Hazel to Nell Balcombe on July 3, 1993

The fourth of a batch of eleven letters taken from Hazel's laptop.

2189 Sharon Road
Menlo Park
California 94025

3 July 1993

Dear Nell,

Thank you for your two letters. I was sorry to hear about your knee problems. A perforated vein sounds painful and I'm surprised that the only treatment is to wear a surgical stocking. What does the pain signify when you feel it? that the area is becoming swollen? and therefore you should rest it? Does the surgical stocking keep it in check? My mother complained of swollen legs recently. She apparently suffered severe pain in her leg which was diagnosed as sciatica and responded to treatment as such. Then she had swelling in one leg then both legs. She, like you, was given elastic stockings to wear and for a few weeks one leg was normal and the other swollen until that swelling also subsided. My mother has always had extremely skinny legs and she took the amused view that her legs looked better swollen. Unfortunately, she doesn't seem to have any understanding of why it happened. I will have to ask her if anyone mentioned the possibility of clots or perforated veins to her.

I have heard nothing further from Ruth and I am beginning to think that she won't be able to make it here before we leave. I had encouraged her to come in July rather than August because we were uncertain when we were leaving etc., and I would have expected to have heard something by now. I sent her a card as a gentle reminder but of course it will take a long time to reach her. My sister is coming on 27 July for a couple of weeks -- she can't bear the thought of the trip to Australia to see us so she's taking advantage of our American proximity. If Ruth makes it, we'll give you a ring.

Just before Rob departed for Greece, we went sailing for a few days in what they confusingly call the Channel Isles offshore from Los Angeles which is due south of where we live. An old friend from Arizona and another couple from Arizona and Rob, I & kids took a 37-foot yacht out and slept on board. J & Z had to get used to wearing life jackets but my fears of losing one or other over board came to nothing mainly because there was very little wind. This was unseasonal but in any case it was very pleasant. Rob thoroughly enjoyed himself in Greece and managed to fit in a few days in the UK (London, Cheltenham and Oxford) on the way back. Judging by the photos, one would have to have taken leave of one's senses not to enjoy Greece. I don't think that I would be content to go just for a week though -- it would take a week for me to get over jet lag.

I am writing this on my new laptop computer: it's called a PowerBook. As a past victim of my untamed handwriting, I'm sure you'll approve. At the moment we have no printer: Rob prints out my work on his office printer. We have ordered one which will make life a lot easier. We had to install a security password on the computer to prevent Joshua repeating his earlier success at fouling up the works of the computer. Already Zoë is insisting on wearing my clothes (despite the huge disparity in sizes) my make-up and my jewellery and now Joshua usurps my computer. I'm fast becoming disenfranchised. The major problem facing us at the moment is kindergarten for Joshua and Zoë when we return. They all have waiting lists and so far the response to our letters has been disappointing. Something will sort itself out I'm sure. Anyway I better close for now and get this off to you or rather get Rob to take it to the office to print it out so that I can get it off to you ...........

Take care, don't strain that knee, and see you soon.

Last Updated 10 December 2000