I now know how explorers arriving in the New World must have felt. Since coming home from hospital, I have been treading a daily path from bedroom to kitchen to bedroom, with occasional embarrassing forays to the bathroom – now known and thoroughly boring territory – everywhere accompanied by my metallic friend, Cedric, as I have christened the NHS zimmer that I grasp in front of me.
This morning, Cedric and I finally plucked up courage, abandoned the kitchen and set sail for my study and its decent desktop computer, my wife and dog following at a respectful distance. For the last few weeks, I have been confined to using a very small and aging laptop in our kitchen. I’m using it again to type this blog, so apologies for any glitches. When I entered the study it felt like entering new unexplored territory, especially as my thoughtful wife had already placed an unfamiliar upright chair with padded cushion in front of my desk.
The reason I wanted to sit in front of my reliable desktop computer was in order to complete the final assessment of this year’s MA module (Part 1). In Open University parlance this is called the End of Module Assessment or EMA. Since I had invested quite a bit of time in it – fortunately before breaking my pelvis – I wanted to be sure that the computer I used to send it was fully capable of interacting with the University’s system at the other end.
I need not have worried. The operation was smooth, simple and effortless. I made a few final, final edits, said ‘Bugger it’ aloud, the EMA shot off into the ether and my fate was sealed with a few mouse clicks. I am now officially a student on holiday, waiting for the results, before deciding whether I should plunge into MA Module (Part 2) which starts in the autumn.
Given my damaged state there will be no end of term parties. I will be spending a lot of energy allowing my injury to heal, doing physio exercises and weaning myself off the various pills I’m currently swallowing each day. Also, I hope soon to be able to do all my own toileting without being supervised by Cedric and Johanna. With luck, we’ll get a visit from our new grandson, Finley, in June, which will transform him from the video baby we have watched steadily growing and thriving over the last few lockdown months into a flesh and blood little tot speeding on all fours about the house. Doubtless he’ll have no difficulty outpacing Cedric and his grandfather. He will also no doubt claim full bathroom rights, ahead of Cedric and me.
His arrival will offer a kinder, more enjoyable New World for all of us to explore.