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A very belated Happy New Year! And humble apologies for the two months’ silence since my last blog post. In my defence I can only cite pressures of work at the end of last year and the knowledge that I finally had a date for my knee operation on Christmas Eve. That kind of deadline tends to make you concentrate on the work on the table, in the knowledge that you’ll be out of action for quite some time…. Those of you who’ve been following my knee saga will be aware that I ruptured my anterior cruciate ligament skiing last March and have been waiting for a date for an operation to reconstruct the ligament ever since. When they told me in November (when I’d initially been informed the op was due to happen in line with a 6-month NHS waiting list) that the op would now be Easter, I’m afraid I threw all my toys out of the pram – which at least had the upshot that they offered me an appointment on Christmas Eve. Most people seemed horrified at the prospect of going into hospital the day before Christmas, but actually I’d reached the stage that ANYTHING was better than another 4 months of treading water. As a gardener, an Easter op would not only have wiped out any prospect of getting back to sport next year, but would also have left me unable to do anything in the garden or my allotment for most of the season. No way, José.

And so it was. Despite my fears of the op being cancelled at the last minute, it all went ahead – like clockwork, in fact. The staff at Maidstone Hospital were efficiency personified and I was back at my son’s house in time for a welcome cup of tea and Stollen later that afternoon. I was intending to spend Christmas with my son and the rest of the family in any event, so it was an ideal time to recuperate, with no-one having to take time off work or re-arrange things on my account. Instead I was able to sit in state with my knee raised, ice pack in place, religiously doing my thrice-daily physio exercises, while everyone else cooked, walked the dogs and waited on me hand and foot – a very novel experience! Slowly but surely I’ve been feeling stronger, returning home on New Year’s Day, when my younger son and daughter-in-law fortuitously returned from their world travels in perfect time to pick up the care relay. Now they are on dog-walking duties until I’m back in action fully – and of course it’s lovely to catch up with them after their prolonged absence and before they head off to the US permanently in a month’s time.

I’m now walking (albeit carefully!) without crutches and am feeling stronger every day. My consultant doesn’t believe in leg braces, preferring to allow people to gradually move the joint as they are able, aided by judicious use of physio – and so far, so good. I feel much more mobile now than when I injured my knee in the first place, and look forward to making a full recovery in 9-12 months’ time. So relieved to be on the other side of the operation and on the upwards curve at last….

poppy and me recuperating after knee op

All in all, I was pretty glad to see the back of 2018, not a good year for me in so many ways. With the notable exceptions of my younger son’s wedding in London at the end of July, and our trip to the States for the US wedding party in Ohio in September, oh and a great trip to Berlin back in May to attend the Translate Better workshop, it was a pretty tough year for me. Not only did I have health issues, but my 13-year-old dog was also very ill in the latter part of the year, being diagnosed with vestibular disease. I’m pleased to say that she’s continued the good progress she was making last time I wrote about it, and has also been boosted by the return of the remaining members of her pack – they were also extremely pleased to see her, as it had looked as though she wouldn’t make it at one point.

poppy and leo jan 2019

After one of those years, it’s always a relief to turn the corner into a new year and I’m optimistic that things will finally be on the up. I received notification just before Christmas that I’d been successful in a tender for a major new client, and I certainly had a very busy December after a couple of slow spells earlier in the year. The Brexit uncertainty drags on, of course, but I’m still holding onto a little thread of hope that it won’t all go through in the end. I’ve just ordered a new laptop as, after 5 years, the keyboard on my old one was sticking annoyingly, making it impossible to type even as much as a tweet without very thorough proof-reading! I’m also finally considering investing in a new version of Dragon, as my ancient Version 12 freezes whenever I try and open a pdf file at the same time and won’t work again until I reboot the computer – most frustrating! I also haven’t been able to install the latest version of Trados (2019), despite being given a free version, because even Trados 2017 SR1 slowed Dragon down to a snail’s pace. Time to get back up-to-date, I think – I only hope it works as well as my old version with dictating Trados commands – I’ll report back in due course.


As for resolutions, I’m not daring to stick my neck out with anything specific this year. A better year healthwise than last year would be good. I’m going to try and get more sleep (a perennial new year’s resolution for me!), by going to bed earlier and not reading into the small hours (always my downfall…). I’m hoping to be back to yoga, dance and tennis/badminton at some point over the course of the year, even if skiing may have to wait for 2020. And I’m really looking forward to becoming a grandmother in April, and perhaps cutting down on work a little when my mortgage is paid off later this year to spend more time with family and friends. With my younger son moving to Boston, I need to allow time for a few transatlantic trips too!

Wishing all my colleagues a very happy, prosperous and enjoyable 2019 – may it be everything you’re hoping for.

christmas walk 2019 without me