Monday 14th November 2022 – I’VE HAD A …

… very busy day today. So much so that I’ve spent much of the day asleep.

Last night was quite busy too. Although I’d had a reasonably early night for a change, I stayed with the headphones on and listened to all 3.5 hours of a Paul Temple adventure, tucked up under the bedclothes with my headphones on. Consequently it was a very sleepy me at some time after 00:00 when I finally switched off everything.

During the night I awoke two or three times and there’s plenty of stuff on the dictaphone too. We were on board a cruise ship, working. The captain was a James Robertson Justice-type of figure. He rounded up some of us and asked if we’d taken a certain medication that he showed us. The idea was that it was a kind of pep pill or something like that. I replied “no” and pointed out the list of exceptions to people who could take the medication even though I’d taken a couple of shots of it and decided that it wasn’t a road down which I wanted to go. He said to the other people “I want to talk to you about something else” and ushered them into his cabin leaving the door open. at that moment Tuppence came up the stairs, a very old and mangy Tuppence. I picked her up and she began to yowl and complain about her tail. I picked her up and went into the room. He was showing them a selection of amplifiers. I can’t remember what the first one was called but the second was a deluxe edition called “The Black Sabbath” which was where the amplifier actually sensed everything, even the current to turn it on. He didn’t need any kind of controls on it at all – you just plugged in your guitar and plugged it into a speaker column and away you went.

We were at Shearings having a meeting on a motorway service area north of Carlisle. There were 4 part-time drivers including me, 4 full-time drivers and several members of the officials. At a certain moment 4 brand-new Volvo cross-country estates pulled up painted white. The drivers got out to leave them. It seemed that Shearings had actually bought them for some purpose or other. Then 4 brand-new coaches appeared. The drivers pulled up and got out. On the coaches there needed some work doing, like some of the equipment was held up in brackets and the brackets need to be undone. It was necessary to find several long bolts that could be used as drifts to hit with a hammer in order to do this. I was lucky that I had some of the correct bolts so I distributed them around. Then it turned out that one of the pieces of equipment had been taken off and a washer was missing. I had a washer but it had to be taken back to Carlisle to the depot from where these coaches had come. Seeing as it was going to be on my way home I said that I’d take it. Then the 4 of us were told to go so I asked “does that mean that we have to take these Volvos?”. There was some silence. No-one could understand what I was meaning. The chairman of the company then piped up “do you want these part-time drivers to take the Volvos or the brand-new coaches? Which do you think is best?”. It was agreed that we’d take the Volvos back down to Wigan. I mentioned that I had to go to drop off this washer. The chairman didn’t think that this was very important but I remarked that this guy had an annual test on his vehicles on Tuesday. He’d be really sad if he had a failure or advisory on a washer that was something to do with us not having handed it back. In the end he agreed that on my way back down to Wigan I’d go via the centre of Carlisle and drop off this washer. There was all talk about these brand-new vehicles, the coaches and the Volvo estates about how much looting and pillaging there was of these brand-new vehicles. When they actually came to be put on the road to do a job there were that many complications because of all the stuff that had been removed unlawfully from them by all kinds of various people when the vehicles were in the garage.

And then there was something about a big group of hippies who had taken over an old abandoned town from the Victorian era. They were busy trying to rebuild some form of houses, doing it in all sorts of ways by sometimes demolishing some stuff, sometimes adding on new stuff depending on the circumstances of each individual family unit how well they were doing it. There was one situation where dragging a timber beam down a roof had caused the whole lot to collapse and buried several people alive in there. They were unable to dig them out. In the end they turned the site of this building that had fallen down into a memorial garden where these people would be recognised and honoured. I found a small room that didn’t need very much work doing to it that would be ideal for me. It seemed that it was a problem because it was marked down in a building for public performances. I contacted the insurance people whoever and asked them if played the guitar and let people come in to listen to me, whether that would count in the terms of the restrictive covenant. They replied “yes, it would be OK” so I decided to go ahead to continue to bring this room up to my standards.

Very regrettably I didn’t end up back in school or in Wrenbury as far as I remember and that’s depressing. That was a very peaceful and pleasant experience the other night.

No breakfast for me this morning. I’m having a special kind of CT scan and so I need to be à jeun this scan was timed to be at 09:15 so at 08:45 they came to fetch me.

Somewhat later than planned, they made a start on me.

Firstly they gave me a very, very slow injection of some kind of radioactive sugar solution. They couldn’t use my catheter port because it’s been in for several days so that had to inject into a vein. Good luck with that!

Once they had finally managed to place an external catheter into the bloodstream, I then had to drink three extremely large beakers of water, and that necessitated the odd trip or two to the bathroom.

It took a while for everything to work, and eventually they wheeled me off into where this scan was taking place. It’s just like any other one of these “Stargate” time-travelling machines except that today I was strapped in and the scan took about 15 minutes before it was completed.

There was a long wait before they came to take me back to my room. it was 11:25 when I returned and long past my breakfast time. I wrote that off as a lost cause.

The doctor turned up almost immediately. She told me that the results of the scan won’t be known for a couple of days. She gave me a good going-over and while she was at it I took the opportunity to bend her ear about the feeling that I have that they are going to turf me out once the virus has disappeared and miss out on a golden opportunity to deal with my other health issues.

Judging by her stammered response I could see that I’d caught her on a touchy spot and my suspicions may well be correct. And if that’s the case I shall go berserk. I’ve had it up to here with them passing the parcel over this breathing issue and the latest developments with my right leg that nearly saw me underneath a train on the Berri-UQAM metro station in Montreal the other week.

These things really need to be sorted out and the quicker the better. Nearly 3 weeks of inaction in a hospital bed is the perfect opportunity and they are going to miss it. And then we’ll waste more of what is left of my precious couple of years left going round and round and, presumably, disappearing up my own exhaust pipe like the famous Oozelum Bird.

Of course, my lunch wasn’t ready so they had to scramble around to find it and as a result that was quite late too. And I’d barely finished before someone else came along to whisk me off for another test.

This one was to check on the amount of water still in my lungs and around the heart. This pneumonia still hasn’t gone despite the antibiotics.

It took a while to complete the scan but at least they found that I had a heart. That’s good news, because it shows that I’m not a Conservative. What was not so good was that the technician had to call a doctor in to see the scans that he’d taken.

By the time that I returned here it was 15:35 and I’d not had a coffee for almost 22 hours. Luckily a little student nurse came in to give me some medication and so I prevailed upon her to hunt down a mug of coffee for me. These student nurses really are sweet and I want to take them all home with me.

The rest of the day has been spent half-asleep being shaken awake by a variety of nurses waking me up for this and that. But not “the other” though. That kind of thing is a distant memory.

So having done everything that I was supposed to do and having finished my notes somewhat early, I’m going to close everything down except the Old-Time Radio on the laptop and curl up under the covers for a quiet evening.

But I’m sure that something will come along and disturb the peace.

It usually does.

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