You Rang Malade!

After two hospital visits so far this week, it’s good to be appointment free on this bright autumnal morning. I seek neither sympathy or kudos for my minor role in Karen’s fight with her rance maladie, I merely raise this as a thought that recently propagated my neurological corridors.

Although they have blighted her existence for nearly six years now, we embrace these regular journeys to the oncology institute. After all, the only way they will stop would be through a set of dreadful circumstances, that we cannot afford to give any mind space to whatsoever.

How will I spend this day under the bright, but tepid heat of todays autumnal solar rays? Well at the moment, I’m sat penning this narrative looking out onto the striking view bestowed by the Russian vine plant covering my back fence.

As I look out of my bay window, I see an amalgam of green and newly morphed red leaves combining to provide a synergy of autumnal aesthetic splendour. It appears the predominantly scarlet foliage, which will soon relinquish its part in the plants life cycle, intends to go in a vibrant blaze of glory.


One cannot fail to be awestruck at the sights bequeathed by the Russian vine, the pink hydrangea, the slowly dwindling yellow of the black eyed Susan and the claret of the sedum. These gifts of nature have had a very positive input into Karen’s coping strategy, both through designing the landscape and their aesthetically pleasing therapy.

Looking out on the beauty of the kaleidoscopic view produced by these perennial shrubs, I ‘m deeply moved. Seeing this horticultural allure festooned no more than 10 metres from me I cannot help but think “Is that cat’s crap on the lawn again!!”

What else have I on my ‘To Do’ list for today? Well I need to wheel the bin around ‘spider alley’ to the front of my house for refuge collection tomorrow.

I don’t mind spiders, unless they are 9 foot tall and produce poison that makes you addicted to the ‘Jeremy Kyle Show’. However, returning from that short venture around my landlocked house covered in cobwebs is a real pain in the backside!

Also today, I have some minor paintwork tasks, a rusted screw to attempt to remove so I can change my outside light bulb, fill a hole in my ensuite ceiling where my old light fitting used to reside and I’ve the oven to clean. None of them interesting chores, but as Karen’s dad always says “Ye getten tha gooten tha na!”…. No I don’t know what it means either!

Karen has just turned the radio on in the kitchen. To the accompaniment of classic 1980’s tunes, she prepares a braising steak casserole, which she will leave to tenderise throughout the day in the slow cooker.

Unsettlingly, she is using a recipe from her new cook book by the Milwaukee Cannibal Jeffrey Dahmer. In my concern about the casseroles ingredients I might go with the vegetarian option at Strachan’s Bistro this evening!

As I write, it’s around 11 am on a Wednesday morning. In the kitchen, Karen melodically gives her take on the ABBA song ‘Tack a Chance on Wor’, which her dad taught her during childhood,

Meanwhile, I sit scratching my beard, which is itching like hell, and that’s before I even get covered in spiders webs!

I think it maybe time I lose this beard. I don’t mind it but Karen isn’t keen. I also constantly get hassle off my mum about my facial hair. Apparently, she thinks I look a “Right scruffy bleeder!” with a hirsute visage.

Perhaps Karen and I can come to an amicable agreement. I’ll lose the beard if she loses the Jeffrey Dahmer recipe book. 

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