A sneaky trip to the wasteland.

 

No, the north is not a wasteland. I just associate the days of my homeland with getting wasted. This was no exception. It was the last few days of freedom before being locked into 12 weeks of daily radiotherapy. Or so I thought.

When I saw the consultant on Monday he thought I’d already started. Now I need more scans. If I were a rodent, I’d be squeaking vociferously.

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The main difference with this trip was my new body state. I’m still having trouble getting from chair to chair to bed to chair up the foothills of Timbuktu.

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I’m not sure if a town in the South Sahara has anything more than dunes but try getting up dunes in a state of shifting sand.

The packing was stressful. It was new. Gone were the precautionary items which took up all the case space. In were the new tools of a far more convenient method of waste disposal. But there were things which didn’t change. First class train travel was quiet and calm. I had my usual 2 miniatures of Famous Grouse and a cup of black coffee. The cheese and mushroom toastie was tasty.

In Liverpool, the driver of the first 437 bus didn’t let me on, claiming there were two prams there. This was not in accordance with the bus signage. So he’s been stitched up via email.

I met my good friends.

We chatted and laughed about times old and new. I was grateful for the freedom to do this without frequent calls of nature. I must say that the ginger cake was a triumph in Cortsway.

Is ginger the cake the new croissant?

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Wetherspoons was its usual hubbub of life’s forgotten people. I find it comforting. It’s a place to drift in and out of. Despite the phone app and the facility of ordering from the table, it does seem lost in time. It’s noisy but quiet, light but dark, empty but full.

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Some taxis, whilst displaying the disabled symbol told me they couldn’t take me. Too heavy. No powered wheelchairs. So here’s me in a town of big (big big big big) people: I weigh 80k and the chair is 25k. You do the maths! (Did I just say that? I hate that phrase. It’s creeping into all forms of media. What a supercilious patronising little drop of verbal poison it is.)

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It needed two buses to return to Greasby. This involved a wait at Birkenhead bus station on a Thursday night. During the daytime, it’s a soulless space of plain concrete, hard bright plastic and glass.

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At night it becomes engulfed in a cloak of dark desperation. Other people are silent. They move slowly. With static blank faces the stare unblinking at the timetables. The air is awash with the faint bleep of phone buttons. And they are virtual buttons in a world suspended between reality and insanity.

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My bus arrived. The silent driver, resembling Bluto, lay down the ramp and stood sentinel-like in front of it. “Show us your pass,” grunted the real-life stalker of Olive Oil. That’s all he said. It was a “You rang?” moment. If he didn’t look like Bluto, I’d have alluded to Lurch.

The night air of Greasby was cold and penetrating. Now I usually have to fight with the narrow doors of the hotel so I took the easier route via its pub.

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Rude not to. “Large Talisker please.”

I drifted in and out of slumber. A good thing was not buying whisky for the hotel room.

It’s not a new me; I have to be wary of my new status. Grovelling on the gaudy stripes of a Premier Inn carpet is not cool. The following Monday, while the patient transport crew were waiting for me, I flapped about misplacing my phone. One of them dialled the number. My face remained unchanged as I retrieved from my coat pocket. It was the same brand of not cool.

On Friday it was lunch in the pub. Poor Jeanie was too poorly to make it. Christmas, even with the nicest of families can be hard going. Can we blame Randy Alexander? Sorry Brandy Alexander? Overdosing on ginger cake? The constant whirlwind of the season?

I’d had a very quiet few days so I was prepared for the party extension. That’s what it can be like. On the 2nd of January, there is the palpable release of grateful air. All the wild fun was over. The scent of normality sweeps into the living room giving those dazzling baubles on a sensational tree a friendly little reminder that 12th-night approacheth.

Then I turn up with a box of crackers.

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Fair play to all my friends. But we are not getting any younger. Thursday morning’s text from Peter spoke of careful placement of the ball on the tee. On such occasions, bending down needs to be tempered by spatial awareness and the fact that one needs to resume an upright position for the purposes of projecting said ball into the wilderness of the fairway.

So after a rather exquisite steak sandwich, I had a snooze before Hedda turned up with wine and nibbles.

Before I made a habit of more frequent northerly visits, I was slightly nervous of meeting old friends.

Would we still get on? Or would we sit there in the empty space of extended separation?

Nah! I’m bloody lucky. What great friends I have.

Thank you for reading.

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Beef stew

I haven’t put out a recipe for a while.

