By Ulla-Carin Lindquist.
Read by Barbara Flynn.The Swedish television newsreader Ulla-Carin Lindquist is trying to put her boat into shore in a heavy wind when she goes to pick up the oars and they are as heavy as lead, as though frozen into the water.
It is at that moment, her husband tells her later, that he realises that something is wrong.
On her fiftieth birthday, the Swedish television newsreader Ulla-Carin Lindquist is diagnosed with ALS, an aggressive form of motor neurone disease.
But driving home to her party she decides to enjoy herself, laugh, toss her head and carry her secret.
As the course of Ulla-Carin's illness progresses, she becomes a case for municipal bureaucracy.
But as the carers move in and the indignities increase, she finds laughter in the most bizarre situations.
As Ulla-Carin becomes increasingly dependent on her carers she enjoys the closeness and comfort they offer.
And as this most independent of women learns to relax into their care, she discovers a new and unexpected freedom.
It's Christmas 2003 and as her life draws to a close Ulla-Carin reflects that, strange though it seems, she wouldn't wish to be without this part of her life.
""It's now for the first time that I feel myself to be living in the present"".