The second week of my holiday is not turning out to be the restful time I was expecting.
Yesterday I found out that Dad went into hospital, so I decided to go visiting. Since he lives 100 miles away this would normally be difficult to do during the week, but as I am not at work this week I took advantage and set off on the M23/M25/A1(M) to Stevenage. By some massive fluke I found the hospital, found a parking space at the hospital and found the right ward with no trouble at all.
What I didn’t know was that visiting hours are 1400 to 2000, or I would not have arrived at 1200, but nobody complained. I was very pleased to find Dad looking more healthy than the last couple of times I saw him and quite cheerful. Obviously not well or he would not be in hospital, but relieved to find that TB and lung cancer have been ruled out.
I spent about 4 hours talking with him, doing the Times ‘killer sudoku’ together, and wheeling him around in the bastard offspring of a wheelchair and a shopping trolley (basically a wheelchair with the steering characteristics of a supermarket trolley). That is probably the longest I have spent with him for many years.
Its not that we don’t get on. Possibly we are too similar, though both reluctant to admit it. Mostly we talked about the prospects for West Ham and the terrible state of the world (with some overlap obviously) but touched on some interesting comments about the perception of age. I guess our relationship is awkward as I did not spend much time with him while growing up, but I did enjoy those few hours today. Except when one of the new female doctors came along and he started getting a bit ‘Benny Hill’, but thats a good sign in a way.
I went up to Herts on the West side of the M25 but came home on the East side, so today I did a complete clockwise circuit of the whole M25. And it took ages. Jean-Paul Sartre nearly got it right when he said “hell is other people”. Had he ever attempted a circuit of the M25 he might have refined it to “hell is other drivers”. It took at least 2.5 hours to get back home, but it was a lot worse for anyone trying to go anti-clockwise. There was an accident just North of the Dartford crossing and the tunnel was closed so the queue went back almost to the Bromley junction. The delay on my side was mostly caused by everyone slowing down to rubberneck at the wreckage.
When I got home I just had time to get changed before setting out again to go to a sort of selection meeting. More of a pre-selection meeting really, but the first step towards possibly being a parliamentary candidate in a safe Tory seat. It would make a change from being a council candidate in safe Tory seats. It was an interesting meeting and if nothing else it was a great opportunity to meet some members from outside the Crawley party and network. It being a small world, one of the other hopefuls was a chap from Hither Green where I used to live many years ago.
I finally arrived home and was able to eat lunch a little after 9:30pm after which I thought it was a bit late to call my sisters to give them the health bulletins on the old man. I’ll have to do that tomorrow.