Today was physio at StJ, the closest thing to a specialist service that City has.
I arrived in a strange mood, since there was someone sitting opposite me in the waiting room in a tracksuit bearing the logo of my old sixth form. Regular readers may or may not know that I suffered badly enough at that school that I blame it for most of my mental illness, most of my assumption that all authority figures are venal shits who will take the path of least resistance for themselves even if it involves the literal death of the people they’re in charge of (Ask me about my school’s rates of suicides and involuntary sections if you want to see a bottle of sambuca magically appear in my hand), and the entirety of my conviction that any group of laughing teenagers is laughing at me.
So I felt a bit grim on the way in, shall we say. Further engrimmed by the way that the girl in the tracksuit looked healthy and rosy-cheeked and wholesomely, blondely successful. She had a splint on two fingers, and was reading a stack of printed notes from a third-year module at my old university. I, by contrast, was propped up on a walking stick, and felt like a worst-case-scenario.
The physio was similarly youthful and wholesome, and helpful along with it, and thus was incredibly apologetic when she had to tell me taht there was nothing they could do for me, since what I needed was a specialist – ie Stanmore.
So, no more physio for me within the local Trust. At all. I’m on my own, with my textbooks and my bloodymindedness.
I left, and stood in the sunshine, feeling the day roll out ahead of me, empty of commitments and with the only limiting factor being “You have no money”. So I went for a walk.
First stop was the cemetery, since it’s just over the road from the hospital, to stretch my legs and get accustomed to my own pace without too much interference from other people. Then, through that, I walked on through a chunk of old terraced houses and factories, reminding me very much of where I used to live before moving to my current village, and onwards to one of the main artery roads. I was looking for the motorcycle garage-slash-dealership which I had spoken to when booking my basic training.
I found it easily, and nipped inside to look at bikes and safety kit – Both for the fun reason of wanting to see what was available and at what price (And thus how much more I’d have to save up) and for the less fun reason of seeing whether I could still safely balance and shift the weight of a bike. I tried out a little Lexmoto Arrow; well within my price range and specifications, short, comfortable, not too quick, and found that I was definitely still comfortable with it. The clerk, having chatted to me a bit about what I needed in a bike (and my specifying that small and light were priorities due to my ruined legs) was both sympathetic that I was unsure about what to do, and enthusiastic about the idea of getting me out on a bike, since he reckoned that having something “just for the hell of it” was important. I distinctly agreed.
Bikes and kit budgetted for (I’m pretty certain that I can comfortably get a bike, helmet, gloves and boots for less than a grand, which is about what I’d planned on paying, then insurance and road tax on top of that) I made my way into town and to my favourite charity shop (New cashmere jumper, £2.50), then to the Chinese market (Month’s worth of ramen and curry, £17), then on to the bus station and home.
Now somewhat knackered, but not in a bad way, and enthused about getting on with things.