December 2010

1 December 2010

Life is tough at the moment. And exhilarating. It has been nearly a month since I last blogged and I honestly haven’t had a minute to sit down and relax. I have been speaking to many people about establishing a charity to fund the technology to deliver medications and medical devices with the potential to cure or alleviate the many different diseases, conditions and ailments which affect the brain.

Questions galore. What should the structure be? What should our goals be? How will we fundraise? How do we get the message across that we don’t just have to develop drugs, we have to deliver them? Answers only lead to more questions. It is very wearing.

People like to give to cancer. Or Parkinson’s. Or Alzheimer’s. Giving to something more abstract is harder to grasp. People like to buy Ferraris, Porsches and Bentleys. Not roads. We have to sell roads.

As I said, many conversations are being had. Hopefully conclusions will be reached before long.

Other than that life is fairly good. In the running department we have got places in the London Marathon. Five of us will run; Gayle, Karen, Matt, Bob and I. For Karen and I it will be our second marathon in a week; Paris is the Sunday before. Nothing like a wee challenge to concentrate the mind.

This Friday my public speaking climbs (or descends) to a new level with my first speech to an all male audience. I am proposing the toast to the game of golf at my local golf club’s Stag Dinner. I have been to a number of Stag dinners at the golf club and often wondered why people put themselves through it. A few years ago I watched a director of the Bank of Scotland look petrified as he stared at his untouched meal for an hour. He was excellent. But is it worth it?

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

It is the morning of the Christmas party. Our office party is generally bedlam. Because of the recession, it has been a fairly modest affair for the last couple of years and generally involves finishing at lunchtime, going to a restaurant for a meal, and then having a few sherbets. Most years I am on the last train home with a Chinese takeaway tucked under my arm. Or if she would come with me I will get some food (boom! boom!).

Every year is memorable for something. Last year it was the day that Dada presented the Wobbly Banquet concept to me. The 2008 party was career ending. The managing partner told me to get myself a drink on his credit card which was behind the bar. “Do not tell anybody”. Red rag to a bull. Nobody bought a drink all night and it cost him £3,000. A bad decision on my part but difficult to regret.

2007 was my first Christmas party after diagnosis. I had been diagnosed three months and was just getting to grips with the implications. I remember wondering could this be my last office party? What state would I be in 12 months down the line?

Today I go dressed to the nines. A brand spanking new suit (identical to Ian Kilpatrick’s Wobbly Banquet suit, although tailored for the taller and slimmer man). I will thoroughly enjoyed wearing it until the last train home. Rather than a Chinese takeaway I might get a McDonald. Complete with Claymore.

Ella is frightened I am going to embarrass her. She is convinced I’m going to stand up at the church nativity and shout out “it is all lies!”. The lies referred to are nothing to do with any religious views I hold but more to do with tying up loose ends. Let me explain.

Ella has landed the plum role of Mary. In the story of the Nativity, this is the second most important role after Jesus, who, in this case, is played by Rebecca’s doll “Baby”. Rebecca tends to name her toys based on what they are, rather than giving them more traditional and appropriate monikers. She wanted to call both guinea pigs “Guinea Pig”. When we pointed out this would cause confusion she shrugged and said “call one Guinea and one Pig then”.

So arguably given that the baby Jesus is made of plastic, has “Made in China” stamped on his bottom and does not display any evidence that he is male, then Ella is the most important person in the Nativity. She should use this to change the direction of history. Bring the strands of two different viewpoints together and combine them in a single, more believable story.

Mary didn’t have a baby. Mary had a Little Lamb.

I am trying to persuade Ella to smuggle a sheep in to the crib and at the moment she picks up “the baby Jesus” she pulls out a sheep.

We have two candidates for the role of Lamb. One is Shaun, Old Scientist’s footstool, and the other is Max (Boyce) an inflatable pig my chum Edward takes on business trips with him. Although a pig is not strictly speaking a sheep, Max is an albino pig (see picture) and I imagine once the sheep is revealed, all hell will break loose and nobody will notice this discrepancy. Willing suspension of disbelief and all that.

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