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Wednesday 18th Feb 2004


Everything is much better. The stitch like pain has disappeared. Yesterday I went for my scan. I fell asleep in the waiting room, and felt very dreamy about the whole affair. It was the jelly ultrasound kind of scan and completely painless. Afterwards I ate a huge baked potato with baked beans that I bought from a counter in the hospital corridor. I got a taxi home with a female taxi driver..the first I have ever met in Newcastle. She told me about an old man who she drove home in the middle of the night. He sat in the back of the cab and didn’t speak, just gave her directions, and he lived quite a long way out of the city, so this went on a long time..his dark voice from the back of the car saying.’Turn right at the lights, left,’ etc. When they got to a house he jumped out of the cab and said he was just going to get her money. She sat there waiting. then a very angry old woman appeared who screamed ‘I told you not to bring him home. he’s costing me a fortune. Take him back to hospital!’ The old man hovered behind her, shaking his head. The cabbie realised that the man was in his pyjamas.

Anyway, I get the results of the scan next Wednesday, but I feel well enough to go to Barcelona this weekend. Me, and poets Linda France and WN Herbert are going to write a modern Homage To Catalonia to go with the George Orwell Play at Northern Stage. I think mine might be a homage to health. Infact I feel hugely relieved. Pain can be so frightening, and when one doesn’t trust one’s body it’s just terrifying. Anyway, I shall let people know what happens. Thanks so much for all your good thoughts out there. I think perhaps they stopped the pain. My three year old neice sent me a letter this morning that said ‘hugs and kiss’…apparently she just said that her Aunt Julia was ill, so she was going to write a letter, even though she knew nothing of all this!