Another ‘good night’ sheltered from harm by the bodiless voice of ‘Sylvia, our , night sitter from Two Counties (How many of you remember singing Who is Sylvia, what is she…. Or perhaps that other favourite, but with a little more verve, T’was on a Monday morning …… extolling the virtues of Monday being the traditional washday and ending with that invigorating Dashing away with the smoothly iron, she stole my heart away…? I believe every primary school in the country son the same mediaeval songs as part of the Music curriculum.)
Why bodiless? Quite simply that the 8.30 carers would have taken me through to the bedroom where ‘my lovely’ will have completed the ritual of bedding me down for the night, before the night carers arrive. Part of that process is fitting the respirator which will be cushioned from the skin on my face with a eye shade, as I mentioned earlier. This means that once the respirator is on I can no longer see anyone, and thus may never know what any of my night carers look like. On the first of these night sittings. I rang the alarm and then seconds later a rather unfamiliar hand grasped mine. I have subsequently asked her kindly to make some sort of salutation before making physical contact as being completely blinded by the eye shade something (or someone) grasping your hand can be rather spooky.
As I say the night sitting carer seems to have settled in, although of course we will not get the same person every night and occasionally Ross Nursing will step into the breach for the odd day (or rather night). As a follow-up to the for traumatic incidents when I have been unable to breathe, after some general exchange of views between the members of my team. it was agreed that I should be admitted as an in patient at Papworth Hospital as soon as possible. This meant that I could be admitted tomorrow after my good friends Geoff and Annie have left. I did my darndest to put the Papworth people off in having me as a patient, pointing out how difficult I can be, couple with my need have the wireless play all night. Also how I need constant attention in turning me when I have pain. All of this they took in their stride and agreed to provide me with the side ward into which they would put a second bed so that ‘my lovely’ could come with me. I can’t tell you what a difference that makes The nights are by far the worst aspect of being in hospital but with ‘my lovely’ by my side. I will feel 100% more secure. I just hope that one night will be sufficient for them to carry out what tests they want. In the past I have found that once they get you in they are rather loathe to get rid of you,
Annie and Geoff. Arrived, as scheduled, just after five, so after the preliminary hugs and and kisses we were able to crack a bottle of champagne and get that down before Sally, one of my Ross Nursing carers, came to prepare me for bed. I think our Australian guests were quite pleased at the prospect of dinner a dieux and an early night.
We arrange for them to come back at 11.00 tomorrow for coffee preseeding the midday carer, after which we would adjourn to The Cricketers for lunch. If it is sunny then we will eat alfresco and it’s not in doors preferably round our big round table.
Annie, and her daughter Belinda, appear on the first page of our Visitors Book in 1965, so, as they say, we go back a long way. On my last trip to Australia-I think around 2 ½. years ago-I stayed in Barwen Heads with this couple and was royally entertained.
Sadly, through my present lack of energy, I must seem to be a rather poor host, but, using my old analogy about starting the day with a jug full of energy and each action requiring a spoon or two of that energy, until the jug is empty and by the evening one is rather like a zombie, or the walking dead, I hope they understand. Anyway, taking a risk that I would have enough energy left in my Jug, I invited them for a drink in the early evening which we were lucky enough to be able to take outside in the garden..
Either way it was great to see them which, in itself, invoked many happy memories. You know how a smell sometime can take you right back to a special day or time in one’s life. For me, for example, it might be that special smell I associate with Hong Kong; hundreds of years of spices which have impregnated the very walls of the bazaars in which there were sold. So it was for a split second , in the meeting again Geoff and Annie, that brought back many happy memories of my time in Australia.
Of course, as young men, we got up to our show of mischief. Although the following picture is not one of our escapades it might well be the sort of thing we would have done ourselves. Click here to see for yourself.