92. The Calm Port in a Storm Please?

Today started out beautifully then took a strange turn towards the disruptive, then the very unpleasant. Was it a wrong turn or was it (yet) another exercise in being in the moment? If so, I’m neither impressed nor amused. I clearly have a lot to learn in that department then, even after all this practice.

I was happily sitting at my desk contemplating the shadows cast by the clouds onto the breathtakingly beautiful Purbeck Hills opposite, when a guy in a hi-vis jacket walked across our path wielding what can only be described as a giant candle snuffer. Okayyyyy. This clearly needed investigating, so I went out to greet him. It turned out that a water leak had been reported by someone whose job it is to gaze at water meters, so he was checking out all the mains pipes in the area. It got even more interesting when he asked to come onto our property and check the water stopcock. Having no idea at all where it is, I said of course he could, and followed him round the back of our home to find out where it is exactly, as he appeared to know. Having located the outside tap, he carefully balanced the long pipe on the metal and put the candle snuffer to his ear and listened. Aaah. So that’s how they do it. Then he lifted a small metal cover in the paving slab which revealed the pipe where the mains water comes in ( I know we should know this stuff, but we don’t – well, we do now), and did the same thing there, muttering thoughtfully to himself that there was a bit of noise but this wasn’t the right place. Seeing him on his way I joked that he might need his water divining rods, but I really don’t think he got it.

Gosh. What a thrilling start to the day. Haha. Waterman had just left the premises when the bin lorry turned up, followed immediately by two Scottish and Southern Electricity vans, one of which was towing a mini bulldozer. Life is just so exciting here. There was a bit of a clash and some tooting of horns as the three vehicles jockeyed for space in a tight cul-de-sac, but eventually the bin lorry vacated the area and the electricity guys settled themselves into comfy parking spots then spread out like a SWAT team across the surrounding properties. To be honest, I wasn’t 100% concentrating on work at this point as it was all unfolding right under my nose. There’s a definite downside to having lots of windows in my office. Eventually it was our turn, and they descended on us like black t-shirted flies saying they needed to investigate the underground cabling as one of the neighbouring properties was without power. Oh, go on then.

That bit of investigating revealed that the power cable probably running right under our newly planted acer was the culprit, so Team Leader asked if they could very carefully dig a hole to investigate further. Which sort of begs the question as to what they would have done if we weren’t here. Just dug it all up anyway? I wonder. Moving on. This is where it got a bit more interesting (seriously) as now they had to drive the digger across the lawn to dig the hole near our precious acer. Noooooooooo! How can you ‘very carefully dig a hole’ with a digger?! The drama was somewhat relieved by the jolly electricity man who was driving the digger. Now, I know I’m guilty of wandering around singing random lines from a song, and very often the wrong lyrics (which used to drive my son Matt INSANE), but you don’t often find a man doing the same thing. Digger Man carefully negotiated our car and trundled across the lawn, all the while singing ‘Ding, Dong, Merrily on High’ with a big smile on his face. Actually I had to hide my manic laughter at that point. The digger ended up about 3 feet from my office window. Here’s the picture to prove it.


Turns out that part of the cabling wasn’t the problem, so Team Leader said they needed to go further round the back and could they please dig a whacking great hole in the ground just by the washing line? Which was hung with freshly washed laundry. Fabulous. Washing safely retrieved, they set about digging an even bigger hole – presumably because there was no acer to consider – and at this point I definitely heard ‘You’re the one that I want, oh honey, oh, oh, oh’ coming from Digger Man.

Fortunately this particular hole yielded more treasure in the form of the damaged cable, which they duly fixed. Except that another entity has to come out to replace the paving slabs. At least while we wait we have a lot of cones to admire.


The digger was loaded back on the trailer to the strains of ‘Sweet Caroline’, and Stephen and I looked forward to finally getting a bit of work done. Looking back it was actually quite funny, but given how hard it is to get someone out to look at a problem on your property, it was actually very disruptive to have two van loads of men turn up to sort out a problem you didn’t even know you had. Well actually we didn’t have it – the bloke next door did – and as soon as it was fixed the unmistakable aroma of cooked bacon wafted through our kitchen window. Poor guy. He goes swimming in the sea at 6 o’clock  every morning without fail, and he always does himself at the very least a bacon sarnie as a reward. Imagine that – coming back from freezing your nuts off to find the electricity is out. My heart goes out to him.

Does it finish there? Not it does not. Our beautiful, crazy cat Rowan has been missing since June 3rd, and in amongst trying to actually get some work done, I try to post regularly on relevant Missing Pets Facebook pages to keep in her in people’s minds. We are keeping the hope alive that she is still out there somewhere simply because we can’t contemplate anything else. Posting about her is always upsetting as we miss her like crazy and I hate stirring it up, but as I’m on social media a lot anyway for business it’s become another task I add to the to-do list.

What I didn’t expect and was in no way prepared for was a truly horrific post that came up once I got onto my Facebook feed. I’m not sharing the details here as I don’t want you to be as upset as I have been since I saw it, but I was shocked to my core that not only would someone do such a thing, but that they would take a picture of it. How sick have we become? I kept it hidden for hours and hours and eventually cried all over Stephen as it exploded beyond my control.

Regular readers of the blog will know how Mindfulness helped me through the darkest hours of my treatment for lymphoma, and that I have used it ever since as a constant support – but how do I cope when every moment, every ‘now’, is filled with this image? I’ve been battling with it all afternoon and all evening, and now, as I struggle to find a conclusion to the blog, and a resolution to my feelings, I recall the words of lovely French Monk from my favourite blog of all time – #64 – that all I can do is be present with my feeling of heartbreak and revulsion. I can’t help the victim and I can’t condemn the perpetrator to an eternity of similar treatment, much as I would love to. French Monk said that if we deny something it gains in strength, so the only way is to be with it so it loses its power. So that’s what I’m doing. A very unusual blog for me, about something that has rocked me to my core, but I had to let you know that this is a long journey, and I’m not there yet.

Sending much love to you





About Margaret Cahill

After diagnosis of Mantle Cell Lymphoma in 2013, I started this blog to stay in touch with friends, family, and and an ever increasing network of lovely people who sent me healing. The readership increased and I ended up blogging for all I was worth to try and stay sane through the chemotherapy and stem cell transplant. Then after I went into remission (thankfully) I was enjoying the writing so much that I have carried on, and the blog seems to have become a bit of a resource for people, which is lovely. The original year of blogs have now been made into a book, Under Cover of Darkness: How I Blogged my Way Through Mantle Cell Lymphoma. It fills in a lot of the gaps between the blogs, and the tone falls somewhere between graveyard humour and explicit details of chemo treatments. I do hope you enjoy it :-) Mxx
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