On Monday, we had been promised gale force winds of up to 80 miles an hour and rain. We decided that the best course of action was to stay put on the park, and so at 9.30am K found herself stepping gingerly into the swimming pool. She was lucky enough to have the entire pool all to herself, and I really envied her. I had been advised not to risk going swimming whilst receiving chemotherapy because of the risk of picking up an infection, and so I found myself relegated to watching her from the side of the pool as she swam from one end to the other.
On Sunday we set off to Bridlington, mainly because K insisted that she had never been there. She had as a little girl, but had obviously forgotten it. She remembered the ‘big dipper’ road though from Reighton Sands holiday park, which dips and climbs with the result that as children they used to yell ‘Whoo’ at every dip the bus encountered. Setting off at Bridlington harbour, we walked along the sea front, intent on going as far as my legs would allow me to.
I think it was as I struggled with the heavy suitcase down our stairs, that I first had the inkling that maybe this holiday wasn’t such a good idea. This inkling was to be re-enforced every time we alighted or boarded a train. Was I mad? By the time I sank into my reserved seat on the transpennine express to Scarborough, it occurred to me that maybe I was last in the queue when common sense had been doled out. Struggling on trains with a heavy suitcase whilst receiving chemotherapy is not to be recommended!
We’re off on a holiday next week. It was booked last year before I knew I had cancer. You can get some real bargains at the holiday camps when you book early. We are going to Reighton Sands holiday park near Filey. It’s another holiday park with lot’s of fond memories for us. We enjoyed some wonderful holidays there when the children were small.
You will require one pair of pliers, a pair of very sharp scissors, a sharp knife and one or two packets of plasters in case of accidents.
Add an extra ten minutes or so onto any cooking time to allow for penetration of the packaging surrounding most of the ingredients.
1. Open the Tropicana orange juice container by turning the knob anti-clockwise with the pair of pliers. Once you have managed to turn the knob and open the container, pour the orange juice from the container into some glasses.
2. Whilst the grill is heating up, take out the grill pan and using either the scissors or the sharp knife, proceed to penetrate the packaging containing the bacon and also the packaging around the sausages.
3. As soon as you have managed to make headway into the packaging, take out the bacon and the sausages and place on the rack in the grill pan. Place the grill pan under the heated grill.
4. If serving mushrooms as well, you will also need to use exactly the same method to access those inside their plastic packaging. Peel said mushrooms and place onto the grill rack with the bacon and sausages.
5. The eggs are fairly straight forward to open as they are packaged in a cardboard box which has a very handy ‘push in’ type opener which therefore does not require any use of either the knife or scissors.
6. Once everything is cooked thoroughly, serve onto warmed plates.
7. Use the plasters if you cut yourself with either the utensils or any sharp parts of the packaging.
NOTE! Dispense of all packaging into the correct containers provided by your local council for that purpose!
Yesterday whilst out in town searching for summer tops, we needed somewhere to have our dinner. I haven’t frequented one of our fish and chip shops in town for ages, not since the terrible bout of food poisoning I suffered after one of our visits to one of them. As we emerged across the road from the ‘Happy Haddock’ K persuaded me (as she always does) against my better judgement to have our dinner there.
On entering, there were in total about eight customers already eating their meals. We sat down at a table (plastic tablecloths, ugh!) and soon the waitress appeared smiling from the ‘frying’ area of the establishment to take our order. Since the poisoning incident all those years ago, I have tended to hate the smell of frying oil and as the door between the ‘cooking area’ and the restaurant was kept permanently open, it wasn’t a comfortable time for me. I was already a ‘reluctant customer’ before the incident began to be played out before our very eyes.
It began just as the waitress had brought my tea and K’s drink. She was beckoned over to one of the window tables by one of the ladies sitting there.
“These chips are not cooked right!” stated the lady in an indignant voice to the waitress. “Look at the difference between my chips on my plate, and those chips on that ladies plate!” and she pointed over to one of the ladies sat at the other window table. The waitress protested that they were exactly the same, and then taking the plate containing the offending chips, she marched into the cooking area. We could hear her inform the ‘boss’ about the said chips and the complaint by the lady customer.
Out came the ‘boss’ all six foot odd of him, and he proceeded to march up to the lady who had been served, according to her, the ‘different’ chips. He insisted they were exactly the same as any other plate of chips, freshly cooked as they were served, but she was having none of it.
