I don’t normally allow anyone to address me as ‘uncle’, even though my eldest two nieces, and their neighbours, always used to do so. It was almost in a comical way, so that didn’t really matter. Somehow it never really sounded right to me, it had a formality to it that never really fitted me. I’m glad that the said eldest niece has grown up and dropped the ‘uncle’, but I have to say I could quite easily get used to ‘great uncle’ as I was introduced to nieces daughter for the first time. Oh and she’s a ‘great’ niece too. My sister, bro-in-law, niece, great niece and myself spent the afternoon in the Derbyshire Dales. Dovedale to be precise which is a fantastically beautiful spot on the Derbyshire/Staffs border. We used to go there as kids, although I don’t remember those hills being as big as they are now. I suppose they have grown in the years that have passed. Not that I had any thought of climbing them. As with all childhood memories, it was always summer then, the stones that bridged the river were wobbly and someone always fell in, and had to endure the journey home sitting in the back of the car in their underwear. I always envisaged the car park being much further away than it is now. Certainly when you’re carrying a picnic for four, five six seven of us, the number depending on what year it was. You could always guarantee that my mother was either expecting or at least carrying a babe in arms, which prevented her from climbing the hills or crossing the river with us. I’ve now realised that the car park is no nearer now than it was all those years ago, it’s just that was the distance we had to be to avoid the car parking charges, and the ice cream vendor. Every penny counted in a family that size.
All but me had been to see my Dad, before we met for lunch, prior to our trip down memory lane. Dovedale just happened to be a convenient half way point between Manchester and Birmingham, where Pat & Clive live. I was reminded that it was 12 months to the day since they had brought my Dad up to see me whilst I was in hospital following bowel surgery. It seems far longer than a year ago, and a lot has happened since then. Certainly my Dad would not be able to make the same journey today. As if to mark the occasion, at the end of lunch I received the phone call that I had been waiting for, my lung operation is scheduled for Tuesday. Yep, that’s tomorrow. The chances are that while you’re reading this I’m waiting for a phone call to confirm that they have a bed for me, but I don’t expect them not to have and so it looks like all systems go again. I went for my pre op MOT on Friday, no problem there. The nurse went through the procedure with me. A posterolateral thoracotomy, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thoracotomy A Long incision in the back between two ribs. Ribs parted to access the lung, whip the tumour out and sew me back up again. It might be staples instead of stitches, and having had staples (42) after my liver op, I can certainly say they are far more uncomfortable to remove than sutures. Oh, and there’ll be lots of pain afterwards. That was the long and short of it. This is the procedure I have not been looking forward to, just a single tumour, but the larger of the one’s on my lungs. I know (HOPE) they’ll control the pain as much as they can, but considering the pain and discomfort I was in after the keyhole surgery some 6 weeks ago, I know that this is not going to be comfortable. It’s likely that I’m going to be pretty much out of my tree for a few days afterwards, so if I phone anybody or send confusing text messages I apologise in advance. I’m glad I didn’t get much notice, less time to think about it. I hoping to be home within a week so I’m sure I’ll be letting you know how it went just as soon as I can.
I’ve been frantically trying to get some work done in the garden before I go into hospital. My lack of mobility after my last op, and the fact that the snow has only just cleared from the garden have prevented me doing so before now. Now the better weather has arrived and I’m not going to be here ! I managed to get a few bedding plants in and half a dozen window boxes and planters, but I’m going to have to leave them to the elements whilst I’m away. I hope we get at least a little rain to keep them watered whilst I’m out of action. Somehow a few crocus’s , snowdrops and the indestructible crocosmia managed to flourish under the Arctic conditions so at least we’re not starting with a blank canvas.
I always thought I’d be dancing in the street when it happened. Flags out, celebrations, and the chance to say good riddance. When the news came, and I heard it as it was first announced, I quickly turned off the TV and radio. As I expected, there followed day after day of adoration, even those who stabbed her in the back were lining up to smother themselves in the scent of her corpse. There’s not much that I can say that hasn’t already been said. I’m sure you won’t thank me for repeating it. Like so many I am left wondering who it is who supports the pantomime that purports to be a funeral. It can’t be the Scots, she managed to alienate them in one election that wiped out every single Tory MP in one go. Surely not the Welsh, and no-one can deny that she was divisive when it came to Northern Ireland politics. The success of the Good Friday agreement is testament to her absolute failure in that region. And England ? The mere mention of her name in the North is enough to provoke abuse and anger.So just who are the ‘majority’ of people who feel the £10m ceremonial funeral is justified? I’m sure the sanctimonious blue brigade are more than capable of meeting the exorbitant cost of her final party conference. Perhaps they should pass round the collection boxes, as Cameron puts on his grieving face to read to the elite congregation. Will he be preaching about austerity? What worries me more is that he is well on the way to causing more social harm to this country than Thatcher ever did. I’m glad that I’ll be well of the way of any TV or radio, and sufficiently sedated not to have to have any care about what happens when the circus begins on Wednesday. There’ll certainly be plenty of clowns there !