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Rock Maze
  • Writer's pictureNeil

Post 101

This post I’m starting at 8pm. Why? Because I’m in bed, still feeling unwell. I had high hopes that the gap between the different chemos would mean I felt a bit better. It may happen but it hasn’t happened yet. Let’s hope I feel well enough to do the walk on Saturday. I’ll start, even if I only manage a little bit.

Now thereby lies a problem with some planning. I can plan all the simple things like where and when to walk but I can’t plan my health. That’s a big unknown. Then there’s planning that does my head in, planning that makes me crumble, planning that’s frightening and planning that I just don’t want to do. But I still don’t take my eye off the prize. Some planning, when everything works out, is a joy.

I’m planning a memory box. Because I’m not particularly sentimental it doesn’t need to be a big box. Fortunately l have a suitable small box. I’ve made lots of things out of wood but this box is my favourite thing. Its made of English walnut and the care and precision that I employed making that box makes it something I’m proud of. I should say still proud of because I made it 46 years ago. In this box I intend to place a US dollar. Not just any old dollar but a very special one. That’s been with me even longer. 63 years ago, on the day of my christening (there were two christening on that day) an American visitor to the village gave babies a silver dollar.

My mum treasured it until I was in my 20s. I think when she gave to me I felt, finally, a grown up. I don't think she really wanted to part with it. Perhaps she felt she was parting with me a little bit. A very special coin. Then a mere 43 years ago as a part of my college course when I was training to teach I had to make an architectural inspired jewellery box. My inspiration was The Church of Saint Francis of Assisi.

It’s a chapel in Pampulha, in south eastern Brazil. It was designed by the Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer in the organic modern style. Bleddy hell, I must have taken that task seriously. Inside that jewellery box resides a redundant wedding ring (number 2).

I’m happy that I’ve opened that particular can of worms however stressed I became. My memory box has been started and so far I know who’s having what.

Another bit of planning is something Tricia and I do now and then. We sort out our redundant clothes, mostly shirts that I haven’t worn for a year or so. We are pretty organised, so organised we have hanging rails, his and hers, in the loft. Today Tricia sorted out some summer shirts and some hats and scarves that are ready for the disposal. We now have a small heap for the charity shop. Helpfully I thought that it would be a good time to shift the clothes that are now too big, not because of cancer because I worked hard to lose weight. I said nothing because I was triggering something in my mush of a brain that was particularly uncomfortable.

Some people must find solace in planning their funeral. I’m not of that school. I think all that is for those I leave behind. They need to find a way that suits them. I’m not ready to get involved. I can obviously be a part of the discussion if that’s necessary.

One thing I’ve always been prepared to plan is the disposal of my remains. I know there's some funky things that can be done but I’ve always wanted a focal point. I think, technically, my next of kin actually has responsibility. So ultimately the choice is Tricia's. My thoughts are beginning to coalesce. I’m not there yet but I’ll get there soon.

Its Thursday morning now. It’s only been a week since I found out my chemo wasn’t working. It seems ages ago. Perhaps my concept of time has altered as my brain kicks into overdrive and every minute counts.

Today’s plan is all good stuff. I’m planning to visit my brother’s factory to collect some adhesive and a windowsill but as always I’m interested in any new machinery he has. This week he’s taken delivery of his most impressive bit of kit yet, a 3D CNC Router. I’m interested in having a good look. Then this afternoon we have planned Louie’s birthday tea. The gang are arriving after school and we’re having pizzas delivered from Salty Bay. Yum yum.

So some planning is definitely good fun.

But the best laid plans sometimes get unhinged. Spookily it’s now Friday morning. And this post needs to be a reminder of tomorrow’s planned walk. It’s all here

Also I have some news to share. I have some new chemo dates, Mondays for a change, my shelves have arrived as has my windowsill. I have work to plan and I know when I have to finish (before my next chemo starts on 14th Dec)

I feel pretty good this morning so I’d better crack on!

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