“I can’t eat those!” she told him, and rose from the table to exit the premises.
“There is absolutely nothing wrong with your chips!” the boss insisted as he walked back to the frying area with the offending plate, “and don’t come back to this restaurant!”
This prompted one of the ladies at the next window table, who’s chips were obviously of a superior quality to the complaining ladies chips, to join in the fracas.
“How disgusting to say that to one of your customers, don’t come back!” she stated loudly so that we (and the boss of course) could all hear. “ I don’t believe it! As a customer you have a right to complain if your not happy!”
Meanwhile the first complainant with the ‘different’ chips had paid for her meal alongside her companion, and muttering as she exited the door “Don’t worry I won’t be coming back here!” they both left. A few minutes went by in which K and I were served with our meals, and then the peace and quiet was interrupted again by the lady on the second table (who by the way K knew to speak to) who called the waitress over and told her that her chicken was ‘bloody’ and not cooked right.
The waitress did no more than marched into the frying area with the offending chicken on its plate to show the boss. He promptly marched straight back in with the aforementioned chicken and told the lady that it was cooked through, he had tested it, it wasn’t blood, it was the darker meat and quite normal. She however, was adamant .
“I can’t eat that!” she insisted, now obviously worked into some kind of hysterical frenzy about the cooking abilities of the ‘boss’ who seemed to have acquired ample certificates for his frying and cooking abilities which were all displayed on the restaurant walls. She had obviously caught the ‘complaints’ bug from the previous occupant of the table next to her, and no amount of insisting that he was ‘Gordon Ramsey’ personified was going to placate this lady!
He went back into the ‘frying’ area but shortly returned, now really indignant himself. I was worried that he might slap her across the face with a wet fish, but luckily he had only returned as she scurried out the door to issue his ultimate sentence
“And don’t come back!” as she exited without paying for her meal.
All through the whole scenario played out before us, waitress and boss flying up and down the restaurant with complained about plates of food held aloft, I have to admit that I nearly caught the bug as well. I was just a smidgen from picking up my bag and marching out of the restaurant in disgust, but the sight of K tucking into her huge sausages and chips with curry stopped me from taking flight, so we both stayed put and enjoyed our meals.
I no longer belong residing in here. It has rebelled against me, creating an alien environment that I can no longer tolerate. I ask myself every day, why did it turn against its resident occupier? Why begin to destroy the being it relies on, for food, for warmth, for comfort….
I no longer feel comfortable inside this shell, nor do I feel at home enclosed as I am inside its rebelling interior. I have never loved it, always aware that when compared to others, it was far from perfect. Too skinny all those years ago, with hardly any curves or attractiveness, now misshapen and ugly, covered in bruises, veins that hide and disappear, legs that complain in creaks and groans, hair that is too thin, skin that burns and itches, and now, it has turned against its occupant and rebelled.
Walking along the road, I pass a young woman, sleek and slim with a carefree expression, maybe thinking of her weekend and all the fun she might enjoy in the arms of a lover. She reminds me of how I used to be at that age with not a care in the world, and as we pass one another I mentally jump into her young lithe body and become young and carefree once more.
My first visitor today was the District Nurse. Not one from my own practice and therefore a new and unfamiliar face. She had in tow a young Doctor no less who was obviously in training judging by the way he followed her up the stairs and listened intently to her detailed instructions as she performed her duties on me. After checking the dosage to give and informing me that if I wished, I could give my poor bruised abdomen a rest by having said injection given in my legs or in my arms, she proceeded to eject some contents from the syringe first in order to arrive at my particular dosage, and then injected me in a small vacant space on the right hand side where bruising had not yet had chance to appear.
Following that, she then took two empty phials, one pink and one brown, and proceeded to fill them from my right arm which is the only arm left with a vein wiling enough to display itself sufficiently so that some blood can be taken, the left one having withdrawn itself sometime ago between previous cannulas, blood letting and CT Scans.
After she and the doctor had left, I began thinking how ironic my life has ended up! Was this the very same person sat here resembling some kind of mauve and yellow pin cushion, who had to lay down in a near feint at work when younger before receiving her first flu jab? Had someone said to me then that I would end up having a daily injection for six months solid and not bat an eyelid, would I have believed them? I wonder….