Tuesday, 7 June 2011

The edge of a precipice

I’m a little bit scared. D-Day has finally arrived. I’m going into hospital tomorrow for my operation. I don’t like the idea of a general anaesthetic. I don’t like the thought of losing control. I remember the sensation from having my wisdom teeth removed; a slow backward count into oblivion. Of course my mind is filling rather with catastrophic thoughts. What if they find something more sinister? What if they give me the wrong amount of anaesthetic? What if I wake up and accuse the nurse of being the Angel Gabriel? (This happened the last time I went under.) I don’t much like the idea of waiting at the hospital, either; reading women’s magazines with sweaty palms whilst people call me David. I’m not allowed to eat, or even drink water. Torture.

I worked in Costa Coffee until about 2pm, and then went to Bethnal Green to meet the wonderful woman who runs the Lesbian and Gay Christian Group. She’s incredibly sensible and utterly inspiring and I have no idea why good Christian folk wouldn’t want to adopt the sort of Christianity that she preaches.

I came home via Muswell Hill where I bought some potatoes, some Halloumi cheese and a miniature white board to write on during the week when I’m not allowed to talk. I felt a bit pathetic carrying it home on the bus.

I made tea and put the Halloumi in herbs and bread crumbs and fried it in a pan. It was absolutely delicious.

We went for a walk on Hampstead Heath, and called in on Vera and Bob on the way. I haven’t seen them for ages, and she looked incredibly well. She used to have raven black hair, but has allowed it to go a wonderful silver colour. They’ve had a run of very bad luck of late, though. Someone stole their car and left it smashed to smithereens in Camden Town. There have been various health problems, and they lost a fair amount of money to a con man, who they rumbled, but only after he’d managed to do some damage to their house. We talked about old friends. Billie is now in a home. Sandy has moved to Spain. You turn your back for a year or so, and nothing is the same.

We found ourselves on the heath just as it got dimpsy. Kite Hill, as usual, was buzzing. A young man was teaching his girlfriend to play a tune on the ukulele. I love that place.

Friday 7th June, 1661, and Pepys had dinner with Lady Sandwich, who treated him “very kindly.” He went back to the office, and worked til late, the only interruption being from Sir William Batten, who had returned from his country estate in Chatham with a bad case of toothache.

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