In comparison to 2016, with its diagnosis, chemotherapy and a few weeks holiday in the North East and Scotland, 2017 seems to have slipped into obscurity almost unnoticed. In fact things happened but not in the same way. There were milestones (in July it was 18 months from diagnosis when I was told that without treatment I had got 18 months; I got a certificate congratulating me for being in an Institution for 50 years; a 70th Birthday Party) and other activities that I have only alluded to in this blog.
I stopped giving talks while I was having chemo as I explained in Am I being too cautious? but I was able to restart and gave eight talks raising £250 for charity. These were mainly to U3As or WIs but a most enjoyable talk (with lots of questions) at the other end of the age spectrum was to my granddaughter’s class at school. I also self-published my book about Antarctic exploration. Some people call this vanity publishing because you get satisfaction from seeing a book in print rather than from seeing it reach the top of the bookselling charts (any sale that I haven’t made or instigated would be nice) but who cares? I enjoyed doing it and it gives me another topic to write about in due course.
In April I said “I haven’t blogged for a while because we had a fairly manic weekend a week ago which I may tell you about later.” but I never did (tell you about it). There was another similar weekend in June. When I first started work, in the last century, there was an unwritten rule in our office “Never do business with countries who have green in their flag“. A sweeping statement but occasionally valid. Following these two weekends I would add “Never do business with people who LARP“. Pardon? What on earth is LARP? It’s Live Action Role Playing where, for example, large numbers of people spend a long weekend in a muddy field acting out different roles in various factions and dressed as mystical, mythological or imaginary characters. A non-virtual reality version of role playing computer games perhaps. Something to be enjoyed by the participants but, as one of the organisers of one of these events said “A lot of them are arsehats” (not a term I am familiar with but I can guess that it’s not particularly complementary).
The problem was that a business had been set up to cater for one of these events. In some ways it went very well and was well presented. However one of the participants in the business was a LARPer who turned out to fit the organiser’s description and to be totally naive about running a business. He has now been evicted. Supporting these two events (with multiple trips to catering suppliers) and sorting out the fallout is taking some time. But like the don’t do business if there is green in the flag rule, the don’t work with LARPers is a sweeping statement and not applicable to all.
At an even more surreal level there have been developments in the Kingdom of Chask. In Rule No. 25 at the end of 2016 I told you of how Queen Chask set up Latsee and how King Chask took it down again. King Chask then decided to build a big new castle to replace some of the older castles in his Kingdom. There was much discussion among the serfs over whether it would be big enough and whether it was in the right position and wasn’t the one of the existing castles worth improving. A wise man from another Kingdom had come and looked at the various Princedoms that had been set up by Queen Chask and the other Royalty in the Empire and had said that they had made a right royal mess of things (or in his words “In this case, contract monitoring should have coordinated intelligence from different sources . . . and triangulated this with performance data to ensure an accurate picture was developed about performance.”). I do love the idea of triangulating data and intelligence – this was never covered in my trigonometry classes.
Because of the mess they had made of things King Chask’s Court spent a lot of effort trying to get the castles running smoothly again. Then King Chask was replaced by a new Queen Chask who also had a new Chancellor who came from the east. The Chancellor had some new ideas and noticed that many of the castles were not as full as they should be and so the new Queen called a big gathering and said that they wouldn’t be building a new castle after all. Everyone waited for a clear picture of the Queen’s vision for the Kingdom and the Castles but she never got round to telling anyone. There was much talk of “co-production” which reminded me of the time in another land far far away where a new king asked little groups from his court to go away and come up with new plans for the country. When they came back with their ideas he kept sending them away until they came back with the plan he wanted.
However it seemed that the Queen didn’t really like having castles and would like someone else to look after them (or to knock them down and give her a lot of shekels which she would have to keep in the Empire’s coffers so that they could be used for filling holes in the roads or other things in the Empire). But no body could be sure because after the big gathering the Queen disappeared into the inner darkness and all the serfs carried on as if it had all been a bad dream.
Meanwhile back at the ranch numbers continue to be monitored. I will get a phone call from Haematology next week to discuss my platelet levels which seem to be pootling along at a satisfactory level although not at as high level as the general populace. General Populace seems a strange sort of a guy. Then at the end of the month I will find out what my PSA is up to. No point in trying to pre-empt that discussion.