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Rock Maze
  • Writer's pictureNeil

Shrove Tuesday

It’s early in the morning. Not too early, 5am. It’s that time of my chemo cycle when I’m beginning to feel better. I know I’m going to feel better because I can’t feel much worse. I’ve got one more properly dreadful weekend before my chemo finishes. I’m in the middle of session 5, there’s one more to go.

Today I've woken up after some pretty vivid dreams. Lots of them. One consolation is, I must have slept. When I wake up I’ve often got thoughts in my head so I write. Today I have things to say but overwhelmingly I still have an enduring headache. It’ll go, they always do. I sometimes try to think of something pithy to include in my post. Today I thought I’d say something like; “ If you’re reading this post in early 2021. I'm still alive”. But honestly, in my head, there's not a lot going on.

When I write these posts I often try to use the correct word for the occasion. Sometimes the word might be obscure or a bit over dramatic but more often than not they’re just right. Dreadful is how I’ve described the weekend that’s just passed. Dreadful; causing or involving great suffering, fear, or unhappiness; extremely bad or serious. Well I think it’s the right word.

It, by far and away, should have been a happy weekend but I brought the black dog. On Sunday it was Valentine’s day. Annual celebrations are now excruciatingly difficult. They’re all my last ones. I hate them. But that’s a personal problem I shouldn't inflict on others. So for Valentine’s day, with the surreptitious help of Abbi, I got a card for Tricia. Now scrawling something in a card should be easy but for me, not surprisingly it’s a bit challenging. Get it wrong now and I’m stuffed. I need to find the right words. There are no “Many Happy Returns” (I know, l know I’m talking birthdays now). My ninja daughter also managed to secretly deposit a bunch of flowers in the kitchen while we were eating breakfast in bed. We didn't hear a thing.

All of Saturday, Sunday and yesterday I generally stayed in bed. Largely because I felt unwell, and still do. But mostly because I’m a miserable git. Better off out of the way so I keep myself to myself. Really, I want to be alone.....Well not quite, that’s too scary.

Yesterday, Monday, the day after Valentine’s day, it was Lauren’s 30th birthday and to add to the celebration she had a job offer. It was her 23rd birthday with me. If I couldn't just rise a bit to celebrate then I’m officially a miserable bastard......... I am. Today, before she accepts the job offer, she has another interview. My fingers are crossed for her. I hope she gets the job she wants. A time to celebrate and to remember to say, for her birthday, Many Happy Returns!

When I was a boy we celebrated birthdays, Christmas and, on the fourth Sunday in lent, Mothering Sunday. On Valentine’s day we anonymously sent a card, professing our love to someone. I never got many.

Now the supermarkets are involved and in the interests of political correctness (AKA retail profits) we’ve manage to a sanitise “Mothering Sunday ” and rebrand it “Mothers Day" to make it more inclusive no doubt and simultaneously introduce cripplingly expensive bits of printed folded card in an envelope that’s invariably made of cheap paper. These cards cover every possible celebration in every permutation. Total bollocks in my opinion. It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas/Seasons Greetings/A Time of Gifts/Winter Celebration. (Delete the least profitable). Why on Earth would you send a Valentine’s card to your Mum anyway? There's even bloody Pancake Day cards. W.T.F? Shrove Tuesday Card just doesn't sound profitable. Rant over.

I must be beginning to feeling better.

Happy Pancake Day!

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