I awoke to the bellow of the foghorn today; a low mournful sound, conjuring a memory of those still, quiet days of breathing in the damp heaviness as we headed out into winter woods to walk off the Christmas excess.
As a child, fog was exciting, acting as cover under which to stalk imaginary prey through the sodden undergrowth; the snapping of twigs underfoot curiously muffled in the whiteness, as was the sound of the dog gambolling at our heels, panting flumes of mist whilst barking for sticks to be thrown into the blankness beyond.
We would return, pink cheeked and red nosed to battle for the warmest spot by the fire; tucking into slices of freshly baked fruit cake, safe in the knowledge we had burnt off Christmas pud.
Now I view fog not as the mysterious blanket shrouded under which we could play our games of stalk and seek; but as the seeping clammy cold that finds a way through the thickest of layers, chilling me to the bone, and causing my joints to ache with a fierce burning unknown as a child.
Tamoxifen has robed me of temperature control; leaving me wrapped layer upon layer like some odd woolly Babooshka in my quest to stay warm, then suddenly leading me to shed clothing like a demented streaker as my inner furnace steams into the red zone.
My joints swell and stiffen at will and I find myself stumbling on the stairs, fumbling to grasp objects with banana fingers, and clumsier than I have ever been. Yet for all this, Tamoxifen has given me back my life, and for that I am truly grateful.