(almost) Two Years On.


you know it’s been Nearly Two Years Ago since you-know-what-happened

hospitalbedwe took this picture as we walked very slowly out of the hospital room with BF helping us into his car – because we sort of wanted to remember what had just happened.

it’s Odd (many things are but this is odd in particular) – that we never named our thyroid.

we named the three tumo(u)rs: Tobias and his Sisters in case you’ve just joined us.

and we fretted about them a lot because they were said to have C powers (you can guess what that is) which is why we had to have an operation (and also because Tobias – the larger one – was pushing up against our main artery and if he had pushed a bit further – well – our head would have exploded – that’s a bit Dramatic – but apparently not far from the Truth).

in the end Tobias and his sisters didn’t have C powers.

which means that every time we tell the story (and we tell it less and less these days but we Assume we’ll be saying it more and more round about the time This comes Out and we talk to Lady Reporters and Gentlemen of the Fourth Estate – and we don’t mean that misguided one just outside Milton Keynes) and we get to the bit where we didn’t have C powers the face of the one listening sort of changes.

it’s imperceptible at first, but it’s the same face after a while so we got used to it – it goes from sad-loving-big-eye-look to slightly glazed over and they always follow it with a crisp, “But you’re allrightnow, yes?”

and as the conversation is clearly Over and we really ought to get back to discussing the weather/books/technology (depending on the country/virtual or otherwise they come from – we can happily do all three) we don’t get to say what we’d like (obviously we’re saying it Here so bless you for reading thus far):

how well do You think you’d function without Your thyroid and para-thyroid glands?

it’s sort of Rhetorical.

because until one Has (and know just a few people who Do) – it’s impossible to describe.

so we’re not even going to try.

at best, one feels a Tiny bit Cyborg (which we like) – having an essential organ replaced with (in our case chopped up bits from an animal’s organ) a daily pill that marches around our body and checks that the pituitary gland, hormones, metabolism and general-emotional-state is ticking over (sometimes it does the job Well – other times we’re reduced to the boudoir to wait for the endocrine storm to pass.)


books are Very helpful while waiting for the storm to settle in our body. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

especially when they are Very Deep in Thought themselves.

and then there’s the permanent scar.

which has definitely lessened over Time from caught-in-a-serrated-knife-fight-in-moscow to a “oh, i can barely see it!” (this is our Least favo(u)rite response btw, as the young people say) – we like what Tina said:

“Oh, I rather Like It”


so the other day, who-we-are-in-RL, was doing an Interview (she was the member of the Fourth Estate on this occasion) and instead of being allowed to call the Interview Subjects on the Princess Phone (much preferred – then one can wear a robe and no mascara and sort of look into space a lot while thinking), she was told she had to do it using Google Hangouts (this happens to be a Deeply Interesting Technology Piece which we will share with you in October when it comes out – as long as you can read Spanish, for it shall be Translated thus).

we like to be helpful.

so we re-arranged the furniture so we had a good Background for the “Google Hangout” video call and tried to Imagine that we were playing the part of Floyd in 2001: a space odyssey  placing his “video call”

13_dialling-numberand then people from all over the world (well, four people, two countries, three cities which is still Deeply impressive) logged in and who-we-are-in-RL started Asking the Interesting Questions while we arranged the pencils and made sure anything not Serious was kept Out of Shot.

while she was Doing the Interview, we took a screengrab from the Google Hangout to check that the background of pictures/articles-in-frames and inspirations looked nice.

which it did.


we think she looked rather sweet-serious actually (we suggested the blue shirt – it was sort of Androgynous and Tech-savvy with the glasses).

but it was only after that we looked at the dark shadow on the neck and thought, “Oh, right, the Scar.”hospitalbed

but all that’s behind us now (or at least left on a petri-dish-in-some-lab).

we must get ready and apply the mascara.

for we have been Invited To Tea over at George’s rooms (that’s what they used to say in Brideshead and George has as many books as Rooms in an Oxford College so feels appropriate somehow, plus he has a lovely set of Spode)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAit might seem strange to bring books to someone who has Lots but those are Exactly the sort of people who appreciate them.

here’s what We are reading now.


and if we get a chance tomorrow, we’ll tell you about Quintessence, the Fifth Element (not to be confused with that lovely Sci-Fi movie starring Mr. Willis).


two. years. on.

and (you know) still here (but bits of us are still missing).

medical leave day 13: german films in the dark cinema while waiting for our glands to grow back (and the Divine DV)

the doorbell rang – not early – but insistently and suddenly there was a very nice man from the FedEx company with a parcel (as you know we Love a Parcel).this was from the elegant, erudite and downright delicious ABM (who has the most flowing script and writes a Very Good Card).

