The Tuesday shits at work got much worse as the day progressed. By 2.30pm my bladder had given up the ghost choosing instead to pass it’s workload onto my arsehole that gaily pissed budget Cola from it every half hour. I was beginning to feel slightly feverish, weakened by my condition I discharged myself from work and rode home with my bones shaking in my person like tinned Twiglets.
After cancelling the evening’s appointments I lay down to rest in my bed feeling decidedly nauseous allowing the waves of cold sweat to ripple icy fingers over my skin in between the dark warm waves of sickness. An hour later my mouth yawned over the edge of the bath as I jettisoned 3 terrific blasts of gut broth into the North sea. I felt instantly cured for about 15 seconds until my stomach re-established its foul congregation of vapours. Five minutes later I was back in bed pondering he consequences of my newfound fever.
The biggest threat posed by my condition was to Myfwt who was due to have surgery on Friday. If she contracted this bastard, her appointment, which had taken years to arrange, would be cancelled before she’d even set foot on the ward. Having said that I wasn’t sure if this malaise was due to a bug that I know had been going around, though not in my office, or food poisoning. I’d been feeling queasy since the previous evenings meal, which I apportioned to the asparagus due to my forgetting to wash it.
Aside from the Myfwt equation there was also the matter of my being able to see Hawkwind the following evening. ‘Fuck’ I thought. Then I said it out loud. Then I went to sleep.
The next day I was feeling a little better but the arse gravy was still featuring. I decided an egg with toast would be a good binding agent and I tentatively consumed my first meal in 36 hours. Happily it stayed down and I subsequently felt better. I’d arranged a shopping trip with Myfwt in the afternoon and was deliberating whether or not to risk contact with her should my ‘asparagus food poisoning’ theory, which I’d reasoned was the cause of my woes, be incorrect. I discussed the matter with her and we decided to risk it. The trip took its toll to some degree, I was feeling weary and delicate but this was the only way, psychologically, I was going to be able to make it to the evenings gig. I figured that if I can do the Christmas shopping I can do Hawkwind.
At 6pm Jamie arrived and we headed off to the local to meet James. I’d not had a drink since Sunday and the thought of a pint, worryingly, wasn’t doing it for me. I managed a foul tasting Fosters, really nasty, like drinking paracetamol, and seriously questioned if I was going to be able to see the evening through. Instead of setting off we had another ‘tester’ pint after which I was pretty much on the side of giving the gig a shot. By the time we arrived at Tottenham Court Road I was feeling a bit better and after a couple more at The Royal George I was better still. Astonishingly Jamie and I bumped into an old mate from way back, he’d not changed in the least and evening begun to get hilariously rambunctious. The Astoria was packed solid; a bit too packed to the point we contemplated some counterfeit tickets in circulation, but nonetheless, Hawkwind did a splendid set (which included the quirky Calvert-penned Flying Doctor) and finishing with Silver Machine. Despite this being their seminal number and their best known tune, in the 20 years I’ve being seeing them (this was about my 17th time) I’d never seen them play in. When it began I nearly burst into tears and James had to, well, look after me. I felt like a right berk.
Following the gig we bumped into yet another mate and headed off to the nearest available hostelry with a rather peculiar crew that comprised of mates, friends of friends and few hangers on. Bonded by our penchant for liking a band with an outsider, non conformist oeuvre we merrily bought drinks and chatted, but with an eye on the time in order to secure the last tube home. By the time we arrived back, following a farewell to James at Balham, Jamie and I grabbed a kebab (which I couldn’t eat, my stomach still wasn’t 100%) and arrived home to a sleepy Myfwt.
Next morning after Jamie left Myfwt and I went to finish off our Christmas shopping. On the way to the Kings Road I had to pick up a pair of motorcycle goggles for my dad, the old-fashioned Second World War fellows desired by fighter pilots, specifically, Halcyon Mark 4 Silver Cross. Having failed to find a pair outside of the internet (they never would’ve arrived in time) I was forced to purchase them from a Chelsea Scooters. For a hairy arsed seasoned biker such as I this was tantamount to entering a gay bar and asking to be fellated. Having no choice in the matter I entered the establishment and found myself looking up at a giant skinheaded mod. Oh the difference between the gentlemen motorcycle retailers I’m used to dealing with and these fellows. Whilst perfectly cheery to me the loud and aggressive manner – peppered with very blue language- that was used to communicate with colleagues was startling, frankly. The Skin was unable to locate the item despite his bug-eyed mate insisting they were ‘on the top fucking shelf over the fucking counter’, this made the Skin cross until eventually his mate had to down tools being used to reconnect some elastic to a leaf blower and find the item himself amid much ‘you blind cunt’ and suchlike. When the item was finally presented to me I was told that they’d been hanging around for the past 5 years, subsequently I purchased them at the arcane price of £36 Queen heads when they’re £42 brought direct from Halcyon. I asked the Skin if they were the silver ones with black leather, ‘dunno mate’ he said cheerily ‘lets find out’ and he helpfully ripped the box in half to satisfy my curiosity. I wasn’t going to bother complaining.
Following our final Christmas shopping trip, which was quite a success, we came home and settled down for the night. We had to get up early, at 6am to be precise, as Myfwt had a hospital appointment and I was the designated carer.
