It’s a cycle that seems to arrive swifter than it takes Olympic champion Jason Kenny to complete a circuit of a velodrome.

For almost eight years, this cyclic event has been an undesirable but essential evil undertaken by my long suffering wife – Mandatory medical treatment required every four weeks; a crucial ally in her long-running battle with incurable illness.

As I look out from a 3rd floor waiting room of a Leeds oncology unit, a sun-kissed Burmantofts stares back. It’s not the most scenic of canvases, however the aesthetic beauty of my surroundings aren’t amongst my ‘go to’ thoughts when I’m oncology unit in situ. I have to say, it certainly doesn’t feel like a month has befallen since Karen and my last visit within the grounds of St James’ Hospital.

Clearly, these treatment trips are unwanted re-occurrences for the Strachan brood. Odious scenes of deja vu unsought by the clan, but situations we’ve no choice but embrace as their existence is our best case scenario. The conclusion of this cycle is only possible at unthinkable cost and profound family melancholy.

As usual during these appointments, I’m occupy myself by penning a monologue. A piece revealing the sights and sounds experienced while I kill time in my undesired second home.

This morning, it’s unusually noisy in our 3rd floor Bexley Wing sale d’attente. The consequence of volumous scattergun phone chatter by a middle-aged Asian lady perched on a nearby sofa.

A telephone conversation I’m unable to fully follow due to her habit of flipping between delivering verbal offerings in English and Urdu….…. Bizarrely, I understand the notions in Urdu, but not her views in English!

When stating I understand her opinions in Urdu, if I’m honest my grasp of the Asian lady’s confabulation has been exaggerated a tad. My Urdu is rusty (despite regularly spraying it with WD40) so I’ve had to employ a fair degree of guesswork to fill in my lexilogical knowledge voids.

With that in mind, my conversational Urdu is significantly better than I thought if the lady has just told her phone buddy “Sorry, I can’t come to your coffee meeting this afternoon as I’m broadcasting factoids on Radio 2’s Steve Wright show.” …… Conversely, if that translation is wide of the mark I’ve not a flaming clue what she was rabbiting on about!

Additionally, if my understanding of the above is incorrect, there’s a decent likelihood my interpretation of further verbal offerings in Urdu will also be erroneous. Words confiding in her phone pal that the factoids scheduled to be delivered were  – “I’ll be advising listeners the perils of spray tanning emus. A reckless practise with a consequential risk of afflicting feather mange……. Additionally, I’m highlighting the reason behind peoples preference for carpet lounge floor covering over the harder wearing tarmac option.”

wheel within a wheel

Mercifully, it’s quietened down markedly in recent moments; the blessed source a conclusion of the motormouthed phone call. Potentially, a result of the lady wanting to save her vocal chords for the scattering of factoids later in the day.

As dusk draws in on today’s narrative, my wife Karen is sitting adjacent to me on a waiting room sofa – Quietly, she’s absorbs prose from a fictional book by author Karen Swan.

With tongue very much in cheek, I’ve just opined to my spouse the huge coincidence her latest read was penned by someone also carrying the moniker Karen S.

She hasn’t yet verbally responded to my point – Her only so far being the stuffing of cotton wool in both ears, prior to relocating to the opposite side of the waiting area from where I’m sitting.

Leave a Reply