I have been put right with the Louis Mountbatten salute. Evidently that is the salute of the Royal Navy and, come to think of it, yes, I don’t recollect ever seeing a naval officer saluting any other way. Strange how one forgets these things. It looked wrong even though it was correct.
This just has to be the shittiest year I can remember in a long long time and it ain’t over yet. What else is supposed to go wrong? It brings to mind all those wise old saws, or clichés if you prefer, like man proposes, God disposes and don’t count your chickens before they hatch and there’s many a slip twixt cup and lip, etcetera. A few days ago Douglas celebrated his forty-fifth birthday. Two days ago when he underwent a colostomy it was discovered he has rectal cancer. Could it have come as a bigger shock? I found it hard to believe I actually heard the specialist use that word cancer and had to have it repeated and it was Douglas who repeated it. He was ashen and a few minutes later said ‘I feel faint’ with which he promptly followed up the words with action, falling forward in his chair. I caught him before he could hit the floor and the doctor was around his desk in a flash and had Douglas’s legs up and held them up, at the same time taking his pulse until the patient opened his eyes. He was then made to lie down on the couch and wait for a full recovery. The reaction was hardly surprising, after all he had just been through the procedure, at times uncomfortable if nothing else, hadn’t eaten since the day before and then had to hear the news that was put to us quite bluntly. And why not? There was no point in beating about the bush. The nurse made him take some liquid and potato crisps for the salt though I must confess I ate most of them. Of course there is that inevitable question, ‘Why me? I’m forty-five years old, I’ve never smoked, I don’t drink, why me?’
The upshot is he has to return to the UK for treatment and the sooner the better so is leaving on Sunday. It would seem he is not just naturally upset about having the tumour but for the first time in eleven years both he and Chris had a wonderful and exciting twelve months work ahead of them in responsible positions on a twenty-six part television serial, some of it to be shot right here in Vamos, Douglas as Production Manager and Chris as Artistic Director, and that has of course gone out the window. Apart from any other consideration for the first time they would have made real money and we would not have been counting the pennies as usual but obviously it was not to be and, sceptic that I am, I felt all along there was somehow going to be that slip twixt cup and lip. They had already done a considerable amount of unpaid preliminary work which is what got them the job and somehow it all seems so very unfair, but when is life fair? It’s like a very bad dream but not one that I will immediately wake up from.