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I thought people got worse in January!


I am in a really good mood. My blood count is going up, and my face has stopped hurting, and the old woman who haunts my bones has gone on holiday. But the question is, why? What has happened in the last week to trigger such a marked improvement? Well, it could be that I have taken up knitting and that it has helped me to relax. I have spent several evenings knitting shapeless squares. Or it could be something else entirely. I wish I knew. It’s a lovely feeling, this warm boned, light weight sensation. I am really bouncy. And I’m not even taking any drugs in particular.

Perhaps it was Manchester. I spent three days in a very odd hotel next to the BBC called the Palace. It’s the colour of melancholy, old grey tiled and ragged carpets, creaking lifts, heavy chandeliers. The tune ‘Ain’t nobody’s business if I do,’ played constantly. My room was right next to the railway line, which I enjoyed. I love the sound of trains chunting past. I had a vast, wooden floored bathroom, with strange plants in tall vases standing on a small table. At nights I couldn’t sleep at all as my face hurt, so I ambled around knitting in my nightdress, providing a surreal image for anyone passing on a late train.

During the day we recorded Appointments at the BBC. The producer Sue Roberts, is just fantastic. She makes everything and everyone work seamlessly. The actors all gave their best, and in two days the plays transferred from my muddled brain to radio. They are being broadcast on the week beginning 21st Feb. For lunch we all ate things like rice pudding and mashed potato in the BBC canteen, which serves a high proportion of comfort food. I expected to be exhausted after Manchester, but actually I felt rather rejuvenated.

Tomorrow I am meeting my consultant to discuss the new drug he wants to give me. I feel like saying ‘Don’t worry, I’m fine, ‘ but then I might not be tomorrow. I am writing a piece about waiting for Radio Three’s The Verb. I know an awful lot about waiting, maybe too much. I shall take my knitting with me to the waiting room tomorrow anyway. Maybe knitting is the new chemo!