A foreboding grey sheet envelopes this morning’s east Leeds sky. Looking out from my recuperative billet, leafless deciduous trees and a visually unappealing brick building from Colton Retail Park lugubriously return my gaze.
The pallid outdoor canvas providing such dimmed natural light that, despite the clock showing 10.07 am, there’s a requirement for table lamp illumination within the hallowed chambers of casa Strachan.
In spite of this aesthetic grimness, I remain in a heartened mood. A consequence of every new dawn bringing a small improvement in my recovery from cardiac arrest nine days ago. Or at least it feels that way anyhow.
The scores of supportive messages I’ve received over the last week have also provided me with a great fillip. The number of individuals who’ve shown support post-heart attack is humbling, if not a little surprising.
I’ve shared many existential ventures with scores of good people in my half century on this planet – It’s heartening to see many of them taking time to share their thoughts and good wishes at this challenging time…… To quote the Taunton Bra Marketing Board’s strap line ‘We’re nothing without support.’
I’m hoping that by midweek I feel strong enough to gain liberty from incarceration in chez Strachan. Even if it’s just for a short walk locally, or the very least to let down the car tyres of the person whose cat keeps defecating in my garden. I know these actions won’t mitigate against the moggy repeating his habit, but it’ll make me feel better.
Some may ask why take retribution on my neighbour when it’s his cat incurring my wrath. To which I’d respond I’m not a spiteful man, however as the cat doesn’t own a car I can barely let it’s tyres down could I!!
Within the next few days I’m expecting contact from a cardiac rehabilitation team. A group specialising in the provision of recuperative strategies for heart attack patients following discharge from hospital.
My understanding is this recovery plan will provide dietary, fitness and mentoring advice; all key elements for the effective rehabilitation of my weakened cardiovascular system.
It seems to me we wrongly speak of the heart in terms of being predominantly symbolic with emotions, in particular feelings relating to love. Thoughts providing more romantic notions than it’s real function as a the aesthetically displeasing chamber pumping blood around the body for our existential survival.
An essential organ with no real link to human attachment. Other than if it stops the brain won’t receive oxygenated blood and within a short time we’ll snuff it – Causing untold emotional pain to a loved one.
As an unromantic with my recent cardiac issues, from now on I’ll always think of a broken heart in terms of a damaged cardio muscle. An affliction increasing a patients risk of disability, pain, death and inability to outrun a taxi driver for non-payment of fare.
I certainly won’t think of it any longer in relation to…… Well, actually I’ll leave it to Barbra and Neil!:-
You don’t bring me flowers
You don’t sing me love songs
You hardly talk to me anymore
When I come through the door at the end of the day
I remember when
You couldn’t wait to love me
Used to hate to leave me
Now after lovin’ me late at night
When it’s good for you, babe
And you’re feeling alright
Well, you just roll over
And turn out the light
And you don’t bring me flowers anymore
It used to be so natural (used to be)
To talk about forever
But used-to-bes don’t count anymore
They just lay on the floor ’til we sweep them away
Baby, I remember
All the things you taught me
I learned how to laugh
And I learned how to cry
Well, I learned how to love
And I learned how to lie
So you’d think I could learn
How to tell you goodbye
You don’t bring me flowers anymore
Words/Music – Neil Diamond & Marilyn Bergman
2 kids who've flown the nest, 1 wife whose flown with Jet2. Born at a young age in 1960's Leeds, the author became interested in the literary life when his wife bought him a dog. Having an allergy to dogs, he swapped it for a typewriter. Being unable to train the typewriter to retrieve tennis balls, he reluctantly turned to writing...... Website - www.writesaidfred.org