At last a dry and reasonably warm summer’s day falling on Tuesday. Alice was adamant that I should not go to the golf club for lunch without my respirator. I was convinced, however, on the other hand, that it was totally unnecessary but went along for the sake of harmony. I had originally thought that I could get one of the boys to slap on the mask if any reason it became necessary but Alice was not at all happy about this arrangement, and insisted that I would have to have a carer with me. I was against taking a stranger to the club as he would feel out of it so far as general conversation sitting outside before lunch and also during lunch. I suspect there were around two telephone calls to my pals about this, to which I was not privy. Alice was, of course right, (isn’t she always!). It would be totally unfair burden my friends to fit the respirator, in case of emergency, thus making them virtually responsible for any accident. Fortunately, this did not arise as my dear son, Smiler volunteered to come down the night before and to accompany me to the golf club.
This is then is what happened. Ollie’s Wheelchair Friendly Taxi Service picked us up at 9.45 and we arrived at the club and I later, when we could expect the first local foursomes to have completed nine holes and be back at the clubhouse. We were fortunate that my good friend John Gray was in the first batch so we latched onto them following them around until midday when Smiler and I headed back to the clubhouse together for a drink and to set up my smoking stick, so then by the time John’s foursome had played the last couple of holes we were well set up and ready to go into lunch when called.
Of course, I knew just about everyone playing there, most of whom came up say hello and I was able to introduce them to Smiler. I must say, he managed extremely well and when called into lunch we sat at the end of our usual table with Smiler on my left to feed me in between eating his own lunch. Being only one course – sausage and mash with some squash and cabbage – we were soon back outside sitting in the sunshine, enjoying finishing my cigar. After another 15 min or so of fresh air and sunshine. I felt I was ready to go home.
Smiler found Ollie and his ambulance, who were in the back car park, and we were soon on away home. I felt it had been a great success, considering I had only been to the club, once earlier this year.
It was really great to see so many of my old pals again but disappointed that Griggsy was not there. Apparently he has been having medical problems of his own which prevented him from joining us. I shall ring him tomorrow to catch up and see how he is.
I was a little tired but nonetheless no worse for the outing, or at least so I thought. When Paula, number one, was here preparing me for bed. I suddenly felt sick. I wretched over a bowl several times but did not actually vomit. In this rather fragile position I forewent my supper and was quite pleased to get to bed of a couple of hours later. It had been a lovely day and I was grateful to Smiler for sacrificing a day in his busy schedule. Hopefully we will certainly repeat the outing but if, as’ my lovely’ is convinced, the effort of the whole thing was too much for me and thus my bout of sickness then I will have to ration these Tuesdays, as much as anything to suit Smiler’s work schedule.
This leads me with a quandary, weather permitting I had every intention of going to see Australia at Lord’s, this coming Saturday, in the one-day match against England. Fortunately I do not have any guests of my own on that day, so I can leave it to the last minute to decide. My regular pals can, in any case, book into the wheelchair enclosure. If Alice is right, and the trip to the golf club had knocked me flat then a whole day at Lord’s, with an hour and a halves journey by ambulance each way, would obviously be more taxing. But then if I do not go does that mean the end of my cricketing days? What about my 78th birthday on 18 August, where I have three or four guests and we were going to have a bit of a celebration, where does that leave that engagement? While I was sitting outside the club well of my pals, Carl Creasey, came up to me and said keep second September free as he and his wife were celebrating their golden wedding anniversary. Of course, I sent I would be delighted to come provided I miss up to it. I wondered afterwards whether I would even make it to September let alone being able to join in a golden wedding celebration.
OnceOnce I was settled in my study chair I was able to deal with one or two outstanding matters. The main one was to telephone the Inland Revenue once again to request a blank tax form. The length of time I spent on this call was slightly less than the one yesterday, where it took 30 min and cost £2 and I abandoned it without getting through. This time I did eventually get through and the good lady, at the other end, promised to send me the Tax Return form ASAP.
I received a very nice e-mail from Doctor Margaret Saunders, from the Arthur Rank Hospice, Cambridge. I had previously explained to her that I seem to get on a lot better with Doctor West then my own Doctor Lort but did not know how to switch without giving offence to Doctor Lort who ostensibly I had been under for a number of years. Margaret wrote to say that she knew both doctors very well and that when she returned from her holiday, she would deal with the issue. Margaret is very diplomatic and I have every confidence she will achieve the switch with the least offence to Doctor Lort, who I have, no doubt, is a first-class Doctor, but one that I found less simpatico than Doctor West.