Oh! quelle delight! the package contained the new book about DIANA VREELAND!

we left a croaky (a little more voice everyday) and highly emotional (this cannot come as a surprise to you darlings) voicemail on his machine (which we suppose is virtual these days) to say thank you and will be writing a lovely card (we bought some more from the stationery shop yesterday and love to post letters as you know #smallsimpletasks) first thing in the morning.



is truly divine.

we hung the red ribbon from ABM’s parcel in ceremony on the Scavullo portrait (not the original – alas – but a Very Nice Print – well-framed) of Diana Vreeland (on a vivid red mat, naturally) in our main room (we hesitate to call it sitting room as we don’t sit a lot – we lounge and living room sounds silly when one lives in such a small and yet lovely apartment – plus we “live” in all our rooms).

two lovely visits – earlier today Jonathan (took us for a stroll – a lot further than before and happily the rain had stopped as we walked through Washington Square) and, this evening, K took us to UPS to pick up some post that was too big for the mailbox or something of that sort or needed a signature we can’t recall – our mind is a whirl (we’re secretly reading the DV book as we type, looking left occasionally and turning a page – yes! the multi-tasking brain is Back!) and then we went to supper by candlelight very close to the house. it was All Too Much being out as we faded (hopefully gracefully) and came home.

and now – hours later, of course, we’re Wide Awake.

oh – we forgot to mention – on the way back from our walk (like a small black labrador) with our lovely companion Jonathan – we thought we’d see if we were strong enough for the cinema. in the mid-afternoon there are very few people about and we are a tiny bit bored of our apartment as you can imagine after 13 days and so we ventured in, telling ourselves we could always leave if it got too much (the cinema is one of four about three blocks from our place).

we stayed. and we’re so glad we did. we saw Drei (3) (a Foreign Film, yes – we do speak a tiny bit of german) and enjoyed it immensely. the ending was a bit ho-hum to be honest. but the whole effect was a beautiful portrait of three, entwined, 40 (?) somethings who were lost and found each other and then themselves. plus it was european so very duo-chrome and stark and east berlin style housing and vintage paperbacks with curious covers and good art director glasses and unkempt yet well-cut hair and Very Intelligent People. worth seeing.

sitting in the cool darkness of the cinema we had this sensation of our glands growing (because, as you probably recall, they were removed during the 5 hour surgery as they were twisted and sore and destroyed by our tumours/tumors/Tobias and his sisters). it was kinda nice. the idea that while we sat quietly in the dark. bits of us are growing back. and soothing and healing and getting ready for what’s next. whatever that is.

***we DID write to you this morning, darlings. but “something happened” with the laptop. we’re not sure what it was. but it was sort of magical and made us giggle. you see we woke up in something of a Fury. and we made a cup of coffee (after a Decent Interval post the pills we have to take) and we wrote (and Cried a Bit) and wrote and wrote – quite furiously – all about the glass closet and corporate america and homophobia and immigration and sexism and Getting To Be Too Much and What Happened When and there was even some dialogue (very carefully disguised as to Person and Place) and our reaction and their lack of it and there was more. Lots More. and we took a deep breath and felt Very Proud for being all Out There (ahem) and revealing and So There and we PRESSED SEND and went off to run a bubble bath and listen to Radio 4………..

and when we got back there was an error message. the Post had not been Posted.

fancy that.

sometimes darling one Has to Say Something. But the world doesn’t necessarily Have To Read It.

too funny.

it’s never happened before.

we are protected by angels.

we went to Hell. And made it back

Oh dear god(s).

That was a trip to Hell and no mistake.

But we made it back. And will be recovering slowly over the next few weeks.

Tobias the tumour/tumor and his sisters are gone. There were complications (skip this bit if you’re squeamish) and we were under the knife for almost five hours while they removed glands and thyroid and tumors and glands twisted around tumors and worse. We can feel it. A deep intense pain.

Last night was the longest night of team gloria’s life (and if you’ve been with us for a while you know that we’ve endured and survived long-haul and subsequent jet lag to asia and back but this was Much Worse). Each hour was agony. And so cruel.

Plus side (we needed to find one) – the view from our hospital bed is ten floors up and rather twinkly manhattan and a rosy dawn this morning so that’s nice.

And the robe for surgery was a lovely lilac (so surprising!) with some cool tech inside which enabled our body to stay alive and warm during surgery.

We are not bombed on narcotics – refused all – going with (huge strength) tylenol and now off the UV drip and reading a little but mostly listening to The Archers podcast for dreams of an english countryside while blocking out our awful staggered heavy breathing from the tortuous bandage around our neck (which is a hell of a lot better than the surgical collar with – YUM – a blood drain – which we had all last night.

So – this bit is over.

They couldn’t tell if the tumors were blessed with C powers so they been frozen and sent to the Lab to be sliced and examined by people with large Lab glasses and Big Brains.

We’ll let you know.

Need to sleep again now.

Thanks so much for all the messages!!!!! We feel very loved.

And that really helps :)