In the tradition of every TV chef under the sun, I’m claiming it will refresh you from the great fat rich consumption of Christmas.

This is simple and tasty:

Ingredients.

500g shin beef.

Try and use shin as some other cuts can be stringy

2 onions quartered

3 cloves of chopped garlic (as it cooks for a long time, it gives the stew body)

As many carrots as you want

220ml of ale

220ml of water

2 tbs of flour

Any other things you fancy (Try to avoid fish. Root veg is good)

1sp dried thyme

A big squirt of tomato puree

2 tbs Worcestershire sauce

seasoning

use a big saucepan with a lid or a slow cooker

Gently fry the onions. Give the meat a fry. Put the rest in, stick the lid on and cook low for 6/8 hours. For the last half-hour, reduce on a high heat. There is no need to chop the onions as over the time, they melt into sweet blades. 

Goes well in a pie or with mash. At least in the mash, the extra cream and butter will be hidden.

Thank you for reading.

 

 

Driving home for…………

In the nineties and beyond, I decided to visit the north on Christmas day.

Why?

Why would I leave at five o’clock and spend a lot of the morning charging up the motorways of England?

Because it was quiet of course. It was a guaranteed straight four-hour job. By nineish, I’d be knocking on the door of my good friend Jules with that sort of “I’ve been up since silly o’clock and now I’m going to annoy the hell out of you because you’re still yawning.” It never was like that. I was always greeted with warmth at Chez Jules. There would be tea and mince pies before succumbing to the temptation of an early wee dram. Only a small one; natch.

The main drinks were waiting at the family home. By the time I reached Kenilworth the house was awash with relatives, happy faces and wrapping paper.

“Here’s the Messiah,” they shouted. That’s me turning up on Christmas day.

It was time to sit down and enjoy the company of family. The house would empty leaving me with Mum and Dad and a fridge full of beer.

Bliss.

Today, I’m hibernating. I’ll graze from the fridge and cook a big stew for the rest of the week.

This is bliss too. Here’s to the past and the future.

Thank you for reading.

A little Christmas tale

Jamie sighed. Every Christmas had been a split Christmas. It was a well-worn path: After breakfast, the doorbell would sound and he’d be shepherded into his dad’s car. His mum was frosty. His dad was frosty. Jamie had never seen his mum and dad happy together. Even when they weren’t together they rarely smiled.

“I’m too busy keeping a roof over our heads,” was Mum’s favourite song.

“All I want for Christmas is some peace and quiet”, sang Dad.

By the time Jamie was nine, it was no different. Grandma was sour-faced and grumpy. She always said something about Jamie’s clothes. Jamie was young but not stupid. He knew that she really wanted to say what a bad mother he had, letting him out in t-shirt and jeans on Christmas day. It was never worth Jamie trying to explain that he made the choice.

“You must be freezing!” she would cackle.

The truth was that both houses were too hot. Going into Dad’s house meant being blasted with a wall of tropical heat. In the ever so trendy kitchen diner, the aga was on full blast along with the radiators and log burner.

Now, we would think a nine-year-old boy would look forward to opening his presents. Dad was always claiming how kind he was to his son. Indeed, every year was packed with weekend theme parks and fancy food. But the present ritual was hard work. Jamie had no time for designer stuff. Training shoes, shirts and coats brightly festooned with the latest logos appeared regularly. And yet another play-station or x-box thing with things to make his school chums green. Then kissing the hard stony cheek of Grandma for another warm winter fleece left the poor boy cold. He’d have to wear it.

He’d bake, feeling like the fat slobbery turkey sitting on the kitchen surface “resting”. Jamie would have been happy with sausage and chips. Another year he’d asked for chipolatas, thinking they were special chips but received mini herby sausages. They weren’t good old bangers.

Just before dinner, Auntie Terri arrived. At least her frantic voice drowned out Grandma’s slow-motion clucking. She would burst into the kitchen with a phone strapped to her face whilst rattling plates and jabbering non-stop into her phone.

“Is it your imaginary friend?” Jamie once asked.

The indignant reply alluded to a tale of her usual busy full-on life where she was being a saint to all of her inadequate friends who relied on her ever so much.

