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Snippet #7 (if I have it right)

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Snippet #7 (if I have it right)
Post by runsforcelery   » Fri Sep 16, 2016 2:54 pm

runsforcelery
First Space Lord

Posts: 2425
Joined: Sun Aug 09, 2009 10:39 am
Location: South Carolina

Guys —

If you hop over to the Honorverse, you'll find a post which explains why I've been off the forums for the last little bit. (That's not the title of the thread; I simply posted to the one about dead planets and included my explanation in that post.) Most of its work, but there are a couple of health issues involved, as well. I'm giving you a fairly long snippet this time, and I hope to be posting more in the coming weeks. I can't promise, given what's likely to happen to my schedule. But since the book is coming out in November, I can give you these long ones (when I'm here) without worrying about using up "too much" of the book before it becomes available.
______________________________________________________________

“There’s no need for this sort of nonsense when no one else is looking, Lywys,” Maik scolded. “Sit back down — immediately!”

“Aye, aye, My Lord.” Thirsk’s smile broadened, but he obeyed the prelate’s command, settling back into his chair with a slight sigh of relief he couldn’t quite suppress. Maik heard it, and shook his head.

“All silliness about formal greetings aside, you shouldn’t push yourself this hard,” he said seriously, brown eyes dark with a very personal concern. “Langhorne knows you’ve been through enough — lost enough — for three men!”

“Others have lost their families,” Thirsk replied, his smile vanishing. “And others have been ‘through’ quite a lot since the Jihad began.”

“Of course they have.” Maik’s hair gleamed like true silver in the lamplight as he shook his head, and his expression tightened. “But I’ve seen and shared more of what you’ve been through. And try though I might, I can’t avoid the thought that God’s asked too much of you.”

“I don’t think so, My Lord.”

There was a curious tranquility in Thirsk’s tone, and he leaned back in his chair, his good hand waving for Sahbrahan to leave. The valet withdrew, closing the door behind him, and it was the earl’s turn to shake his head.

“Men can ask too much of someone,” he said. “And sometimes Mother Church — or the men who serve her, at least — can do the same. But God and the Archangels?” It was his turn to shake his head. “We owe them all we are or can ever hope to be. How can they possibly ask ‘too much’ of us?”

The bishop sat back in his own chair, his eyes narrowing, and frowned.

“I’ve known you and worked with you for several years now, Lywys,” he said slowly. “I think I’ve come to know you fairly well during that time.”

“I’d agree with that,” Thirsk conceded.

“On the basis of how well I’ve come to know you, I think you just chose your words very carefully.”

“Because I did.” Thirsk’s good hand pointed at the whiskey decanter and glasses on the small table at the bishop’s elbow. “Would you pour for us, My Lord?” He smiled thinly. “It’s Glynfych . . . from Chisholm.”

“Is it?” Maik smiled slightly as he unstoppered the decanter and poured the amber liquid into the glasses. “I’m sure the bottle was imported long before the Grand Inquisitor prohibited any trade with Chisholm.”

“Oh, of course!”

Thirsk accepted his glass and the bishop re-seated himself and sipped appreciatively. Yet his eyes never left the earl’s face, and a subtle tension hummed in the modest-sized, book-lined room. The coal fire crackling on the hearth seemed unnaturally loud in the stillness, and Thirsk allowed that stillness to linger as he took a slow, deliberate swallow of his own whiskey and wondered if he was right about the man sitting across from him. He hoped he was. He believed he was. But he also knew Staiphan Maik had been handpicked by Wyllym Rayno and Zhaspahr Clyntahn for his present assignment because of how implicitly they’d trusted his judgment and his devotion to Mother Church.

Of course, there’s just a tiny difference between devotion to Mother Church and devotion to Zhaspahr Clyntahn, now isn’t there? Thirsk thought. And time and experience have a habit of changing a man’s opinions, if his heart’s good and his brain works.

The library was smaller than his formal study, and it was also an interior room with no windows, although it was well illuminated in daylight by an extensive, domed skylight. Its size and internal location meant it tended to stay warmer this time of year, despite the skylight’s expanse of glass, but warmth wasn’t the primary reason he’d invited the Royal Dohlaran Navy’s intendant to join him here. The lack of windows, and the fact that no one could enter it — or eavesdrop upon any conversation within it — without first getting past Sahbrahan and Sir Ahbail Bahrdailahn, Thirsk’s flag lieutenant, were far more pertinent at the moment.

