Wednesday, 21 December 2011

here we come a-thomasing

The plump Russian doctor peered at me over the top of her laptop and pronounced cheerfully in her broken English that I had fractured a bone in my foot.  I hopped out of her surgery feeling less like a character in a wintry Solzhinitsyn novel and somewhat a little happier.

I had woken on Monday morning with a painful left foot which I believed I had somehow bruised or "strained" - a term my mother used to use for any unexplained pain.  That or what she called "growing pains".  I'm fairly sure I've stopped growing, although I suppose "growing old pains" could be the reason. We had ordered a load of seasoned wood which was delivered on Sunday.  As we have no back entrance to our property, it was dumped unceremoniously on the street about 9:30am and I had to wheel it around in a wheel barrow whilst Mrs Dave put the said logs into the new log store.  This is when I assumed I had "sprained" my foot, possibly by pushing the barrow too heavily up a small ramp.  I definitely didn't drop anything on my foot, nor did I kick anything.

Meanwhile, back at Monday.  We had to do some dreaded shopping for the current seasonal reasons on Monday afternoon and my aching foot got worse.  By yesterday it was agony at times.  So after a night out in Ipswich last night with some friends, where the general consensus of opinion worryingly confirmed my own suspicions, I decided I had better go to see a quack and get it diagnosed.  Hence the visit to Dr Olga.  Our usual doctor was on holiday, which he seems to have a remarkable amount of.  That's rich coming from a teacher, I know.

Still, I was lighter on my (one good) foot after leaving the surgery.  Although doubtful, Mrs Dave guessed why immediately. When I texted one of the aforesaid friends to inform him that it was good news as I had only fractured a small bone in my foot, he replied, "and that's good news?"

"Well a fracture is only for Christmas, not for life. Unlike Gout."

Yes, all my friends and Mrs Dave all assured me that I had gout.  A life-changing infliction I am assured.  However, it appears to be a mere fracture which the sawbones seemed to think was something  you can do just by walking.  I spent my whole childhood avoiding fractures and breaks only to start breaking things in my fifties.  A double shoulder break about four years ago and now a fractured bone in my foot.  Great.  Still, it could have been worse.  It could have been the dreaded gout. 


The night out in Ipswich was excellent.  A real drinker's pub, The Fat Cat was the scene.  Not only do they brew their own beer but they supply cutlery and plates and takeaway menus.  They wash up, all you have to do is turn up and drink loads of beer.  Which we did. Beer and a very decent Indian takeaway and a lift there and back too by a sober friend.  A good evening all round. 

Proof that Jesus may not have been totally confident in
walking on water - notice life ring attatched to his head.
As I'm sure every one knows, today is both the Winter Solstice and St Thomas's Day.  It was traditional to go Thomasing, or Gooding, and was recorded in my home county of Hertfordshire by Thomas Grey in the 1870s.  Essentially this was a form of begging by poor women for charity around their local village where a dole was expected. During the 1870s in parts of England, many farmers started to get together to stop the begging and began to send money to the Town Halls to allow charity to be shared out to the genuine needy. St Thomas was the doubter, the last Apostle to believe that JC had risen from the dead and needed to stick his fingers into Christ's wounds.  Evidently he was  a builder. You can imagine him sucking air through his teeth saying, "yeah, but anyone can cut themselves like that.  Go on, tell me something only Jesus would know about me."

"Er, you've got gout because of all that red wine."
"Okay, you're Jesus."

I hope you all enjoyed St Thomas's Day and did something charitable.


Brendini said...

I wouldn't wish gout on anybody. Not even the current bunch of yahoos governing Britain.

Dave Leeke said...

Good point, Brendan - I would hate for you to think that I was making light of that debilitating condition. I was actually making light of the ridiculous feeling of relief I felt after finding out that I don't have it!

However, on the matter of the current government, I wish them only that all their children have small penises. Including the girls . . .