But that is not his number one issue right now because, to put it bluntly, his very existence is now in jeopardy.
For a few years, Simon has worked with a team of sub-contractors on the water supply infrastructure - maintaining small reservoirs and enacting vital repairs here and there. He was still doing this work last December when he noticed that he was having trouble swallowing food and keeping it down. He has often referred to "acid reflux".
I met with him in the motorway services off the M18 just before Christmas to exchange presents. He seemed his usual self. He had been to see his doctor about his health concerns and was waiting in limbo for some sort of follow-up - which ought to involve a hospital referral.
How slowly cogs can turn and of course the ongoing COVID pandemic has not helped. Last month, he had an endoscopy and last week a CT scan. And yet, he has still to see the associated specialist to receive a definitive verdict and a care plan. He was already being investigated with regard to a tumour on one of his kidneys.
He remains in limbo and is now painfully thin. We know it is oesophageal cancer (English spelling) because after the endoscopy one of the nurses said so. Because Simon can no longer eat, he has been prescribed high-energy drinks to fill the nutritional void.
He is getting weaker each day, finds it hard to sleep and now spends his time trying to keep warm in his draughty old cottage. The decline in his health has been rapid but I can't help suspecting that what he is now going through is directly related to his lifelong smoking habit.
Two bright spots in this grimness are firstly - he is finally going to meet up with the hospital consultant who is dealing with his case. Fingers crossed, he will receive an honest diagnosis and some expert guidance about "What happens next?". That meeting is scheduled for Monday morning. Secondly, it seems that the local housing authority have pinpointed a flat in a sheltered unit in Beverley that Simon might be able to move into. Personally, I think he should grab this opportunity with both hands but of course he is dithering about it.
I have reassured him that Shirley and I are ready and willing to help him with the move. Frankly, I am not sure how much life he has left in him. He is sixty six years old. Hopefully, Monday will bring much more clarity. At this juncture, it would be nice if an angel could appear with a magic wand.