Today was definitely a day of two halves. The first half was a delight, filled with family, friends, sun and easy living. The second half was like a visit to the depths of Bedlam with only a slim chance of escape.
The First Half
Given the fact that yesterday Gail and Glenn had announced their intention to retire early and based on the evidence of the other morning, I assumed they’d not be with me until 10am at the earliest, I went to the gym first thing. I even managed a bit of extra exercise by walking back as well.
Turning up at about 10:30, we sat on the terrace for tea and chat. They told me about their day on the Island and how they filled in their How Was Your Stay form for the pub. While they’d had a very pleasant visit on the Island, the pub was told, in no uncertain terms that the lack of a flannel in their bathroom was untenable. There’d be strongly worded letters sent to all the big newspapers, they added. Other than that, the pub was brilliant.
Speaking of pubs…the pair of them insisted on buying me lunch so we hopped in their car and set off for the Holly Bush at Frensham where we sat outside and soaked up the chilled atmosphere and quiet of the minor countryside.
I had the lamb burger while G&G shared a fishy platter. All food was enjoyably devoured as well as a couple of beers.
Eventually we headed back to the house where, naturally, Glenn had to use the facilities before they headed off, back to Wiltshire where their luggage has been hiding.
It’s been a lovely visit and we have planned to meet up in Sydney if we go over in 2017.
The Second Half
After taking the girls up to the park for their usual frolic (we met an eight month old cocker who had just come into season and the only was delighted that I had two females so he could let his off her lead for a bit) I set off for Guildford for my next appointment in connection with the lack of connection in my feet. ‘Connection’ is an excellent word given that today I was meeting The Electrician.
For a change, the bus was actually on time. I’d given myself a half hour buffer and settled back happy in the knowledge that I had plenty of time. How wrong I was.
Not long after heading off we hit the traffic on the Hogs Back. There are two lanes across the top of the Hogs Back. One of them is a feeder lane to the A3 and gets very busy every day as people drive home, content in their cars, clearly not bothered about sitting immobile in traffic. The second lane is generally pretty clear as it feeds off into Guildford. It is this second lane that the bus uses.
Not far from the Guildford lane is a bus stop. It is a bus stop in the middle of the Hogs Back and, of course, requires the bus to be in the first lane, the one that’s permanently standing still. We sat in this lane for 30 minutes. I am not exaggerating. I was there for 30 minutes. I was reading but found it difficult to concentrate on the Post Office Girl (by Stefan Zweig) while my buffer evaporated in the heat of car exhaust.
It occurred to me that buses should have some sort of right to push cars out of the way and get priority everywhere. Not just in designated Bus Lanes. They do, after all, removed drivers from the road and reduce pollution. There should, therefore, be some sort of benefit to catching them.
Anyway, the traffic meant we arrived at the Friary with five minutes to go before my appointment. Grumbling and gruffeling, I set off at a good steady clip up, up and ever upwards to the Hospital on the Hill.
As I strode meaningfully and angrily upwards, it occurred to me that my appointment might be cancelled and I’d have to reschedule. This made me angry. All the times I’ve waited in a doctor’s surgery as my appointment ticked by and they cancel me? I must have accrued a few weeks worth of time in my Waiting Bank Account.
I walked into the hospital hot, sweaty, legs aching and ready for a fight. I was ten minutes late for my appointment.
There was no need for my anger. A nurse went and told the doctor then came and, apologetically, let me know that I’d merely been bumped by the patient who was scheduled after me. She said I’d have to wait half an hour. I was deliriously happy. I was so hot and bothered and, quite frankly, a mess, I needed the rest time.
Eventually, calmed down and a little cooler, I went in to see The Electrician. The first thing I noticed was how he looked remarkably like David Suchet. The second thing I noticed was his whispery voice, reminiscent of David Suchet’s dulcet tones. For a while I thought it WAS David Suchet in his day job until he started connecting his electrodes to my body.
Sitting before his little machine like some modern day Josef Mengele, he wrapped one band around my ankle then proceeded to shock me with a little hand held contact. When he touched my foot there was little feeling but when he reached the thigh I was almost jumping like a frog in a biology class.
And I’m not going to mention how it felt when it tested my arm. Though this was made a little worse because he used a small needle to pierce the skin and shock the nerve directly. None of it was particularly pleasant.
After taking close to a million readings and creating some sort of weird electro map of my leg nerve pathways, he concluded that he was pretty sure that I DIDN’T have neuropathy. When I asked what I did have, he just shrugged and said we’d finished. He would deliver his report to Patrick and we would go from there. He did mention an MRI but Patrick wasn’t keen on that last week.
Then, to rub a bit of salt into the many wounds dotted around me body, the buses had stopped running and I had to catch a train home. There was some relief in remembering the morning but the rest of the day didn’t stop intruding, all the way home.