Gina Leishman

Composer, Multi-instrumentalist, and Singer

July 31st – New York & Menorca…

What a total and complete gift this past month has been… particularly in view of the two preceding it…

After endless to-ing and fro-ing and changes of plan, I finally had surgery (total mastectomy of the right side) on May 18th, which was very successful, other than the fact that my tricky little ticker wasn’t so happy, so I had a 5-day hospital stay while they tried to get me on to some drug to which I seemed to be immune (too many dark leafy green vegetables – all that juice! who knew??). But I had lots of lovely visitors, and then a week’s recouping at Michele and Charlie’s salubrious pad… and now I can take up archery! Lots more waiting for test results, very boring, during which I made a brief foray up to Maine to visit an old friend, which was ab fab, as they say… and I continued to work on the new recording, with many folk coming in to put down more tracks, the music growing apace and slowly coming into focus… and then my fairy godmother decided that the docs could wait for a change while I went to see my sis and the finca for a month, regardless of what the results were, so when I found out that I have to have chemo after all, I didn’t really care because she had waved her magic wand and I was leaving for menorca in a few days’ time (the docs kindly agreed to wait)…

A whole glorious month on the island, a whole new me… some gentle care-taking of the finca (very gentle) but mostly a lot of swimming in the big blue, a lot of hammock time, and a whole lot of dolce far niente… the swimming has done me SO much good – my range of motion is 95% returned, and by the end of the month I felt I was back in my skin… sis was horribly sick when I arrived, but got better and we had a very good time together. The work Sebastian did on the house is wonderful – her new room is beautiful (adds a whole other dimension to the place) and the little menorcan window in the kitchen looks like it’s always been there… the island is tinder dry, but sis had taken very good care of the place (the bougainvillea has never been so spectacular, lack of water suits them), and the huerto – we have the biggest onions, and best tomatoes and aubergine and peppers – yum… moppet came for a few days, and then chris and jenna arrived a couple of days before I left – a very satisfactory passing of the baton… so glad I didn’t have to leave sis on her own…

One amazing cultural happening while I was there: a performance of Carmina Burana in the Lithica, the gorgeous old limestone quarry outside Ciutadella – a great marriage of music and place… and a great performance, by a Catalan youth chorus with local soloists, 2 pianos & percussion, that knocked my socks off. Stunning. I went on a whim at the last moment, driving the length of the island on the off-chance… it was sold out but someone had a spare ticket that had my name on it… lucky me…

Meanwhile the world goes to hell in a hand basket… Brexit and Trump (has the world gone completely mad???) were both forbidden topics of conversation this past month – I wanted a real break… but of course they aren’t going away, either of them, nor are any of the other world horrors… one could find it hard to get out of bed in the morning if too much thought went in those directions, tho’ behaving like an ostrich doesn’t help… I send my few pennies where I think they may do some good, try not to feel despair but generate hope… so many good and wonderful people around, focus on them…

Tomorrow, August 1st, as Sebastian and the finca family start to paint the house, I see the onc to get the chemo plan, whatever that will entail. Surrounded by white light, I am well protected by my angels and my guides… Onward and upward…