Yesterday evening I was feeling rather fed up. It happens. Life seems too busy at the moment, way too much to do and not enough time. The things dropping off the bottom of the To Do list seem to be time for me and looking after myself. I know it’s not good and I know I should really be putting those things at the top of my list but somehow everything else won’t wait.
Seeing the lovey little rhododendron in such poor shape upset me too. Logically I know it isn’t my fault and there’s little I can do to look after a plant in a public park, but somehow it felt like my fault. I’d neglected it and it was, all but, dead. Yes, I know everything wrong in the world isn’t my fault but still…
Today a damp mistiness hanging over the city. The clouds never quite burned off so when I went for my lunchtime walk it was into a warm haze with a hint of rain to it. For some reason the park keepers had sprinklers set up amongst the shrubbery, adding to the moisture rather unnecessarily I thought. Another lily is flowering, white with a hint of caramel and deep maroon anthers with a pinkish stripe. They reminded me of hotdogs but maybe that was just because I was hungry. When I sat on a bench with my skinny latte the pigeons seemed to think I had something for them and began to surround me. Good job I’m not scared of birds.
Last night I was going to tell you about the aftermath of the eighteen mile run, eight and a bit mile walk. In the end there was no time and, if I’m honest, I wasn’t in the mood for frivolity. Still there are photos to show you and a tale to tell, so here goes.
Commando had a blister. He’s never had a blister before, well at least not from running. Unfortunately, long distances mean blisters. They’re kind of inevitable no matter how many precautions you take. Somewhere after sixteen miles or so seems to be the point when anything that is going to rub, even slightly, will cause a blister. In my time I’ve had some rather spectacular ones. There have been blisters covering the whole of the ball of my foot, blisters on every toe, heel blisters and, once, a big blood blister under my big toe nail. The last is, apparently, called joggers toe, although I’ve never jogged in my life.
Obviously this makes me the blister expert, at least in Commando’s eyes, so I was given the task of blister tending. This particular blister was one of the more common ones, in my humble experience, between the little toe and the last one. The last month or so of my Moonwalk training I and one there almost constantly, not the same one, a series of different ones. So much so it got to the point I had blisters on top of old blisters, caused by the rough skin of the healing blister rubbing and blistering. Ouch!
Blister plasters were applied and some advice given about filing a slightly sharp little toe nail. After that there was a calf rub and foot massage. Not for me you understand, my calves can look after themselves and my feet are way beyond anything a massage can do to help. There really needs to be some foot pampering SOON!
Then Philo and the girls turned up. As I was, more or less, blister free, I went to the door. Through the frosted glass I thought I saw Philo and Sirona. When I opened the door it turned out to be Philo and Ashleigh, with little Bea too small to be seen through the glass. Ashleigh has dyed her hair dark mahogany, the same colour as Sirona’s and, at almost thirteen, she is actually almost as tall as Sirona. Sirona is small, Ashleigh is going to be tall, maybe she’s a throwback to Mother, who was almost six foot.
The girls enjoyed one of my patented chocolate smoothies and some popcorn and we all settled down with coffee. As usual with Philo, the talk got round to cars. He has another new (to him) one and he’s doing it up. You’d think, being a mechanic by day, he’d have had enough when he gets home but apparently not. Then Commando asked him if he would keep an eye out for a new car for me. That wasn’t quite what I was expecting.
Mattie Matiz is a sweet little car and I like him very much. Having said that, I struggle with the scary clutch. Commando thinks I need a car with a better clutch and an engine that is ‘a little less agricultural.’ Oh well we will see what happens.
There was no time for relaxing once they’d left. We had a hospital visit on the agenda. Commando Senior went back into hospital at the end of last week to have another operation on his hip. It turns out a screw in the scaffolding holding his hip together has come loose and needed fixing. Obviously this is not the first time someone in this family has had a screw loose.
Because he was moved to the care of Winchester Hospital while he was staying with Commando’s Sister, this was where the fixing was going to be done. Obviously, Winchester hospital is not the most convenient place for most of us to get to so visitors have been a touch thin on the ground. Both of us felt bad about him being there all on his own and Sunday afternoon was the only time we could go, what with work and distances.
We managed not to get too lost. Neither of us had ever been to Winchester hospital before and we didn’t know quite what to expect. Something I certainly didn’t expect was to find the hospital standing right next to the prison. So much so it would be easy to accidentally try to visit one when you meant to visit the other.
Being used to the big, modern, all singing, all dancing entity that is Southampton General, it was a bit of a culture shock. The General, as it is affectionately known, has everything, even a helipad on the roof for the air ambulance helicopter. It has a world renowned neurological unit (I know, I was under their care for several years but that’s another story), state of the art body scanners, renowned centres of excellence in the treatment of cancer, heart disease, respiratory illness, gastro-itestinal conditions and children’s illnesses. There was even a fly on the wall documentary made about it, a kind of real life Casualty (or ER, if you’re American).
Winchester Hospital is small and very old. The buildings are Victorian, or at least they look it. Like the city, the hospital was poorly signposted and even the nurse we asked for help when we got lost didn’t seem to know her way around. We found him in the end. At least they hadn’t accidentally sent him to the prison. He seemed quite happy and perky and he’s now got a brand new hip, presumably one of the fancy modern doodads that will put the rest of our creaky old hips to shame once he gets back on his feet. Apparently the food is very good too.
Of course, by the time we left it was getting late and we still hadn’t had dinner. As it happened I hadn’t had lunch either. Despite all the hunger when I was walking I barely had time for a chocolate smoothie between getting in, blister tending and going out again. Luckily a chocolate smoothie is filling and nutritious. Good job I had that late and cookie really. Still, I was pretty hungry.
Commando thought it was a bit unfair for me to go home and cook after such a packed day so we drove to The Railway Inn in Curdridge. This is a rather pretty little Country pub and we had a pleasant meal, followed by a truly awesome desert. Commando had cheesecake, I had a chocolate fudge sundae. I figured I’d earned it after all the walking and running around. In my defence, my meal was fairly small and Commando ate most of my chips.
While we were eating the storm that had been threatening all day finally broke. It felt as if we were sitting in the middle of a monsoon. The rain pounded on the roof of the pub sounding like someone was outside throwing handfuls of marbles at the place and the view from the window disappeared behind a wall of water. The fact neither of us had a coat was a bit of a worry, even though we were only parked a few feet from the door.
Thankfully, by the time we’d eaten and paid the bill, the rain had stopped. As Commando unlocked the car I looked up to see the most beautiful double rainbow lighting up the sky. There is something euphoric about rainbows. Ephemeral, shining with all the colours in the world and then disappearing as quickly as they came, leaving us all gasping.