Wednesday, September 23

Autumn equinox

As the days shorten and crisp cotton sheets give way to the seduction of brushed cotton flannelette I find it increasingly difficult to drag myself out of bed. Neighbours tip-toe past at five-thirty en route to their place of employment…cows to milk, children to educate and babies to deliver. An hour later I’m still prone and contemplating whether the autumn equinox is a cornflakes or porridge day. ... Out on the moor at eight: no druids, just the usual bovine faces.

Thanks to a bout of angina fifteen years ago I qualify for an annual flu jab. Not wishing to piss off the GP when he calls, this morning I attended the surgery. Of course it’s a trap, to draw you in so he can tick various boxes. Not just a flu jab but the offer of pneumococcal too. Then following a perfunctory blood pressure check (120/80) someone decides Gudgeon hasn’t had his cholesterol tested recently, and another needle magically appears. It doesn’t go unnoticed the practice nurses lump everyone together in these mass screenings, whether aged sixty or one hundred and six. They speak slowly and deliberately as if we are all simple minded. Truth is they are just being polite, and politeness is in short supply these days. The scary part comes when nursey asks me to complete an Alzheimer test. Me, Alzheimer’s? It has never crossed my mind. All of a sudden I’m resitting my 11 Plus, and I panic. What if I fail? Will I be classified as gaga? Will it confirm I actually am gaga? … Panic over I leave the surgery, jump into the motor and roar off up the hill. Automatically eight speakers burst into life, taking over where it had left off, track 3 of Keith Richards’ Crosseyed Heart: Amnesia!

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