I cannot be bothered to mess around with my tenses. I wrote some of this a couple of weeks ago and then completely forgot about it so instead of fiddling around I have simply provided headings to indicate what bits are old news and what bits are also old news but written today – the day I post it.
Two weeks ago…
I was off work for the last week with a cold. Chemo delayed while I get over it and the consultant decides on the best treatment. No urgency apparently so that’s reassuring although I would quite like to get on with it. Most of my colleagues are on strike but I am not. I am very conflicted and quite troubled by the whole situation but in the end I believe less in joint action and solidarity than I do in the notion of striking for causes worth striking for. I was all for a strike against redundancy, students fees, against the commercialisation of higher education even in support of academic freedom but I cannot support a strike to make sure that privileged middle class professionals continue to enjoy privileges in retirement. It makes the academic community come across as having lost touch with what really matters in society. If we only assemble in the cold around our braziers when we are being ripped off rather than other more worthy individuals are being ripped off, our shaky stature as a bunch of people who think about ‘big, important stuff’ can only be made shakier. I am not proud of my action and I am genuinely in two minds but as of this moment it is how I feel. It just seems too easy to be always looking up the ladder at to those that earn more and feel envious, like vice chancellors, while not bothering about those who are clinging on to the rungs below you wondering what it must be like to earn £45,000 for talking about stuff. So I am a scab.
Along with scabbing I have felt quite lost this week and rather in limbo. Partly it’s an energy thing. I have very little. My lungs got really congested and sounded like a badly played squeezebox. The cat at one point thought I was miaowing at him and looked confused. He is quite used to being addressed by the other cats (usually abusively) but for me to suddenly acquire fluency in cattish, clearly flummoxed him. He actually crawled away as if I had said something brutally offensive about his freckley lip, which I must say I find rather unattractive. It looks as though he has acquired cat leprosy or has forgotten to wipe his mouth after eating chocolate sprinkles.
Moving on …..from my bed I decided to try to prep my software skills in advance of being tripped up by my more dexterous students. Anyway this became quite obsessive and the more I tried the more I realised how little I knew. I realised that learning software without any specific creative goal is like learning piano scales but never playing a tune, deeply frustrating and unmemorable. So I have decided to invent a project, needless to say it will involve my telephone box, that combines all the software I need to learn, in order to teach, utilising the software I need to use in the project. I have yet to come up with the perfect combination but it’s on it’s way.
Written today – the day I post it but retrospecively.
Got a puncture on the way to work two days after returning to work after my cold – result of the hedge clipping season around this ere bucolic parts. We end up with a road full of razor tipped spines that would be effective at stopping a drug runner’s Cadillac in an episode of Hawaii 5 0h. Fortunately I was within yards of a Renault garage and after pulling my favoured ‘I have cancer in the back and cannot do lifty strong things like repair punctures’ strategy, an incredibly nice team of car sales people fixed my puncture – after some wildly guilty tipping – I was on my way – sadly by that time it had to be back to York (more missed teaching might as well have been on strike) to spend an uncomfortably cold two hours while a tyre place failed to fix my stuck tracking dodads. 4 new tyres later at a 300 pound bill I retired to the restaurant in Waitrose where I opened my vains over the shadow of myself in a cup of indifferent flat whiteness surrounded by the Yorkist pensionable community of ‘free tea or coffees for the over 60’s on Tuesdays’ – ahhh the blood did flow as anaemically as the coffee.
Another 300 pounds. Vinnie got roughed up badly by a black and white farm ruffian who we had seen for the first time the day before. Found Vin in the piano room badly blooded, fur matted with god knows what and very, very frightened – so bad at first I thought he was dead. Yelled for Maria to come down for no particular reason than I was so upset and panicky and needed moral support. We shouted at each other while we ran round the house and up in the loft in pursuit of a cat box, blanket and eventually the cat who was well enough to leg it as soon as he set eyes on the box. It was Sunday but fortunately we found an emergency vet who sedated him and patched him up. He had puncture wounds on his ankle, armpit, ears and neck – he had to be shaved in the relevant spots given antibiotic and pain killers but no stitches. He came home looking like someone who had had ‘enjoyed’ a couple of summers of love at Woodstock – his pupils were like black snooker balls, he was completely stoned but ALRIGHT!!!!! Yep 300 but so so worth it.
He is back to his old self. Looking less like a Crufts cat than ever, but fully recovered. Scabs (yep scabs again) are falling like autumn leaves. He is unenthusiastic about going out and has wee’d in the warm comfort of indoors once or twice – unfortunately he hates getting his paws wet so the current deluge of rain and snow has given him an additional excuse to widdle on the setee and in Mitch’s sleeping box – a somewhat undeserved insult for ‘leader of the house.’
I was all ready to be put back on the chemo last consultation, and the one before that, but it has now been scheduled to start on the 30th March. It’s another of the mustard-gas based goodies but the regime is not too arduous, it’s all pill based and apparently its normally well tolerated. It will last about 3 – 4 months if all goes well.