Monday, 8 September 2014


I'll confess. Today has not been exactly plain sailing. Right now, Nathan and I ought to be winging our way down the Pacific Highway in the direction of LA, but instead we've checked into a crappy motel on Market Street, where I'm not sure I dare leave my new laptop!

Nathan has pneumonia! We discovered this earth-shattering fact this morning. He's been coughing for days, and having night sweats and heavy joints and things, but we'd put everything down to some sort of crazy 'flu. Nathan tends not to complain. He wanted to enjoy the honeymoon, so suffered in relative silence. A few days ago he did say that he wouldn't be surprised if he had pneumonia, but was so flippant about it that I didn't pay much attention. I should have known to. Nathan's family are like psychic freaks when it comes to self-diagnosing health issues!

Anyway, we woke up this morning and his cough was like a death rattle. He was all for ploughing on, but I convinced him it was a good idea to go to the chemists just to see if they could recommend something. Actually what she recommended was the walk-in clinic out towards the Golden Gate Bridge, and we went there by taxi...

Our doctor, the charmingly named Dr Martin, immediately put Nathan in for an X-Ray and then speedily diagnosed a very severe case of the illness. She later showed the X-Rays to us, and there was white cloudy stuff all over the place. If Nathan had been any older, or less fit, she would have immediately sent him to hospital, but she decided to treat him as an out-patient, hooked him up to a saline drip, fed him some hard-core antibiotics and banned him from travelling to LA.

All this, of course, means that we have to change our flights, cancel our LA hotels and get on with contacting our travel insurance people. The medical bill is already close to $1000, and will go up further tomorrow after Nathan receives another intravenous dose of heavy duty drugs.

So really, that's been my day, but for a hugely charming evening trip to the famous Castro Theatre, an old-school cinema in the middle of the gay district which caters to its gay audiences with rowdy sing-a-long screenings of films like Mary Poppins, Sweet Charity and latterly, films like Frozen.

It was a Robin Williams tribute weekend, and we opted to see a classic film, Good Will Hunting, which, oddly, neither of us had ever seen. It was a tremendous film, but more tremendous was the atmosphere within the theatre. As we walked in, an old dude was playing a massive Wurlitzer, which vanished into the floor, old-skool style, as the film started. The cinema is a massive barn of a place, dating back to at least the 1920s, with glorious wall-friezes. American audiences are more vocal in their responses to the visual arts. Robin Williams' first appearance in the film generated a massive round of applause which, in the light of his death, felt both appropriate and rather moving.

After the film, I looked around the audience and was proud to see the full gamut of members of the LGBT community; from trans-people, little twinks and big gay bears, all the way across to a couple of elderly Chinese lesbian ladies, which is a sight I've actually never seen before.

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