces by trains or boats or planes. It has been reduced to modest little steps (with the aid of various thingamajigs like a Zimmer frame, walking sticks and a wheelchair) like hobbling from the bedroom to the bathroom, from upstairs to downstairs and vice versa. Little sorties to the kitchen for a cup of tea are such a treat.
And when you refuse to succumb to the impediments of a decrepit body and you make a dash-it-all traipse to the Park or the shops, then you deserve a pat on the back (Ouch!) even though you pay for it later with a pain that yells at you for being foolhardy.
But then you observe a friend like Loz, a few years younger than us, stuck in a wheelchair for the last 30 years. He never fails, whatever the season, to 'take a walk' to Victoria Park with his dog every morning. His gloves are worn from grasping and pushing the wheels of his wheelchair as he 'strides' to the Park. His dog doesn't need a leash. He knows how to walk at the same pace as his master on the pavement and when he gets to the Park, he goes hell-bent-for-leather for a good run, while Loz 'ambles' along the path in the Park. Looking at that dignified joy for life, why should we complain?
On June 12th, we take another plane trip to Kuala Lumpur. This time the spouse has a wheelchair - and this time he travels upmarket so that he can keep comfortably horizontal for most of the 16-hour journey. I shall keep a close eye on him from the other side of the partition to make sure he doesn't run around chasing the stewardesses!!
Just two days ago, Maria and son Ariff, Hidayah and hubby Faiz played musical chairs in the KL house. They have been shunting boxes of books, a huge bookcase, and a heavy metal 'treasure chest' to make room for a single bed in the Library - to make a day care room for Uncle Iain.
From here Unc can stagger along to make little forays into his garden, totter to the kitchen where he will brew loads of teh tarik for the young ones. Most of all, the cats .........
|Rusty and Socks|
|Professor Socks the academic reviewer|
|Comot the resident hedonist|
I cannot end this post without thanking with all our hearts Maria (orange top in the back row), Hidayah and Faiz ( the laden couple standing to the right) and little (?) Ariff ( in the greenish-blue t-shirt in the front row) for all the caring help and support. Bless your cotton socks!!
We will miss summer and our home in Leicester but it will be wonderful to get home too - on a plane and on the wings of a prayer.