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Monday 1st November.


I am in the kind of mood when it’s hard to remember anything that has happened. I spent the morning at the hospital, having my heel radiotherapised, then waiting ages in a very square, very English pharmacy for my allotment of steroids. the hospital seemed to be full of magazines about the ‘new North East’ full of adverts for laminated flooring, or National Trust brochures. They told me in the radiotherapy place that they’d thrown away the mask of my face, which was a disappointment, as I had wanted to make it into a lampshade. My heel wasn’t fixed down with anything and while the machine was buzzing I had an almost uncontrollable longing to jump away from the beam. But then I didn’t. I am always well behaved at the hospital. I make jokes and roll up my sleeve, and do whatever I am asked. I wonder if I will crack one day? Anyway, my consultant warned me of possible flare ups of pain over the next week….(just as I arrive in Budapest, I bet) while the woman in the radiotherapy suite said I wouldn’t have any pain at all. This lead me to thinking about suggestibility. I am sure that if I am told something will hurt, it generally does. I think I am the sort of person who should never be given bad news, or be warned of possible dangers. My brain is so used to imagining things that I think I am too good at it. I think I can make things happen! Eeeek

Anyway, nothing has happened yet. I am in my lovely room and I’ve just had some sushi, and I am about to start the day’s writing. I went to a place called Saltaire in Shipley (Yorks) yesterday…a old mill and surrounding community that has been made into a brilliant arts centre and museum. I bought a bright red carpet and a lot of bath stuff. It’s a really brilliant place to visit, and there’s so much to look at and think about there, and usually I hate tourism, infact in Budapest I intend to spend the whole time in the Turkish baths or on the furnicular railway (because I like the word).

This week my friend Tom Shakespeare has a one man show on at Live Theatre, which I am looking forward to, talking about his father and his genes.

Apart from the hassle and discomfort of cancer I really like my life at the moment. I love where I live and where I work. I wish I could have sorted it out before!