Sunday, 9th January, 2022
Let us go then, you and I,The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock – T.S.Eliot – 1910
When the evening is spread out against the sky
Like a patient etherized upon a table;
I come back and back and back to Prufrock and the fragmentary tangle of life’s stream of consciousness encapsulating anxiety, desire and disappointment. We all experience it. Some of us allow it into our thoughts and some of us successfully rebuff it.
In line with making the most of every minute, we are going out into a beautiful morning and under a lovely, clear sky to walk for a couple of hours. I really had to work hard in the Gym yesterday because it was wet most of the time. We were able to grab an hour of dry in the evening for a walk round the area. Just illustrates how ‘etherized’ I am. Not in the pub or the restaurant, not even on the couch before the TV but pacing the countryside under a rapidly dying sky, nodding at dog walkers and courting couples who have a lifetime ahead of them.
The parkland about 20 mins walk from our house shows the signs of yesterday’s heavy rain. It is lovely to see blue sky and walk in the sun. It’s good to do it early as well. Liz has just messaged me to say she’s done a long swim and saying age is irrelevant. She’ll soon enough find that age is the only thing left! Poor girl.
Today is Annual Accounts Day. Everyday, Pauline records our financial movements in & out. She forward projects financial positions across the year. This is all computerised but, once a year, we produce hard copy for her files and today is the day. Financial Report number 43 will be committed to 38 pages of transactions to file this morning. The rituals of marriage!
Monday, 10th January, 2022
Out for an early walk at 9.00 am on a dull but reasonably mild morning. Doing it this way makes it easier to do a couple of hours in the Gym in the afternoon. I am expecting a phone call from my doctor about my recent test results and the reason for my urgent referral on. Resigned to it.
When we got home, I had received a letter from the Nuffield Department of Medicine at Oxford University under the auspices of the Office for National Statistics. They have selected me for a further study called the Covid Immune Genetics. It will involve me providing them with material to establish my DNA and then I will be invited to their Labs to provide 2 Tablespoonsful of blood to compare my T-Cells and Antibodies with my DNA. Sounds interesting. Mind you, if the results of my bowel test are bad, I won’t be able to take part.
Just 10 years ago this week, we were living in Surrey and we drove down to the South Coast in search of ‘the best fresh fish’. I had found this company in Brighton and thought it sounded a good source. It turned out to be a beautiful place but little did we know then that we would sell up in Greece and move down here to live. It’s strange how lives turn out isn’t it?
I have received no phone call from my doctor just a postponement. I had built myself up and I am in anti-climax. A number of my friends have contacted me supportively. Of course, it is times like this that we realise who our true friends are. I am not afraid of dying but I need to make things right for my loved ones.
Red sky at night … across the sea from Littlehampton Beach. Maybe a delight will follow. We will see later in the week.
Tuesday, 11th January, 2022
Up at 4.30 am. Couldn’t sleep. Too many thoughts charging around my head. Pauline checked my on-line medical notes at the surgery to find that they had said the ‘abnormal faecal haemoglobin’ result of my test had been recorded as ‘Expected’ and that ‘No Further Action’ was recommended. Was this good or worrying news?
I know this is very self indulgent but it’s my Blog and I can indulge myself. Until the Doctor phones me, I won’t know why she should have ‘expected’ a result that was off the scale. I can only speculate that it is my daily doses of Warfarin or my current Hernia which has some overlapping symptoms. Is it an NHS economy response? When I discussed my hernia with her, she openly admitted that it is just the NHS cutbacks that prevent me having automatic referral for surgery. Reading about Colonoscopies, the NHS is hugely stretched and referrals on are strongly discouraged at the moment. I am totally opposed to it but I have already started pricing up private treatment for both problems.
Under lowering, darkened skies, today has been a stretch. After getting up at 4.30 am and not returning to bed, tiredness, exercise and more tiredness has left me reflective and empty. Must get an early night.
Wednesday, 12th January, 2022
Awoke to a glorious morning after a better sleep. Going to be an interesting day. Certainly be interesting to see Johnson on the spot at PMQs at lunchtime. My computer’s bootup screen threw up a photo of Central Park, New York this morning. I’m looking forward to visiting it in March.