Living quite near to St.Georges in Tooting we were able to walk there. It was pitch black and cold outside and neither of us were in any mood for the journey that would end in surgery for one and a wait for the other. By 7am we were in the waiting room with about 20 others, all waiting for the stations to the theatre. At 9am Myfwt was gowned up, I walked her down to theatre with a very ginger male nurse and I said goodbye, assuring her I’d be there when she came round. Needless to say she was nervous, I’ve had two General aesthetics in my life but she was a virgin. My attempts at reassurance hadn’t helped either. Having been an auxiliary nurse (in fact, I had worked at the very hospital we were in) my bedside manner is somewhat pragmatic; I don’t think I was being very helpful in hindsight.
For me there began an 8-hour wait. I’d been told to call the relevant department at 10.30 to enquire about her allocation of a bed, then told to call back at 11.30, and so on. After a few hours my mind began to install itself into the wait. I deliberately spent time drifting between teas, cigarettes, sandwiches and various waiting rooms, all fired up to the temperature of fucking Hades, as is the want of such institutions. My book, which I’d been half way through, was soon finished to heightened emotion -Giles Milton, Samurai William, a triumph- and I was forced to purchase a paperback from the woefully inadequate but time-killing hospital shop. Fortunately, amidst all the fucking crap that passes for fiction these days, I found something rather good, a delicious crime novel into which I became immediately engrossed.
After what seemed like 2 days I eventually arrived on the ward at 5pm where Myfwt was due half an hour later, following a conversation with a chap who’d just had his toe amputated, a confused soporific patient with a bandaged limb was parked to rest. The procedure, we were informed by a rather dashing surgeon, had been an unmitigated success. Splendid news. Her sister arrived shortly after and I left them to it. On top of everything, tonight was the office Christmas party and was expected to be there for 7pm.
I didn’t bother going home; I jumped on a bus and in 30 minutes was in the loathsome Wimbledon ascending a staircase to my co-workers, who, it must be said, greeted me with a certain degree of enthusiasm. Most were already half cut, being the model of sobriety I allowed myself to fully indulge in all that was offered in the form of booze and to a lesser extent, food, though my appetite for the latter was virtually non existent. It was a nice evening, everyone in good cheer though toward the end some casualties were dropping off the end. One colleague, the unstable actor I occasionally have cause to chide like an infant, interrupted a colleague and I having a deep and meaningful. Of course I told him to fuck off out of it and he came at me shouting and screaming a few minutes later making an utter twat of himself. I had him removed. He later re-appeared to apologise, the berk.
I brushed of the hangover the next day. I called the hospital and discovered much to my delight Myfwt was ready to be discharged. I drove over and after a paperwork interlude took her back home. When we got back the noise downstairs was a fucking disgrace, despite having informed Cunt that she needed to rest the arsehole had decided to throw a fucking party for his grubby mates. At 11am I went down to tell him to shut the fuck up. He answered the door wearing sunglasses (what a fucking cunt) and clutching a can of strong lager. He apologised with as much sincerity as a Rumsfeld before inexplicably informing me he was Catholic and then, ironically, asking me to give Myfwt his blessing like he was the fucking Pope.
Myfwt was still very dazed by the drugs and spent most of the Saturday asleep in bed while I read, wrote and watched TV next door. The time passed in a not entirely dissimilar way to the previous one, I felt largely removed from reality but was snapped very much into focus when later in the afternoon the noise began again. There were by now a few of them downstairs and I assumed all were pissed stupid, we had no choice but to suffer his utter selfishness, going downstairs again on balance may have been unsafe, besides as Myfwt was largely out of it she didn’t seem overtly fussed by his cuntiness. The noise continued on and off all fucking night but despite it we were both so exhausted/stoned that we slept soundly. On the plus side he must have awoken knowing he’s been an utter wanker as I’ve not heard a peep downstairs since. I’m praying for violent death, of course.
On Sunday I took Myfwt to her sisters in dense fog, it was rather fun but no so much when on returning I got fucking lost. Earlier I’d been forced to Sainsbury to do some last minute food and booze shopping. I wasn’t expecting the place to be so crowded. It was fucking unbelievable actually, it was almost impossible to actually get to anything with a fight and I queued for over three quarters of an hour before I was served. That and the journey back in the fog had soured my mood but I was cheered by a trip to Clapham to meet my bro, Frank and his missus and Harry for a few Christmas drinks. I got back home in time to take delivery of an exhausted Myfwt who’d been dropped off by her sister. We had a lovely quiet evening, exchanged gifts and watched Christmassy shite on the box before retiring. I admit to staying up a little bit later and having a few whiskies, its Christmas, I thought. Why not…
So, here we are, Christmas eve. I’ve just dropped Myfwt off at her sisters (again), as they are all off up t’northern somewhere to meet the rest of family. Shortly I’m off to meet Frank for one last snifter before it all kicks off. Tomorrow I pick up My bro and his missus and we all head off to deepest darkest Surrey for the usual family shenanigans. I have to say I’m rather looking forward to it.
This really is the last Piqued this year, I’ll be back in just over a week so don’t fuck off now. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all of you where ever you may be. (Obviously, I reserve this goodwill for cunts, however.)