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Rock Maze
  • Writer's pictureNeil

"Alright?" "Yeah, You?" "Yeah"


“Yeah, you?”


“Ere me ol beauty you’re a bit late with yer blog update"

“I’ve been a bit off colour, I suppose I’m still allowed to say that"

“Course you are, wass up?"

“Dunno, horrible guts, feeling sick, don’t wanna eat nothing"

“Ow longs this been gowin on?"

“Since Saturday really"

“You wanna ring yer doctor mate"

“Tricia rung on Monday for me. Doctor came out same day"

“Bugger me. That was bleddy quick. Didn't ee have to wait for ages on the phone then wait for 5 days fore anyone called ee back?"

“Na I got a special number fer something called the intervention team"

“I could do with that number what is it?”

“Can’t tell ee mate, anyway you don’t want to know it"

“Why’s that?"

“Cause it’s fer people that’s dying"

“Well I’ll be buggered"


So, I have been feeling ill for the past few days. So ill in fact, that any movement made me feel that I’d be sick. I have a special number, the number is provided by the palliative nursing team. My DR, Natalia Klid, called to see me on Monday afternoon, did some tests and prodding (now can you please lie on your left side facing away from me) advised me on which medication to restart. On Tuesday at about 7.30pm she called me and said that she'd discussed my situation with my consultant and that she was satisfied there was nothing sinister going on. Even my blood test results weren't sufficiently worrying to take any notice of. I can take some heart from that. All I need to do is shake off this fatigue. Oh she was also pleased to hear of my resumed movements! Gross.

I can honestly say that the last few days have been some of the most grim. I genuinely thought the end was creeping up a bit too quickly for comfort.

Now I suppose, if a body is blasted with pretty ugly chemicals for 9 months not everyone's going to return quite to normal. I’m obviously no exception.

But it got me thinking how in my lifetime things have changed. Just across the landing we have a bathroom, actually a shower room. So should the medication choose to do it’s best in the night I’ve only got a few steps to travel. And if I’m particularly unlucky the shower is right there.

Back in the 60s the address of the house we lived in was Landulph Villa, New Street, Bugle, St Austell. Street numbers weren’t common and postcodes simply weren’t. Back in the day bathrooms often didn’t exist either. I only have vague memories (my older brothers could probably fill in the missing pieces) but our ablutions generally consisted of dad washing us in the kitchen sink, a tin bath in the kitchen on a Sunday and an outside loo that our dad referred to as “out yonder". To cope with our nightime requirements we had an enamelled chamber pot on the landing. 4 little boys 1 horrible reek no doubt.

So I suppose I have Taken the Knee.

It was luxury if we stayed at my gran’s at Molinnis Road. We would walk down the road, under the bridge (now gone) pass a little shop (gone) that sold grain in bags, it had a wooden floor that was worn shiny, and onto Molinnis Road passing a coal yard (gone) on the way. Molinnis Road had a few houses on the right and a bike shop (gone of course) as we walked down, on the left were fields (now gone). At the bottom of the road was the entrance to the football pitch (land still there, football club gone), a level crossing and a signal box (now gone).

About three-quarters of the way down was gran's house. If we stayed there, which we often did, we had our own china chamber pot under our bed. The height of luxury. Our ever resourceful dad eventually installed a bathroom and a hot water system. Whatever next, double glazing? Central heating? I had to wait many more years before I experienced those luxuries.

So am I on the mend? I think so, I hope so. In the past three and a half years I haven’t had a cough or cold in fact I’ve been pretty hale and hearty. I’ve looked fit, lost weight, learnt to swim, learnt to kayak. The only significant thing that’s happened is my recent fall where I crunched my ribs. I don’t think I’ve looked too well over the last few days but if my DR remarked that I looked well I can’t look that poorly.

I’m presently eating bland food again, well cooked veg, salad, some fish. Smells are doing me in again so it’s fish fingers and mash for me. No garlic, no spice, even onion can be a challenge. Simple food for a simple bloke. No! Wait! That’s not altogether true. My bro, the pizza wizard, sent over 2 fresh vegetarian pizzas for our delectation on Monday night. They were delivered in style but there was no way I could contemplate eating them at all. But at 11pm when the meds started working the munchies kicked in. Fresh from the fridge pizza with a cup of tea. Just what I needed.

Oh! Another health update. To produce these words I gently touch a touchscreen. Anything else now hurts my fingertips. Even the little button on the side of my phone hurts to press.

“Don't ee get a bit cheesed off with all this malarkey goin on?"

“Yep I bleddy do"

“Do ee get miserable?”

“Yep, but not all the time"

“I bet ee blubber like a baby sometimes"

“It’s not unusual"

“Did Tom Jones sing that?”

“Yep I reckon"

“I didn't know. Ow long av ee been getting miserable?”

“Bout three and a half years“

“Well I’ll be buggered. You keep that idden"


“You still avin coffee somewhere on Thursdees?”


“Where ee to next Thursdee"

“Weem off to the Pier House down Charlestown”

“’ansom, 10 o'clock?”


“See ee there then"

“Righty ho!”

“Cheers n gone”

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