“I’m pleased to see you looking so well. Relatively speaking of course,” Maik said into the stillness. “I was . . . concerned about what I was hearing.”

“You mean you’d heard I was doing my best to drink myself to death.” Thirsk shook his head and waved the glass in his hand as Maik started to protest. “I’m sure that’s what you heard, My Lord, since it’s exactly what I was trying to do.”

The bishop closed his mouth, and the earl chuckled softly. There was very little humor in the sound.

“I’m afraid I’d come to the same conclusion you had, My Lord — that too much had been asked of me. I just didn’t think it was God or the Archangels who’d done the asking.”

The humming tension intensified suddenly, and Maik settled slowly back into his chair.

“That’s . . . a very interesting statement,” he said at last.

“I doubt somehow that it comes as a total surprise to you, My Lord. I remember the day you mentioned the sixth chapter of the Book of Bédard to me. I’d come to the conclusion that I’d waited too long to comply with the Holy Bédard’s commands in that chapter.”

“That was scarcely your fault, Lywys,” the bishop said quietly.

“Perhaps not.” Thirsk sipped more whiskey and gazed down into his glass. “No, definitely not — you’re right about that. But the fact that it wasn’t my fault doesn’t change the fact that seeing my family into a place of safety was my responsibility. And now that that’s . . . no longer a factor, I’ve been forced to reconsider all of my other responsibilities, both as the senior officer of His Majesty’s Navy and —” his eyes lifted suddenly, stabbing into his intendant’s “— as a son of Mother Church.”

“Have you, my son?” Staiphan Maik asked very softly.

“Yes, I have.” Thirsk’s eyes held the bishop’s gaze very, very levelly. “And the true reason I invited you here today, My Lord, is that one of those ‘other responsibilities’ includes explaining to you as my intendant, my spiritual councilor, and — I believe — my friend how that reconsideration has . . . shaped my thinking.”

“You used the term spiritual councilor,” Maik said. “Should I assume you’re telling me this in my priestly office and treat anything you say as covered by the confidentiality of the confession?”

“No.” Thirsk’s voice was very soft, but there was no hesitation in it. “I want you to feel free to treat what I’m about to say in the way that seems best to you. I trust your judgment — and your heart — as much as I’ve ever trusted any man’s. And, to be honest, you and your office are . . . rather central to my present thinking. Your response to it will probably determine exactly what I do — or can do — to better meet those responsibilities of mine.”

“I see.” Maik sipped more whiskey, rolling the golden glory over his tongue before he swallowed. “Are you very sure about this, Lywys?” he asked then, his voice even softer than the earl’s had been.

“Staiphan,” he said, using the bishop’s given name without title or honorific for the first time in all the months they’d known one another, “I’ve never been more sure of anything in my life.”

“Very well, then.” Maik set his glass back on the side table and settled himself squarely in his armchair, his elbows on the armrests and his fingers interlaced across his chest, thumbs resting lightly on his pectoral scepter.

“In that case, I suppose you’d best begin.”





.VI.
HMS
Lightning, 30,
Claw Island,
Sea of Harchong.



Wyverns and seagulls rose black against the sunset in winged, raucous protest as the saluting guns thudded from the defensive batteries. The spurts of smoke were the gray white of conventional gunpowder, not the dark brown of the ICN’s current propellant, and they merged into a ragged line that rolled southeast on the fitful breeze out of the northwest, There were fewer guns in those batteries than there had been, since two thirds of the smoothbores which had defended Hardship Bay under Dohlaran ownership had been replaced by less than half as many rifled Charisian guns with twice the effective range and far greater destructive power. There were still a lot of them, though, and the crews of every single one of them — aside from the saluting guns — stood atop the earthen ramparts, cheering as the weather-stained line of galleons made their way into the bay through North Channel, close-hauled on the starboard tack.

A return salute rippled down HMS Lightning’s side as she led that line, flying the streamer of Admiral Tymythy Darys. They were three months out of Tellesberg, those galleons, and more than one man aboard them had wondered if Claw Island would still be in Charisian hands when they arrived.

