Douglas Spencer (dougs) wrote,
Douglas Spencer
dougs

How things are.

In an exchange of text messages with my boss, he asked how things are, and I said that I would put up a substantial post all about it before the weekend.

I got onto the ground at IAD safely, off the plane and onto the shuttle craft nice and quick.
And then I joined the largest immigration queue I've ever seen there. We were queueing to leave the shuttle vehicle before we could enter the hall which holds the queue. Neverthess, they were working through the queue very quickly, and I got through to baggage reclaim without incident.
At baggage reclaim, I found the computers which drove the screens were down, so no-one knew which flight was being delivered to which carousel. We were relying on people -- passengers -- calling out flight numbers when bags appeared. My bag was amongst the first half-dozen that were spotted for my flight, after a looong wait, and from there going through customs was no trouble.
Emerging into the arrivals hall, there was hardly any room to move. It was Fathers' Day in the US as well as the UK, and many people were waiting to greet visitors. Complete mayhem. Also, baggage trolleys were being towed across the hall in long chains of forty or fifty, so it wasn't possible to cross these lines except at certain times.
I emerged at the passenger pick-up point, where the mayhem continued. There are three lanes of traffic across the front of the terminal, and two lanes of parking. Four of these were occupied with stationary traffic loading up people, and the fifth was blocked by a policeman shouting at the drivers to move along, please. How many of these five lanes were blocked varied as the following hour progressed, but the presence of the police was a constant hindrance to the free passage of traffic. Despite the mayhem, in due course Greg and scarlatti turned up in his truck, and took me home to her flat. After Greg had gone home, we had some fun and games which culminated in scarlatti blindfolding me and feeding me some chicken and potato which she'd previously cooked. A good way to start the visit.

As scarlatti is working this week and next week, I've been playing housewife. There's a Giant supermarket three blocks from here, and I've been down there to buy stuff, and then I've been back at home cooking it. We've had Beef shank braised with root vegetables and garlic on Monday, chicken stirfry with mushrooms on Tuesday, cheesy potatos, pickled beans and lobster-flavoured fish pieces on Wednesday, ravioli on Thursday, and salmon on Friday. She's been heaping praises on me for my abilities in the kitchen, which suits me just fine.

On Thursday and Friday, once every two weeks, scarlatti heads a mile or two south to her oncologist and has a bout of chemotherapy. There's a nice friendly lot of staff, and they seem always to be pleased to see me. The nurses, in particular, claim that when they see the two of us turning up together it gives them warm fuzzy feelings. I'm glad that I can brighten their day like this. At lunchtime I pop out and pick up a couple of sandwiches at a nearby bread shop, and collect a couple of drinks from the coffee bar next door on the way back -- and the nurses make all sorts of envious noises at me. At least I assume it's the sandwiches and drinks they're envious of. Once in four weeks, she gets to see the doctor, and this happened on Thursday. He had a feel of the lump at her left supraclavicular node cluster, and he said that he couldn't feel it at all, which is excellent news, and he told her that the markers in her blood which they use to determine the progress of the cancer are all moving in the right direction, which is better news still. They're going to keep the chemo going until a month after the markers have hit zero, and then she'll have some scans and they'll take a view at that point.

And in the bedroom, things seem to be going rather better than they did in April. Progress has been made, techniques are improving, and certain special somethings have happened. Work there still to do, as usual -- but, to borrow an expression I've used elsewhere, the markers are going in the right direction, so yaay to us.

The US CIS still hate us though.
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