Thursday, November 16, 2006
Special People in Reading
Its midnight and I have just returned from Reading where I spoke at the first birthday celebration of the Colostomy Association. Missed an important debate on NHS reconfiguration and was grateful that our Chief Whip allowed me to go. These events are important to me. A roomful of very special people from all parts of the UK who know the value of life. Most people don't realise how valuable life is until they have been faced with the alternative.
For an hour before the speeches, I met several of these special people and immediately before speaking was talking a lady in her 70s who was waxing with admirable enthusiasm about her active sex life. I couldn't resist it. In my speech I made reference to the 'randy granny' I'd been talking to - in an entirely plauditory way. She was outraged. Demanded that I retract and refer to her properly - as a 'randy great-granny'. And I know she is going to read this post so I won't name her.
The odd thing about gatherings of ostomates (perhaps a colony is the best collective noun) is the depth of immediate friendship. I've only met Earnie Hulme four times ever but I will never forget that he came to talk to me when I was at my lowest point after surgery. I see him as one of my best friends - even though I hardly know him. And I only met Sue Hatton, the Chair of the CA for the first time tonight - and I immediately think of her as a good friend. I would walk a long way round for both of them. Playing Rugby was a bit like that. I feel that I did something really worthwhile tonight.