At last I know the word! Jacula, my favourite reader, supplied it. Now I'd like to know the word for fear of ants. Formicaphobia? If anyone can be bothered trekking right back to the start of this blog, I told the scary story of how my ant phobia began. I don't want to go into it now. It will keep me awake all night.
Mind you, I need to keep awake. My brother-in-law from Cumbria is staying the night but he rang from Bermondsey at 11.30 pm, so it's going to be at least 1 am before he stumbles, or tumbles, through the door. Poor old Mr Grumpy usually goes to bed at ten, and is currently propping his eyelids open with matchsticks, or the cat's claws, or something, as I don't drive and he is the one who will have to pick him up at the station, as we live 3 miles away from it, which is too far for even an experienced mountaineer and trekker like my bro-in-law to walk at 1 am after a 5 am start from Cumbria and all day spent in meetings, followed by a blowout dinner.
Had a bit of an synchronistic moment this morning. A man has called round a couple of times, asking to buy the rotting van in Mr G's front garden. Now, this van happens to belong to me because, way back somewhere in my last house move, Mr G thought it would work out cheaper to buy a van, move my stuff into storage in several goes, then sell it afterwards, rather than fork out hundreds of £s on removal men. £1300 later, I was the proud owner of a white transit.
Now, transits used to mean travelling to gigs and lying in the back on a mattress with the bass player, or the drummer, or, if I was really lucky, the lead guitarist (this is the 1960s I'm talking about!). And it was my band, too, most of the time.
But shortly after the purchase of the van it stopped working. Then Mr G had his strokes and since then, it has collected moss and rust. But this man really wants to buy it and today, while Mr G was out, he called again and we had a chat on the doorstep and it turns out that he has had a stroke too, same side as Mr G (right side) and all the same symptoms. It was an eyeopener. It gave me an insight, I can tell you, as he explained it in ways Mr G never could, about how bad-tempered and frustrated he gets, about how he can only concentrate on one thing at a time and goes crazy if he is interrupted, and gets words mixed up, and can't write, and gets cramps in his hand and sciatica-like pains, just like Mr G. But he is two years past his stroke, as opposed to 9 months for Mr G, and he is working again, having started a courier business which is why he needs a van.
Mr G says the van is his project for this summer. I can see the other guy helping him restore it. He says he'll call again in the hope of having a stroke chat with Mr G. I think it would be great for the two of them to compare symptoms like a couple of old women. And it would set my mind at rest, too, as I wouldn't have to worry that some common post-stroke symptom was a sign of something new and ghastly. So... let's hear it for a stroke recovery buddy system in the front garden. Sic Transit... Or sickTransit... ?
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