As both of our immediate families now know, my partner of thirty years, Anthony Astbury, has been diagnosed with Huntington’s Disease, having inherited the faulty gene involved. He is to be referred to the specialist HD Clinic at Exeter Hospital, which has an excellent reputation both nationally and internationally, so he will be getting the best help available, and we have reason to believe that the relatively late life onset of the illness might mean he will not suffer it at its worst. There are also advanced techniques being developed in the realm of ‘gene silencing’, which might yet give us a chance to turn it around.

However scrupulous we try to be in passing information on, I think it is almost inevitable that there will be people reading this who know Anthony who have yet to be aware of this and our apologies if it comes as a shock, but we do need people to know what’s happening in case they’re planning to come and see us or are sending messages to his e-mail address, which he is not using for the foreseeable future.

I see my main business in life now as taking care of him and doing what I can to preserve our quality of life, but I do intend to continue, if in a more occasional and spasmodic way, with short fiction and poetry efforts, and will register such successes as I may have on my own site and on Facebook. Thanks for everyone who has already offered us sympathy and support, and we are happy to keep in touch as best we can.


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