I left yesterday afternoon with plenty of time to drive to the hospital for my dental appointment and get my fix with a shop in Waitrose beforehand. The journey though was packed with queuing traffic, roadworks, tractors, learner lorry drivers, badgers trying to escape being shot by farmers such that my determined shop was shortened and I had to run for the first time in a while to make the appointment. I hurriedly put the details into the reception machine to be told there was no record, I put in my details more carefully to get the same answer. I looked at my appointment letter; it was for the next day.

Not wanting to make my journey fruitless I decided to go to the radiotherapy department to ask whether I could leave some unction leaflets in the waiting area. Despite dozens of previous visits for treatment I’d forgotten the way and even when following the signs I still had difficulty recollecting. Eventually I was in the corridor leading to the machines and this I remembered and suddenly a fearful feeling took over. I’d not been down this way since my treatment finished and the flood of memories overwhelmed me. I just about managed to make a half hearted enquiry about the person I wanted to see, fortunately she wasn’t in as all I wanted to do was leave. An unpleasant return.

A far more pleasant return is that of my body to it’s more natural, and dare I say mental, state. This seems to be coming about through the T’ai Chi I’m doing. I have returned to the pupil state with Paul my teacher. I am learning lots of Qi Gong, the ‘softer’ form of the martial art and am slowly becoming aware of how much it’s benefiting. There are some more immediate effects some more slow burning. An example of the former was last week I told Paul about my very painful inner thigh/groin which Kate had been telling me to go to the doc’s about. He showed me a few exercises and threatened to do some deep tissue massage, fortunately the exercises miraculously worked although it could well have been the mental side of me not wanting the pain of massage. Also when Kate massaged me this week for possibly the first time ever there were no painful bits.

It is the return of the pool season and at short notice we had a practice game this week, I won both my games but that will be it for the season as we have stupidly got ourselves promoted to the premier league and they are too good and way too serious, my locker room banter won’t be well received.

Returning to memories of my younger days when I played much sport and spent much time in changing rooms; we didn’t have lockers just hooks to hang our clothes on, I cannot remember talking like drumf did about women (he probably still does).  This may be explained by the fact that drumf has no experience of sporting changing rooms except those at golf clubs. When Steve, Mark and myself played golf pretty much weekly for a few years in London we prided ourselves, or at least I did, on not being members of a club so we never went into the ‘locker rooms’, simply putting our golf shoes on in the car park. If we had used the ‘locker rooms’ maybe we would have heard some drumf ‘locker room talk’.

Had a lovely card from a woman who bought a sample of my unction last Saturday for her husband who sadly has chronic leukaemia. The unction was the first cream they had used that moisturised him properly and he liked the smell, which apparently is high praise.

And returning to the theme of my old school workplace, Purbeck View School, one of my informants told me of the current staffing difficulties and the possible questioning of ‘my way or the highway’s’ role in implementing a new staffing system that possibly isn’t working too well. I’ll update when I get more info.


Anyway, I’m returning to the hospital, hopefully for an appointment that is today.

Keep on keeping on, love Duncan.



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