You ever feel like something happened to you, like some childhood trauma or something, but you can’t think of, or remember, anything like that? I’ve always felt a bit like that. I’ve just been watching a movie called Marwen, with Steve Carroll, and the way that a trauma has affected him is ringing bells for me, but nothing specific is coming up in my memory. Weird, huh?
On a brighter note I got some good news yesterday. Here it is verbatim: “Your skin lesion is not cancer. I will call back to discuss ointment or lotion you can use.” So that’s good, right? I’m the downside I now have no reason to continue my zombie novel about the seven stages of grief. Hey-ho.
Oh, and I found out why I talk so soft on the radio. It’s because my voice is fed into earphones that I wear and the volume on those headphones was turned right up. I was speaking quietly to compensate. I’ve turned the volume down now so that I have to speak up to compensate. Every day’s a learning day.
Since I announced yesterday that I had something important to say I’ve been in a state of nervous anxiety (or maybe it’s anxious nervousness) because, truth be told, I have nothing that I can guarantee that you will find important. Oh, sure, I have stuff that I find important; but that’s not the same thing now is it?
Here’s the stuff that I find important:
- I did a radio show on my own and it wasn’t as polished as the ones I did with Phil (the station manager) in attendance. There are various reasons for this. One is that I had to make my own way from the train station to the studio. On the face of it, this isn’t such a bad thing because I like to walk and I was able to read while I walked. It took me about thirty minutes to complete the 1.7 miles, which meant that I arrived at the studio about fifteen minutes before my show was due to start. I thought I would have enough time to familiarise myself with the equipment, bring up my song pad (a list of songs that I want to play), think about what to say and generally get myself in the right frame of mind. Thing is, by the time I peed (essential if you’ve just travelled for two hours to reach the studio and are then going to sit down and do a two hour show) I was down to thirteen minutes. This then turned into nine minutes when I realised that the pre-recorded show that was currently playing was going to go end four minutes early. Nine minutes probably sounds like a lot of time to you but when you have to do everything by yourself then it’s a little tight. I mean, think about the radio shows you listen to on the big networks. For example, I happened to catch the first show by Craig Charles on BBC Radio Six today after he took over from Shaun Keaveny and, as part of his nervous intro to himself, he announced that he’s not on his own in the studio and I thought to myself, oh, he’ll have a producer with him. He then proceeded to say hello to not one, not two, but three people helping him along with his show. Three people! No wonder he didn’t totally suck! So, yeah, I had nine minutes to put together a list of songs, think of something to entertain the nation with and vet the tunes I’d chosen to play. Now, that last point is particularly important. Why? Because we’re not supposed to play songs with cuss words in them. The sponsors don’t like it apparently. And here’s the thing: I’m a trusting kind of a person. If I’m given a list of songs on a system to choose from for my playlist, I’ll think to myself: oh, if they’re on the system then they must be clean versions. Guess what? Nope. The first song was by Dua Lipa. I can’t remember which one, but, according to one caller, she was appalled to hear me play such vile stuff. There were only a few seconds left and so I let it play out, but I listened to those few seconds and she was right: there was an f-word in there. How embarrassed was I? So I kind of alluded to it after the song and put another one on: Happier Than Ever by Billie Eilish. I was pretty sure this one would be okay, but I listened in anyway, partly because I like the song and artist and partly to check on what she was saying. One sh*t and one f*ck later the song ended. OMG, what is happening?! So I made another half-hearted apology and put something on that was sure to be clean. Can’t remember what it was. Something by Disney I suppose; just to give me time to think. By this time my mood was kinda shot. I turned to the computer on my right to try to look up the current singles chart to give me some idea as to what to play because, what with the f-bomb situation, I still hadn’t had time to get my stuff together. Guess what? Yep, the internet wasn’t working properly. It was taking several minutes to load up one page. Aaargh! Luckily my phone was connecting to the mobile network, but I really didn’t feel like turning it into a mobile hotspot and using my entire month’s data just to connect a computer to the internet. So I didn’t. But still: downer. Anyway, I struggled on. And on. And on. But