“Dad’s got me that already,” Jamie said after unwrapping yet another game over the smoked salmon and scrambled egg. The usual rowing start. There would be curt little snipes firing between the two with the occasional comment from Grandma about the falling standards of Christmas food. It was hard to keep up. By the time the over-filled plates of turkey, mash, roasties and every vegetable under the sun were being cleared away, they’d be onto who was the “favoured” child. Jamie was always relieved to see the end of dinner. It seemed to be teeming with grease and slime. “Eat up those veg,” Grandma barked as they swam in translucent turkey fat. 

Then, baking in his brand new fleece, Jamie faced the Christmas pudding. “Plum pudding,” Grandma called it. Try as he might, Jamie never found any evidence of plums in this dark seething mass of over-sweet goo.

Later in the afternoon, just as it was getting properly dark, Jamie was rescued by the doorbell. Dad would need to be woken up. Terri would follow them out with his presents. The frosties exchanged goods silently before Jamie was whisked away in his mum’s “superior” car. Well, that’s how she described it.

Mum’s house was quieter. There would be an occasional shout of delight as uncles Kev and Trev were trouncing each other on their gaming consoles. Auntie Betsy and Grandma Price were half dozing in front of a “family” film. Mum was still moaning about the brutality of real life and how people never seemed to understand the real world. There would be another round of presents. Grandma Price insisted that Jamie showed her all of his dad’s presents. She would shake her head and tut.

For no reason, Kev threw his remote down and stormed out. Trev shrugged.

Bad loser,” he said.

Mum heard the chink of the car keys:

“You can’t drive, you’re pissed,” she shouted. The car roared away. Later, the landline rang. Mum looked horrified. She gently picked it up with a nervous “hello?” “You bastard,” she screamed back before slamming it down.

“Kev got home all right then?” giggled Grandma. Trev and Betsy agreed to share a taxi. They always did this.

But on Boxing Day, there were rumblings downstairs as they picked themselves up from the settees and lumbered out, slamming the front door. The cars were started. “They’re probably still drunk” shouted mum to Grandma.

The following year, the Father Christmas idea was well and truly shattered. As the big day approached, Jamie was confused. His heart was sinking. He felt like he’d lost something magical; never to return.

This year, Mum had announced that all presents would be around the tree. There was no stocking to hang. As he heard his watch bleep the hour, Jamie saw that it was Christmas Day.

“Officially, I could go down and open all my presents now,” he thought.

Jamie was still dressed, staring out of the window into the night. Once again, it was going to be hard work. The presents, the heat and the caustic words were not things to look forward to.

Then, just as Jamie was about to close the curtain, he saw that it was snowing. This was fascinating. It was suddenly lighter as the night lights reflected off the sparkling snow. The house across the road, with its multitude of lights and decorations began to glow. Jamie’s heart lifted. He’d never known a white Christmas before. Like the song, he only ever dreamed.

Before long, huge flakes filled the sky and the pure white carpet grew on the ground below. The cars and fences turned into massive white statues, standing stock still, grateful for their new winter coat. The lights of a car slowly emerged as it trundled delicately on the fresh snow. It paused outside his house. Two people got out and began to look up.

The thickness of the falling snow made fell into their eyes. Even from the bedroom window, it was clear that those eyes were smiling. Then in the distance, through the scurrying snowflakes, there were more lights. These were lights in the sky. Jamie felt no fear. This was a glow of warmth gradually coming nearer. He was afraid to blink in case it was a dream.

The red was familiar, the beard was familiar and even through the snowy fog, the outline of reindeer sent an arrow of gladness into Jamie’s soul. With a flash of colour, the sleigh shot away into the sky. It was soon gone. But the snow continued.

During the dreaded day, Jamie knew that his wish had been granted. People were happy and relaxed. His joy had passed onto his mum and dad.

Jamie spent the split day talking happily and sharing his wishes. Grandmas, uncles and aunties found his warm friendly manner infectious. Suddenly they saw a boy who wasn’t filled with fear and shyness. His stony-faced grandma even took him for a walk. They chatted non-stop enjoying the crisp air and fading light.

Back at mum’s, Kev and Trev were kept entertained by Jamie. Jamie realised; he could make Christmas himself. If he showed true joy and love, it would return in bucket loads. Through his bedroom window, Jamie had been given the Christmas spirit.

He never saw it again but its message stayed with him forever.

Thank you for reading.

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Hear my song

There was a film of the same name. It’s a very sweet story of a club owner who wanted to revive his fortunes by bringing back the song’s original singer; Joseph Locke. It’s a Saturday night, mellow, good bottle of red sort of film.

Well, today I heard the songs. The Bastille sit’s next to St Mary’s Primary School. 