While we were in Sainsbury’s today, I passed the ‘Travel Section’ and bought a couple of US plug adapters with USB sockets as well. Never knew before in all my 70 years what American electrical sockets looked like. Quite interesting. We carry so many gadgets now that we need a portable power station to charge them.
Instead of leaving early morning for Gatwick prior to a long, transatlantic flight, we’ve decided to book an airport hotel for the night before. We like the Sofitel which is walking distance of the Terminal so we will treat ourselves to a nice room with a runway view. We might even be able to check in for our B.A. flight the night before which will leave us unencumbered by baggage in the morning.
Incredibly lovely, warm and sunny day here today. On our walk we pass people out gardening, sunbathing and just enjoying the world. Wildlife has once again been fooled into thinking it is Spring as birds advertise their prowess loudly from the tree tops.
Thursday, 13th January, 2022
Early phone call this morning from my Doctor to inform me that I had been urgently referred for a Colonoscopy at Worthing Hospital. I don’t really know what that means. I don’t really know where my colon is or what it does. I know nothing about my body at all. Never did any Biology in school ever. I did Physics and Chemistry. Girls did Biology. I’ve had to look it up and I don’t like the look of it.
This procedure will take place within the next 10 days apparently. I have also now had three referrals to the Radiology Department concerning my suspected Hernia. We spoke to them this morning and I expect to hear back sometime today about a CT Scan. I’ve no idea what that is either.
I’ve looked it up and it appears quite straightforward. I’ve just had a phone call back to say I am going in first thing on Monday morning. At least things are moving although I really am not used to thinking about medical conditions and I’m very uncomfortable doing it now. Let’s hope I can get some definitive results soon – however bad.
Absolutely gorgeous day and we drove out to Lancing Beach to enjoy it. On this South Coast, the lead on to most beaches is via a wide stretch of grass fringed with Chalets.
We had gone to Shoreham-on-Sea to seek out the hospital where I will go for a scan on Monday. It is quite a nice drive of about 9 miles down the costal road.
There is something so uplifting about this Mediterranean light and these wonderful, rich colours. It felt deliciously warm and comforting. Ironically, it heightens the sensuality and joy of life even as it is most threatened.
Friday, 14th January, 2022
I’m afraid that this is going to become even more boring than usual for readers of the Blog. I record events of my daily life and, I am ashamed to admit it but my body is currently dominating events.
Yesterday, my doctor told me I had been referred for urgent, 2-week endoscopy investigation. This morning, in a phone call to the NHS hospital, we were told that 2-week urgency was now being stretched to 4 week and, even then, it would only be a telephone consultancy before any physical examination booked. This is too protracted and I’ve decided to buy private treatment. I have spent the morning trawling through hospitals, operation fees and consultant’s expertise and reputations. I find it all a bit demeaning but I am shocked at the effects of the pandemic on the NHS’s ability to work.
With all this going on in the background, it is ironic to find the world outside painted with the most wonderful sunshine. We are going to visit the beautiful Elmer Beach .
This is the most beautiful, lonely space like some lunar landscape. It is a place to reflect on existence, on sadness, on the brevity of life. The parking is a nightmare! The residents definitely don’t want us there. Do you ever get the feeling that you’re not wanted anywhere?
Saturday, 15th January, 2022
Early walk and then cleaning the car. Life doesn’t get much better than this. Actually, assuming we do make it to America in March, I’ve been looking at hotels for a stay in central New York. It will probably be a one-off so I’m not going to stint on it. We will need somewhere nice. I’ve been looking at a couple of places.
The New York Hilton Midtown is within walking distance of Central Square, 5th Avenue and the Theater District.
The Millenium Hilton Downtown is near the World Trade Centre, City Hall, Wall Street, Little Italy and China Town. They are not so expensive but almost all rooms in the centre of the city seem to be disappointingly small. Struggling a bit at the moment so trying to do future projections to take my mind off it.