Tuesday, 10 April 2012

End of Easter and Bank Holidays. Do you too think the Romans invented Holidays? A day off for the circus, and the 3-way "Football" contests, with Gladiators, Christians and Lions. Winner takes all, or at least the one at the end not eaten is the champion. And of course the Romans invented Formula 1 racing, with their 4 horsepower racing vehicles, as shown in the climactic race in "Ben Hur!"
  Anyway, Roman or Ipswichian, it was back to work today! In my case a morning shift at the Hospital Cancer Information Centre, which was the vision and crowning work of one of our doctors, John LeVay, who himself died soon after opening the centre, of cancer. The statistic is that now 43% of us will contract some form of cancer during our lives. Which must make cancer about the biggest business in the UK. I was recruited as a volunteer by the nurse who has supervised my care when I had my first session of cancer in 2004, - rather a nasty one, as it turned out, and which occupied most of that year.
   Working as a volunteer in the centre has been the most fulfilling thing I have done in my life, I think. We are a "drop in" centre, situated at the entrance to the Oncology wing of the hospital, and every day hundreds of patients pass our doors. Many do call in, to look for booklets and information, to ask questions, to tell us how they are getting on, and to sample our tea and coffee. We are able to give patients time in a relaxing environment, and we also are constantly learning from them, as they go through their treatment. Probably more of that anon.
   A nice sunny breezy sort of day, and the lawn suitable for its first cut of the year, so that great moment when first you try to remember where you finally put the mower for the winter, and then hopefully pull away sacks and a swimming pool cover to reveal it. Will it start? My old petrol one was an absolute devil, and you could waste a whole days mowing time swapping sparking plugs over, and trying to re-knot a bit of frayed starting cord. Having it serviced didn't seem to make any difference, it just looked more smug when it wouldn't start. Finally it would start when you were not expecting it at all, the clutch would slip into gear, and it would run over your foot and then career across the lawn, through a flower bed, and end up in the pond.
  Happy days, and lots more mowing to come. Alas my present machine is just an electric one. You have to push it all the way, but sometimes it contrives to drive over its own electric cable!

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