Thursday 5th May 2022 – NOW I KNOW …

… exctly how a table-tennis ball feels.

Apparently there is so much liquid in my body that hasn’t been evacuated that moving it around is what is putting my heart under strain.

And so we’re back in the nephrology department again which was where we started. Knocked back across the fence

As to the question of “how come it suddenly happened overnight rather than a gradual decline?”, well, there was no response to that.

And so it looks as if I’m fated to carry this heart issue around with me until the end of my days. And at this rate, it’s not going to be for long.

At least last night was a rather better night than many have been just recently, even if it did take me an age to go off to sleep. But once I’d gone off I didn’t awaken all that often.

During the night I didn’t go very far – theoretically speaking. We started off back in the war again. We were in the regiment that was leading the advance. When we came to a place that had several lakes and plenty of rocks our regiment was split in 2. One was sent clockwise around these lakes and the other one was sent anti-clockwise round the lakes. We set off on our journey going clockwise. We made really good time. We had a couple of young people with us who had just joined up. We looked after those. We advanced really quite well and made quite some distance. In the end as we went round a corner around the shore of one of these lakes we suddenly collided with a group of people coming through the rocks. We had our guns at the ready, they had their guns at the ready. We fired a few bursts at each other but it turned out to be the other half of the regiment who had come round the other way. We pitched camp for the night together. One or two people were flown out on an aeroplane to make a report and the rest of us settled down for the night.

And there was also a dream about the taxis again. I can’t remember very much of it. It ended up with us having done some tidying up. We had a huge stack of oil in the kitchen in these 5-litre containers and no-one seemed to remind me very much about it. We’d had a visitor, someone who worked on a farm saying that he was having someone around in the morning to lengthen something and shorten something else. I was talking about the time that someone told me that you would probably be able to fit a Leyland cylinder head onto the block of another engine and we managed to have it running. We exchanged a few reminiscences but there wee definitely things about the cars moving around and driving around but I can’t remember a thing about that really. There was much more to it than this.

The alarm was set for 07:00 and just for a change I managed to fall out of bed something-like quickly which is a change, the way things are happening these days.

A quick run-round looking for things, making my butties, all of that kind of thing, and I hit the streets bang-on 08:00 where I was wept up by the crowds and carried off away towards the hospital.

loudspeaker grote markt leuven belgium Eric Hall photo May 2022My route took me into town and past the loud-hailer that we saw yesterday.

For a change, I had some time to have a look around it but surprisingly there wasn’t anything at all to tell anyone what is was supposed to be and why it was there.

Belgium is a country that is well-known for its surrealism, as anyone who has visited the country will know, even down to the shop assistants who have a totally new slant on “customer service”, so the idea of finding bizarre things like this dotted around he place is nothing new.

But a little explanation would be nice once in a while.

club velodrome brusselsestraat leuven belgium Eric Hall photo May 2022There was however an explanation as to what was happening at the velodrome yesterday.

There’s some kind of grandstand at the velodrome where spectators can sit in the hope of actually catching someone using it for the purpose for which it was intended, and the back wall of the aforementioned has a series of displays and advertisements.

One of the notices was advertising the “Club Velodroom”, having a meeting yesterday from 13:00 to 16:00. That must have been the occasion that I caught when I was out and about on my walk yesterday afternoon

It’s surprising that seeing as it’s the “Club Velodroom” there wasn’t any cycling involved in the meeting.

building site medieval tower brusselsestraat leuven belgium Eric Hall photo May 2022A little further on down the Brusselsestraat I stopped off to look at what was going on at this redevelopment site.

The rubble piles seem to be changing shape although they don’t seem to be changing in volume. Although there are plenty of vehicles and workmen on the site it’s difficult to identify any progress that they have made since we were last here.

The surviving medieval tower is still there though, surrounded by scaffolding and its protective netting. That’s something that is quite reassuring. I can think of many cases where there has been an “accidental manoeuvre of a bulldozer” or a “suspicious fire” that has removed a historic monument from a valuable redevelopment site.

On one occasion I actually wrote a REDEVELOPER’S GUIDE to historic sites, based on a considerable amount of experience.

building site kapucijnenvoer leuven belgium Eric Hall photo May 2022There are a couple of other building sites on which we are keeping a rather watchful eye.

This is the one in the Kapucijnenvoer that backs onto the Zongang. We’ve watched this building rise up from the ground over the last year or so.

They’ve been putting the cladding on the front of the building just recently and we saw some of it go on, but this particular part of the cladding is quite new. I’m sure that I would have noticed something as bizarre as this the last time that I came past this way had it been here.

building site kapucijnenvoer leuven belgium Eric Hall photo May 2022The other building site in the vicinity is this one here further down the Kapucijnenvoer.

They had begun to add the second floor to the structure the last time that we were here, so I was keen to see how things were progressing. And the answer was “not very far”.

There was a lorry, which you can see on the left of this image, with a load of slabs that they are using to build up the walls and one of the cranes is busy unloading them.