it wasn’t the best. And by the time it got around to the last song, I was kind of done-in. I read a story (just something from this blog: The Last Morning), said my goodbyes and set up the next show to play according to the instructions I had. I figured that it had taken me 30 minutes to walk up to the studio and so I could make it back down to train station in 24 minutes. A good plan, right? So, my show ended. I stopped the recording, pressed the right buttons. Waited for the next show to play. And waited a little more. And a bit more. Nothing. Frantically (with a cool veneer) I called Phil and he took me through the same instructions I’d just followed. This time it worked and so I was out of there. Thing is, I had sixteen and a half minutes before my train was due to leave. Sixteen and half minutes!! Well, I’m a pretty fit guy and so I got on with it. I pelted down the hill in the dark thinking hard about not breaking my legs. I slowed on the flats when I got out of breath, and then set off again. Sixteen and a half minutes to do 1.7 miles. What’s that … about 6mph? I could do that. Well it turns out I couldn’t. I was a heart-breaking 2 minutes and 35 seconds late for my train. B*mmer! Anyway, I bought another ticket (a waste of money because the nice ticket inspector told me I shouldn’t have bothered because she would have let me off) and waited the extra half an hour for my train. Which was delayed. So I got home late. Hey-ho, never mind. Since then I’ve been collecting my own versions of songs to play on the radio. Songs that I know are clean. And I’ll spend more time thinking of interesting things to say on the radio. Or maybe I’ll tell them this story. Heck, I could even read it out to them! Or maybe not. Anyway, that was my Thursday night for the 14th Oct 21. What did you do? On the bright side I heard a podcast on the internet the other day that said ‘don’t sit in a comfortable chair’. Yeah, it took me some time to figure this out too. What he basically meant is that we shouldn’t let ourselves get into a rut and do things that are well within out comfort zone. I certainly didn’t do that.
- The next thing was going to be about this funny patch of skin on my face that the doctor said was some kind of a seborrhoeic wart (yeah, I know; the spell corrector doesn’t even know what one of these is) before sending pictures off to the dermatologist to make sure it wasn’t cancerous. He said he’d have word in two week. Three weeks later I got a text to say ‘make an appointment’. I sent a message back through the website (you can’t call up to make an appointment these days) to say I wanted an appointment and I got another message to say that I would be contacted with an appointment date within the next 2 weeks. Anyway, I then got another text to say that I now had a telephone appointment for this Thursday (the 21st Oct) in the afternoon and I’m then thinking I hope that they don’t call when I’m running up that hill to the recording studio to do my radio show. But, at the same time, I’m thinking oh, well, it can’t really be bad news if they’re taking this long to get around to speaking to me. Again, I’m out of my comfort zone and so this is a good thing, right? No comfy armchairs for me! And, if the worst becomes worsted, I can always crack on with my lightly veiled (heavily) allegory for going through the five stages of grief (a zombie novel with a serial killer twist in other words): Embodying.
- There was something else, but that’s probably enough for now. It’s been a long post and I bet your attention is waning. Hi Dad if you’re reading. Hi Phil if you’re reading. Goodnight.
I just published Chapter Four – Squash for Dinner, which is the fourth part of my new novel Embodying.
I just published Chapter Three – Head Full of Furniture, which is the third part of my new novel Embodying.
I just published Chapter Two – Killer Killer, which is the second part of my new novel Embodying.
I just published Chapter One – A Bit of a Pickle, which is the first part of my new novel Embodying.
Take yourself back to before you knew anything, forget all of the stuff that’s going to happen and just start over. Have fun this time.
Hello, is that Robert Day?
I’m Doctor P, is it okay to talk now?
So, how can I help?
I have this thing on the side of my head and I wanted someone to look at it and tell me that it’s not cancer.
How long has it been there? Is is growing? Does it itch? Is it infected? Has it changed colour? Have you lost weight?
More than a year. Yes. No. No. Depends on the light. No.
When can you come in?
Today or the week after next.
How far away are you?
I expect to see you in ten minutes.
Hi, I’m here to see Doctor P. He asked me to come in.
That’s fine, take a seat.
Hi, Robert Day?
Yes, please come in.
It looks like a seborrhoeic wart. I want to take some photographs to sent to the dermatologist.
How soon will I hear?
Thanks, Doctor P.
So, you see how life turns on the head of a pin? Don’t forget to have fun.