Life is life

My main man from Scarborough (and outskirts!),

Attached you will find another stack of pages. My apologies for the slow progress on proofreading your manuscript. There are various reasons for that…

Talking about your cancer treatment for instance…
I probably told you that Maria´s daughter, who´s living in England, is also undergoing cancer treatment, since a bit less than a year. Having come to terms with all that (´Shit happens!´ as they say so poetically in America) we still had a bit (the understatement of the year) of a scare when she turned up on our doorstep a fortnight ago with her hubby Colin, as she has grown a hunchback. Apparently the cancer, that started out as breast cancer, had already reached her spine before she commenced treatment.
Lúcia used to be half a head taller than her Colin. Now he is the taller one. Maria and I talk to her every week, through FaceTime, but the hunchback we had not noticed.
But, the way she handles her situation… in one word: formidable!
In the years that she lived with us I tried to talk her out of her pessimistic attitude towards life. Can you imagine? Me? Not exactly Mr. Optimist by nature, am I now. 
Well, Lúcia has become another woman since she is living in the UK. ´Don´t worry, mum! Everything will be all right!´ And Colin is her rock. I have a huge respect for the way he supports her. Especially since he lost his second wife to cancer.

But, hey, let´s talk about fun things – like Brexit for instance. What a laugh, eh!

They left this afternoon, by the way, Lucy and Colin. A couple of British friends from Andalucía picked them up, with whom they are going to spend some – hopefully pleasant – days touring the Alentejo. Saturday they fly home again, back to the UK. 

Another reason for my slow progress is… work. Not that I have any – don´t get me wrong! If that were the case I would have plenty of time on my hands. But, as you may know, trying to get work is even more time-consuming than work itself. I don´t actually know what I am doing wrong, mind you. Selling things has never been my forte – that I know. So, picture me selling myself – or rather, my qualities as a translator. No way, José
My mother used to feel that me being my laid-back self was a good thing. But I fear she was wrong. I believe you need to be able to be as people want you to be. It seems I am lacking that talent… so far. I plan to work on that, however.
Moreover, I get the feeling people tend to grow very suspicious when I tell them that apart from being bilingual (Frisian and Dutch) I am also able to keep up quite handsomely with English and Portuguese. ´Yeah, right, pull my other leg!´ Oh, well!

I cannot believe that you could not get your mind around my ´brick wall´ metaphor, mate.
Still, I am pretty sure I was not the only youngster that used to get himself caught up in dreams and fantasies about the future, until suddenly, some fateful day, someone or something blocked the way…
Now, who might you be?
´Me, my friend, I am Reality!´
Well, call it whatever you like, Arthur – to me it felt like running into a brick wall. Maybe you yourself are still in the process of shifting to a higher gear. What do I know?

By the way, did I tell you about the operation I had last October?I have an artificial knee now. Turns out I did not need one in the first place – another knee, I mean. That is, had they noticed two years ago in the ER of the hospital in Beja that the patellar ligament had been completely torn, and done something about it. Nothing to be done anymore now. Oh, well! There´s no use crying over spilt milk, is there.But maybe I´m repeating myself… I forgot. It happens. 

Love to you and Sue from,
Jaap and Maria

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