Silly of us, Darys thought, standing on Lightning’s quarterdeck and studying the bay through a raised angle-glass. Baron Rock Point was right. The bastards may’ve taken Dreadnought from Kahrltyn, but there’s no way in Shan-wei’s darkest hell they could have her back in commission yet. Not with any ammunition for her guns, anyway!

The admiral’s mouth tightened as he thought about Kahrltyn Haigyl, HMS Dreadnought’s captain. He would miss that giant of a man, but the Imperial Charisian Navy would never forget Dreadnought’s last fight. It did seem that perhaps Dreadnought wasn’t the most fortunate name in the world for Charisian warships, he acknowledged, but neither this Dreadnought nor her predecessor had gone without one hell of a fight . . . or failed to achieve the goal for which she’d fought.

Could have a lot worse tradition for the next one to live up to, he reflected. A lot worse. And her skipper’ll have some damned big boots to fill, too. Even if he was a lousy navigator!

His tight mouth relaxed into a smile at that thought, and he straightened from the angle-glass.

“Well, we appear to still be here,” he said dryly to his flag captain.

“Never doubted we would be for a moment, Sir,” Captain Sympsyn, who happened to share Darys’ first name, said stoutly.

“Oh?” Darys cocked an eyebrow. “I seem to recall a moment or two there, about the time those headwinds in the Sea of Harchong were so . . . uncooperative. Wasn’t there someone in Lightning’s company who was fretting that we might not get there in time? Let me see . . . I can’t quite seem to recall the name, but I think it was a captain somebody.”

“I’m sure you’re mistaken, Sir. Couldn’t’ve been anybody aboard my ship!”

“Of course I am.” Darys chuckled, then clapped Sympsyn on the shoulder. “Probably just somebody who was pissed off by the weather and had to vent. But for now, I’d best get below and change.” He indicated his comfortable, well-worn seagoing uniform, with its brand-new, golden collar kraken and single gold cuff band. “Wouldn’t want to turn up in front of the Earl poorly dressed, would I?”

“Frankly, Sir, I think you could turn up naked and he’d still be glad to see you. And all the rest of us, of course.”

The flag captain waved one hand to take in the twenty-five warships and sixteen supply galleons following Lightning.

“You may have a point,” Darys agreed. “Not that I intend to find out the hard way!”

* * * * * * * * * *

“Somehow I doubt this will surprise you, Tymythy,” Sir Lewk Cohlmyn, the Earl of Sharpfield, said dryly as his flag lieutenant showed Admiral Darys into his office in the ICN’s steadily expanding Hardship Bay base, “but I’m extraordinarily happy to see you.”

He clasped forearms with his visitor, his thinning silver hair gleaming in the lamplight. Sailing ships were not the fleetest things upon the face of the world, and the wind — capricious more often than not, as any professional mariner could explain at length, usually taking at least several of the Archangels’ names in vain in the process — had decided to drop while Darys’ squadron worked its way towards the anchorage. As a result, he hadn’t gotten ashore until well after supper had been served, and the tropical night outside Sharpfield’s office was blacker than the inside of Kau-yung’s boot.

“Admiral Rock Point thought you might be, Sir,” Darys replied. “He tried to send enough friends along with me to make you that way, anyway.”

“I’m especially glad to see Lightning, Floodtide, and Seamount,” Sharpfield said frankly, “and Zhenyfyr Ahrmahk and Iceberg are nothing to sneer at, either. I didn’t really expect to see them, but they certainly can’t hurt! To be honest, I’m a little surprised Thirsk hasn’t already sent Dreadnought — and the rest of his Western Squadron — to call on us.” His expression darkened and he shook his head. “Not like him to let grass grow under his feet, and he has to’ve understood that the High Admiral would be sending replacement ironclads.”

“I’ve brought along the Baron’s personal dispatches to you, of course, My Lord.” Darys extended the thick, heavy canvas envelope with its ornate wax seals. “Before we sailed, though, he and I discussed Dreadnought and getting her back into service with Master Howsmyn and Sir Dustyn. Based on Sir Bruhstair’s report and what the prisoners Sir Dunkyn rescued were able to tell us, it seemed likely to them that Dreadnought had been battered badly enough to need at least some repairs. More to the point, the High Admiral and Master Howsmyn both estimated it would take months, at least, to provide ammunition for her guns, unless they wanted to completely rearm her with their own artillery. Then, too, Thirsk is no idiot. He’d have his shipwrights crawling all over her for five-days just to figure out how she was put together. In the long term, he probably thinks that’s more important than getting her back into service as quickly as possible. And —”” he smiled unpleasantly “— given what he thinks he knows, he’d be right. Unfortunately for him, he doesn’t know what’s coming along behind us, though, so it would be perfectly logical for him to think that learning to duplicate her —assuming they could produce the armor for it — would give the Dohlarans something like a fighting chance.”

