… for a couple of hours this afternoon. And I’ve absolutely no idea why. It’s not as if I’ve been up to very much, is it, just sitting here waiting for Godot or whatever.
Mind you, I have had a day that’s been hectic in certain respects. For a start, in this urge to clean out the dictaphone and bring this up to date, I’ve not only finished the notes for the voyage to Canada in 2015 (which I think that I might have finished off yesterday) I’ve also dealt with the trip to central France in August last year, the one to Germany and the Czech Republic in June, and I’ve cracked on pretty well with the trip to Canada in 2014, the notes of which were lost when the previous laptop crashed.
You can see that it’s been a pretty hectic day all in all, at least from that point of view.
Having a blood test thins morning didn’t help matters either. That takes it out of me too, in more ways than one. Quite frankly, I don’t see the point of them giving me all of this blood if they are simply going to take it out bit by bit.
But it was during the night that, as usual, everything happened. and I do have to say that it’s rather sad right now that I have to have any excitement in my life by vicarious means.
We started off last night on the most amazing nostalgia trip. Memory Land had nothing on this. It was back in my school days and I’d started to go to school in a really scruffy, oily pair of green shorts (I actually had a pair of these too) and and equally scruffy light grey tee-shirt. It all makes a change from the school uniform that we had to wear back in those days. After school, we set off home and it was raining. I had an old, short kind of raincoat thing that I was wearing to keep the rain off. A group of us decided for some reason or other to go home a different way and we ended up wherever we were intending to be a good five minutes before the others arrived. We didn’t know this at the time but it soon became clear. There was a rather large stationary Ford Pinto engine there that performed some task or other at the place where we were, and I was having a look at it. I noticed that some of the spark plug leads had been caught up underneath it and trapped. This told me that the other kids hadn’t arrived yet otherwise they would have noticed it and sorted out the leads. Another thing that I noticed was that the cam belt adjuster had become slackened off and the belt was twisted. Someone had evidently tried to turn over the motor and that had upset the valve timing as the belt was sliding around over the top pulley on the end of the camshaft on the cylinder head. I needed my tools to adjust it and set it correctly but before I could go to fetch them, the other kids turned up. I told them not to touch the engine under any circumstances until I’d adjusted it (ohh! The nostalgic delights of changing cam belts on Ford Pinto engines! If I ever had a quid for every one of those I’d done in the 70s and 80s I would be dictating this to a couple of floozies sitting on my knee in the Caribbean somewhere). While I was adjusting and setting the cam belt and the valve timing, a couple of girls from the “latecomers” came over for a chat. One of them was very, very young (not even in school uniform – she was blond-haired, wearing a blue and white checked summer dress with a very pale blue blouse) and I had a little chat with her. The other girl then came over to join in. She was probably in year 3 or 4 of the Grammar School where I went, and I would be in year 6 or 7 (7 was the final year at out school). She lived in Worleston, so she said, and had shoulder-length dark red (almost brown) hair and a lovely smile, and I’m sure that I know who she is but I just can’t think who. We had a chat that started off just being something general and then slowly developed into something more personal. She asked me what “A” levels I was doing and so I told her that I was studying Geography, History and English (I actually studied Geography, History and Economics, as well as both parts of the “General Paper” which was an option). She told me that she was very interested in journalism because that was what her father did. She collected photographs and autographs, and started going through her collection of photographs with me. There were many photographs of lifeguards at the beach and also older ones of old Victorian women, so we started to make a few jokes that today would be considered in rather poor taste (not that that ever would bother me of course – I can’t remember now who it was who said it but I’m a fervent subscriber to the comment that “nothing is ever in bad taste if it is funny”) such as “I bet that she’s felt the cold hand of death on her shoulder by now”. We ended up having quite a laugh about this.
The bizarre thing about this – or maybe it isn’t so bizarre – is that while I was on this little voyage, I was feeling quite warm and comfortable. Chatting to this girl was very pleasant and it made me realise that during my school days -and later on – what I had missed out on was a nice comfortable companion with whom I could relax like this. None of my girlfriends at school would ever have fitted into this little scenario, and much as I liked Nerina, it’s fair to say that we weren’t ever “accomplices” in this sense. I’ve been noticing that we do occasionally have little nostalgic nights like this and I was all for turning the clock back 45 years and going off to track down this girl with the dark red hair. It’s not as if Worleston is a big place, after all and with a farmer who is a journalist, they aren’t likely to be part of the dispersed farming community out there. The “Royal Oak” would be the place to start, or maybe the church, where the Reverend Lillicrap (and I am not making this up) used to hold sway.
After the usual semi-somnambulistic stroll down the corridor, I was back at school again. This time though, it wasn’t anything like as pleasant. I’d been charged with an offence that was rather disreputable and as a result I’d withdrawn from my usual social circle (not that I ever had much of one) and was living in my car on a cliff-top somewhere. I would merely change into my school uniform to go to school and then change back into civvies as soon as I could afterwards. I only kept in some kind of social contact with one friend (someone with whom I am still in touch these days), and that was because I could rely on him and he believed in my innocence. As a result, any indiscretion that I might (or might not) have committed had not reached the ears of anyone else and I was defending the court case entirely on my own. But this all was about to change when he told me that his wife (and he mentioned her name – and she is in fact his sister in real life) had somehow heard about the events, and forbidden him to keep in touch with me. I asked him if he intended to take any notice, to which he replied that he had to. He admitted that, although no-one else knew this, she controlled him quite closely, even weighing him every day to make sure that he wasn’t eating any sweets or anything else to which he wasn’t entitled. I found this all hard to believe and when I saw her bright yellow vehicle right across the headland, heading slowly towards where I was parked up, I waved at her and that caused a major eruption amongst all people concerned.
So after all of that, it was back into the land of the living. And I had to make my own bed and open my own curtains because we were having visitors today and Liz had a day of teaching. Perhaps it was that which wore me out so much.
But counting through the boxes of injections, there is about half of them left. I wish that they would hurry up and get it over with.
And I’d like to have my blood test results too. They STILL haven’t come. And I want to go off for an early night and a decent sleep. It’s a long way to Worleston in the dark.