Firstly, my apologies for any unanswered mail, or unacknowledged comments.

I have been in hospital since December 22, when I suffered a severe attack of pancreatitis, a truly agonising experience. I spent ten days in the local hospital in Gueret, and, the pain gone, and eating normally, I returned home, but sadly, the following day, suffered another attack, this time even more severe. I returned to hospital in Gueret, but after some days I was transferred to the intensive care unit of the University Hospital in Limoges.

Here it was found that I also had septacaemia, and I went into a state of septic shock. I was in a coma, and at this point it was not certain that I would survive. The children were duly sent for from England, to say farewell in case I didn’t make it, although I knew nothing of this until later. Thanks to the fantastic level of skill and dedication of the clinical staff, I did survive, although I was unconcious for almost two weeks.

I won’t bore you with subsequent events, which included some pretty drastic surgery, sufficient to say that I’m slowly recovering, still very weak, but feeling a little more optimistic, this is the first time I’ve felt like concentrating enough to type this message!

None of this would have been possible without this wonderful hospital - everyone, without exception, has been kind and sympathetic, as well as so very competent, they have saved my life, and I am immensely grateful to all of them. Quite a humbling feeling to say to someone “Thank you for saving my life”, and really mean it!

Clearly, it’s going to be a while before I can do any photography, but there are many photos in the archives that have never appeared on the internet, so I’ll search out a few of the more interesting ones, and post those, just to keep my hand in!

Best, Mike