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The choir came to sing to us. I love that bit when the children turn up outside buzzing with anticipation. It was a flurry of subtle waves. The choir came in smiling with a huge CD player. They sang superbly to the backing tracks.

Afterwards, they came and chatted to us oldies. I don’t know if there was a great flood-lit sign above my head saying “ex-primary teacher”, but a lot of the children spoke to me. Thanks to pre-recorded backing music, primary school singing has opened right up again.

Now a teacher has no need to regret the fleeting flirtation with piano lessons.

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There is no need to slave through those grades in front of tetchy piano teachers, sick to death of counting in:

“After four. One two three four….” And then precious Emma fails to start because she’s noticed a crack in her nail. Do you know how much effort it takes to count someone in? Let’s say a teacher has seven successive pupils and each lesson involves at least seven “count-ins”. That’s forty-nine count-ins for starters. If this occurs five evenings a week, the number would top 245.

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So if precious Emma finds my frustration amusing, her days will be numbered and one evening I just won’t turn up-no explanation. I’ll hear on the grapevine that her mum Maggie is seething with me and I’ll do my best to avoid her in the future.

Once, I started teaching a primary school teacher from scratch. She announced her intention to work through the grades and reach the highest standard. She gave up after grade one. You try teaching someone who won’t be told. Then when you become a little more insistent, they run out of the room crying. It was doomed.

Of course, it was all right for me, I could do it all anyway; I could just jump onto the stool and rattle off glorious music at will.

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Let’s forget the years of learning, sacrifice and practice.

Did I just rant then?

Sorry. And now teachers with an interest and some basic confidence in music have free rein. National schemes like “Sing Up” have offered an infinite variety of tracks online. In my twilight teaching years, I was beginning to feel a bit redundant. The two full-time year six teaching assistants took over the end of year productions.

But, for all those twenty-two years of teaching, I had a choir and I played. There were many different occasions but the favourite was the Salvation Army’s goodwill concert. The choir had the stage and it went on late; always popular with children. The first Christmas was in 1995. I was new to the school and played safe with traditional carols. Nice, but I wanted to do more. For every following year, the choir sang new material. It was brilliant.

I used the songs to subtly rant about the commercialism of Christmas. Supermarkets were a great target. The children were fascinated by the gentrification on show. The band huffed and puffed while the songsters warbled away. I do not mock. We know what the salvation army is. They are heroes; they may resemble a cast from Dad’s Army but they sacrifice so much for others. 

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In 2004, I wrote a carol called Sleeping Stars. We sang it every year after. And guess what? Now I have the technology to offer a proper backing track to the neighbouring school, I can’t find a copy of the bloody lyrics. I’ve searched high and low-through old folders, old hard drives and that remote storage box thing.

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I’ve often re-written lyrics but this carol had it just about right so I want to stick to it. KFM radio broadcast it that Christmas so somewhere there’s a recording. Oh my giddy aunt. But that’s me. Here is a list of the year six productions I created:

Music hath charms

Short back and polish (Sweeny Todd)

Rats (Pied Piper)

The iron man

Changing Faces

Summer Scrooge

The top ten scenes from fairy tales

Jonah and the whale

The extended highlights of the pilgrim’s progress

Big brother

A tale of two hoodies

The ugly duckling (very cute ending; Young angelic Billy, a special needs pupil sang the ugly duckling at the end. His dad came to see him.)

After that, I lost control of the production. Then again, I was suffering from the MS-a double-edged sword. Now, the point is:

Did I write all the songs down and put them into special folders?

Niet!

Neither did I write down the music to any of the Chrismas and church songs. Apart from one. I borrowed someone’s computer to make a copy of my nativity music. I wonder where it is? It must be in the flat somewhere. Yes, you can call me hopeless and I have to agree but if I wrote things down beyond a scribbled out one line of manuscript, nothing would have been finished.

It would raise a few eyebrows in the packed out Chrismas service when I fumbled in my pocket and carefully placed a dog-eared bit of paper on the piano stand. And there was the teacher from St Mary’s with clipboard and immaculately written lyrics. But my music floated in and out. Always a transient entity. Yet today reaffirmed my love.

I’ve never been into the communal room before.

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There was a stir. I’m sure I could hear strains of “young man”.

“Will you come in again?” asked a very nice lady.

“Oh yes,” I replied. “Next year when the choir come again.”

Thank you for reading.

