Doctor, Doctor

In which The Author is back to Square One

I got home yesterday evening to find the letter I’d been dreading waiting for me. It was a Warrant from Merthyr Tydfil County Court, advising me that unless I paid over £1,600 by 27 May, bailiffs would be calling to my house.
I knew the letter would come eventually. It was just a question of which of my creditors would blink first. I read it twice, because the dizzying string of numbers made my head spin. Then I made some food, had a quick wash, and headed to Mountain Ash for the post-election post mortem with the Cynon Valley Plaid Cymru group.
Among other things, we discussed our strategy for the Welsh Assembly elections next May. I suggested that we could set up a blog devoted to our activities locally, and highlighting key points of Cerith Griffith’s campaign (he’s agreed to stand again next year). It would be a lot cheaper and much more flexible than bringing out a newsletter every three months. Also, I reckon it’s more likely to bring younger people on board. (After all, how many students do you know who buy a quality newspaper, or listen to the in-depth discussions on Radio 4?) The Internet and/or social media are where younger people automatically look whenever they want some information. As long as the rest of the group fed me the relevant content, I could manage it as and when things happened. The rest of the group agreed that it seemed like a good idea.
I said I’d put some feelers out and try and sort something out before the hustings in June. After the meeting, David Walters gave me a lift home. We chatted about the Street Names Project, and I admitted that I hadn’t made much progress recently.
For one thing, I’ve been busy with Business in Focus, trying to make some headway on my proofreading idea. There’s no sign of a decent job on the horizon, so self-employment seems to be the only option open to me.
Under some pressure from the Jokecentre, I signed up for voluntary work with a very worthwhile organisation a couple of weeks ago. However, I’ve already come to the conclusion that it’s going to do me far more harm than good. There only seem to be two people there who don’t have some degree of learning disability (and I’m not really sure about one of them). It’s a specialist field I’ve never wanted to work in, in spite of Sam H.’s assurance (nearly twenty years ago) that I’d be cut out for that sort of thing. Maybe she was right, and I would have been good at dealing with clients like hers – then. I’m a very different person these days. I don’t have the patience or the temperament to do it now. I can’t see me sticking with it for very long, to be honest.
For another thing, I haven’t been sleeping at all. My right shoulder’s been giving me trouble again, and it’s impossible to get comfortable in bed. If I get more than half an hour’s uninterrupted sleep, I think I’ve had a decent night.
The events of the last couple of weeks (see When the Inevitable Happens have also cast a long shadow over me. The memory of Emma has haunted my waking dreams for nearly fourteen years, and to have her back in sharp focus has really dragged me down.
My stomach trouble has reared its head again, too. Last week, after a very bad two-day bout of sickness and diarrhoea, I called into the surgery and made an appointment to see Dr Wardrop. At the time, I was just planning to ask him about my stomach trouble. It’s happening too often for my liking, in spite of Dr Jordan’s assurance that it was ‘probably just a virus’ last time it happened.
If I had time during my consultation, I was going to mention my insomnia, and see whether he thought my shoulder pain was ‘just one of those’ things, or a recurrence of my old trouble. (Dr Sarah Jarvis was a guest on Jeremy Vine’s radio show a couple of weeks ago. She said that GPs hate it when patients rock up at the surgery with a list of things they want to talk about. Go me!) As things turned out, I couldn’t get an appointment until this afternoon anyway. I’m seeing Dr Wardrop at 2.00. Watch this space…
In the meantime, this fucking letter has turned up. On top of everything else, it’s pretty much the final component in the Perfect Storm. I’m back to where I was in November last year, only with slightly fewer Co-codamols left in my drawer at home.
They’ll be more than enough to finish the job I should have finished last November, though. Unless someone can pull a rabbit out of a hat in the next three days, I might as well start making arrangements for my family and friends to clear my house out. I haven’t got anything to live for any more. I don’t think there’s £1,600 worth of stuff in my house for the bailiffs to seize anyway. There isn’t even a tenth of that amount in my bank account, and my money went in this morning.
I’ve still got the number of the Crisis Team at Prince Charles Hospital, who were so helpful and sympathetic when I hit an unprecedented low last November. I brought their card out with me when I left the house at 11.00. Depending on how things go with Dr Wardrop this afternoon, I might have to give them a call later.
I haven’t seen any of my friends for the best part of a week. I can’t remember the last time I spoke to Mother. I haven’t got anyone to talk to. I might as well make that call. Or I might just do what I should have done six months ago (or ten years ago, or even thirty years ago!) and default to Emergency Program One.
In the meantime, if you know of any constructive, legal and feasible ways in which I can get my hands on that sort of money before next Tuesday, please don’t hesitate to suggest them.