And So Goodbye..

Sleep well G.

It is a year now since you were told it was terminal; more than 7 months since you found the next new tumors and began another round of treatment and 3 weeks since the pain told you something else was wrong. A week in a hospice is enough for anyone so I hope that the quietness of whatever is next is better.
Whilst it is not my personal choice I am consoled by your faith and in the most simplistic of terms I am grateful for the end of waiting and the confidence that beyond all else the pain is over.

I don’t know how to say how I feel – I’d like to say I’m surprised or hurt but it’d be a lie. Not only have I been waiting for this phonecall but I am relieved by it. Yes, the reminders of my mother’s decline run strong and painful but each person has their own self and deserves to be remembered in their own way.

Too Angry

Somedays I am really disappointed in people.

I am sad that people think its ok to split the bill at an expensive restaurant without considering the people who have held back because they are broke. I think it especially sad that it neither bothers some people nor makes a difference to their continued consumption of drinks on the combined bill.

Today though I am more sad that a friend thinks it is ok to insist I discuss my personal feelings on the basis that they affect my professional conduct rather than being able to separate the two. I would rather accept a reprimand and docking of pay than the insistence that I discuss my life when I am clearly not able to make rational discussion about it – and indeed say so.
Its not your fucking business to know everything that goes through my head – especially if I tell you it is not to do with the pub and I’d rather discuss it at a later point when I am feeling less angry.

I thought after being friends for 8/9 years you had more respect for me than that.

I’m sorry. I don’t know how we will together again right now. I am so hurt by your lack of respect for my need for privacy and space I can’t even begin to work out how to speak to you. I was only angry and perhaps foolish and inappropriate according to your rules for the pub and yet in telling me I had to tell you and because I had said anything in your pub it was your business you betrayed my sense of safety and respect. I realise now I am just a member of staff and need to have no feelings or else by being my friend you believe you have earnt the right to instant knowledge of my mind and control over when and where I express them. I’m sorry I can’t do that.

Is this a serious break? I don’t know. I am too hurt to know.

On My Mind

So, I’ve been afk for a few days and have a whole host of things swirling round in my head to talk about. These may or may not make it into separate posts in due course..

  • Going to see the sea – its awesome
  • I really want to move back and my beloveds are keen to move with me. How reasonable and feasible is it? Can I formulate a business plan and generate a regular income? how soon?
  • Supervisors – They both seem pretty pleased with where I am at, which means with some solid effort I can get this beastie submitted and maybe even published
  • I really do have to tackle my conclusions and face up to rewriting the dreaded literature review/first chapter and I have to really smash it.
  • Workshop on publishing research- clearly they had never met most classicists… still maybe there is stuff I can take through the conference paper into getting it published
  • Drs. – at some point I am going to have to face up to going to the quack to get more painkillers ( I always feel like they aren’t doing anything until I haven’t taken them for a few days Ouch!) – and admit I quit my anti-depressants cold turkey cos I was fed up of getting fatter as the effects got weaker and even the sleep deserted me again. Not sure where I’m going from here though
  • waiting for a friend to die. No more words
  • Worried about various friends and their coping..
  • Glad the Mrs. has finally got her boss to see some sense (with the help of her Dr and HR) lets hope we can take it a bit further.
  • Fingers crossed for my sister
  • Praying for W’s family

That’s all for now. Hope to be more coherent soon.

Getting Ready to say Goodbye

When someone’s cancer progresses to a certain stage (or indeed as people begin to show certain side-effects of aging) there is a certain inevitability about their death that looms just on the edge of sight but eventually you have to tackle it straight on.

Today a friend is being moved to a hospice in order to get round the clock palliative care and end her days outside of the anonymity of a hospital ward with some kind of ‘dignity’. Her family have asked that people don’t go and visit her at the hospice in order to preserve the best image of her (though I have no concept of what her preferences are/have been). These last few weeks the decline has been rapid and painful and though perhaps we as her friends have been shocked at the speed – I for one am not surprised by this outcome.

Today I prepare to try and see her one last time, in the sure and certain knowledge that my next chance will be the funeral. I wonder about the wisdom of traipsing in, of the loneliness of knowing there are people who you will never see again as your body gives up on you. I wonder what ways there are of making it a little easier…

There are no answers only a sense of disappointment in the inadequacy of words and the fragility of life.

Gigging and Mutual Motivation

I don’t often go out dancing but some things are important…

Last night, after being taken for curry by Sleepy, B & I went to see a local band head the bill at the club a friend of ours is sound-engineer at. I have mentioned our equivalent of Flogging Molly & the Dropkick Murphy’s before but its always worth plugging a little more.

So “Smokey Bastards” have been on the punk-folk scene for 3 or 4 years now and working in the local pubs too. They play a lively set and have a good following – Last night was the launch party for the new album – Tales from the Wasteland – and we also had some of the fabulous eponymous beer brewed by the lovely John and Becky at Art Brew.  Splendid  stuff.

Today I have been productive – with much thanks to kitten. We have been texting each other all day in encouragement to get up and get on with the housework. I have cleaned the bathroom and the kitchen as well as doing laundry and mopping the living room floor. We have agreed to support each other losing weight so we also went for a walk together. Hurrah for friends

Hospital & Prohibition

Today’s event are 2 rather opposite ends of the spectrum. The mrs and I went and visited a friend in hospital and then topped it up with a specialist drinking evening based around the Prohibition in America.

First up – The Hospital.

I loathe hospitals in general in the way I think anyone who spent too much of their youth visiting nearest and dearest there agrees. However, it was nice to see a clean environment that didn’t smell too much and seemed well equipped. It was too warm and uncomfortable, but my friend had a private room and reasonably attentive nurses – there isn’t much more to ask for. It was nice to see that she is better than she has been, and though tired down on the morphine and less grey-yellow than before.  I hope she continues to improve etc etc.


So after that – the Drinking club.

I confess that tonight’s selection of cocktails was not hugely unknown to me. But for example, I didn’t know the original sazeracs were made with cognac let alone contrasted them with modern rye variants, nor had I tried using chartreuse as an absinthe substitute in the same – both of which were pleasing extensions to my palette.

What was perhaps of more interest to me was that the club had in some new premium spirits. Aged Lagavulin and Nikka 10 were the 2 that I tried tonight.

The Nikka Japanese whiskey was somewhat as I expected – a super smooth blend with an expert nasal kick. Subtle, with a slight honey nose and all-round saltiness, it was a pleasing drink. But as a peat aficionado the Lagavulin topped it with ease.  Like the standard version it was strong in the nose and after-taste but the body was warmer and had more caramel to it which smoothed the whole experience and left it lingering for a long and comforting time. At £50 a bottle, I’d consider adding it to my own collection I enjoyed it that much.



On an entirely different note, good times not withstanding, bloody med change is leaving me really tearful. Wish me luck with going dry tomorrow.