Season’s bleatings

Oh, what a show we’re all having. I’ve deliberately shunned all things political but a few details have filtered through.

Theresa goes to Europe:

Is she commuting?

Every time she appears on TV there are a million and one of those “foreign” types in the background. Dressed in all sorts of formal gubbins, some even go up and hug her. What’s she up to? Is the situation so hopeless, she’s turning up for a few final hurrahs?

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I can just see them away from the cameras gathering in huge banqueting halls feeding on the finest food and wine that Europe has to offer. They wait until our glorious leader enters the squiffy giggly stage:

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“Itsh sho nice having all thish (hic) smashing shtuff. Angela, doesh my bum look big in thish?” As Theresa rises to flaunt her lower end figure Jean-Claude Juncker sidles up:

“Oh Jjjjjshean dwarling, you shouldn’t have bothered.” Just as she throws her arms around his little neck he whispers “the bill’s on you Madame.”

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As Juncky avoids her glossy pouting lips, she begins to laugh uncontrollably. Everyone looks in despair. Some even felt sorry for her.

There she was in 2016. David had spat his dummy out and left the old girl to pick up the pieces.

Instantly the knives were out. Party unity disintegrated further as everyone fancied their chances of scrambling up the power pyramid. Then they squabbled amongst themselves. It was a major hike in political knife crime.  And after two years, she’s still there being derided and lampooned by the mass media. In many ways, I admire her courage and tenacity. Let her make the best of what she has. 

As we near the Brexit endgame, the wolves are closing in. We know the faces. Bozo has even cut his hair. But beware the Moggy.

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He’s the real Macavity.

Keep an eye on those hospitals and other large public buildings. Remember learning about the workhouses of Victorian Britain?

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If the Moggy becomes Prime Minister, will it herald a return to Victorian values and practises?

Beneath that semi-idyllic sheen of nostalgia were the most appalling scenes of mass exploitation and hypocrisy. I can see the ghettoes forming today.

Will there be a Trump-like wall around the M25? Walled estates in major cities? Forbidden zones for all emergency services?

Then again, it could be Jeremy. Like Theresa, he is doubted by many from within. The Conservative wranglings are currently dominating everything while  Jez and the gang are lying in wait. But behind him; are there more knives being sharpened?

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Is his position being quietly coveted? Does the new slimline Tom have a secret agenda? I wonder who’s in his gang? Too many questions.

It’s boring me now. I need to bleat about something else.

Of course, my mind turns to the television. And what has dominated in my little man cave? Since the beginning of December, one food channel has been a constant loop of Christmas cookery by the world and his brother. Even Delia’s been dragged out. At least her little interludes feature the “Fairer Sax”; a saxophone quartet simply oozing with port infused Christmas stilton. They must have had great fun recording those snippets.

I think the loop has been left running while the staff have an extended winter break. They’ll come back all tanned and relaxed. There might even be some plaster casts and crutches from the over-excitable skiers.

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But there’s only so much I can take of watching chefs in massive well-organised kitchens telling me what’s so easy to do. What about the small kitchens and the larger families? Will these households form part of the ghettoes predicted above?

Even the Muppets did Christmas Carol. The famous scene of Scrooge overseeing the Cratchit’s modest Christmas dinner in a cosy cottage with Tiny Tim breaking hearts is just another example of that nostalgic sheen we have for the Victorians. And Scrooge would not have changed.

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This lust for wealth and power is just as bad today. Thanks to ludicrous programmes like “Benefits Britain”, all ghetto-dwellers will be seen as serial scroungers just wanting to stay on their arses all day letting the good old honest tax-payer pick up the bill.

All such sloth will be punished by further deprivation. Oh buttocks, I’m getting all political again.

Back to the Christmas cookery: Every cook thinks they have the perfect way of cooking turkey.

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It often involves a whole 250g pack of butter (1,792 calories), some form of stuffing and sticking an orange up its arse.

Then some have the temerity to dis the old bird in favour of another form of posh meat. The sneering Slater favours goose. Someone else I saw recommended beef rib or beef wellington. (The constant yawning has fogged my time-honoured memory.)

Then there’s the issue of roasties. I once watched Gary Rhodes do his version. It was par-boil, rattle in a pan, fry a bit in the roasting tin and leave in the oven to finish them off. Yes, it produces a roastie which is technically correct but lacks heart.

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They would not feel an integral part of the plate. I know, I tried it.

