There are no friends like old friends. And I really do have some of the best. Last night Chummy, one of my dearest came to stay. We have known each other since we were disreputable student nurses. Who were not really that disreputable. But there were moments. The Captain has longstanding agreement with Chummy. When we married, I matrimonially bequeathed her to him in my will. I rather suspect that this arrangement has added to the fervour not only of his prayers, but those of Chummy and her husband too. Let us hope they are all praying for my recovery and not my demise.
Chummy and I are both devotees of thrifting. Or charity shop browsing. So this morning, we visited some of my favourite haunts. I am still hunting button through clothing for those challenged in the chest department. Surprising how few designers consider this demographic. Where is Gok Wan where one needs him? Then again, Chummy and I did ok. The Salvation Army furnished me with a dress, Cancer Research (I so should have asked for a discount) with a scarf and New Life Foundation for Disabled Children a wrap cum cardi affair. All for less than twenty English pounds. Not bad.
Lunch was firmly on our agenda but we had to swing by my GP surgery first as I needed to have my dressings removed. Never let it be said that I do not know how to show my guests a good time. Leaving Chummy in the waiting room with a copy of Woman’s Realm and a stack of The People’s Friend within reach, I trotted off to have what is the closet thing to an arm pit waxing on the NHS that I am ever likely to be given. Fair to say the dressing was well adhered. Also fair to say that my skin gave its usual performance and as soon as the newly uncovered area was exposed to the air, it developed a beautiful rosy hue, became raised, angry and very itchy. Obviously the only answer was wine.
We hot footed it to a local independent pub, ordered large glasses of a decent Sauvignon and Chummy made an announcement:
‘This is an Up Yours Cancer lunch, so I propose we make a toast’
At this we both raised our glasses, brought them together for the obligatory chink, and simultaneously cried:
‘Fuck you, Cancer!’
then collapsed into a fit of giggles. It is moments like this that make me realise just how fortunate I am to have such friends.
Strangely the wine did not seem to have the required effect on the itching arm pit. Possibly because I did not apply it topically. Maybe because I simply did not drink enough. Clearly more research is required. By the time we got home, antihistamines were necessary and I slapped on some steroid cream for good measure. I am now sitting with a cool pack tucked into my bra. The things I do. It looks like some of the soluble sutures that no one reacts to are working their way out of my body. Probably because I have reacted to them and rejected them. Aside from the impoliteness of this action, it is deeply irritating. But at least my surrounding skin is less angry. Now it is just mildly annoyed.