Since Thursday, June 17 when I collapsed into unconsciousness in the street as I walked to my office in Hastings, I have spent the time in the Hastings’ Conquest Hospital and the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton. In The Conquest, I was diagnosed with the ‘faulty plumbing’ of a heart valve born to malfunction. In the Royal Sussex I had open heart surgery when the valve was removed and a replacement sutured into place. I am forever grateful to every member of staff who cared for me patiently and compassionately. Without exception, everyone in the National Health Service was outstanding. Just over a week ago, I came home to begin a two to three-month recuperation. This isn’t exactly how I planned to spend my summer but there was very little choice in the matter. Thank you to everyone who has been in touch with emails, messages, and cards. Forgive me if I don’t respond to each of you directly or promptly. My focus must now be on my well-being and maintaining involvement in the projects that I’m directly responsible for.

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