Sunday, December 18, 2022


The cats are relentless in their pursuit of the rat that has gotten into the house. I hate that it is here but, at the same time, it is doing me no harm. I saw him a few times yesterday and tried to catch him with my bat net but failed. He’s. kind of cute, really, and he looks clean and harmless. This morning, the cats bear no evidence of hearing or smelling him.

Saturday began slowly. I tidied up the place—I have lots of leftover pizza. And I read a bit with Guido, and then Her Highness and I went for a nice walk under bright skies and in cool sharp Winter air. Then we came home, me to read and HH to warm up and nap. In the afternoon, another outdoor adventure. HH and I played chase the ball. It’s the only activity that makes her whimper with anticipation when we arrive at the park. She is an assertive, type A, dominant bitch.

The evening was intense. I went to call Sheba onto the couch but couldn’t make a sound. I felt like I might explode. I don’t know how to describe how I felt, but it was an intense feeling. I have never, before, been unable to talk to my pets. I’m on vocal lockdown. But what’s different, this time with a flare up of my condition, I just don’t care. I’ll ride it out and carry on.

 I had my first dream in which I have a speech disorder. I’m in my sixth year with a severe condition. When I moved to Nice, I reckon my first dream in French was maybe seven, eight months after my move. I feel well adjusted to my condition now. As I wrote, I’m not freaking out at this flare up. What I’m proudest of, however, is a recent insight.

I walk around a live my life easily. I can speak with some clerks and salesclerks, but not all, but speech is very hard, and often impossible, off island and all the rest of the world. I’m certain that my brain accepts my life as safe in these routine places that I go. I do almost all my shopping at Nesters. I got there five days a week. Even there, I have trouble speaking with clerks on half of the days. The other days, I am fluent.

I don’t walk around expecting to have speech problems. Around here, in my neighbourhood and friends on the island, I am fluent. Just not with the clerks. My tendency is to tense up and try to force speech. But no more. Now, I square my shoulders and drop them, I relax and then I try to speak calmly, and it works. I speak better. I’ve learned to relax instead of tensing up. How Zen of me, eh? I’ve learned that on my own, and that’s means more to me than anything I do at the clinic.

This morning there’s been a very light dusting of snow, and it was cold this morning in the house. It’s Sunday, the big community dog walk day, so HH and I will go on a good long walk with lots of friends and lots of dogs walking through the trails. I love all the dogs. And when I come home: more leftover pizza, more Guido and a Zoom call with theatre friends.

My speech is back this morning. I can talk to the animals after a good sound sleep.

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