Yes, 'absent without leave', quite disgraceful, I know, but there was nothing I could do, what with this, that, the other and everything else that suddenly cropped up. To begin with, I had to go to London to visit my old AmDram club who were performing Rattigan's diamond play The Deep Blue Sea. Alas, the deep, blue sea was precisely where they should have deposited this particular production. It was beyond awful! I love amateur theatre most, no, some of the time because when it is good it is often brilliant but when we get it wrong we never do it by halves, it is a full, in your face slaughter of the innocent and unsuspecting! Poor old Rattigan, a tortured man in many ways whose bitter, cramped life as a homosexual, rather like Maugham's, gave him an insight into repressed feelings which he demonstrated in his plays. Having made a round journey of 240 miles to see our travesty of a production my particular feelings were anything but repressed!
Then, yesterday I had to take the 'Memsahib' to the hospital for sundry tests and briefings prior to her receiving a new hip next week. Quite an interesting experience, actually. For example, the building is only about two or three years old. We checked in to reception and the lady duly ticked the box and then said, "I'm so sorry, Mrs. Duff, but the doctor is running 15 minutes late but he will get to you as soon as possible." I nearly had to ask for emergency oxygen! An NHS receptionist actually apologising for a 15 minute delay! Normally all you get is a grunt and a chewed biro pointing you to a row of benches upon which you sit and wait and wait and wait. Needless to say, it became clear that this was a private hospital - American-owned, as it happens - which has been set up to undertake contract work for the NHS, this being the crafty way the Tories are subverting the Great Socialist Monolith that is the NHS. It must be costing a fortune so I don't suppose it will last but, boy, am I glad to see it operating here and now. The staff, working as they do in the private sector, have been trained to be cheerful and pleasant and unlike their NHS counterparts they do not seem to look upon their patients as a bloody nuisance. Of course, the only thing that really matters is that the surgeon does a good, competent job, not least because I can't have the 'Memsahib' lying about the place for too long unable to attend to my wants and needs!
Anyway, sorry for my long absence but as I am about to go down with 'man-flu' I will not be straying far from my warm garret and this computer.