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Wednesday, August 28, 2013

The steely gaze, the clenched fists and the well-built body of a wrestler...

Yes, that's my mother. And kneeling beside her is my son. Although he's dressed in camouflage gear, so you might not be able to see him in front of that tree.

The tragedy of my family is that due to extreme poverty, we're forced to share a pair of trousers, which means that I can never appear in a photo with my Mum. I can, however, pose with my children...

Although if I want a photo of my daughter with my brother, I have to pass on the family slacks...

He's taken the shirt off my back too. Although I wear it inside out, so that people won't know I'm a Rush fan.

Anyhoo, the best thing about birthdays is getting your family to visit with presents. So having celebrated Lisa's advanced years on Sunday, we welcomed my brother and his family to St Leonards in the afternoon. Obviously we didn't welcome them quite enough to give them a bed, but it didn't matter, as they were spending the night in Buenos Aires, so they couldn't really stay.

By some miracle, they made it back from there by late morning on Monday, and by lunchtime we were all soaking up the sun in Gensing Gardens. My brother and his wife have recently returned from Southwold, where they had the sheer good fortune to witness the Cirque Du Hilarious (that's twelve quid and an evening they'll never get back), so having enjoyed (and I use that word loosely) the skills of Dangerous Alan, my brother was keen to risk his life - and that of my daughter - with some daredevil open-air stunts...

I think the main danger is to the frame of that Peppa Pig bike, but despite being ridden at speed by a man old enough to know better, it somehow remained intact.

Which is more than I can say for myself. I mentioned nine days ago that my chronic prostatitis had flared up, as it has a habit of doing every two or three months. I've been on a selective alpha blocker for the past four years, which I'm supposed to be on for life, and which limits the pain to about five episodes a year. Much like a Ben Elton sitcom.

Unfortunately, having experienced this season's collection of suffering the weekend before last, it returned on Bank Holiday Monday for another go, and this time refuses to leave. I've felt as rough as a Syrian for the past forty-eight hours, and for the first time in four years, am in need of some antibiotics.

Unfortunately it's currently easier to see Nessie than any of the GPs at my surgery. Despite phoning up first thing this morning, they're refusing to pre-book ANY appointments with ANY doctor for either Thursday or Friday (the only two days I can make it), and are insisting that I phone up on the day. Which is not very helpful when you work for a living, and would like to let your manager know if you'll be in or not. I've basically had to take a leaf out of the IRA's book and give him a coded warning that I could go off at any time. I'd be cursing the NHS if I didn't work for it.

So while I curl up in a corner and slowly die whilst pressing the redial button, here's a photo of a masked member of the Village People doing the YMCA on one leg...

She's having a ball.