Good Weather for D.U.C.Ks
Dark grey day with rain pouring down as I come out of Waterloo station heading for the hospital. It's the pick up point for London's Duck tour - where bright yellow world war II amphibious vehicles take tourists on a land and water tour of London. But I've got my ipod on playing MR Blue sky by ELO at full blast.
Sun is shining in the sky (no it isn't)
There ain't a cloud in sight (there's nothing but clouds)
It's stopped raining (no it hasn't)
Everybody's in the play And don't you know it's a beautiful new day (hmm...)
But it doesn't matter. Suddenly despite everything I want to dance through the station and into the street. I feel great for a moment.
Thank you ELO. Thank you Apple. Thank you the breakdown of the copywrite industry which will eventually lead to every creative person including myself having to work for nothing.
Funny how the tiniest things can turn you over up and down.
We're all shallow in the end
Just to compound the irony, I put “Here comes the sun” on straight after.
I stayed with Lisa and George until 1:30 and didn't discover anything new about George’s condition or treatment. I do feel we've been a little deceived about the treatment. We were definitely given the impression that there was a strong chance that the treatment would close the hole in his heart, but it turns out there was never any real expectation of that on the part of the doctors. Still the treatment we're getting is good and everyone is friendly and helpful.
Later it's the Doctor Who fan’s Christmas meal in Croydon. Russ, Pietro, John, Kathy Phil Fiona Martin and Evelyn all meeting for a traditional English Cristmas curry.
We’ve known each other for years. Phil, I went to school with. Russ and john I met at the first couple of meetings of the DWAS (doctor who appreciation society) Hertford local group. Pietro and Evelyn appeared at the Fitzy (a monthly doctor who gathering on the first thursday of every month in the Fitzroy tavern off Tottenham court rd). Martin appeared later and he and Evelyn got together and married while living at Russ and Pietro's house in Croydon.
Pietro and Russ married just last year from the same house - pretty much as soon as the law allowed it (or as soon after as it was practical to organise the level of spectacle required). Phil met Fiona in Congleton and they married. John and Kathy met later and married in Rickmansworth. We're a pretty eclectic bunch, it has to be said.
I suppose when you're a Doctor Who fan (especially in the 80's when it wasn't trendy as it is today) you had to be pretty accepting of the individuality of others. To find a group where nobody’s afraid to be nerdy and the only peer pressure was towards being yourself was, I think a godsend to all of us and changed us all in our own ways. Even now, when we do get together it's always a good night. Everyone wished george well.
John is now one of the governors of Jamie's (his son)'s school and has been given the job of access auditing it for disability discrimination act compliance. It’s amazing that someone with no experience is being asked to check the school for disability legislation – it’s a bit like asking me to do open heart surgery. If it all goes wrong, the school won’t be covered and John will get the blame. Luckily Lisa is one of the few people in the country able to sign off buildings for DDA compliance, so she can at least give John some pointers. John meanwhile would rather, it seems be growing vegetables – his new hobby.
Evelyn is running the marathon this year and training is hotting up (at least, she says she's not sick quite so often after training now). Of course she's running with a set of five teddy bears - one for each of the Kaiser Chiefs.
Phil's work maintaining the 146 aircraft he built in the earlier part of his carreer seems increasingly to be taking him everywhere in the world. Royalty uses his aircraft and a few years ago, the Prince of Wales was allowed to land a plane and ended up driving it off the runway causing £1m damage.
The papers hinted at technical problems with the aircraft, but Phil was involved in the investigation. There was no failure of the aircraft. Our future king just isn't a very good pilot. The prince hasn't been allowed to fly since.
Apparently the cockpit recording makes for interesting listening. The prince's use of language is colourful.
After the meal (which ended at 8:30 - children and distance have changed our timetables in recent years) I kept thinking I should get home but when I came to ask myself why, all I could think of were all the tasks and chores that were waiting for me
I decided to stay at Russ and Pietro's and they were great allowing me to crash at ten thirty - a real luxury.