Lexie Conyngham's Blog: writing, history and gardening.

Tuesday 19 November 2013

Chapter Seven

I'm not stuck. No, really.

I'm not really sure that there is a thing you can call stuck for me (can't speak for other people), not properly. I know what things have to happen in this chapter, and the last one is in fact already written, so I know where I need to get to and I know what's going on along the way. I just don't have a key to get into it yet.

It's like a big bundle of wool where you know perfectly well there must be two ends and you can see there's quite a bit in between them, but blowed if you can find them. What I need to do is go for some walks. Part of it slipped into place about 3.30 this morning (accompanied by the World Service), but that's not such a good method. Walking is the thing. In snow if necessary (and looking outside, it might well be).

Thursday 14 November 2013

Drink tea, save lives.

If you could put your feet up for twenty minutes, have a cup of tea and a biscuit, and save a life, wouldn't you?

I've just given blood. I'm evangelical about this. You have been warned.

My father started giving blood during the war, and he earned his silver badge in the days when you could only give twice a year. He wore it constantly on his tweed jacket, with considerable pride. When I was at primary school, my mother had a serious operation, and a few days after she came home she had a major haemorrhage and had to be rushed back to hospital, where she received, and was saved by, a blood transfusion. We used to joke that maybe my father's blood had saved my mother's life, and perhaps it had. When I was eighteen, I attended the first local donation session that came along, and have been giving, with a couple of medical gaps of my own, ever since.

My father was forcibly retired from blood donation at retirement age, just before he earned his gold badge. A few years ago, I earned my own gold badge, though unfortunately he didn't live long enough to see it. I wear mine constantly on my Barbour jacket, with pride. I've now given seventy three donations, in seven different cities. I’ve seen all kinds of advances in technology, and watched health scares come and go. I've drunk coffee and eaten TUC biscuits and met interesting nurses and fellow donors, and not a minute of it has been a waste of time. It's such a little, pleasant thing for me to do. You can see on television adverts and online the number of lives that are saved or changed by blood donation. I've no idea if I've saved a life - I hope I have, but if it has at least been of service then it has been worthwhile. If you can do it, go on, do.