10 Forsythia Grove
CORSETTSHIRE ZY6 4GT
I have been slung out of No Return District General Hospital pet! I fear I remonstrated with a rather burly-looking type when she demanded I retire to my electrical bed at 7pm after the hot cocoa round. I am not a toddler dear and I believe I am able to decide, solo, when to outfit myself in my hospital gown and slide between the sheets. (I was removed from Mr Macavity's premises - by ambulance transport - at such a rate that I unfortunately left dear Cuthbert, my teddy bear, nestling between my candy-stripe pillow cases.) Anyway, all this means that I was unable to visit Pom-Pom because, after removing my tracheostomy tubing with a distinct degree of brusqueness, I was wheeled towards the exit and the taxi rank!
I have had a few, rather raspy, conversations with Pom-Pom since this as, luckily, he had the foresight to take his mobile telephone into hospital with him and appears to be equipped with it at all times. Times have certainly changed on this front. Even five years ago, friends and relatives mostly communicated with patients via the phone on the ward reception desk. And what a terrible distancing effect this had! I clearly recall the feeling I had that any relative/friend I cared about was now buried in the fog because I couldn't see them or hear their voice.
Two of my conversations with Pom-Pom over the past couple of days have been somewhat anguished. They related to the fact that the nurses had disappeared in the middle of turning him, that he couldn't catch their eye, and had thus been left in the same position for a long time without being able to reach the buzzer. When your mind's eye extends to visualizing the helplessness and lack of control a frail individual in their eighties must be experiencing, even the mere account of it becomes harrowing. After all, you cannot just pop round to the local cottage hospital to give them their buzzer - because they are 30 minutes drive away (or two hours on the bus). Nor can you phone up because you have been adjured not to by the very person whose interests need protecting!
Anyway, this morning, I thought I'd engage in an altogether more therapeutic set of activities. First of all I motored over to the local branch of the Giant Garden Outlet Centre for what felt like a one tonne bag of alpine grit. I can certainly understand why I don't buy this stuff very often dear for, quite apart from the actual weight of it, the car park over at this emporium is on a camber. Any attempts to manoeuvre the flat-bed plant trolley close to the car passenger seat are thwarted by the rolling of this trolley in all directions - usually perilously close to the shining flank of the car parked alongside! So, now that I have got it, I am looking forward to using it on the alpine plants - and herbs - for which it is intended.
Having been advised by the doctors over at No Return District General Hospital to take things easy for a while after my throat was stitched up (I don't know whether the above set of activities would be quite what they had in mind. What do you think dear?) I then cast about for another easy indoor activity I could accomplish. And my eye lit upon my 'Emerald Feather' asparagus 'fern' (it looks like a fern but isn't one). This item has required re-potting for quite some time as its topmost roots seem to have risen above the potting compost. I don't know if you have ever seen one of these plants have you Ralph? They come with a fearsome set of downwards-pointing hooks and, at the least provocation, shower you with a profusion of dusty, golden, needlets! Wear a mask pet, should you ever get a specimen for your own (rather spartan-looking) premises. It will be a lure for the women in your life, who will appreciate a level of apparent green softness in the immediate vicinity of the boudoir. While I am thinking of it, perhaps the time has now come to get rid of your pallet bed and find something a little more decorous? Tell me if I am interfering, won't you dear?
My last challenge relates to my intended purchase of a Maidenhair fern and a winter Cyclamen. I say 'challenge' because, during the course of the past several decades, I have bumped off any number of these house plants. It has been most confusing when, after just a few weeks of devoted care and attention, they have simply drooped and died. And, just recently, I have resorted to looking them both up in a text book. The first-named plant usually snuffs it owing, apparently, to becoming dust dry and then doused in excessive quantities of water! And the latter plant cannot, it turns out, bear a heated room or being watered from the top! So if you feel tempted to snap either of these items up in an autumn sale, do first SEE ME!