It was on the news yesterday. A woman of 51, friend of Jarvis Cocker, a mental health nurse actually. Strange thing to report until it was made clear she had been the inspiration for a well known ‘Brit Pop’ song I had never heard of. Certainly would have been better if it had been Ebola or Alzheimer’s, not for her of course but for those of us whose case notes tally with hers it’s a bit of a kick in the shins under the table.
Of course this is actually nothing new at all. The definition of a serious illness is not “0h well you’ll be fine in a bit, so no need to worry” it’s “You might not be fine ever, so you had better worry.” As you know its all all about proximity. Something that happens over there in another continent, country, city, town, village, garden or at another dinner table is out of range – the kick does not hit its target but a few shuffles closer and whack, a startled expression of unexpected pain and a big bruise that lasts a day or two for the whacked one – and at 2:30 am, sat up in bed with an iPad, that bruise does start to turn a bit yellow.
Of course its is ridiculous if you are one of those people who believe that human beings think rationally. But as a rule in extremis they don’t. Those very rare people who can land passenger aircraft on the Hudson River are just that, very rare. Us normal folk go off like last years fireworks having been stored in the garage and partly consumed by mice ( I speak from experience here) – extremely unpredictably not to say dangerously. So for a few hours I went “yikes.” Not proud not ashamed just startled. More on fireworks in a mo.
All this was not enough to diminish my joy one iota at the turn of the year and the wonderful social and family time we have had over Christmas. I was of course very disappointed to not have received more cards complementing me on my courage in the face of a life threatening disease and noting what an inspiration I was to you all. For goodness sake you did not take me seriously when I said I was not to be referred to as a hero, brave, a role model nor my state as a fight, a struggle or a battle. Where are the cards and greetings sent to me personally, never mind Santa, Jesus and the other Elves how about a few moonpigs with me looking uncannily like Che Guevara , strong, young , a bit revolutionary and certainly important.
Other than this bitter disappointment things have been truly blissful. Two boys at home with Maria, sadly one boy without one important girl (only temporarily I should say she will be with us today – hooray!!) and then New Year’s Eve with great friends. All neurosis of germs almost put aside save for a paucity of snogging or hand shaking which lets face it is always embarrassing on New Year’s Eve, and I was able to pull my ‘I am much to delicate to go outside at midnight and let off fireworks’ trick thus avoiding getting cold, burnt or on this occasion blown up by two incompetent lads cementing rockets into the mud so that they exploded catastrophically tethered to the launch pad.
I feel tempted to bore you with my list of presents. The best year ever in my view. Very little annoying soft stuff, none I think, plenty of proper toys, a weather station , a 1960’s movie camera, ‘Revolution’ not the real thing sadly, the book, Turkish Delight, a functional steam boat for the bath – all my goodies were really goodly and yes I did get slippers but what a joy! One every minor side effect I get from chemo is cold feet, so for the first time ever in the history of Christmas, here is a man receiving slippers from his wife and rather than seeing this as the final nail in the coffin for his secret fantasy middle age of Belusconi/Brand parties, being deeply grateful and toasty footed. Wonderful.
The passing of years, aside from the social opportunity has never meant much to me. Numbers don’t. If I am honest 1999 to 2000 did on some sort of Sci-fi/mythical level but 2014 to 2015, so what. I have always tried to avoid New Years resolutions but despite the theoretical stance expressed above I have always failed so to do. Last years was a big mistake as I started a catastrophic diet that eventually led to my diagnosis. I suppose that was a good thing but two and and a half stone in a few months was a bit OTT. This year I have set my self none. I have plenty of things I want to do – like, learn to write poems in proper verse forms but as I know I will fail, particularly if I set them up as resolutions for the first time since my teens, I have resolved to posit no resolutions directed toward self betterment. Such a tiresome idea anyway. Oh yes one resolution – no resolutions directed toward self betterment. That’s it.
Love and peace to you all. Xxx
Btw: I have finally managed to freeze out all the hits from spammers to this site, hence my statistics are now considerably more realistic (if ego deflating) as they are based on visits from humans rather than machines. I was intrigued by the 20 odd people a day that seems to be craving my pearls, it now is down to a more realistic 5 or 6 but happily they don’t include visits from me to view my own masterworks or any prospective Russian brides or adverts for cheap ugg boots (is that what they are called?). Many thanks to anyone who has continued to read this since August and particularly those that comment or follow up privately. It has been a lifeline to me! – but as I have said many times while I am grateful to those that read it, it is the selfish act of writing it that really works for me – so please please please no compulsion to care, to read, to write, to comment, to think about or to feel guilty about not reading (you b******s) – just be there. Ta.