Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Days like these

Thursday the 10th was a nice day - spat with rain a little, but that didn't bother me much because I got myself dressed and off out to the hospital, where I saw a specialist in fitting surgical appliances. Now, before any juveniles begin sniggering about trusses and such, I was having a couple of knee braces measured for days of cold and inordinate discomfort, nothing more. So, got measured and fitted for one - the right knee. They had  run out of medium sizes - they will send it on to me.

As I got back into the van for the return journey, a friend of mine got out.

"Is it you, Frank?" said he.

"Ha!" said I. "Had I known it was you, I'd have hidden."

Back to the Shovel'n' Pick and a bit of wandering and feeding the friendly rams by hand.

That was Thursday.

On Friday I was up and out very early because I had an appointment with a sharp instrument at 8.30 am at the hospital again. This was my umbilical hernia thing being sorted out. I've had it for ten years or more. It doesn't bother me much at all at the worst of times. However, I didn't go directly to the ward, I went up a couple of floors to the ward where my pal of the previous day - remember him? - had been enthroned, because they had kept him in. Of course, me being the cheerful sort, I thought the worst.

"Hello," said I to the nurse on the ward, "I've come to see... " and gave her my pal's name. (I won't use his proper name - such things are frowned upon. I shall call him Albert.)

"Ah," said the nurse, a pretty girl with a nice smile. "Are you from the Camp?" It must have been the suit that did it.

"I am," I agreed. "I'm the one who gave him the heart-attack in the first place!"

"Oh!" said she. "He didn't have a heart-attack, he's got a DVT."

"Don't worry," said myself, "he'll have a heart-attack by the time I leave."

Nursie sniggered and said, "Bed three, bay six."

In I went and there he is, sitting in the corner like Little Jack Horner and gazing at the scenery out of the window - probably wondering why he couldn't see any fences.

"Hoy!" said I from the doorway. "Don't think you are getting away  with anything, Pal."

Three other sick men sitting by beds looked surprised - I think they thought I was from the Russian Mafia.

"Frank!" cried the folorn lunatic, obviously glad to see a face he actually recognised. "Is it you?"

Well, the long and the short of it is that he has a DVT and will be kept in while they shove needles into his stomach every thirty seconds until he is cured. I know, I had one myself about ten or twelve years back.

We wandered up to my ward - well, down really: it was on the second floor - and I was admitted with the nitwit in attendance. I saw the anaesthetic-administerer and, what with me still having a violent cough - the residue of last week's cold - the fellow was quite reluctant to proceed with the butchery and so it's been put off yet again until a future date. Can't say I'm too upset at the decision - I had somewhere else to go the next day and I didn't want to be walking like a geriatric crab, nursing stitches.

So, after yet another bout of idiocy with Albert, I got the bus back to durance vile.

That was Friday.

On Saturday, yesterday, I was at the gate, all suited and booted at a quarter to nine for my release at nine bells. There were dozens waiting to get out - must have been thirty or forty in the queue - and by the time I got out it was twenty past nine.

Pat and Sara had been sitting in the landrover since ahout a quarter to nine and, as I put my bag in the boot, Pat said, "We were starting to think you weren't coming!"

Off we set and shortly after we started Pat's phone rang. "Hello!" said she - she has the manners that even Lizzie Windsor would be pleased with - "He's here now... Wait..." and she gave me the phone. "It's Herman the Big Mug," said she but actually used his proper name. See! Too polite to be rude. I'm not.

"What do you want?" I asked. Anyway, he said he was leaving Hartlepool right then and would be with us by one or two in the afternoon. I told him, the police should perform a proper job and shoot him.

So, there we were, out in the countryside, and I got Jade to help me to cook a spaghetti Bolognese - a kind of assistant chef, which is pretty good seeing that neither of us knew what we were doing. Well, once we had done the sauce we cleaned up and left the kitchen with Jade agreeing to stir it now and then - we would cook the pasta later, about four.

Sat out in the sun, Dennis and me hammering away on a couple of his guitars and sniggering a good deal.

Then we noticed that Pat and Sara had disappeared and that we hadn't seen them for a while, and they turned up with Herman fo1lowing them in his vehicle. They had been to meet him and show him the way. It's easy to get lost in those winding little lanes.

"Have you got stitches?" asked Herman the retired giant.

"No," said I, "The op was cancelled."

"Great," said the big mug, "Come here." And he proceeded to give me a bear hug that nearly broke my ribs. I would have ended up in the next bed to Albert.

"Get off you bastard!" I told him.

Some people seemed to find that comical.

Well, we sat about in the sunlight and then I decided that me and Jade would go horse-riding, so I had to go and get Buddy out of the field. Surprising enough, he was quite cooperative for a change - it could have been the carrots I fed him.

So, after managing not to fall off and break anything vital, Jade and I made the pasta - loads of it, after all we were feeding eight hungry mouths.

Not long after that, washing up done, they delivered me back to the hoosegow and that was my day done.

I think I'm going fishing next weekend with Dennis - that could be interesting.

My mother told me there would be days like these...

The Voice In The Wilderness

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