My mum would put them straight in with the meat and produced proper ones with real flavour a texture. Didn’t all our mums produce a memorable roast potato? Get thee behind me Aunt Bessie.

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It goes on:

Christmas pudding and mince pies. Bread sauce and cranberry sauce. Gravy! Then the much-maligned sprout. I’ll take a sprout any which way but undercooked.

It’s always followed by ideas for the Boxing Day mayhem. James Martin goes for simple but fatty. Slater will fry the life out of everything while the cheeky little Oliver will carry on gorging.

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Whoever and whatever comes with the usual sanctimonious platitudes about the best way to save time and effort. Take note: We never see anyone washing up. I feel more bleating is brewing.

Let me finish with a list:

Cranberry sauce

Mayonaisse

Mustard

Piccalilli

Plum Chutney

Branston

Brandy butter

Double cream

Turkey gravy

Nuts

Canapes.

May I wish you condiments of the season.

(I got that from my mate Bob. RIP)

Thank you for reading

On the great bif roller coaster.

Yes, I’ve said bif and not big. I just think it sounds better.

This was the build-up to the hospital and first operation.

August the 29th:

An appointment with the incontinence nurse.

The heavens had opened. I arrived saturated. I was expecting a sympathetic ear and a discussion about the various measures I could try to help me stay normal. No chance. I’ve worked hard to give myself a better chance of a reasonable life. I travel, shop and live 98% independently. She cast this off and told me I was wrong on almost every count.

Instead, I had a lecture about the “dangers” of buying things online and eschewing medical advice on certain matters. I don’t know what her problem was but it was quite clear she didn’t like me. She didn’t want to help me up from the high examination couch either.

She sent a report to my surgery but ridiculed me for asking about the general gist of it. How could a mere man like me understand? I’ve not exactly been a goody goody little angel on my MS journey but I didn’t deserve to be treated like that. And because I hadn’t filled in my special little diary she wasn’t going to let me get pads on prescription.

In terms of bladder control and staying dry, I’m a pull-ups person. With my MS condition, it’s easier and more efficient than pads. Oh I was sooooo wrong. She gave me a sample of a pad to use. Very suitable for a woman but?

I was glad to get out.

August the 31st:

A GP turned up at lunchtime. Once more, I was on my side being inspected. His doctor’s bag was a Waitrose bag for life. He sat down and spoke to me in serious tones. He had seen something which needed investigation. I was left numb in desperate need of comfort food. I bought some crisps.

September the 10th:

A visit to hospital. I knew it was going to be intrusive. This was a full examination. Once more, I assumed the position while he cut a few little bits out. I was mortified. What had just happened? I had some time before I was picked up so I had a top breakfast in the restaurant. Theresa the lovely nurse came to find me. “Your transport has arrived sir.” I deserved it. I had been stripped of dignity and integrity but it was all in a good cause. I don’t quite know how to initiate polite conversation with someone who has various implements and digits up your R send:

“Been anywhere nice this year?” “Is your car turbo-charged? My arse is.”

Yes, it did retaliate a little.

September the 19th:

It was a brave decision. I knew anything metal would not be tolerated. I dressed up, especially for the hospital. I wore pyjamas. That was the best way to fit in. The fact that the x-ray receptionist was a former parent didn’t seem to matter. We had a lovely conversation about Carly and Ryan, now grown-ups. I was in my Cargo Bay tartan pyjama bottoms. No problem. The CT scan was like something out of Blake’s Seven.

 

September the 24th:

I was bricking it. It was the visit to the endoscopy department in Pembury. There was a long list of dos and don’ts in preparation for my procedure. The thought of having a camera, complete with sampling cutters stick up my Londonderry Air was a trifle unsavoury. I was to have an enema first. The most brilliant professional Portuguese staff nurse called Nelson did this. I sat on the commode doing my thing. He came back and complimented me on the success of the emittance before I was trolleyed to the tube room. In it went. But there was still some left. Eeeeeeeek! They pumped air into my lower bowels resulting in a symphony of wind breakage. But I produced benefits.

“Tut” went the doctor. 

“Phew,” said I

“Never mind,” said the nurses. “We’ve seen worse.”

I knew it was messy. What stars they are, working in the basement (on my basement) of the shiny new hospital. They found a lesion which was probably cancerous. The initial procedure was a success and I was relieved. It’s a very unique experience to see up one’s own rectum. As we say:

“I spied my arse.”

The following MRI would determine the extent and operability of the said lesion.

Thank you for reading.