Conrad, you mention your perception of England. Do not ever believe perception. It’s why I ran into Deb many months ago when I pitied Americans, Europeans’ perception of. Naturally she didn’t understand what I was talking about, so whole thing went pearshaped AGAIN. No bad intent on my part. Just a fact. And let’s not forget that most Americans stem from the Mayflower, Plymouth Harbour.
England. I love this country. Neither have I ever been to a more disappointing place. When I arrived here in 1982 the place was the pits. Talk about sub standard poverty level third world country within Europe - women, in midst of winter, walking around without tights and/or coats. Couldn’t believe it. Neither will I ever confess that I am pro Thatcher. The woman turned the country around. Fact.
When father of son and I split in late 1995 I could have easily packed up and wrapped Felix to flee back to motherland. I didn’t. This is my home. It comes at a price. Not least that I am still German. Don’t give me history. Bombings. Chamberlain, Churchill. Remember Dresden? Let’s leave it at where my Onkel Karlheinz – age 19 – was shot in the back (this was after the end of world war II) fleeing a Russian camp of war prisoners. I pity my grandparents – his mother and father. Neither did they get his body back. Unmarked grave. Or maybe eaten by dogs. Tragedy that my (tiny) grandmother had been determined to dress pretty Karlheinz as a girl so he could flee unharmed with her and his siblings, one of them my mother, across Europe (they lived at what now is Polish border – right at the other end of what people understand as Germany). Her husband, my beloved grandfather, wouldn’t let her. Whether it came between them ,post 1945, I do not know. They seemed to be happy as a couple. If anyone ever killed my own 19 year old I’d turn crazy.
Yes, England. I don’t understand the country. You live an easy life if so inclined. Eccentrics not noticed. No one will give you a second glance. Which is good. Unless you are my sister who, so memorably, complained on occasion of her first visit over here that no one looked at her. Being looked at is important to her.
Then you go to hospital as I did 6 Nov 2010 with one broken wrist. They tried to reset it – manually. Didn’t explain to me how bloody gas worked. Went wrong. Howled with pain. Doctor gave me morphin and – thank god – gave up. Next morning different doctors - female – tried again; and yes, I do now have hang of gas and air. To no effect. Sent home. Ten days later asked to come back to theatre. Sit in waiting room for 12 hours. At which point they will send you back home. Eventually being operated on – four days later – by monkeys. None of the wires drilled into your arm will show up. Oh, yes? Really? Is this why months later I still sport scars which according to my doctor will not go away. Doesn’t matter. Gives me excuse to wear massive metal bangle on left arm to cover damage. Neither did the op work. Certain movements and you will hear a pronounced click. The bone that should be lower is higher.
Worse, and I will not forgive them for this: K wires were inserted under full anaesthetic. One and a half hours later I was asked to leave hospital. How? I was sick, sick, sick, sick. Had no balance. Dizzy. Phoned son to pick me up – he doesn’t drive, no money for taxi, so bus, 45 minutes, only option. Son, like his English father no fool, refused to come over: “I am not taking you home the state you are in.” Don’t blame him. Nurse made me eat: Do not eat before or after anaesthetic. Apparently it’s what they do to day patients - post op. Throwing up makes anaesthetic wear off more quickly. Did I throw up? You bet. Did I plead with them to just let me sleep a little longer to recover? I pleaded. Neither did it make any difference. Eventually son turned up. He was livid to find his mother reduced to a pile of shit.
Yes, Con. That’s England for you.