Well after putting all the family thru the mill with worry, concern and a sense of dread over the last week Old String Vest has been turfed out of the hospital. One minute there I am showering and changing after a few hours boat mending in readiness for the human stampede that is visiting hour when the phone goes just as I’m exiting the front door and you’ve guessed it, Pops is ready to be discharged! Apparently his powers of recovery are such that there is little else to be done but R&R, not bad after having the contents of your lower chest cavity hauled out, your main blood providing pipe clamped, cut open and replaced with a 8 inch piece of flexible pipe (garden hose I think!), under the surgen's cosh for four and a half hours, and all this at the tender age of 78 – not bad at all. Now don’t get me wrong here, I fully realise that the operation is only the first step and it’s going to take time and care for him to recover, but by god he’s a tough old coot that one. So if it’s with a somewhat sense of relief that I’m writing this post, well you can’t blame me. Thinking about it’s either his amazing powers of recovery or the fact that he’s probably mithered the living daylights out of the nursing staff.
Oh and why ‘Old String Vest’? well many, many years ago when my brother and I were reckless youths we used to cycle to the pub and wobble home most evenings (on every day that had the letter y ending it) due to the fact that the local constabulary had conspired to suspend both our driving licences for some minor, paltry, misdemeanours. Ok when I say minor the accident involving the cyclist, the oncoming wagon and my resulting fractured skull was perhaps slightly more than minor, perhaps, or when I demolished a dry stone wall trying to clip a pheasant scurrying across the road one particular Christmas morning (damn that ice) could be classed as paltry nearing ‘oh shit’, or when Peter left his Viva estate, wheels up, in the middle of a country lane before legging it. And then there was the time when….. Anyway back to the tale, upon these frozen Winter's nights cycling home from the place of alcoholic refreshment (medicinal reasons only) became a nightly chore, as was trying to approach the house in the early hours of the morning in stealth mode hoping to avoid the lecture from high up above, no not god but Pops, who every bleedin night seemed to know the exact moment when we were approaching the house (couldn’t have been the singing or more usual the arguments that always happened when we drank together, could it?) and as we disembarked from our cycles (fell off) the upstairs bedroom window would be flung open with unnerving regularity and there was Pops hurling his wisdom at us (in a very Anglo Saxon sort of way) resplendent in a gleaming white string vest, hence the loving , term of endearment we use for him…..
One thing I did notice about hospitals, isn’t there an awful lot of ill people there?