Friday, June 29, 2007

A Surge Of Blood Through My Varicose Veins

It can't be a long post today, because I have so much to do. Last night I discovered a hole in my support stockings ("State-of-the-art welt and open toe finish for improved comfort. Effective treatment for superficial and early varicose veins, including those during pregnancy"). That means a lengthy visit to the Chemist. I am also running out of hearing aid batteries and with the holiday coming up, one of my greatest fears is to be stuck in some foreign clime and not being able to hear instructions about the safety of the drinking water. As it is necessary to queue up at the Clinic for at least an hour to be issued with a box of batteries, that is the entire afternoon spoken for. I somehow need to get all this completed before rush hour sets in (I really don't like being out in the rush hour traffic any more) and get back in good time so I can keep a careful watch out of the front window for my wife and son to come home.

Frighteningly busy as it is, it could have been so much worse. We were due to go down to visit Janie and Edwin in Oxford this weekend, but on mature reflection we decided to postpone the visit as we feared it might rain. As Janie and I exchanged e-mails about the proposed trip the other day we swapped phrases so as "it is better to be safe than sorry", and "worrying about the weather would cast a cloud over the weekend". We took the sensible decision. The mature decision. The grown-up decision.

When you are sat waiting for new hearing aid batteries to be issued there is not very much to do. Almost by definition, you cannot enter into conversation with the other people who are also waiting. You just sit a lot, smile a lot, and think a lot. And who knows where my thoughts will take me. Maybe setting off with little more than a tent and a page torn out of a school atlas and hitch-hiking through France, Belgium and Holland. Maybe marching through London to Grosvenor Square and dodging the charges by mounted police. Maybe my wife and I returning north with all our possessions in the back of a small van, en-route to Medical School (Isobel) and unemployment (me).
Frightening thoughts these. Enough to send a surge of middle-aged blood through your varicose veins. And who knows where that would lead you? Better to be safe and sensible.
Must go now, the Archers is about to start.

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