Chopped Liver – Bach in the USSR

There is a fine line between between polar opposites. Love and Hate. Pleasure and Pain. Cause and Effect. Life and Death.

I needed to send out a mass email today to my contacts list to invite them to an event. One responder replied saying that regrettably Mr X passed away suddenly recently. What could I say to that? One day he is there attending networking events, the next he has passed away. And all this time he remains a contact in my list.

I suppose I should not have responded with – “So does that mean he won’t be attending?” in my reply. (*)

In the afternoon I had to go to the hospital for some sort of checkup. It was in the Cardiology unit. I assumed it was an ECG – just to check the state of my ticker – I don’t know why. So I arrived there at the appointed time – 15:45 to be precise. There was a woman in the line in front of me – she asked, have you any idea when my mother is going to be seen? She has been here since 10 o’clock this morning. Ah, us Brits. You couldn’t make us up. “You could die down here – be just another accident statistic.” (Sorry, I am in a bit of a flippant mood – I only put that previous sentence in as it is a Bob lyric – from the classic and much overlooked “Slow Train”).

So, after a few minutes, I was called in for my examination. “Have you had one of these before?” I was asked. “Ha! Have I what? Hey, you name it, I’ve had it”, I retorted. “Ok, well this is to test the pressure on your lungs”. It tests the the flow of blood from your heart into your lungs – or the air from your lungs into your heart – or something like that – I haven’t got a clue really. All, I know is that if it measured the pressure of the device thingy he used to press down on my ribs then it would have registered pain and awkward discomfort. (on a fairly mild scale I’ll have you know – in fact I probably should not have mentioned it all – wimp that I am).

“OK, that’s all normal – you’re free to go”.

“Oh. Sound. Righty-ho. I’ll get me coat”

On the way home I get to the platform with my iPhone-cum-iPod pinned to my ears (natch) – and I’m listening to one of the 843 songs I have in Shuffle mode. I’m standing on the the platform in front of one of the maps. This old-ish geeza comes up to me and says something to me. I guess he is asking me to move out the way so he could read the map. So I move out of the way so he could read the map.

Hey, this is London – I wouldn’t want to risk talking to him now would I? But, hang on, he is still on my case – moving his lips at me again. Finally. Reluctantly – I pause the music. I do not remove the phones from my ears (natch).


“Is thahdbachjucbeethovfknsdgkm?

“I’m sorry?”

The poor man – now, for a fourth time has to say what he may have regretted saying the first time.

“Is that Bach or Beethoven you’re listening to?” – followed by a grin.

At this point I am bound to say exactly what song is on shuffle at that precise moment in time. “No, it’s the Smashing Pumpkins”. I replied.

Get Bach!

“I’m sure they’re good”, he said.


Awkward silence.

Train approaching.

Me – board train – left side.

He – board train – right side.

That little exchange says more about the city of London than about the individuals involved.

I think.

Unless – maybe I am the cause and not the symptom?

Another time – another blog.

Now there… are 3…. steps to… carry a donor card – ooh, wap wap!
Just follow steps 1, 2 and 3.

(*) C’mon… as if

Explore posts in the same categories: british liver trust, facebook, iphone, just giving, Liver Transplant, royal free, twitter

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