As I begin this blog, I am fifty-three and a half years old. I earn my living translating texts on finance.  I am also taking a stab at running a small but well-appointed co-working and co-living space.  And I am the mother of a splendid young man of sixteen.

If you’ve never been in the scout movement, it may sound trite, but I’m stuck for life with the rule that, whenever you spend time in a place, you should leave it in better shape than when you found it.  And I have always felt the need to take an active interest in social and political affairs, meaning that I’m an ardent feminist who has long supported the struggle to end violence against women. For a number of years now, I have also worked to defend the rights of freelance workers.

Twenty months ago, I was thrown into the world of illness and medicine by a metastatic tumour of the pancreas. Writing about it is my way of trying to improve the place in which I now find myself.