If only the purchase of an elegant new laptop computer guaranteed the production of a new and elegant writing style! Alas! How ever much one lavishes on technology, the writing still demands that the brain does the majority of the work.
So, with far, far too much expense under my fingertips, how will I justify the splurge of money that I cannot afford on technology that I do not really understand through the words that you are reading now?
Perhaps I can give you some sense of the breadth of the life that I live by letting you know that my new computer (Dell XPS 13 9370) was not the only purchase that I have realised (because I actually paid for the thing some time ago but I’ve only just got it in my hot little hands) today. Oh no, not by a long chalk. The other purchase I am wearing or perhaps displaying might be a better word.
Today started well with my waking up at a reasonable hour so that I got to the swimming pool bright and early and completed my regulation 1,500 meters in time enough for me to cycle home from the pool, have a well-deserved cup of tea and then prepare myself for my 3 months check up at the local hospital.
Parking in the hospital car park was a true nightmare. As my appointment was for 12.10 everyone in the world had already parked there and there were not spaces to be hand, not even for ready money. So, I began my lonely round of circling the parked cars in the hope that somebody, anybody, would suddenly appear and produce a space. Perhaps lonely is not the right word as there were a number of us circling, like lazy Indians waiting for a weak spot in the wagon train to appear. No weak spots did appear. False hopes, yes. A space would appear to appear and, as you eagerly made your way towards it, it rapidly became apparent that the space was illusory, the left-over space from a badly parked car overstepping the line and ruining two other spaces.
I eventually found a space into which the car could fit, but I couldn’t get out. At the time the idea of crawling through the hatchback did not occur to me so I moved on. The more I drove the more spaces did not appear until I was driven (so to speak) to return to the thin space and see if there was any way in which I could make it work.
By dint of driving&reversing&driving&reversing for few minutes I managed to create a space on the passenger side which looked doable. I crawled over and eventually out. I have to admit that I would not have been able to insinuate my way out a few months earlier, but the diet of low fat, no salt, little taste eating that I have endured did mean that my stockily svelte figure sashayed thought the gap with minimal (but significant) pain!
The hospital itself was packed: at least the bit that I was in was. There was no seating available for patients in the area of the consulting rooms and I had to take a spare seat by the large windows in the corridor. I was, to put it mildly, depressed at the number of people waiting to be seen and I knew from past experience that such numbers meant a long wait.
I kept my eye on the door to consulting room 36 and was further depressed to see no movement whatsoever: nothing! From other rooms people emerged, some in white coats, called out names, and indicated an order in which people were going to be seen. From room 36, nothing. I had arrived in good time and it appeared that I would have been able to waltz in hours later and still not miss my place.
Three minutes before my scheduled appointment, a doctor and a nurse suddenly appeared and went into room 36. A minute later the nurse reappeared and said those magic words, “Stephen Morgan?” and I was up like a long dog and into the room before anyone else with those unlikely first names took my place.
The main aim of my visit (at least for me) was to get the doctor to change my twice daily injections for a simpler pill. If possible. Please.
I had qualified success. The doctor agreed that a pill would be better for me as my stomach (the site of 180 injections so far and counting) looks more like a fleshy war zone, with lumps, bumps and bruises, than a repository of fat and salt free comestibles. Tomorrow I have to return to the hospital and have a series of blood tests to check the progress of the blood clots or rather their dispersal that are the cause of all my problems, and, depending on the results of those tests I will be able to stop sticking myself and allow my much-abused stomach to get its own back and dissolve a pill instead.
All of this sounds like good news, but one aspect of the meeting has had a colourful consequence. For the first couple of weeks after I had been discharged from hospital I had to wear a pair of thoroughly unflattering pressure stockings. It took the two of us to get the damn things on and I could not wait for the two weeks to go to get rid of them. To my undisguised horror, the doctor that I saw today told me to resume their use. The only concession was that I needed to wear only one and it could be just up to the knee rather than thigh length.
I am now the proud possessor of a bright blue (still unflattering) tight blue stocking. Which I have to wear. Until when? I sincerely hope not long.
Meanwhile, life goes on. Although my appointment tomorrow is for 9 am I would not be unhappy for it to drag on for hours. The simple reason is that tomorrow is also my Spanish lesson day and in our last lesson we had a surprise test and I have absolutely no desire to find out exactly how I have done. Because I know exactly how I have done!
It appears that I am, after all, capable of shame!