Heavy

Shane is always thinking a step or two or three ahead. That wil be one reason he enjoys chess and I don’t. Anyway it keeps him busy, when not watching Le Tour or actually cycling or at a hospital, to make multiple travel plans and think about what could be done soon, rather than left until later. 

Anticipating a rush on firewood in the winter (but not in a heat wave!)  and times ahead when we are not here for deliveries reliably,he ordered a tonne of briquettes for the wood burning stove. Unsurprisingly the company had lots of available delivery slots straight away! The man brought it neatly into a parking space that is too narrow for a car, so we were minimising inconvenience!

 

Proud owner of a tonne of briquettes

As we don’t have a car, we don’t have a parking permit, so I felt we should shift it fast before someone wanted that space, especially since one of the cars did drive off in the next few minutes. It was also overcast and they want to stay dry so once the wrapping was off we needed to carry them in quickly. They come in 10kg boxes so we lugged them in two at a time, trying not to bump into each other at door frames, or be in the way going in and out as nobody felt like pausing holding them. Lucky we have had practice for a year of passing in a very narrow space. The hall was almost full when we got half way down.

Then Shane went into the cellar and I shuffled about all the boxes as he restacked them so he could reach them easily at the edge of the hatch. It all went pretty fast so it was no time until we were out again to get the next half tonne in. We have thoroughly established that Shane’s shoulder muscle is well recovered from the surgery! The next day I was was aching, but he wasn’t.

Boxed in by half a tonne of briquettes
Shane shifting them to the cellar
Almost full cellar

That was an envigorating start to the day and we are glad it wasn’t delivered when it was raining because we have had a few showers over the last few days and that stuff does not want to get wet. There was one just as we arrived 15 minutes early for the immunotherapy appointment. The 24 bus goes practically door to door. Due to highest ever COVID numbers, Shane was reluctant to hang around inside so we hovered at the covered doorway rather than walk around the grounds before we went to the desk to announce our arrival.

All staff were lovely and friendly and, as they were unusually quiet, I was allowed to stay. Shane had a bit of topical banter with the staff as they repeatedly ask his date of birth and name. He remarked that he could get that right, but he couldn’t tell them who the prime minister was. Well who can this week?

Our living on a boat came up discussing potential side effects and treatment dates and the nurse said her friend couldn’t afford a house so in stead moved onto a narrowboat and they love it. She said “long boat” as people often do, as they are indeed long, but I am assuming her friends from Ireland are not Vikings.

All went smoothly and we were told this drug is “quite well tolerated”. Nonetheless we got a 24 hour line to ring for any concerns and issued with anti-nausea and anti-diarrhoea drugs, just in case. A friendly young lady across the room was getting two different infusions of chemo, each of her treatments take twice as long as Shane’s will. She was also getting a much bigger set of drugs for the side effects that she was already experiencing. She was telling staff her little girl was bringing her Calpol chews to help with the headache. She has two little girls. She was cheerful and chatty despite all this and said how good it was that the parking attendant paid for her parking when she couldn’t find her Ringo card when going for a wig fitting. She says her resilience is much improved by the whole experience. What an admirable character! We continue to feel lucky.

Shane has had no ill effects, though apparently the side effects can take a few days to kick in. Also having allergies sometimes means you react more but so far so good. We have continued to use the time to meet up socially with lots of people and, unlike chemo, immunotherapy does not make you immunosuppressant so he is no more vulnerable than before to infections.

I went out for coffee with my sister and I showed her the giraffe I had seen while we were on the bus and she pointed out another one I hadn’t noticed at Tollcross. There are loads – Shane and I spotted another at the West End of Princes Street. I wonder if some will still be here after the summer has gone as there are still some from the Cow and Oor Wullie statue crazes of previous years, becoming fixtures of the West End as much as the churches, Edinburgh Castle and The Caledonian.

St John’s, St Cuthbert’s, Giraffe About Town, a skeletal Oor Willie and wee Jimmy, a Hindu Hielan’ Coo, a castle and a sign to the Union Canal.

My sister and her husband went on a trip on the Union canal the other day on a barge that offers group trips at Ratho (on the edge of Edinburgh). I think I was more excited they were going on it than they were at first! In the event, they loved it, taking lots of photos and getting a great view of the river below from the aqueduct. I wish I had been there!

There is a limit to how long we can leave the boat at the side of the canal in one place so now we have the list of a whole year of appointments we are able to be in canal planning mode. Shane has made a sketch calendar in 4 week cycles rather than month to month for looking at dates to go back and forth to the boat between appointments and events in Edinburgh. He has started booking trains. and we have been looking at the map to see what trips will work in the time slots. Still in Edinburgh this week so Shane has made himself another task between the cycling and socialising. The shower screen delivered yesterday hasn’t been installed as quickly as the wood. It remains a mystery as to whether it will be fitted before it gets knocked over. It is very heavy too, much happier in the wet but a whole lot more fragile than the briquettes. I expect we will need to deal with that soon as Nye is planning to arrive in the middle of the night (if trains run in the heat). The risk of tripping over it in the dark can clearly be seen and that would lead to another whole ton of trouble!

A Clear Trip Hazard

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