Greetings from sunny Somerset. And indeed as I look through my French doors it is indeed a sunny spring day, trees are coming out into leaf, the rabbits are playing across the garden greens and the dozen or so species of birds are making all the necessary preparations for nesting and breeding. What a joy it is to be able to see the new season unfold before my very eyes.

I was sad to see Peta and the boys return to Scotland yesterday after a fortnight with us. Certainly Fiona must have found the house a very different place following all the family comings and goings. However the Scottish contingent will hopefully be visiting us again in a few short weeks – meanwhile this weekend sister Lizzie with Gerry and also Martin and Smita will again be staying at Dunpreachin over the weekend. And of course I am looking forward to seeing them.

As a matter of fact I did extremely well yesterday (Wednesday) for visitors. The first to pop his head around the door was my dear and respected colleague and friend The Venerable John Green, Chaplain of the Fleet. Fr John spent a generous two hours plus with me and we had a wonderful time together. The second visitor, good old reliable Paul Whyte – what a damned good pal he has been and I shall be sad to see him to go back to sea in a week or so. Then a rose amongst the thorns! Our lovely neighbour, Julie Haggo, who coped magnificently with being surrounded by all these high-powered men - because the next visitor, a dear and trusted chum, was Cdre Bob Thornton. Finally, but by no means least Fr Rodney Scofield, who brought me the Sacraments and who kindly included all my other visitors in the bedside service. Later in the afternoon is was Fiona’s turn and it was great to have some time alone together.

Medically not much has changed. Sleeping well. Eating well. And, mercifully, free from pain. My worst problem often is not being able to get comfortable. Yesterday for example I was perfectly happy in my recliner chair for hours but today no joy – ho hum!!

Finally many thanks for cards, messages and letters received (special mention to Heather). May I please remind you if you wish to visit please book a slot with Fiona first.