Tuesday, September 12, 2006

I know what I did this summer

It occurred to me the other day that I have this blog and that I’ve been neglecting it rather badly. It’s not that I’ve been desperately busy these last few months, although I have done slightly more than I normally do during the summer holidays (the same, however, could be said for most coma patients) it’s just that I pretty much forgot that this thing existed and when I did remember that it was here I’d usually get distracted or run out of things to say before I could finish writing an entry. Since the last time I looked on here I’ve done a fair amount of travelling, got a tan and grown my hair about another 6 inches, so I should probably update the picture and write about what I’ve been doing.

The summer started as every recent summer has; with me climbing bleary eyed out of bed after a week or two of post-exam recreational alcoholism, jamming as much of my stuff as will fit into the back of my parents’ car and travelling back to London. I spent a few weeks doing the usual half-arsed jobseeking, settling back into my old routine and finding, once again, that my old sixth form friends are still a lot of fun to be around. If events hadn’t intervened I probably would have ended up spending my time doing the exact same thing I do every year – putting on weight, drinking too much and failing to get a job.

Things didn’t go down like that this summer though, firstly my older brother ended up in hospital in Durham with a collapsed lung. The collapsed lung was caused the fact that Ed is so thin that he can do hula hoops with a cheerio and would need a belt to wear a pair of 80’s rockstar spandex, seriously, he weighs about as much as my left leg. As a result he did a bit of enthusiastic air-drumming his lung popped like an overinflated prophylactic (that may not have been exactly how it happened). I went up to Durham to see him in hospital and had the scary task of meeting Ed’s girlfriend’s parents. They were very nice people but I’m always nervous about meeting people when I require the use of two possessives to explain their relation to me, it generally doesn’t bode well and makes explaining who they are very messy. I stayed for a few days in their giant Tudor house with more bedrooms than they know what to do with and was present for a rather unpleasant infection scare at the hospital where it looked like Ed might be stuck in there for even longer than he had been already.

He got better though, and has a cool set of surgical scars as a souvenir. I’m no medical man but I think the procedure involved supergluing his lung to the inside of his chest and gaffa taping up the holes.

It came at a pretty bad time for him though what with him and his girlfriend due to be moving into their new house pretty soon after the operation. As a result of the surgery he was very weak and had been forbidden to even think about lifting heavy objects for a few decades afterwards (at least that’s what he claims they said) so I ended up making the trip back up there to help with the loading of all their worldly possessions (which is quite a lot) into the van and unloading all the stuff when they got to oxford where eddie’s job and Lucy’s course are located. It was quite an entertaining way to spend a few days, although, due the way things go, had to take place during the hottest period we had this summer, so I ended up carrying furniture around in 38 degree heat. Which isn’t a lot of fun.

My memory of the chronology of this summer is really bad, I remember the events but I’m not too sure about the order in which they happened. I could probably rummage through my email records and figure out when this stuff all happened but that’s more effort than I’m willing to put in and it’s not particularly relevant. It was around this time that I unexpectedly got invited to go on a road trip across the US and my summer got much more interesting. The prospect of travel meant that I gave up what miniscule effort I was putting into gaining employment and devoted myself to the serious business of having fun. There were lots of friends with family who had gone on holiday and lots of good barbeques and, strangely and wonderfully, I managed to spend almost no money in this entire period – for some reason it was perpetually someone else’s round.

After this the preparations for my epic journey started in earnest and that is something that I think I will document another time, partly because there is so much to say and tell and also because right now I’ve got stuff to eat and a leaving bash that I don’t hugely want attend to try and weasel my way out of.

I apologise for the poor quality of the grammar and prose. I’ve not done any writing in ages. I dread to think what my handwriting looks like.