When I arrived in Australia, some 23 years ago, one of the first things I learnt was that sausages were never called bangers. Their colloquial name, all over the Lucky Country, was snags. Never mind why, or what that word means to you in other contexts, in Orstrayia, saussies are snags. Full stop, end of discussion.
Today was the day I’d been waiting for, with equal measures of hope and dread. Following the MRI scan and a few other tests, the chief neurosurgeon consultant was finally to deliver her verdict and my sentence.
As it happens, she was away on maternity leave, so I was seen by her deputy, an austere and awe-inspiring gentleman by the name of Brunovski (or something equally mid-European); he was as Aussie as they come, however. We sparred a little and he told me that my grasp of medical terminology and anatomy were crap. “Not so bad for a software engineer, though”. He ignored this and brought up a succession of images from the MRI on his computer display.
“Look at that,” he cried. “Can’t you see how absolutely normal it is?”
I couldn’t even see what it was, let alone judge its normality.
The bottom line is that I am no more likely than any other normal person to have another subdural haematoma – and no less likely either. “Forget it, put it behind you and carry on like any other normal person. Of course you can drive again. No, no paperwork necessary. Goodbye, good luck – and I’m quite sure I shan’t be seeing you again.” He had the grace to grin broadly as he shook my hand and ushered me out of his office.
Boadicea and I were stunned. It’s true that this is the outcome we had been hoping for, but it was so rapid, so clear-cut and so definite that we couldn’t take it on board immediately. Five months to the day, exactly, and life has returned to normality.
Boadicea and I will be absent from The Chariot from some time early on the 11th July (next Wednesday) until the evening of Saturday the 14th (3 days later), if all eventuates in accordance with the promises of our various service providers. When we reappear, it will be from our new home. Actually, on the 11th and 12th we shall be staying with elder daughter, so we may possibly pop up for a short while by hitching a lift on her WiFi.
It hasn’t taken long to sell, buy, settle and move, has it? 5 weeks from start to finish – wow!
This is a bit personal, and it’s real, but I have permission from Boadicea to publish it. So delicate flowers should perhaps read no further … Read more…
It’s been heart-warming to read (now that I can read again) all your good wishes and remarks, and it’s about time that I thanked you, individually and as a group, for your support and encouragement.
Six weeks and a day ago, someone turned my lights off – put my processor into hibernate and pulled the plug. That was the last I knew until about two weeks ago, when it began to occur to me that I was a person tucked up in an intensive care ward, that the wonderful caring person who helped look after me each day was in fact my angel of a wife – Boadicea, and that it was time for me to fire up the backups, reboot my software, engage the language routines and start behaving like a human again. It took a couple of days to get going, but, touch wood and whistle, it’s been upwards ever since.
So, a week ago tomorrow I was released to continue my recuperation at home. I am indebted to the paramedics and ambos who took me safely and swiftly to the emergency theatre; to the doctors and surgeons of the team who spent three hours reconstructing my cranium, and to the nurses and specialist technicians who kept me functioning while I was away with the fairies in cyber, hyperspace where time has no meaning. To my GP and all the other experts who did their essential best. Thank you all.
I’ll spare you the details – and I’d probably get them wrong – but if you met me you’d probably be hard pushed to detect anything wrong (though there are still a few things that have yet to put themselves right). Perhaps I’m a little more polite and tolerant than I used to be, and readier to acknowledge other people’s point of view, but there again, perhaps I’m not.
Best wishes to all Charioteers.
It was in my first year at college (read Uni these days) that I realised that many people hate to admit that they don’t understand something, or that they are unfamiliar with something or someone. My school, perhaps unusually, had drummed it into us that it was our duty as students to ask questions when we did not understand, so that we could learn and thereby cease to be ignorant. That was what education was about: if you don’t ‘get it’ – ask! Read more…
Heartfelt thanks to the four brave Charioteers who entered January’s competition. I must confess that I was disappointed not to see a contribution from our Edinburgh lawyer, but that’s the way the haggis crumbles, I guess. Only joshing, JM – I know your time is constrained. Read more…
Thursday 26th January is Australia Day. It’s also Republic Day in India, but more about that later.
It’s a national holiday when we all enjoy ourselves, hold citizenship ceremonies and generally celebrate all that’s good about The Lucky Country.
This year’s Australian of the Year is a popular choice – Geoffrey Rush (Speech Therapist in The King’s Speech, and many other notable rôles). I didn’t catch the entirety of his acceptance speech, but it was good-humoured and staunchly Australian. Here’s a quote -
We love acting the goat, taking the mickey, cracking a joke, spinning a yarn …
Following Soutie’s lead, here’s another colourful picture to brighten the Chariot.
3/335, with Pup on 140 and Punter on 137. Sydney revisited? Let’s hope so.
If this means nothing to you, please don’t worry about it, but you can click on the piccie if you want to find out. Cricket Tragics won’t need to.