2007 — 17 October: crisply autumnal Wednesday

Time now (08:52) and it's about 25 minutes since I spoke to Christa. She had a reasonable night.1 And, almost before I know it, it's 09:52 and several phone calls and emails later, and it's time I ingested a spot of brekkie. And got dressed! Or both.

Today She may stop being a "Nil By Mouth" patient. Meanwhile, I shall dash round chasing up a few bits and bobs (prescription stuff), try to find where the jim-jams with little hearts on are (they have the short sleeves that make sticking needles in Her a lot easier) and take in Her current book later today. It's also not quite clear yet if She's still expected to attend Her consultant's clinic this Friday (at a different hospital) though said consultant's secretary is fully aware of the situation and said consultant's chap is going to call in on Her sometime today. (That was one of the calls.)

Driving forecast

I shall be trying / have now applied better technology to stop the front "L" plate flying off on its own travels today. I can't be doing with buying fresh pairs of the things every day, can I? We're aiming largely to repeat yesterday's route. Last night Mrs co-pilot suggested we should venture a little further afield2 until Mr co-pilot gently reminded her I'd only been driving for two days(!) and he was sorting out routes that (for example) permitted easy ways of returning (like just traversing a relatively quiet roundabout at the far end of the journey) and less chance of heavy school traffic etc. My driving instructor applauds and fully approves of all these sessions of practice.

To Gill and Chris (my birthday near-twin): the "birthday boy" very much appreciated your hazard perception driving DVD gift and card,3 thanks. Truly sorry I/we failed to respond properly in kind this year, but that particular weekend was just a little too gruesomely busy. I'm sure you understand. Mike, your card arrived today and made me smile, too. Well done! I am trying not to be angry as it has always seemed such a negative and horrible emotion, but I'm also assured it is one of the "perfectly normal" responses to the situation we're in. It's good to have you to vent at, trust me!

The harvest (of prescriptions) is (mostly) safely gathered in, so I just await the meal4 on wheel to arrive, then I can fuel up ready for the Open Road. Toot! Toot!

My, that was fun! I've totted up another 90 minutes and 50 miles of practice, including my first dual carriageway (61 mph!) and what was really quite a busy road in the direction of Salisbury. Plus I filled the fuel tank in Botley Road. Even squeezed in the beginnings of some reversing and parking-type manoeuvres while discombobulating my next door neighbour and leaving the car the other way round on the drive. And my "L" plates stayed on. Then we changed vehicles so my co-pilot could show me how it ought to be done, and dropped in on the girl for a few minutes to deliver the requested jim-jams and reading material. She looks much better, but is obviously rather weak at the moment, what with no solid food for the worst part of six days — doesn't bear thinking about, does it? Was it John Brunner or Brian Aldiss who estimated Western civilisation was about two solid meals away from breakdown?

The "down" side, by the way, is the need for a fresh shirt after each session. It's fair to say I am still a very long way from confident complacency.



1  As did I, chasing down a delicious chicken casserole with a single small glass of wine; thank you Peter, Shelagh, and "Ali".
2  The Hill Top café somewhere near Figsbury Ring and on a fearsome "A" road.
3  "Some drink at the fountain of knowledge... others just gargle" As you say, how true! Made me smile, which is worth a lot.
4  My co-pilot's prediction last night of "chicken" was correct after all!