No separation anxiety so far. Dusty, however, is keeping vigil by a Lilyless bed. She looks at me furtively as I emerge from my room. Does that mean she has left me a nasty surprise downstairs? Or that she feels she shouldn't be up there without the excuse of Lily to protect? I descend the spiral stairs. Dusty stretches - first the cobra, then the downward dog, just like the old, pre-arthritic/pre-stroke days - and follows gingerly.
'Well done, Dusty. Good control!' I commend her on her steady descent.
Start again with the Endocrine Mending capsules. Forgot to take them on our mini-break, so today is another Test Day.
It's quiet, without Lily.
We take a slow walk to the top of the hill, loitering a while to savour our surroundings. Up here, I can see in every direction. The harvest is in, the land stripped to flaxen stubble. A few straw towers mark the skyline. I take a deep breath. Now Lily's back at school, I can set about getting a job in earnest. Fill my days productively.
An unearthly grunty-shriek interrupts my reverie. Oh God! It's the pig-shagging season. Three of them are lined up. They're as bad as that film I watched last night about the brittle, unstable Barbara Baekeland (Julianne Moore) and her poor, doomed son Antony, where the two of them end up in bed with Hugh Dancy in the middle.
Before scouring the Candlebury Advertiser, two important things to get underway now that I'm not micro-managing Lily:
1. Home-highlights to get me through the dull autumn, as advocated by Meredith
2. Natural gallstone and liver flush, as advocated by marvellous natural health site ('the most simple way to start curing acne, high cholesterol, eczema, psoriasis, asthma, allergies, gallstones, food intolerance, shoulder pain, abdominal pain, upper back pain, arm pain, gallstones attack, liver pain, gallbladder pain, hypertension, cardiovascular diseases, heartburn, bloating, inflammatory bowel disease IBD, IBS, colitis, constipation, cancer, AIDS, MS, FMS, MSC, CFIDS/CFS, Parkinson's, Alzheimer's disease, epilepsy, seizures, osteoporosis, angina pectoris...' )
Oh God! I look like a tiger. Meredith promised that natural mouse would go natural blond. I apply more blue foam to the dark stripes. Five minutes. Ten. Quick, wash it off. Oh God! Now I have a full head of tarnished sunshine orange. I look like the brassiest of bottle blondes. All chances of job in smart professional office dashed. Will have to wear hat until it grows out.
Oh God. Forgotten to take my Endocrine Menders again. However, I'm all set to flush. I've not eaten until 2pm. Now I'm ready to start drinking the apple juice. Better just check that gallstone flush website again. Can't quite remember the timing.
1. For the first five days, drink at least four glasses of apple juice every day. Apple juice softens the gallstones. During the five days, eat normally.
2. On the sixth day, take no dinner (eat breakfast and lunch as normal).
3. At , take a teaspoon of Epsom salt (magnesium sulphate) with a glass of warm water.
4. At , repeat the same. Epsom salt or magnesium sulphate opens the gallbladder ducts.
5. At , take half cup olive oil with half cup fresh lemon juice. Mix it well and drink it. The oil lubricates the stones to ease their passage.
6. After this, sleep or at least lie down and rest. Do not engage in physical activity.
The next morning, you will find green stones in your stools.
Damn! You're meant to not eat after 2pm, not before 2pm. Plus I haven't got any Epsom salts. Plus I haven't been drinking apple juice for five days. OK. Flush is on hold. Will just watch this video explaining the process.