Anatomy of a birthday

18 11 2013

Wake up early and go through to the bathroom. The sun is half way up on the horizon. It’s 05h16 which is far too early to be awake on my birthday and a Sunday to boot. The dogs know better than to make a fuss on a Sunday so let me sleep on to nearly 07h00.

Finally get up and go through to the kitchen where there’s a dead rat in the trap I set last night. That’s the last time that one will shit on my kitchen counter. There will be others of course, but for now I control the premises. I show it to Zak hoping to trigger some sort of ratting instinct but his attention is on the packet of defrozen bones in the sink.

The dogs get their biscuits and breakfast, I get my coffee. The rat gets flushed down the toilet.

I pull the DVT stocking off my left leg and get into the bath. The wound dressing on the ulcer on my left foot smells bad but I am supposed to leave it on as long as possible. The specialist wound nurse finds my obsession with the bad smell amusing as only health professionals can.

Bath done, dressed and ready to face the day. No need to make the bed as I slept on top – it’s too hot to get into a bed and there are no mosquitoes. They will come when the rain does but for now it’s too dry for them.

Breakfast. I briefly contemplate cooking something but lassitude wins and it’s cereal and milk whilst being dogged. The bones for the dogs have defrosted overnight in the kitchen sink and they are making certain I don’t forget. They get their bones and the pantomime starts. Zak watches Kharma to ensure she is nowhere close before settling down to chew. Once finished he baits her by running past her with his bone in his mouth. She chases. Eventually she’ll get the bone off him.

Time to get off my problem foot. I settle down with Beethoven’s 5th and 6th Symphonies to read Steven Weinberg’s  Dreams of a Final Theory. It’s well written without and equation in sight (what it is to be  brilliant and a good author) but the heat and Beethoven win and I doze off.

Midday. Time to go into work and see that the tobacco seedlings for the Marondera farmer are properly loaded. He’s there  but the transport is not. It’s stuck at a police roadblock on the west of town and they won’t let him go without paying the fine there and then. We get bored waiting and go our separate ways. No doubt the police will get their money.

Lunch and it’s far too hot to do any serious preparation. So it’s genuine French Paysan Breton brie (I didn’t even look at the price when I picked it up – some things one just has to have), olives from who knows where, local Coke Zero and tomatoes. I manage a few more pages of Dreams of a Final Theory before the heat again wins. It’s supposed to rain today but there are just a few half-hearted clouds around. The rains are not late, yet. We really need a good season to make up for the dismal rains of the last 3 years. Business is oddly slow at the nursery for this time of year, probably due to a general lack of cash in the country. Some $900m fled the country at the time of the election and it is in no rush to come back. Not that surprising.

Muddle through the afternoon getting progressively more bored – there’s only so many times on can check for birthday messages on Facebook. At last it’s cool enough to take the dogs for a short cycle. We all feel better for it afterwards though my foot doesn’t agree with this statement. It smells distinctly bad (due to a Pseudomonas infection as I find out later) so as the day comes to an end it gets my full attention and the dressing is changed using imported specialized dressings at an eye watering $12 for 15cm x 15cm.

It’s been another non-event. Birthdays when I was a child were full of excitement and fun though my parents tired of them long before I did and I recall that the last one they organized was for my 6th birthday. Thereafter they were distinctly low key. I would thank them for that but they both died prematurely; my father murdered before his 53rd birthday by and assailant unknown to this day and my mother from cancer in 1992. It’s sobering to think that I have surpassed my father’s age already.

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3 responses

18 11 2013
shaunagh

Belated birthday wishes Andy – hope the year ahead is happy and healthy. You share a birthday with Eden, our youngest daughter (who is still demanding her ‘time to shine’ – her words when asking just when her party would be!) With love – Shaunagh, Greg, Hannah and Eden xo

19 11 2013
mara4africatoalgarve

Hoping the foot gets well and the year ahead is happy and healthy for you. Birthdays are always more fun for kids.

29 11 2013
tuppit260

In another couple of years you probably won’t even bother to write this!
Is gangrene a concern if circulation is poor?

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