“Hard to blame him if he does,” Sharpfield agreed, waving his guest towards a chair and laying the envelope on the blotter of his desk. “Especially after the fight Kahrltyn put up!” He shook his head, his expression one of mingled pride and bitter grief. “One thing that did occur to me after I’d thought about it a while was that Kahrltyn must’ve put the fear of God into the entire Dohlaran Navy. They took his ship in the end, but he pounded half their fleet into scrap single-handed before they did, by Chihiro!”

“Like Baron Green Valley says, ‘putting the fear’ into the other side’s always worthwhile.” Darys nodded, then sighed. “I could wish the price hadn’t been that steep, though.”

“We all do.” Sharpfield settled into his own chair while Lieutenant Tympyltyn poured brandy for him and his guest. “And I’ll certainly read all of these as soon as I can,” he continued, laying one palm briefly on the envelope Darys had handed him. “In the meantime, though, I’d appreciate it if you could bring me up to speed on the High Admiral’s thinking in general.”

“Of course, My Lord.”

Darys accepted a glass from Tympyltyn and sat back. He wasn’t surprised Sharpfield would want his take on the High Admiral’s thinking. Until the relief for Claw Island had been organized, he’d been Sir Domynyk Staynair’s flag captain, a post he’d held for well over two years, and no one in the entire ICN could have a better read on Rock Point’s analysis of the Empire’s current strategic imperatives. In fact, that was one reason he’d been both promoted and chosen to command the relief squadron in the first place.

“First,” he continued, “Sir Domynyk specifically told me to assure you he fully approves of your response to what happened to Captain Ahbaht’s squadron. In fact, there’s a letter of commendation — and a promotion to commodore — for the Captain in that envelope somewhere. As the Emperor himself put it by semaphore, ‘It’s not given to mortal men to simply command a victory. Wind and weather have a part to play, and all man or God can ask of anyone is that he give the very best he has, which is exactly what Sir Bruhstair and all his men did.’”

“I have to admit I’m relieved to hear that.” Sharpfield sipped brandy, then set the glass down. “I couldn’t fault a single decision he made, and I’d far rather worry about our people’s aggressiveness than that they might avoid a fight! And Langhorne knows the last thing we need is to hammer a good officer who damned well wouldn’t deserve it. If nothing else, the effect on the next flag officer who has to make a hard call probably wouldn’t be very good.”

“That’s almost exactly what Sir Domynyk said, My Lord.” Darys nodded. “And, obviously, everyone in Old Charis was elated when we got word Sir Dunkyn had rescued our people. Archbishop Maikel proclaimed masses of thanksgiving throughout the Empire.

“Now, I’m sure the High Admiral’s dispatches to you will cover exactly what he had in mind when he sent us out, but he asked me to give you a brief overview of his thinking before you get to them.

“It’s his thought that deploying as much of our strength forward as possible would have to have an . . . efficacious effect on Admiral Thirsk’s thinking. Towards that end, it occurred to him that —”


.VII.
Rydymak Keep,
Cheshyr bay,
Earldom of Cheshyr,
and
King Tayrens Chancellery,
City of Cherayth,
Kingdom of Chisholm,
Empire of Charis.


Rydymak Keep was spectacularly beautiful, in an old-fashioned, drafty-icehouse, freeze-one’s-arse-off sort of way.