And so next time that we are here we might see something of a difference. I know that it’s a big building covering a large surface area but it’ll take for ever to finish it at this rate.

electricity work monseigneur van waeyenberghlaan leuven belgium Eric Hall photo May 2022Something else that is tking for ever to finish is this electrical work in the Monseigneur van Waeyenberghlaan.

We’ve seen this dug up and repaired and then dug up again on numerous occasions over the last few years but it seems now that they have dug it up and are leaving it like this for the foreseeable future.

The number of times that I have staggered past it on my way to the hospital I really can’t remember.

And I almost ended up making this trip my final one. Someone on a cycle took absolutely no notice of the pedestrian crossing with me on it and we ended up having a “discussion” about the situation

building work car park herestraat leuven belgium Eric Hall photo May 2022There’s yet more building work of some description going on on the hospital’s car park.

From a distance I thought that they might have been digging holes in which to plant trees as part of this green environmental drive, but when I looked down into the holes I noticed a whole web of cables there.

Presumably then it’s something to do with the rest of he electrical work that’s going on in the vicinity. It’s something else which presumably will become much clearer with the passage of time.

If it’s for lighting, we’ll have to wait until later in the year to see the results.

For some reason that I don’t understand I must have been quite quick today walking to the hospital because I was in plenty of time. Not that it did me any good because I still had to wait for my appointment.

The first thing that they did was to give me an echograph and then they pushed me out into the waiting room for the second part of the examination. That was an electro-scan and when she had finished with me she took me and the results to the doctor.

That was when I had my rather disagreeable discussion. Well, I don’t suppose that it was disagreeable because these people are experts and know their jobs. But it’s simply rather bizarre that I have something that they can’t find. I reckon that I’m just not made the same way as everyone else.

At one point he squeezed my leg and asked me “did that hurt?”. And there I was, wondering how they were going to fix that hole in the ceiling that my head had just made.

He’s also given me a new medication to take. This reduction in my medication didn’t last long, did it?

In the Oncology Day Centre they interviewed me as usual, took a blood sample and then coupled me up to my blood transfusion.

The doctor came and discussed my case and I told him of my latest symptoms, including the fact that in the time that I had taken to take off my elasticated stockings and wash them, my foot and ankle swelled up.

He went off to discuss the latest developments with the Professor who oversees my case and then came back to tell me some startling news – that they want to try me out with three months away from treatment. Come back on the 5th August or whenever it is.

That has taken me by surprise. I would have thought that with new developments they would have been more interested in following me up more closely. What am I going to do now?

The answer to that question was to fall asleep. I crashed out for half an hour.

On the way home I called in to the chemist. And the bill for the medication came to €500 give or take a few coppers. At least the hospital gave me a pile of Aranesp to take home.

heavy machinery building work car park herestraat leuven belgium Eric Hall photo May 2022When we were coming up the hill towards the hospital we noticed the building work going on on the car park.

While I had been in the hospital someone had come past with a lorry and dropped off a tarmac ripper. It was now unloaded, sitting on the tarmac and the mechanic was busily fitting the ripping teeth onto the belt underneath the machine.

And so it looks as if resurfacing of the car park is on the agenda too, once they have ripped off all of the old stuff.

There’s some kind of major project going on here then and it doesn’t just involve electricity work them.

demolition and rebuilding goudsbloemstraat leuven belgium Eric Hall photo May 2022For a change I went back home a different way, down the Goudsbloenstraat.

It’s a street down which I walked on many occasions when I first came to live here but it’s changing quite rapidly. I can’t remember what building was there but whatever it was, it’s gone now.

The site has been cleared away and planning permission seems to have been given for the site for it to have new apartments built on there

Now that things are drawing to a close at the building in the Kapucijnenvoer, I’ll have to come back this way and keep an eye on the proceedings

relaying drains blauwe hoek leuven belgium Eric Hall photo May 2022Another thing that regular readers of this rubbish will recall seeing is the roadworks in the Moneigneur van Waeyenberghlaan

They are now finished and have been for many months They now seem to be turning their attention to the road system around the “Blauwe Hoek” or “Blue Corner” That’s all been dug up now and it looks as if there’s a new drain being laid in there too

Construction work in the town is never-ending and there will be plenty to watch in the course of the next year or so I reckon

But right now I’m going to head off home Liz has sent me a message saying that she wants to talk.

hartlopers grote markt leuven belgium Eric Hall photo May 2022There was something going on in the Grote Markt too as I passed through.

There are what they call “hartlopers”, “runners from the heart” who have just come pouring out of the town hall. There were a few jogging around the town too.

Back here I had a quick shower and a change of clothes and then had a little chat with Liz. That took me up to the time to go and catch my bus for Alison’s house.

There is a big drive for putting people onto public transport but that’s no use if the buses don’t come, like mine didn’t. I had to wait for half an hour in the rain.

Alison had cooked something nice and then we had a lengthy chat about this and that – the various things that have happened to us just recently. It’s good to exchange news when there is news to exchange.

Back here I had a lengthy mail to write and then it was time to write up my notes. With 134% of my daily target reached today, I’ll switch off the alarm tomorrow. I have to go to the pharmacy at the hospital to pick up some medication that they needed to order and that will do me for my daily activity I reckon.

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