Thursday 7th January 2016 – EEEUUURRRGGGHHH

Talk about dart boards. I’ve had no fewer than 6 injections today. That’s right – SIX, and I’m thoroughly fed up of it all. For a start, there was my twice-daily injection of anti-coagulant and the one thing that I’m really looking forward to about this operation is the ending of this particular circus.

And then we had the blood test. I’m fed up of that too, but that’s something that I’m going to have to suffer for the rest of my life, I suppose. I imagine that even when they’ve done this operation they will still be wanting to check that, to make sure that they cut out the correct bit. And as an aside, my blood count has gone up to 8.6 following the recent transfusion that I had. It’s not been this high for a while, but it’s still a long way from normal and it’ll be going down again even as we speak.

But the final straw that has broken this camel’s back are the other three injections that I needed to have. When my spleen is removed, it will remove a good deal of my immune system too and so I need to be vaccinated against certain illnesses and diseases, starting before the operation. I’d picked up the injections the other day and so I phoned up the doctor’s surgery after lunch, 13:30 to be precise. The receptionist – she who runs the pit hut at Pionsat’s football club – told me that the doctor would see me at 14:30, so off I went. It has to be done at a doctor’s surgery because, apparently, there could be some side effects after the injection so I would need to sit somewhere for a good half hour afterwards, somewhere where there was medical surveillance to hand.

I’ve complained in the past (and I’ll be complaining again – wait and see!) about the lack of formal information coming from the hospital. However, it appears that I am not alone because the doctor has received nothing either, despite me having to fill in a form each time I visit, when I’m clearly asked the name of my GP.

So I’m in the dark and she’s in the dark too. And when she saw the three injections, her eyes rolled too. “Are you supposed to have these three together?” she asked
“Apparently so” I replied. “That’s what I’ve been told”
It was news to her and so she had to sit there and read the instructions to make sure.
“Well, it doesn’t say that you can’t, so I suppose you can. Are you right-handed or left-handed?”
“Good. So that’s your left arm and your two legs we’ll use then. Better not do everything in the same place”.
So now you can see why I’m totally fed up

“What have they said about what is going to happen after the operation” she asked.
“No idea” I replied
“Didn’t they tell you?” she asked, with an air of astonishment.
“I didn’t want to know” I answered. “What is going to happen is going to happen anyway without me spending all this time worrying about it. I’m trying to push the lot of it out of my thoughts”.

It was quite fun in the waiting room after that, watching the world go by. And I really do mean that, because it was spinning around at quite a rate of knots. It was much longer than half an hour before I felt fit to leave the room.

But while I was there, I was reading a magazine, and this answered a question that has been puzzling me for a while. There’s a team in Division 3 of the Puy de Dome football league that has suddenly started to win its matches by some … errr … interesting scores, and now I know why.

There’s an empty old-people’s home in the village and it’s been converted into a temporary hostel for asylum-seekers, where they go while their papers are being processed. And currently in there are a former Syrian football league goalkeeper and a centre forward who was a Nigerian under-17 international, as well as one or two others with an interesting football pedigree. While they are awaiting processing they aren’t allowed to earn money or travel very far so they can’t play professional football. But they still need to train, keep fit and keep their match-fitness, much to the delight of the local football team and its supporters.

A flash in the pan it may be, but who says that refugees are nothing but a negative influence? It’s a really ill wind if it doesn’t blow anyone any good.

When I left the doctor’s, I went round for a while to my house to see what was going on and to relax a little. It was here that I realised that Bane of Britain didn’t have his laptop with him. And it was cold up there too. 8.4 degrees in fact. I’m glad I wasn’t planning to stay there long.

After tea, I managed to stay up until almost 22:00, but that was mainly because we watched a good film on television. My Darling Clementine, which is a highly-fictionalised story of the Gunfight at the OK Corral. What’s interesting in this film is not so much the film itself or the stars who act in it, but the supporting cast. We have Grant Withers, who played the Police Inspector in the Boris Karloff’s James Lee Wong films (of which I have all, downloaded from, Walter Brennan, who plays Stumpy in Rio Bravo and which bears more than a passing resemblance to the OK Corral, Ward Bond, who has played second-fiddle in dozens of leading westerns and several other names that ring great big bells with me.

The film itself is rather over-dramatised, which rather cuts up the action needlessly (thank heavens that by 10 years later this kind of thing had gone) but enjoyable all the same. Even more enjoyable was that much of the action takes place over an area over which I have driven in the past and which is probably amongst the most spectacular scenery in the world.

