Last Tuesday was to have been our Fun Day in London. We were going to the National Gallery and then to the theatre. Around 8am, chatting to me over his first cup of coffee, Mr F gave me a look I can only describe as baffled terror. He then turned away from me very slowly, anti-clockwise, raised his arm as though making an elegant Tai Chi movement and began a grand mal seizure. I broke his fall. Nothing heroic. I just couldn’t get out of the way.
In typical Fitzpatrick style he regained consciousness as the paramedics thundered into our friend’s apartment, sat up, opened his eyes and said, ‘What the ****!?’
He underwent brain surgery on Wednesday, resumed his customary bellyaching, sneering and Bronx-speed witticisms by Thursday and on Friday suffered another grand mal. His timing, I have to say, has been brilliant. Not only did he collapse practically on the doorstep of a major London teaching hospital, his recuperation schedule dictates that he won’t be fit enough to return with me to Italy to pack up our stuff and move to Ireland. And that means no arguments, no boxes huffily repacked, no recriminations about the fact that we own three rotary whisks and several thousand foreign language editions of the works of Laurie Graham.
He’s doing okay,readers, but we’re paddling for the shore.