Tuesday, December 21, 2021

Celebrating the winter solstice

French Village Diaries winter solstice family health
The sun on the winter solstice 2021

Winter solstice bike ride

We took ourselves out for an afternoon bike ride today, to enjoy the sunshine and celebrate the winter solstice. Sadly, we hadn’t gone far, when we hit a strong and freezing headwind that brought with it a thick mist, that obscured the sun once more. This is most definitely not our favourite time of year, but at least from today the nights will slowly begin to shorten and our daylight hours will increase.


French Village Diaries winter solstice family health
The last of the blue sky before the mist rolled in

This year seems to have been even more disruptive than last year, to what we’ve always considered normal. While some disruptions, like working at the library and Ed and Pearl moving in to a flat together, have been happy ones, some have not. The beginning of December saw Adrian spend a week in the cardiology intensive care unit of our local hospital. 


French Village Diaries winter solstice family health
Adrian's bed in intensive care

A normal Monday morning, with nothing of interest on the calendar, soon became quite a drama when his heart rate soared to 210bpm, and two three-person medical teams arrived at the door on blue lights. While one of the SAMU doctors hooked up an ECG, inserted a drip and monitored him closely, the other one looked through the last cardiology report I’d got out and was on the phone to the hospital. Our GP has always had him checked out regularly due to family heart history, but nothing has ever shown up as a problem.


His heart rate stabilised, but they took him in, and it wasn’t long before he messaged to say he’d be staying overnight. By nine o’clock the following morning his cardiologist was at his bedside doing an ultrasound and reviewing the ECG. While most tests were coming back ok, they still had no idea what had caused the initial problem and the overnight ECG had picked something up, so a transfer to the main hospital was arranged, as was an angiogram to check out his arteries. It was only after he arrived that he was informed it was the intensive care unit and he wasn’t permitted to leave his bed. Scary, but not quite as scary as when he was asked about his resuscitation wishes.


Visits hadn’t been allowed at the first clinic, but I was allowed to visit the intensive care unit each day, and I did. Until you are in a situation like this, you have no idea how important being there is, for both the patient and the family. The angiogram showed no problem with his arteries and an MRI two days later was also clear of any issues. The weather on the Friday was wild and wet, but I was one happy bunny driving home with him sat beside me. January will bring with it more cardiology appointments, but in the meantime, we’ve been told to continue as before and keep up the cycling.


I’m not sure where the rest of December has gone; one minute I was catching my breath and relieved to have Adrian back home, the next, the kitchen was full of bags and guitars as Ed is back for part of the Christmas holidays. We are hoping this mist will have lifted by Saturday so we can continue our Christmas Day bike ride and picnic tradition that we began in 2019.


French Village Diaries winter solstice family health
Wishing you a healthy Christmas from Jacqui and Adrian

I hope this update finds you all in good health and I wish you as happy a Christmas as Covid-19 will allow. Let’s hope 2022 brings good health, happiness, and new opportunities for us all. Stay safe. 


  1. Wow. I'm glad he's fully recovered and I hope you are too!

  2. I'm so grateful that Adrian is home and I hope that the new tests in 2022 will reveal a reason for this that can be easily and non-invasively managed. Meanwhile, celebrate that holiday with all the love and gratitude you have -- and I don't have to even say that; I know you will. Merriest to you.

  3. Glad to hear Adrian is home and feeling better. Wishing you a recuperative Christmas xxx

  4. So sorry to read the news about Adrian. It must have been a very scary time. Glad he is home and wishing you all the very best for a Merry Christmas and a Happy, Peaceful, and Healthy 2022

  5. Wishing you both a happy and medical emergency free Christmas xxxxx


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