I’m not sure you can really, it all seems a little over dramatic to me, life goes on as it did before. Once I had spoken to everyone who needed to be spoken to, everything went back to the normal daily schedule. I’ve not quite found the phrase I’m comfortable with, but I’m in some sort of state of calm. I’m not afraid, scared, worried or even concerned at the possibility of anything happening at the moment, yet at the same time well aware of how things can change so dramatically in a short period of time. I’ve started to put my mind to all the things I need to organise, some of which you would never imagine yourself having to consider. There are the obvious formal affairs that need to be in order, and then the trivial like arranging your own funeral. I had a moment, driving to The Christie the other week when something on the radio sparked an emotional lapse, that in the end resulted in heaps of laughter. I wouldn’t hesitate in putting Radiohead among my favourite bands that always make my top ten, but for funeral music ? No way ! Anyone dissecting the lyrics would jump to ‘the conclusion I had gone stark raving mad. Anyone who knows me would appreciate the thought of The Smiths blurting out “Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now”, the thought of that playing as the curtains pulled shut filled me with laughter. But would I want anyone going away with the thought of me possibly being a fan of Mr Morrissey…God no. So, I’m still working on the music.
I’ve been moved by the messages I’ve received from relatives and strangers, particularly those offers of help. The garden is now ready for winter thanks to a number of people, and M put in early spring bulbs just the other week. We’ll be adding more over the coming weeks, but I’m determined to see those ‘early’ bulbs blossom. The Macmillan Nurse tells me it’s good to have targets, but maybe spring flowers is a bit ambitious. She suggested Christmas as a starter. Wow, I’ve never looked forward to Christmas. I’m gradually working myself through the other things. The wardrobe needed a good clear out, but what am I going to with 12 pairs of jeans, and shoes ! How did I get to need so many pairs? I never knew I had a shoe fetish. You can see I’m concentrating on the important things. I keep hearing new music on the radio and thinking to myself ‘I must buy that’, then it dawns on me that there is little point. I’ve already got a couple of hundred CD’s to find a home for.(Don’t worry, I’ve already had plenty of offers of a good home). Both Lewis and, Alana are coming to visit in the coming weeks, which will give me ample time to prepare myself for what is the hardest part of all this. Lewis was here just a few weeks ago, but I’m ashamed to say it’s been ages since I’ve seen Alana. I can’t trust myself to make long drive down there when I can fall asleep at the drop of a hat, and even fitting in a train journey has been difficult when you have so many hospital appointments. Lame excuses I know. Alana has just turned 21, and just started her final year studying English at The University of Sussex. It makes me smile when I think of her as a young girl, so happy in her own little world, but lacking confidence and so shy when out of her comfort zone. I can’t claim any credit that she has turned in to the intelligent, confident beautiful young lady that she has, but I’m so proud of her. It does hurt me to know I won’t see either of them get married and I won’t see my grandchildren. I wasn’t ready yet, but I would have made a super cool grandad. And before you start saying “there’s plenty of time” , no thanks, let’s leave it until they’re ready, I’ll be happy with that and they’ll both make great parents.
Sunday I was up bright and early, which is usual on the first Sunday in October as it was Glastonbury ticket sale day, but there will be no Glasto for me next year. I had already decided that before I left Worthy Farm in June, and now the decision is out of my hands. There were a couple of times earlier this year when I didn’t think I would make it at all, so I was pleased just to be able to be there, and will always be grateful to those that made it possible, no-one more so than M who hardly let me lift a finger all summer. In the end it wasn’t as significant an event as I had let myself believe it would be, and I reached the conclusion that perhaps I had been building up to for a couple of years prior, I have gone full circle and reached the end of line with Glastonbury. Things will always evolve and change and I have fully embraced those many many changes over the years, but it’s no longer the festival I lived and breathed. The people are different, the atmosphere was different, the edge has gone blunt ! Don’t get me wrong, it’s still the best festival in the world, and I would still encourage anyone to experience the full force of Glastonbury Festival. There’s still nothing like it, and it will always be the single biggest influence on my life. I’m delighted that Lew and Kirsty managed to get tickets before they sold out, within 28 minutes. I’m so pleased that Lew is going, it will be the first time he will have been when I’ve not been there. I first took him in 2000 as a young boy and he fell in love with the place instantly. I can’t forsee what will be the by the time the festival comes round next June, but I guess it will be an emotional event for him. Don’t worry, it won’t be the first festival he’s been to without me, he’d done that by the time he was 15, and it won’t be long before he surpasses the total number of festivals I’ve been to.
To end this, I want to make plea on behalf of my sister In law Jenny. She is a keen runner, 10k, 5k, half marathon etc., and for the last few years she (and now my brother Steve and nephew Tom) has done so raising money for the charity Beating Bowel Cancer. I know every penny counts, but Jenny is well aware of charity appeal burn out, and has veered away from putting pressure on friends, work colleagues etc, when seeking sponsorship, yet continues to run events raising whatever little she can, time and time again. I refuse to be critical of this, we all know what it’s like, appeals for this and that, sponsored walks, climbs, diets blah blah blah…we DO get sick of it. I’ll be going down to Birmingham to cheer them over them over the finish line in the BUPA Great Birmingham run on October 19th, and as it’s more the last one I’ll be there, it would be great if we could amass a bit of money in recognition of their tremendous efforts, and benefit Beating Bowel Cancer. It’s hard to convey the great work BBC do. Unfortunately it’s not the kind of website most of us visit unless we are directly affected by the disease, but it has been of great help and support to me over the last three years. They have been there when I have needed someone to scream at over the telephone. I have made, and lost, many friends through the website, and they do fantastic work in promoting awareness of Bowel cancer, and campaigning on issues relating to bowel cancer, the cancer drugs fund and many other issues relating to the disease. Let’s see if we can get a bit of dosh together this time. Maybe don’t have that latte on the way to work. Empty those coins from the car, or that jar in the kitchen. Who can do without a Christmas card this year? Anything you can think of to raise a few quid. I really am begging and I make no apology for doing so.
Details as to how you can make a donation are here https://www.justgiving.com/jenny-hagues1