The Contemplations, Rants & Reminiscences of DavidB327

Something Sensational To Read On The Train


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Bee pretty busy for the past few weeks, but for the first time in ages I have truly been able to relax over the weekend.

 

Dad had his last chemo session at the end of April.  It was meant to be a week earlier, but it was put back by a week as dad was feeling unwell.  Not too surprising really, since one of his brothers died just a few days earlier.  It cam as a bit of a shock at the time, but was not entirely unexpected.  I must admit I do feel somewhat guilty for not feeling more remorse over the death of my uncle.  I was very fond of him, but I had not seen him for years, as I don’t go back up north that often.

 

Anyway SG and I went up north for a few days to visit mum and dad, and while we were there we managed to get to see sister no 2 and my brother.  Dad seemed better than I had expected, but he got tired quite early on in the evening.  It wasn’t so bad for the first couple of nights, but on the last day our trip to my brother’s place was cut short because dad was feeling tired, and he was going to drive us back.  Sister no 2 had driven us to my brother’s house in Liverpool, but she had to go off after a couple of hours.   That was a real pity because we’d all settled down after Sunday lunch and we were feeling quite mellow.

Liverpool has always been a city of contrasts.  On the way to my brother's place my sister drove through a depressingly grim area, where there was the smouldering ruins of a small block of terraced houses amongst severl other blocks that looked as though they might as well be burnt down.  After that we passed through what felt like very peaceful countyside.  It was remiscent of Berkshire or Buckinghamshire, except that there were fewer cards.  Then we entered a leafy suburb, in themiddle of which is a very rough looking publich house.  The next day we heard on the radio that the area where the burnt down house had been was sealed off as there haad been a murder, resulting in traffic chaos.  Not that this should put off any tourists trom visitingt his wonderful city, as we were nowhere near the city centre.

 

During the trip we had a shopping trip to Manchester.  Although it was mainly window shopping it was good just to be wandering around there again, and it felt far more civilised than the scrums once has to get used to in London.  The shops were (in reality) probably quiet busy, but it almost felt like a ghost town.  We ended up, as usual at Harvey Nicks, and were accosted by s woman very keen on us both having a spray of this new fragrance.  Ugh!  It smelt like a well known coconut liqueur.  Why on earth would I want to smell like that?  I’ll stick with Chanel No 5.

 

A few days after we returned to London dad had a check up with the consultant.  My brother and sister no 2 went along with mum and dad.  They both wanted to go in case the prognosis was not good, but amazingly there was no longer any trace of cancer!  Obviously that’s a huge relief for all of us.  So when mum phoned up to give me the good news she was keen to point out that they were looking forward to coming down to London again.  They had been wanting to visit for a while, but of course their lives were pretty much on hold while dad was undergoing his treatment.

 

Yesterday we swathe most wonderful performance of Swan Lake at Covent Garden.  I booked the tickets as soon as they became available, and managed to get seats in the front row of the stalls, so I could see as well as I ever would do.  Still not good enough of course, but well enough for me to be able to tell that it was a spectacle.  The music was absolutely lovely, and I’ve caught myself  humming it on the odd occasion today.  A sad ending, but most folk tales do have sad endings.  Not surprisingly the evil magician was booed during the curtain call (but not during the performance).  Can’t wait to go back.

 

The Saturday before last we saw a brilliant concert by Hugh Masekela at the Barbican.  It’s the first time I’ve seen him in concert, although I’ve been aware of him for many years.  Well I found this performance so uplifting, and I was not alone in this respect.  We were in the midst of adoring fans, who whooped with joy at the beginning of each song.  They did 2 encores, so the concert finished a bit later than planned.  We were pleasantly surprised to find out that the restaurant was still open, but I guess that was because so many people had placed reservations.  We were a bit rushed, but it was a nice enough meal.  Earlier in the evening we’d listened to a performance by a Swedish big band, with a guest performance at the end from Georgie Fame.  So all in all quite a pleasant evening.

 

Work wise I have been up to my eyeballs in it.  I had to prepare a design for a review just before  taking off a few days leave.  Since then I’ve been trying to finish it off, but I’ve been dragged in as consultant on other projects, which amongst other things involved a trip to Winchester last week (I was definitely running on empty at the end of that day).  I got further and further behind schedule because I was constantly distracted, and though I was reporting this I found it incredibly frustrating.  So in the end I worked throughout the night to get the design finished off without fear of being pestered by anybody.  Not that I want to be in a position where I need to do this too often, but I felt a real high knowing that I can do this when I need to.  Once of the things I had to do in the design was to complete a data flow diagram in PowerPoint, and though I say so myself I think I’ve done quiet well for a blind person.


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