I physically spend most of my time in my room. To make it interesting I have put all sorts of pictures up on the walls, and some mobile birds and another artistic mobile on the ceiling.
My bed is by the wall and so, near it, I have put some personal pictures of grandchildren, friends, family and other special things like a picture of my decorated toes which were a Christmas card, photos of Singleton, the Alvis, my father’s desk and Rodin’s “Hands”; also there are paintings by my nephews and nieces, and the whiteboard which tells me what I’m doing every day of the week.
Beyond the end of my bed there is a picture of my mother holding me and Jessica when we were babies, and there is a large montage that my parents made of all four of us when we were children. Beyond that is the picture that my mother gave me of “David” from the Sistine Chapel. Nearest to me is a sonnet, Nuns Fret Not, by Wordsworth which I enjoy reading while I’m turned onto my side when the nurse deals with my sore. The line which most resonates with me is “The prison unto which we doom ourselves, no prison is”; that is my way of looking at my illness on good days.
On the opposite wall there are pictures of my four sons as children, and one of them as adults when we went to the Isles of Scilly. There is a large painting of our entire family, and a Kandinsky poster that one of my sons gave me. My grandmother’s yellow hand-mirror has been mounted and framed and hangs on the wall. There are a few other things on this wall including my own painting of a seascape.
Opposite the foot of my bed I can see the ladybird and the red dragon-like animal that take me back to times when Barnaby and Henry were babies. Facing me is Henry’s “Ugly Duckling”, a photo of Rock, and the painting I did when I was about six, of “Golliwogs Skiing” which my father framed. Below them is the television that I watch most evenings; it stands on a wooden piece of furniture which was my dressing-table when I was a girl. On the table with the telly I have a radio, DVD player and a laptop. To the right of the table is the door, and, above it, a picture that Jonathan made.
Besides these wall-fittings there is a chest of drawers from my home, covered with vases of flowers that friends have brought, a pile of clothes hanging on the back of the door; my wheelchair, more photographs on the mantelpiece above a radiator, a telephone Adrian had put in, and a chair whose tapestry seat was sewn by my father. Across from where I sleep there is a sink next to a window; the window is behind me so I don’t really see out of it but I hear people walking along the path outside.
Most of the carers care very well for me and the food is quite good. What keeps me stimulated is the regular visits of my friends; someone called them an “army of friends”. Occasionally Adrian or my friends will take me out so I get a break from these four walls.