“Now, I have to tell you about the possible complications,” says the Good Doctor. “These are incredibly rare: I’ve done many, many lumbar punctures and no-one has ever had a problem but, legally, I still need to tell you.”
“Can I say that I’d rather not know?” I ask.
“I’m afraid not,” the Good Doctor tells me.
Snazzy plain blue Mao-style disposable trouser suit on – check.
Cannula thing in left wrist artery for radioactive tracer and splint applied to keep it firmly in position – check.
Thing in vein of right arm for regular taking of blood throughout and tape applied to keep that firmly in position – check.
All paperwork signed; permission given; off to the PET scanner we go, in search of possible brain inflammation. All in the cause of Parkinson’s research.
I clamber clumsily onto the scanner trolley, which is darned tricky on account of not being able to bend either arm. How the Plarchers manage to do all the farming and stuff with non-bendable arms, goodness knows!
“It was normal for people over thirty to be frightened of their children. And with good reason…”
(Orwell – Nineteen Eighty-Four)
“Time for our news books – I want you to draw me a picture of something that you did at the weekend and then – using your sounds – to have a go at writing a sentence or two underneath.”
(Every teacher of young children, everywhere.)
Unable to sleep the other night, I started listening to a wireless programme about Evelyn Waugh and the writing of his first novel – “Decline and Fall.” He was a strange cove to be sure – and, of course, married someone who was also called Evelyn. It must have made the arrangement of Secret Santa presents a complete nightmare.
The Agricultural Correspondent has been wheeled out again. Just as we get to an exciting bit in the storyline – has Helen Archer finally seen through Rotten Rob? – we are kept on tenterhooks by some bit of farming nonsense. So Tony and David Archer mooch around the cattle market discussing the merits of buying organic suckler cows and we are made to wait for the resolution of the TunaGate affair.
What’s good enough for The Archers is good enough for you lot. So before I tell you what was in the letter from Hammersmith Hospital, I’m going to share some gardening news. If by any chance you didn’t read Wednesday’s blog – number eighty eight – now would be a good time to nip off and do so; otherwise what follows will make no sense. We’ll wait for you by discussing fencing.