Thursday 16 May 2024: My first jolly!

Image by Pete from Pixabay

We had a really nice time on Tuesday evening in Sheffield. We had our tea at Ask Italian, which is just like Pizza Express, and we hung around for a few minutes outside City Hall watching all the people dressed in their finest promenading and having their pictures taken. Wearing neither evening dress nor dinner jacket and dickie bow, we felt a bit under-dressed, until we saw our fellow stalls patrons, who were all as under-dressed as us.

The show, the London Symphonic Rock Orchestra, started bang on time at 7:30pm, and they played their way through quite a few rock favourites, as well as a couple we wouldn’t have termed as rock ourselves. (CALL ME by Blondie, and TAINTED LOVE by Soft Cell, although they billed the second one as the Scorpions.) My absolute favourite was DU HAST by Rammstein. If ever a rock song was written for an orchestra, it’s this one.

We were home by just after 10pm and we watched a couple of episodes of Harlan Coben’s 2016 television serial THE FIVE. We can’t believe we hadn’t seen this before.

On Wednesday morning, the poet was up with the lark for an early appointment at the dentist. He was having a filling, but when he came home he had a brand-new tooth! The dentist didn’t just replace his old black filling with a white one, he also rebuilt the tooth up around it. He was a bit shaky when he got home. I think the dentist caught a nerve before the poet’s mouth went numb, and he was in a bit of shock as a result.

I made him some hot, sweet cereal and a cup of coffee, and in not time he felt better again, but he was a bit pale. Then he started work and so did I. Or, at least, I tried.

Four new dermatology appointments came through on my phone, 3 of which were for patch testing. The first one, though, would only let me ‘accept’ it. It wouldn’t let me ‘rebook’ or ‘cancel’. So I then spent a good hour trying to get someone at the hospital to answer a phone. Any phone.

The 3rd number I tried eventually answered, only to say it wasn’t them and that the 1st number I’d tried, which was also theirs, wasn’t the right one. She gave me a 4th number, who answered but said it wasn’t them. And they gave me a 5th number, which was a nurse who took the call on board. (Yay for the nurses!) I accepted the patch tests, but the nurse was going to have to call me back about the one I couldn’t make.

While all of that was going on, the poet was booking our hotel for my first jolly with him. While he’s at work, I’m going to have a whole day in Durham to myself. We’ll drive up the night before and get something to eat. Then he goes to work and I can do whatever I want. I can use it as a research day. I can use it as a writing day. Or I can take it as a holiday.

So then I did my usual research blitz that I do whenever I’m brainstorming writing ideas. And it seems that one day won’t be anywhere near enough in a city such as Durham. For a start, both HARRY POTTER… and THE AVENGERS have been filmed there. Then there’s a castle, right next to the cathedral. There are numerous museums and some lovely walks, both city walks and riverside walks.

Fortunately, this isn’t likely to be the only time I get to run riot in Durham. I’m sure he’ll be taking me again as he’s often up there. I think the best thing for me to do this first time is perhaps one of the tours – or one in the morning and one in the afternoon. That might give me a good idea.

In the meantime I’ll blitz my usual general topics and I’ll scout around for potential markets. At the very least, I should be able to set a short story there. And, boom! There’s the entire cost of my share of the trip pegged as allowable expenses on my tax return. If we cover the cost ourselves, then no single market will own the rights to whatever I produce as a result. If a market pays or contributes, they get to keep more rights.

But, hey! My first jolly. And what a great place to start.

I put the Durham trip and the 3 patch tests at the hospital in my diary, and finally turned to work. Just in time for dinner… (sigh!) I set off a weekly tech scan, then went to forage in the kitchen.

After dinner, the call came back from the hospital with a new date. I’m having a punch biopsy, but I don’t know if it will be at this appointment or if this is a pre-appointment, or if I should have someone with me. I’ll find out when the confirmation letter arrives. I put that in the diary too, but we may have to change it if I have to have someone with me as the poet’s in Ireland that day, and I can’t go with him this time.

And then it was editing. I had a good session, but there’s still plenty to be getting on with today. I want to finish this now, before I do anything else. I want a clear desk and a clear conscience.

2 thoughts on “Thursday 16 May 2024: My first jolly!

  1. Oh, I like Durham a lot. I think you’ll have a good time. Give yourself plenty of time for a wander. It’s the type of city you’ll want to walk around in without a plan (once you’ve had a tour).

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