And so off to bed – not so early this time. And I doubt if my travels tonight will be anything like as interesting as last night’s, because I sat bolt upright at about 06:00 with it all ringing in my ears, and I dictated it almost immediately so that I wouldn’t miss a moment of the action.

Last night, I was planning on setting off to London in my car and I had the most unusual travelling companion. Her name, I think, was Lynn, but she didn’t resemble the Lynn whom I thought that it might have been. She did however strongly resemble someone from one of my previous existences – someone fairly similar to the Sue who shared my apartment for a week or so not long after I came to Brussels, young, quite vivacious, small, thin-faced and mousy blond hair in a pony tail. Anyway, we were getting ready to, and I was changing into some clean clothes and put on a pair of jeans, but this Lynn vetoed them. Although they were washed and cleaned, they still had faded oil marks upon them. The next pair of jeans that I found were perfectly clean and quite new although they had holes in them. And although they were clean, they had all kinds of things in the back pockets too – a CD, some papers, all kinds of stuff. And then I had to change my shirt. I’d been in a white dress shirt but I wanted to wear a tee-shirt. And I finished off with that light blue jumper that I had bought in the USA years ago and which I wore for years as people said that it matched my eyes. In the meantime my elder sister and her husband (them again???) were busily tidying up my room and sorting through a pile of stuff that I had in there. But in there was a pile of stuff that I rather wished that no-one knew about and they were working their way frightfully close to it. They’d already uncovered a pile of stuff (some of which, incidentally, featured on these pages a short while ago) without realising the significance so I needed to distract them. I told them to hurry up because we were about to go. We should have left the house at 16:45 – that was the usual time – but it was passing 17:00, 17:05 and we still weren’t on the road (as if 15 or 20 minutes was here or there on a trip from Crewe to London down the M6 at that time of day) and there were still one or two things that needed doing. It was at this point, as they were leaving, that my sister’s husband found one of my bank statements so we had all kinds of grumbles and groans and so on that you might expect. Anyway, after they had left and we were finally preparing to leave, I said to Lynn that my sister’s husband wasn’t very happy, and she explained to me a couple of reasons why he wasn’t so happy – a few things that had happened before he found this bank statement and not a thing about this bank statement at all. So we were finally ready to go and piled into the Cortina. Now a Cortina has a range of about 250 miles or so and I noticed that on the fuel gauge we had three-quarters of a tank of fuel and that might just be enough to get down to London. But we were going to the west side of London – Shepherd’s Bush or Hammersmith or somewhere like that – and I knew a way, a kind of short cut that I’ve taken on numerous occasions during my previous nocturnal rambles. You drive down the M1 almost to Luton and head south on this nice, wide A road round by High Wycombe, and there across a field you can clearly see a big BP petrol station, which you reach by carrying on half a mile to a major road junction and turn right. And that was where I was planning to fuel up. However, if we didn’t have enough fuel to make it to there, there’s another fuel station that I’ve also used on many occasions on my night-time voyages somewhere round about the A5 or M1. Here, you pull off the main road up to a roundabout and then turn into what looks very much like a motorway service area, with the fuel on the right as you pull in, and them a big rectangular car park with the buildings right ahead of you way across the car park. We couls always fuel up there if necessary.
But what puzzled me in all of this was this girl, Lynn or whatever her name was. I’m not used to people being so fond of me like this, although of course anything is possible during the night. But even more so, is that I know her, and I know who she is too. Her face, her build, her features seemed just so familiar to me but I just can’t recall her at all. I’ve no idea who she is, although I feel that I ought to know her, and know her so well. It’s bewildering me, all of this, and I do recall it bewildering me while the action was taking place.

So why did I say earlier on that you would hear more about the lack of news?

The answer was that when I was at the doctor’s in the hospital at Montlucon back on 23rd December, I asked the doctor for a letter setting out my illness, what treatment was required, all of that kind of thing, the doctor promised that she would do it. But I still haven’t had the letter, some two weeks later.

Being rather fed up of this, I telephoned the hospital and spoke to the secretary in order to find out what was going on. And she asked for my name.
“Ohhh yes – Mr Hall. The doctor did dictate a letter for you. I’ll type it this afternoon”.

Totally unbelievable.

I’ve often said before … "and you’ll say again" – ed … that all civil and public servants should be given 6 months unpaid leave after every ten years of service, and made to find a real job in the private sector. Then they would have to learn what life is like in the real world.

It would probably wake up quite a few of them – and probably kill off all of the rest.

And 2114 words – something of a world record this. I clearly have nothing better to do.

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