"Oh, bother!" said Pooh, as Piglet came back from the dead.
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Re: Snippet #7 (if I have it right)
Post by eldrwyrm   » Fri Sep 16, 2016 3:16 pm

eldrwyrm
Lieutenant Commander

Posts: 101
Joined: Wed Sep 14, 2011 9:11 am

Woot! My obsessive checking paid off! :mrgreen:
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Re: Snippet #7 (if I have it right)
Post by PeterZ   » Fri Sep 16, 2016 3:21 pm

PeterZ
Fleet Admiral

Posts: 6402
Joined: Fri Apr 01, 2011 12:11 pm
Location: Colorado

All right then, Thirsk will keep mum about Merlin's visit for the moment. I tend to agree. I suspect that he must have some sort of plans to incorporate seijin input into his plans. I would be very surprised if Merlin didn't give him some sort of contact mechanism.

Thirsk will share that ability some time down the road. In the mean time, Dohlar is well and truly being prepared to discontinue their jihad. What sort of peace they are willing to accept with Charis has yet to be established. Considering that General Rychtair is about to be thoroughly pounded come summer is likely to make Dohlaran officials....open to Thirsk's suggestions.
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Re: Snippet #7 (if I have it right)
Post by Braudel26   » Fri Sep 16, 2016 3:27 pm

Braudel26
Lieutenant (Senior Grade)

Posts: 81
Joined: Sun Oct 27, 2013 9:35 am
Location: Europe

runsforcelery wrote:Guys —

Most of its work, but there are a couple of health issues involved, as well. I'm giving you a fairly long snippet this time, and I hope to be posting more in the coming weeks. .


Thanks :D !
Since I've read the eARC of Shadow ( I liked it a lot :D , Honorverse is a deep, deep universe), I am waiting for ATST snippets, but really priority to your health, don't overdo it !
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Re: Snippet #7 (if I have it right)
Post by Reader_of_Fiction   » Fri Sep 16, 2016 3:44 pm

Reader_of_Fiction
Ensign

Posts: 14
Joined: Fri Sep 19, 2014 2:02 pm

Best Wishes on your recovery, and yes beware the wife--they are fearsome beasts when irritated!! :lol: . I've had cataract surgery, cornea transplant, and a shunt put in one eye thanks to little league baseball of some 40 years ago. You'll be amazed at how clear your vision becomes after the cataracts are removed.
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Re: Snippet #7 (if I have it right)
Post by Duckk   » Fri Sep 16, 2016 4:09 pm

Duckk
Site Admin

Posts: 4190
Joined: Sat Aug 08, 2009 4:29 pm

Copying over David's relevant post for visibility:

The workload is that the page proofs for At the Sign of Triumph and Shadow of Victory came in literally back-to-back. That was 600,000+ words that had to be turned around in less than 1 week for each book. Note that I do not blame the publishers for the time crunch. The delay from my end in delivering the books is what created the problems for everyone, including my copy editors and typesetters, who have done yeoman duty to actually hit the release windows on both books. I am awed by how well they've done, to be perfectly frank.

However, I was working 16 to 18-hour days for the space of just about 10 days, and I'd already been pushing it to get the books delivered. So exhaustion has been part of what's kept me off the boards.

The other thing that's kept me off them is doctor's orders. I'm having some vision problems, which is why the cataracts operation has been moved up by three months. At the moment, it's very difficult for me to read anything, even the outsized monitor on which I work in the office. (And I’m sure you can imagine just how much that “helped” with the page proofs!) In addition, skeletal system seems to have reached its "use by" date. The arthritis is really flaring up in my left hip, which wasn't giving me any problems at all six months ago. The long-term damage to my right hand and wrist also seems to be coming home to roost. That appears to be a new neurological problem, not the arthritis and bone spurs I already knew about. And, finally, I am experiencing vertigo. Well, dizziness. I've had recurrent vertigo for about 15 years, but it's always come in fairly short flares, and I'm familiar enough with it that I know this isn't vertigo. Whatever it is, though, it's severe enough that I am now walking with a cane and avoiding driving after about 4 p.m., because the dizziness gets progressively worse as the day goes on. I have an appointment with a neurologist, but we all know about delays in finding appointments with specialists, so I haven't been able to see him yet. In the meantime, my GP strongly suggested to me that I should stay completely away from the office for at least one week, because he thinks exhaustion is an aggravating factor. Unfortunately, Sharon knows he said that, so I've been trying very hard to stay away from stuff.
-------------------------
Shields at 50%, taunting at 100%! - Tom Pope
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Re: Snippet #7 (if I have it right)
Post by bigrunt   » Fri Sep 16, 2016 4:17 pm

