Monday 7 February, 2011
Sunday was pretty quiet.. Joel finished his Lego aeroplane - and it's one of the few Lego models that HAVEN'T flown across the other side of the ward.. given it's an aeroplane and thus far the only one you'd EXPECT to fly across the ward, we're pretty surprised it didn't.
I'd gone to work last night to shoot a band at the O2 Academy 3, "Little Comets" for a Sunday red-top.. I was taken aback when a guy came up to me and asked if I was Jason... he and another guy introduced themselves - one of them being Matt, the bassist. Matt then astounded me by saying he was going to give me a t-shirt for Joel - but was going to get the band to sign it first... this he did.. Lovely guys...
When I arrived at Joel's bed, I told him I had a surprise for him. Laid back on his pillow, arms slightly in front of him, he flickered his eyes just over the top of his iPod case which he was holding horizontally... a look of anticipation... I smiled at him, he smiled back.. then no sooner had he given me that warm loving grin, his gaze returned to the screen at his fingertips and that all too familiar 'squawk' as an angry bird was launched.
It looked like it would have to wait...
Thanks to the guys from Little Comets for very kindly signing and donating this t-shirt to Joel - Much appreciated!
Monday afternoon - I decide to warm a piece of pizza up in the microwave in the parents room.. it's a small little thing, barely big enough to house one of the plates, but I only have two average sized wedges of pizza (ahem)... I'm trying to cast my mind to the timings on my own microwave at home, and also trying to find out the wattage of this one.. "Ok, give me a clue.." I mutter to myself... unaware that the little Irish grandmother from the bay opposite Joel's is in the kitchen there as well..
In her raspy Irish brogue, she begins to advise me on the technical aspects of the microwave.. "Ah - de best settin' for dis is dis..." and she begins to work the buttons on the display with finesse. There are 3 settings for the 'auto cook' button, which she presses 9 times, cycling through the options 3 times.. then she just pokes random options like some mad scientist, turns the dial to 8:52, and hits the start button. "Dat's what I always use".. she says... as she turns around and goes back to what she was doing..
Eight minutes and fifty two seconds, on full power, with god knows what other options she'd chosen, but I definitely wasn't cooking a leg of lamb. I struggled to imagine how a leg of lamb would even fit in the microwave, but then I'm drawn back to the timer.. 8:52.... to warm up a couple of slices of cold pizza.
"It's going to be cremated" I thought...
The little Irish woman pipes up "Ah, dats de settin' dat works perfect for me all de time... but you might wanna keep an eye on it, it gets a wee bit hot..."
Now I know why the fire alarms go off so frequently.
The rest of the day, Joel spends in bed doing a little bit of homework, but mostly Angry Birds. (Rovio - you have a lot to answer for!). There is no physio for a while.. he's hooked up to a drain now possibly for the next week, so he can't even get up to go to the bathroom without the drain being clamped off... he get's through a fair few of the cardboard pulp urine bottles.... Every time he uses one on his bed I keep thinking of the mornings I've woken up at festivals in my tent, scrambling for a 500ml pop bottle.. (quite specifically 500ml... not a drop more!). These would come in useful. I wonder where you can buy them from.. I could probably make more selling these at the Download festival than from photo sales, given most of the bands have restrictive contracts.. saying that, half of them would end up full of wee, flying over me while I'm taking pictures anyway.. so I knock that idea on the head.
While it's been a pretty uneventful day (and I'm sure it'll carry on throughout the week, given he can't get out of bed while hooked up to this drain), I wonder if it's going to delay his radiotherapy.. he's supposed to be having his mask moulded on Wednesday, and that's at the Queen Elizabeth hospital in Edgbaston... it won't be easy getting him there, or having the mould made if he's still hooked up to it. We'll see. For now though, it's been a quiet day... which I'm thankful for.