Hello again everyone, and as usual I shall start with an apology and some thanks.
Apologies that it has been three months and more since I wrote anything here and if you are in the slightest bit interested in what I have been up to, which quite frankly amounts to absolutely nothing, then click on the “read more” button and I’ll tell you. The thanks are due to the decent amount of people who, for reasons which are still a complete mystery to me, still visit my pages even though nothing has happened on them. Please feel free to step inside if you want an update.
Thanks for taking the time to have a look. so where to begin? I know I left you all a bit in limbo last time, being midway through my exploits at the Royal London Hospital. I had met up with the good Doctor Mark Harley who had given me a crash course in advanced Physics in about two days flat. I even understood some of it, indeed I still remember some of it which is remarkable.
Just to let you know that I shall not be continuing with that story in this post but I had prepared a lengthy piece and almost finished it away back in July after my last entry. I was almost finished it and then I lost all interest, not just in the blog but in just about everything. The reason is fairly obvious. The furthest I have been since February is the hospital which, in normal circumstances, is a 15 minute walk from my home. I have not been out of the E1 postal district for over eight months now and that is a very small administrative area.
My trips outside my own door in that time have consisted of hospital appointments, appointments with the practice nurse to get my leg wounds dressed, a once a month outing to the pharmacy where at least I get a bit of a chat and once or occasionally twice a week a visit to the small supermarket 50 yards from my home. Such fun. Anything I had to interest me in my retirement has been taken from me and I don’t see it changing any time soon.
We are currently in another period of quite strict house arrest in England and just about everything is shut again. They said it was until early December but are already talking about extending it. Frankly, the so-called experts have not got a clue, they are guessing wildly and making it up as they go along.
So what have I been doing? Surely with all this time on my hands I should have been writing blog entries like a demon. The truth of the matter is I just have had no inclination to do so. I have no motivation to do anything except re-read all the books in my library (which I had regrettably cleared out to a great extent in a fit of Spring cleaning about January!), watch every documentary the BBC iPlayer has to offer and sleep. I know I have a propensity to keep odd hours and I have a sleep disorder but surely sleeping 30 hours straight isn’t normal.
My mood was dealt a further blow on the 05/10/2020 when my Father sadly died a month short of his 89th birthday which naturally knocked me back a bit. It was not entirely unexpected, he had been failing for some time. What did really hurt was the fact that I could not even return to Northern Ireland for his funeral but thankfully, my brother was there to take care of things.
It was so sad, he was a founder member of his male voice choir and they would have undoubtedly turned out and sung at the service but of course numbers were strictly limited. They had to do with a small token honour guard and playing a couple of the choir’s recorded numbers on my brother’s laptop through the Church p.a. which is hardly the same. Apparently the Rev. Foster, who was friendly with my Father commented that my Dad would have enjoyed the irony of singing at his own funeral and I think he was right.
I do realise this is probably of no interest to my readers but, as I have said so many times here, this blog is as much for my own benefit as it is a travel document or the hopeful entertainment of others and so I am going to post a brief memorial to my late Father with two photographs. One of them is the last time I saw him when he was thankfully still vaguely coherent and I know I have used it before. My Father was a good horseman in his day and loved them, he seemed very happy that day which is a nice memory.
The other one is, I believe, the last known photo of my Dad which my brother took on a visit a few months ago. Because of this damned virus, my brother and sister in law had to stand on the lawn and try to have a conversation, a situation that was not exactly helped as the staff had lost one of his hearing aids. A most undignified shouting match apparently ensued, not a great position to be in.
Eric Campbell 09/11/1931 – 05/10/2020, RIP.
Of course I am not the only one in this position. My uncle Jackie sadly died about three months ago when Northern Ireland was under some sort of draconian lockdown. My Aunt had pre-deceased him, and two of his three children live in the USA and Germany respectively so that was never going to happen. However, my eldest cousin lives not 20 miles from the crematorium and was not even allowed to attend. The only people present were the minister and the undertaker’s men, I find that very sad. I would have made a trip home for that funeral as well as I was very fond of Jackie but………………..
I dread to think of what the ramifications of all this are going to be. I read the BBC news online a lot, let’s be honest I have little else to do, and I read yesterday that incidences of child abuse are tragically going through the roof. I dread to think of what is happening with the mental health of the world. I was talking to my mate in Sri Lanka per e-mail earlier today and she tells me the suicide rate in that country is going off the scale, it must be the same everywhere. None of this even touches the surface of the world’s economy which is going to be in tatters by the time this is over.
I doubt I shall ever be able to travel properly and independently again in my lifetime. In another BBC article I read that Australia may well close it’s borders until the end of 2021! I think what is the most galling thing is that this pandemic was, to a great extent preventable. No, this is not ex-President Trump speak, it was ably demonstrated by a respected journalist on a BBC flagship news programme (Carrie Gracey and Panorama respectively) a couple of months ago.
The CCP (Chinese Government) had been informed of animal to human transmission and the potential ramifications of that. They refused to lock down the epicentre as they were afraid of unrest in the face of the Chinese / lunar New Year. Instant pandemic and the world as we know it ended. Social media types reporting on it have disappeared and Doctor’s were threatened with arrest and jail if they mentioned the issue. Plus ca change!
Enough of this depression although it is difficult to throw it off. I suspect my travelling days are effectively over and I cannot see when I’ll ever be allowed to play a gig or Festival again. It doesn’t leave much really.
About the only thing I have to look forward to, and it is undoubtedly merely a pipedream, is a decent sized dinner party I am supposed to be catering for if I can ever get back to Sri Lanka. This is doubtful now with the pandemic and my recent medical history (who will give me travel insurance to fly with a history of DVT?). Myself and my friend sit and swap recipes and menu ideas all day. I think I am committed to about six courses so far for ten guests. No pressure then. Just to add to the culinary hurdles to be cleared most of the guests are veggies for religious reasons and I don’t generally do veggie, I like to eat dead animals as our earilest ancestors did, so that will be a bit of a challenge! Still, it is something to hang onto, I suppose.
Well, folks, that is about the sum total of what has been going on. I must say that putting this together has not been the trial I was expecting, I was really forcing myself and I am sure most of you are wondering why!
The next post will be the lengthy diatribe I had nearly completed and which shall continue the long story of my suddenly collapsed well-being. I have no idea how I abused my poor old carcass so badly for 59 years and seemed to be enjoying rude good health and then it all went belly up in the space of less than a year. Payback time I suppose.
That’s about all for now and I’ll resume my medical saga in the next post so stay tuned and spread the word.
Anyway, as always, stay tuned and spread the word.