That was six years ago. Fast forward to this year, when the hip was giving him far more trouble and he decided to see another consultant privately. This time, the risk was assessed as being extremely slight and so he went ahead and had it done privately and all went well. He was fully expecting to be out digging the garden by now (well, maybe not quite yet) but, as he couldn't go home to an empty house for the recovery period, he went to stay with my sister, where, within two hours, he had fallen and was taken back to hospital for a further week. Luckily, the joint was fine but he needed the clips replacing in the wound. Last week I went to stay with him for a few days and then, when I needed to come back home, he went to my sister's again, where, within a few hours, he was feeling ill with the beginnings of a cold, which could have been a chest infection. (You see a pattern here?)
As it turned out, it was only a cold, so tomorrow, I am off to Bristol again so that he can spend a few more days at home. I have managed to book my clients into Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, so I can only stay until Sunday again, but at least it means that he gets to spend a few days of the week in his own house, which is what he wants, and soon, with a bit of luck, he will be out in the garden, although maybe not digging it - not yet, anyway.
You can't keep a good man down!
And Paddy? Yes, he'll be staying here with Keith again for more male bonding, but hopefully, not more strangling.