E-mail from My Brother: Breakouts, Hot Water and Bio Hazards

The next instalment of mails from my brother. As I was being looked after by my parents following the operation, I got to see my brother, niece and nephew via Skype on Friday. Yes, they are real, he hasn't made them up for comic effect! 

But onto the all important update. I sent him a mail from my hospital bed titled 'I'm Alive', I got this back


Hi Fay,

How are you feeling?  Still sore?  That’s to be expected I suppose but you know, still really crappy.  How can I cheer you up?

So we’ve got hot water now.  Hurrah!  However it’s piped to the new bathroom and all the water has been disconnected from the old bathroom.  The fact that the new bathroom hasn’t got anything fitted into it means that we still can’t have a hot bath or shower.  This is like having a new bank account with loads of money in it but no cash card to access it.  Sometimes I go into our new bathroom and mimic having a shower where the new shower is going to go.  Then I go and have a flannel bath in the Icehouse and shiver myself clean.  I had to break the ice on the alpaca’s water this morning it’s getting that cold at night and it’s really getting hard to justify washing.  Surely if God had wanted us all to be clean we’d be sweating Timotei? (I read this bit out to Mum, I thought she was going to soak through her Tena pad)

But the workmen have been working hard.  I joked this morning that with the sound of power tools coming from our house coupled with Eva’s loud and persistent whining break downs because Sam has touched her unicorn convention she’d setup in the living room passersby must think we’re filming the next Saw film or something.

We’re also at the same time as doing the bathroom getting our old fences replaced with brand new ones.  So far we’ve only had two alpaca breakouts. Contrary to what we were told about alpacas herding tendencies and wanting to stay together and being timid and all, what I’ve found out is that they really don’t give a f*ck about home. First chance they had to get out and they go all Shawshank Redemption on us.  They were out of our place into the farmer’s field next to us quicker than you can say “liability damages”.

This field was about fifteen acres and me and the fencing guy ran after those alpacas like a pre-history cavemen chasing down deer.  Then we chased them back up the field. Then we chased them back down.  The alpacas were like flicking the alpaca Vees over their shoulders at us and making alpaca laughing noises and basically having a really good time.  They run like coiled springs in a mattress popping competition.

We tricked the leader (Peter) into coming close with some alpaca pellets and then got him in a headlock.  On went the alpaca harness before dragging his sorry arse back to chokey like the criminal he was. Where Peter went the others did too so they all came back eventually. Then they got out again.  Vee flicks, laughing, trickery, back in you go. Fool me once, shame on you.  Fool my twice I’m getting my longbow.

I like to think me and boys bonded over their breakouts. When I go outside now I do the one handed finger point to my eyes and back to them to show that I’ve got my eyes on them. I feel they respect that.

Tom the cat has broken out at least once everyday of his life. He goes and has a sh*t on the field opposite which I feel is both necessary and is life affirming. We used to have cats that would p*ss in the spot where the cat litter was because I was currently cleaning the cat litter out and they just did not care. They couldn’t wait for me to finish, they just squatted on the floor and had that cat expression like they were trying to work out which day of the week Christmas was this year based on what day of the week last year’s was and whether it was a leap year or not. Tom does not sh*t where he hunts.

Sam hasn’t been to well and he’s still not right. Juliette took him off to the doctors last Sunday and he came back with a little sample tube to take some poo into a pathologist lab. I waited until he next filled his nappy, scooped up some of the stuff that looked like peanut butter, screwed the lid on the tube and popped it into the back with the big biohazard warning on it like I was transporting Bird Flu or something.  I dropped it off at a path lab on the Monday and because no one was around at reception I couldn’t help but feel I was a gnat’s chuff away from a Jackass prank. When was the last time you bottled some sh*t and dropped it off into someone’s in-tray?  Okay, so maybe you do that a lot in your capacity as a cancer patient. For me going all Gillian McKeith is a new experience.

Since being ill Sam’s taken to holding food in his mouth like a gerbil waiting for winter. He eventually spits it out down himself but I’ve taken to putting hand under his chin and telling him to spit stuff out. This saves time and wet wipes. However with the builders here I did get up to dispose of some chewed chocolate digestive that he’d spat out, scooped up a nappy at the same time and met the “triangle of puzzlement” gaze from the builder who’d come to ask a question. The gaze went from my face, to the nappy, to the handful of chewed chocolate digestive biscuit and back to my face. His expression said “urgh”.  I had an urge to lick the biscuit.

So chin up and all.  Hope you feel better real quick.  Take the drugs and rock on.

Love Mark,
The drugs are working well, hope Sam gets better soon and as always
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