There has been yet a third adventure following a night in East Grinstead with Anna in August and the (not The Train Spotting) trip. Anna and I had fun, but it was definitely a pecuniary rip off demanding massive strength and determination in the face of appalling disabled access. I was hugely fortunate to have been allocated a bed at the Martlets Hospice in Hove the day I returned from Scotland—without which I don’t think I would have had the courage or energy to do that or the third adventure, which was to fly to NYC and take the Queen Mary 2 to Southampton with Anna, Seb and Nurse J. The timing wasn’t perfect but hey, what’s a bit of half term between teachers?
As a reasonably broad-minded person, there are few things I can categorically say I would never do. One of them is going bungee jumping, another is getting my tongue pierced and the third is going on a cruise. Yet there I was, feeling the wind whistle through the hole in my tongue as I leant from the gunwale of the Queen Mary 2 dressed in a golden Dior evening gown, safe in the arms of Leonardo and to cap it all, I had one of the most fantastic trips of my life. OK the first two parts are lies but this really was the most poignant, meaningful and joyous holiday that I can remember.
On my return to the hospice, I have realized more and more that there is something very bizarre in becoming a character in your own play. Nearly ten years ago I was commissioned to write a play called The Tuesday Group, based on the words of a group of people with life limiting illnesses at a hospice day centre. At the time there felt something slightly wrong in writing words such as these. But as each amputation followed on each amputation and the pain gradually increased, I couldn’t help feeling that life was beginning to imitate art in ways that were just a little too spooky. My hands appear to have lost connection with my brain and I can’t help but wish I could reverse the update on my iPhone as it has suddenly become too complicated to navigate. Now, I can only actually write anything at all if Matron Anna puts aside her dissertation and scribes for me.