Hidden Secret?

Tuesday 22nd May- Today’s itinerary includes a visit to a Leeds oncology unit for my wife’s monthly treatment, along with an out of town shopping centre sojourn for mater’s weekly comestibles.

From my perspective, this roughly translates to me spending an hour writing in a hospital waiting room. Followed by attempts to further bolster my mother’s self-confidence – Still not as robust as the family would like for dealing with the challenging circumstances of widowhood.

Despite an outward ballsiness with people she knows love her unconditionally, with strangers she can acquiesce too much. At a store checkout it’s as though she deems herself unworthy of inconveniencing the customers queuing behind her – Causing her to appear flustered and ham-fisted during the packing and paying process.

Knowing her as I do, it saddens me that a women with her strength, positivity, warmth, humour and decency feels the need to undervalue herself. Just one more worry on this current existential expedition of excretia.

We’ve just arrived at the oncological unit of a Leeds hospital. Sitting on my waiting room perch I look out onto the scenic splendour of a Burmantofts skyline – The far to familiar companion of my wife and me over the last 7.5 years.

If truth be told, our view lacks the architectural majesty of cities such as Barcelona or Paris. An argument I’d back with suspicions a romantic meander along Torre Road with your beau would lack the romance of a wander along Las Ramblas, or the Boulevard Saint Michel.

That being said, they’d be less chance of having your pocket picked in Leeds 9 – If they want your money they’ll beat you up and snatch it openly…… Surreptitious thievery an unnecessary evil amongst the avenues adjacent to 1960’s high-rises of inner-city Leeds.

Seriously, though, even if Burmantofts possessed the aesthetic beauty of those European metropolis’, the view would still be from a hospital waiting room. Ergo a scene we’d forgo given the option.

We’ve just been informed by one of the nurses that Karen requires an additional blood test before receipt of her monthly medication. With their results not due for a couple of hours, Karen and I are heading homeward bound when I finish this sentence.

When I say finish the sentence I’m of course referring to the lexilogical kind – Not that the grammar police have caught up with me, resulting in me being thrown in Armley Prison for incorrect verb subjugation…….. Although don’t rule that scenario out at some point!

I’m casa Strachan in situ as I commence this segment of the narrative. Karen has wandered off to Sainsburys, her mission the purchasing of salad comestibles for this evening’s meal.


Her trek in the warmth, courtesy of solar rays recently bequeathed to the West Yorkshire populous by ITV weather god Jon Mitchell. A meteorological wizard who gives the impression that beneath his constantly smiling visage hides a secret.

An enigma that if it came out would rain on his parade, followed by having to endure high pressure. Personally, I’m guessing his undisclosed shame will be along the lines of, without the help of colleague Becky Mantin, he’s unable to spell stratocumulus.

My missus Karen, though, begs to differ, instead thinking the weatherman’s angst is borne from being incapable to spell the Angelsey town Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwll-llantysiliogogogoch.

In the unlikely scenarion my missus is right, I’d venture the inability to spell the Cymru locale can hardly be classed as shameful. After all, I doubt anyone in the world would know how to spell the name unprompted.

My brother dismisses Karen and my theories on the Calendar weatherman’s spelling shame, instead plumping a more salacious assumption. Mischievously proffering the secret is as a 17 year old, during a family camping holiday in Ainsley Scragg, he woke one morning to find a horse in his sleeping bag.

Even though our kid’s guess is very specific (indicating being in the know), I’d say he’s wide of the mark with his hypothesis about Mitchell. After all, the weatherman is a man of the highest integrity, unlikely to have owned a sleeping bag that could house a horse.

Disclaimer – All references to Jon Mitchell are fictional……. Apart from the fact he broadcasts weather forecasts with a chirpy grin and the fact he was once 17 years old. I reckon opining he’d never had a sleeping bag large enough to fit an equine is also probably true.

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