His wife, after a long and very happy marriage, died a few years ago, as a result of a fall creating major aneurysm on the brain and a subsequent induced coma, from which she could not be brought out of.  Devastating.  He has recently met a new woman, V, a first relationship after his wife’s death. His response, in answer to how’s it going?

“…Well let’s take a second, while I would love to answer that things are good, or even just better, the reality, if put down in a script and offered to a producer in Hollywood would be trashed as too far-fetched.

The woman that I was at school with and that I now go out with has to come home early from being with me on holiday as her brother is sick. He has had some sort of stroke, I follow her back to Italy to support her as his brother slowly moves to the point where there is nothing left but waiting for him to die.

She says, I will introduce you my parents at some point but this is not the right time. I offer to spend time with her at the hospital to support her and she says: I don’t want you to see him like that and that place is just too awful.

And this is where Act one finishes

Then on Saturday my parents come home from holiday, they had a great time travelling with their camper around Europe

I spend the afternoon with my mother, who is rather sad for V’s brother but also rather delighted that there is a woman from Modena in my life.

V comes and picks me up and meets my parents and then we go out with my sister and some of her friends, I spend the night at V’s where at nine in the morning my brother-in-law phones me to tell me that they are taking my mother to the hospital with a suspected stroke.

It turns out it’s not a stroke, but a major aneurysm of the carotid artery, the one in the brain.

She is now in the ICU bed next to V’s brother and pretty much in the same condition. In my opinion, she is not going to pull through, but if she does, she will probably never regain full consciousness.

So, now I have not only met all of V’s family, but also seen her brother. And my family has met hers.

So? How many millions would you make on a 20 pence bet on this at the beginning of August?”