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Where's Crewkerne?


When you have a treatment regime that’s fairly inflexible you need to look for opportunities to break away a bit. Yesterday, Sunday, I broke away a bit.


One thing I’m happy to do is search for things on the internet. Just lately I’ve been searching for a van for Lauren. She wants a van for a business venture she has been running in Australia which she now wants to run in Cornwall www.prettyasapicnic.uk.


My modus operandi is to search eBay, Auto Trader and Farcebook marketplace in the morning (from my bed) then any likely suspects I send to Lauren for her perusal. The biggest problem is I’m looking for a black van. Finding a suitable white van would be easy peasy even a silver van wouldn’t be difficult but a black one? I recently found a nice one in Scotland and another one in Northern Ireland but I just needed to find one we could get to look at.

Yesterday I found a likely suspect in Crewkerne in Somerset. It had been listed on Friday and there was a lot of interest. Unilaterally I contacted the owner and arranged to meet him at 2pm. After all it’s only Crewkerne but it’s Mother’s Day (Mothering Sunday) and we have a brunch arranged. Fortunately the brunch is at Lauren’s anyway.


Then my sensible head kicks in. Who’s going to drive? Its 115 miles each way. It’s a day in my treatment cycle that I sometimes stay in bed because I feel so lousy but I’m not feeling too bad and with Tricia as my co-pilot I have the confidence to give it a go. The sunny Sunday afternoon drive on covid quiet roads turned out to be alright. We set the auto-pilot and cruised to Crewkerne. Two hours later we were there, dead on 2pm.


The van was just what Lauren wanted. Perhaps not the best presented or most pristine example (we could have got a better white or silver one) but the colour was right and the price was right. After test driving an agreement was reached. Money was transferred, paperwork was exchanged, insurance sorted and at just before 3pm we were ready to wend our way, convoy style, home. This time Tricia was riding shotgun in the van. I had the car to myself.

I fiddled with the radio for company. I only really listen to the radio when I’m in the car and possibly, like lots of you, when I’m on my own the volume is a bit higher. The programme that’s on between 3pm and 5pm on a Sunday is “The Sounds of the Seventies" with Johnny Walker. Excellent, my music. I turn the volume up and set the controls for home with a black van in my rear view mirror.


After months of treatment the relief of doing something maybe not quite normal and a bit spontaneous was a revelation. I thoroughly enjoyed my day. It wasn’t a red letter day. We only popped off to buy a van, something I’ve done before but it was something I wasn’t sure I was able to do. I had the security of knowing that if I couldn't manage the driving it would be OK. Well I managed all the driving, listened to some music at full volume, sang along a bit and did a lot of grinning.


Eventually the crumple came. I was in bed by 8.45 (I didn’t even see the end of a "lame" Top Gear) but I’d had a good day. That’s my challenge, to have as many good days as I can. The only reason to continue with my chemo is to extend my life and give me some good days.


Yesterday was a good day.

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