I tried to phone John a few times yesterday to wish him a happy birthday but couldn't get through. So it was something of a relief to chat to him earlier this evening. He's reached the grand and unlikely old age of eighty and you always wonder if there's something wrong when you phone people of that vintage and get no reply.
In fact, all the news at that end sounds good. Maureen had been having a lot of trouble with her eyes, on top of her other problems, but it seems there's good progress on that front. Back in December it looked as if everything was going depressingly downhill in a hurry on Lord Derby Road. A change of direction for the better is deeply unexpected and deeply satisfying.