bigrunt
Lieutenant Commander

Posts: 117
Joined: Thu Sep 26, 2013 2:34 pm
Location: St Augustine FL

Thanks for the update Duckk. RFC while we love your snippets we love the story lines (for all your series) being able to continue. Please take care of your health.
___________________________________________________________
I am the runt of the litter (Granted it was a litter of really big pups)
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Re: Snippet #7 (if I have it right)
Post by n7axw   » Fri Sep 16, 2016 4:42 pm

n7axw
Fleet Admiral

Posts: 5831
Joined: Wed Jan 22, 2014 7:54 pm
Location: Viborg, SD

bigrunt wrote:Thanks for the update Duckk. RFC while we love your snippets we love the story lines (for all your series) being able to continue. Please take care of your health.



Time for him to slow down. Anyone following the general situation for the last couple of years or so has to know that.

Lets hope that David knows that too.

Don

-
When any group seeks political power in God's name, both religion and politics are instantly corrupted.
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Re: Snippet #7 (if I have it right)
Post by Peter2   » Fri Sep 16, 2016 5:04 pm

Peter2
Captain (Junior Grade)

Posts: 355
Joined: Tue Sep 02, 2014 9:54 am

runsforcelery wrote:Guys —

If you hop over to the Honorverse, you'll find a post which explains why I've been off the forums for the last little bit. (That's not the title of the thread; I simply posted to the one about dead planets and included my explanation in that post.) Most of its work, but there are a couple of health issues involved, as well. I'm giving you a fairly long snippet this time, and I hope to be posting more in the coming weeks. I can't promise, given what's likely to happen to my schedule. But since the book is coming out in November, I can give you these long ones (when I'm here) without worrying about using up "too much" of the book before it becomes available.
[snip]


Health issues – I don't like the sound of that one little bit. For heavens sake, RFC, look after yourself! *worried*
.
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Re: Snippet #7 (if I have it right)
Post by Peter2   » Fri Sep 16, 2016 5:12 pm

Peter2
Captain (Junior Grade)

Posts: 355
Joined: Tue Sep 02, 2014 9:54 am

Duckk wrote:Copying over David's relevant post for visibility:

The workload is that the page proofs for At the Sign of Triumph and Shadow of Victory came in literally back-to-back. That was 600,000+ words that had to be turned around in less than 1 week for each book. Note that I do not blame the publishers for the time crunch. The delay from my end in delivering the books is what created the problems for everyone, including my copy editors and typesetters, who have done yeoman duty to actually hit the release windows on both books. I am awed by how well they've done, to be perfectly frank.

However, I was working 16 to 18-hour days for the space of just about 10 days, and I'd already been pushing it to get the books delivered. So exhaustion has been part of what's kept me off the boards.

The other thing that's kept me off them is doctor's orders. I'm having some vision problems, which is why the cataracts operation has been moved up by three months. At the moment, it's very difficult for me to read anything, even the outsized monitor on which I work in the office. (And I’m sure you can imagine just how much that “helped” with the page proofs!) In addition, skeletal system seems to have reached its "use by" date. The arthritis is really flaring up in my left hip, which wasn't giving me any problems at all six months ago. The long-term damage to my right hand and wrist also seems to be coming home to roost. That appears to be a new neurological problem, not the arthritis and bone spurs I already knew about. And, finally, I am experiencing vertigo. Well, dizziness. I've had recurrent vertigo for about 15 years, but it's always come in fairly short flares, and I'm familiar enough with it that I know this isn't vertigo. Whatever it is, though, it's severe enough that I am now walking with a cane and avoiding driving after about 4 p.m., because the dizziness gets progressively worse as the day goes on. I have an appointment with a neurologist, but we all know about delays in finding appointments with specialists, so I haven't been able to see him yet. In the meantime, my GP strongly suggested to me that I should stay completely away from the office for at least one week, because he thinks exhaustion is an aggravating factor. Unfortunately, Sharon knows he said that, so I've been trying very hard to stay away from stuff.


Oh Lor' – not you as well? :shock: Like I just posted to RFC, for heavens' sake, take care of yourself! I did a series of 18 hour day sessions some years ago, and after the last one, I ended up in hospital. There comes a time when the spirit may be willing, but the flesh just won't stand up to it any longer. If your body is trying to tell you something, listen to it!
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