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Holidays in hospital

I feel bad for picking on my Uncle Harold for the past two weeks. He ended up being rushed to hospital last week. Although when I say rushed, he managed to find time to series link all his favourite programmes on Sky+ before being admitted. Thankfully he’s on the mend and back home now.

My uncle is a strange man. He’s one of the few people I know who actually likes hospital. He doesn’t get away on holidays very often so he ends up treating a stay in hospital as a sort of mini-break. He gets a room with a view, full board and service with a smile. And every night a woman dressed in a nurses’ outfit will come into his room and offer him drugs.

Is it any wonder we keep hearing about there being a shortage of beds?

Fairy story

I heard an interesting story about Lurgan Mail photographer Geoffrey Cousins this week. Supposedly when our old snapper was a young snapper he indulged in a bit of a drinking game. The challenge was to see who could drink a shot of Creme De Menthe the fastest. What everyone else knew but Geoff didn’t was that his shot glass of Creme De Menthe had been replaced with Fairy Liquid.

After all these years I’ve finally found out why Geoff is such a ‘bubbly’ character and why people sometimes whisper ‘fairy’ when they pass him in the street.

To be fair to him, his boyhood trauma gives him the perfect excuse for not having to do the dishes.

Boots in the bunker

The rugby boots I’ve been wearing for the past 12 months have fallen apart. The time has come to buy a new pair, but I’m not just going to settle for the first flashy new pair I see and pay over the odds for them.

There’s some boots on the market that cost over £150. I’m wondering would I be safer paying that amount to tempt someone from the Ulster squad to come to Lurgan and play instead of me. But seriously, do more expensive boots make you run faster and less prone to falling over? If so, sign me up.

While I go in search of these elusive boots I’ve happened upon a quick fix. My dad remembered that there was an old pair of football boots in the coal bunker. That’s right, in the coal bunker. Most people keep coal in the coal bunker, but my dad isn’t most people.

In our house the coal bunker represents a limbo between the shed and the bin. In it are items which need to be thrown out, but not just yet. Along with the football boots, is an art project on the theme of ‘The Many Uses Of A Bicycle’. Upon looking at it after all these years I can see why I got an E in my A-Level Art. There’s also a board game for four to six players with approximately 90 per cent of its pieces missing and a toy that has been played with so much it’s unrecognisable. Amongst all that there’s even some coal.

Behind the coal bunker sits my old bike. It is well and truly done. The last time my dad tried to use it to cycle to Waringstown he nearly lost a leg. The only reason the bike isn’t in the coal bunker is because it doesn’t fit. This deadly contraption could of course be dismantled and placed in the bunker, but with that comes the possibility of leg loss, arm loss, eye loss or worse.

You’re probably wondering why you need to hear about our coal bunker. I’ll let you in on a secret. It was my mum’s idea to write about it in the hope that dad will be shamed into tackling it once and for all.

Next week I’ve been asked to write about the garage and the following week I’ll address the roofspace.

Weekly teaser

The answer to last week’s teasers from Paul Best were: 1. HIJKLMNO = Water (the letters are listed from H to O, ie H2O) 2. Your legs have a bottom at the top.

Here’s this week’s puzzle: Ian lives with his parents in London. Last week, while his parents were out, Ian’s nextdoor neighbour Sophie came round to spend the evening. At one point, she popped out to buy some cigarettes. Just then, two men burst into the apartment and, ignoring Ian, took the TV set, the stereo and a computer. Ian had never seen the men before, and they had no legal right to remove the equipment, yet he did nothing to stop them. In fact, he didn’t even act surprised by their behaviour. Why not?