Sunday 19th May 2024 – WHAT AN EMBARRASSMENT

this evening I’ve been out and about – and how I wish that I hadn’t. It did not go well.

Actually it all began to go wrong the previous evening. Despite the promise of an extra hour in bed until 08:00, it was actually long after midnight before I finally hit the hay, what with one thing and another. And once you start, you’ll be surprised at how many other things there are.

It was another turbulent night when I don’t think that I may have had much sleep, and I was certainly in no mood to deal with the alarm that rang.

Anyway I staggered off into the bathroom having switched off the alarm, done what I’d needed to do and washed the floor (which was much more complicated than it ought to have been) I was interrupted mid-deshabillé by the early arrival of the nurse. So he had to wait for me to finish.

Once I was ready he did the necessary and departed, leaving me to prepare breakfast.

There was a ‘phone call shortly afterwards. It’s a neighbour’s birthday, the neighbour who was so helpful in putting me on the trail of the apartment downstairs. It’s a “special” birthday and she was having a big party in one of the public rooms here.

She wanted me to be there, which was nice, and se she’d asked another couple of neighbours to help me. They rang me up to confirm the arrangements.

At some point in between one or two of the constant waves of sleep that were overwhelming me I transcribed the dictaphone notes. I was a teacher at school last night talking to a couple of guys. As a result I was late to go to my class one morning. On another morning a similar situation occurred but on a third moment I was just late. I ran into a young teacher who was trying to make an impression who was also late coming into school. I told him to simply say that he had been to see these two other guys who had kept him longer than they should but he couldn’t understand it. He kept on being confused about how he should say and what he should say. When I mentioned a sum of money which was why I was late – I had to go to pay a bill somewhere he asked “yes, do I have to pay these guys a sum of money?” and he started to really confuse himself. In the end I wished that I hadn’t said anything and that he’s just gone in and treated his absence as though without any problem whatever. This was going to end up far too complicated for him to understand which is a total surprise. It was all pretty straightforward to me what he needed to do. The other two guys involved – they were quite happy to play ball with any suggestion whatsoever

That makes a change, doesn’t it? People playing ball and willing to fall in with my ideas.

And then I vaguely heard the alarm go off at 08:00 and then vaguely heard the doorbell – when he came I was still flat-out asleep in the bedroom. He had to come and hunt me down and do all the things that … fell asleep here …

Of course, that was the phantom alarm sounding and it wasn’t the nurse to come in to awaken me either. There are some strange things going on in this building.

When the alarm went off I was busy teaching someone some French. We were at a strange kind of house party last night with lots of excitement going on. Down in the garage outside was a builder mixing cement who had developed a way of doing it automatically. He showed me round and showed me how it worked. It looked quite an interesting way of doing things – you could certainly mix a lot of cement quite quickly in this way. He was the one asking me the French for all kinds of different phrases as we were going along

There are so many things like this in my dreams that if I could remember them correctly and patent them, I’d make a fortune

While I was asleep at lunchtime there was something about two girls being here. It might even have been Percy Penguin and someone else. I’d made a big plate of salad and given them a side plate each so that they could help themselves to some, but one of the girls complained that the side plates just weren’t big enough and they wanted dinner plates.

At the rate that I’m breaking crockery here, they should think themselves lucky that they were offered side plates. It was probably all that I had.

So continuing on with my struggle after a rather late lunch I chose all of the remaining music for the next radio programme and paired it off. For some reason that took a lot longer than it ought to have done.

And so did putting on my shoes. I had to take off my puttees of course but the subsequent battle with my shoes took almost 45 minutes and was the most depressing moment of my life – so far

When my two neighbours called and helped me downstairs, you’ve no idea how depressed I was. It was clear that my health has deteriorated badly since the last time that I went out because it was such a struggle. I was beginning to think that it was the wrong decision to come out because I’ll never get back up the stairs again.

As I hadn’t been out for ages they took me on a guided tour of the town to see the sights, which was very nice of them. It’s ages since I’ve had a good look around.

At the party I fell in with a very nice group of guys and gals and eventually a chair with arms was produced so that I could sit down outside, enjoy the sun, talk music and eat a big plate of crudités

Eventually we had to go inside for a main meal, and this is where the fun began – I couldn’t get out of the chair, no matter how many people tried to help me.

Four guys had to carry the chair – and me, like some Roman emperor, I suppose – inside the hall and drop me at a table. Surprisingly there was nothing arranged for me to eat. someone eventually produced a plate of green beans followed by a plate of cherries.

We were there until about midnight and then we had the same trouble. It was impossible for me to leave the chair.

In the end they carried my and the chair to the car and bundled me inside, and that was not without mishap. I fell over a couple of times trying to go from the chair to the car.

At the other end, outside here, they helped me from the car, put me in the chair as I still couldn’t stand up, and they carried the chair and me up the stairs and tipped me out on the bed.

What an ignominious, humiliating way to spend an evening. I should really never have gone out but it’s as well to find out my shortcomings while there were plenty of people to help. Heaven alone knows what it will be like when I have to go to Paris.

But at least my experience wasn’t as humiliating as for someone else there. A rather large lady, who took up a lot of space, appeared at the party and wanted to sit down
"Three chairs for this lady, please?" asked our host
"Hip! Hip! Hooray!" roared the crowd.

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