Today my cancer-busting diet starts well with a delicious vitamin and enzyme packed glass of organic celery, lime and grape juice.
I take the bus to Harley Street. Here is a testament to the power of addiction... I stopped smoking eighteen months ago. Four months ago I was diagnosed with cancer. I have had surgery to remove a malignant tumour and I am in the middle of a debilitating course of chemotherapy to be followed by radiotherapy. I am on my way to the hospital. The number 23 bus takes a route down Edgeware Road. As we pass by I gaze down on a tableau of men, some in crumpled suits, some in flowing white robes, all smoking shisha pipes. It is everything I can do to restrain myself from getting off the bus, abandoning today’s chemo session and joining them. Just for the one, don’tyaknow?
At present I’m skint so I choose to forgo a healthy and scrumptious lunch at The Providores. Instead I opt for the hospital menu. It is perfectly decent and free. But none of it is organic nor specifically alkaline forming nor especially high in raw, cruciferous vegetables. It comes down to a choice between a sandwich, an omelette or a baked potato, with various trimmings. Minestrone soup with a prawn sandwich followed by fruit salad seems a reasonable way forward. So far, I’m not too many miles off the righteous path.
My uncle David arrives with his wife Penny. Uncle David was married to my aunt Ophelia. He is Ben’s and Gaby’s father. So I suppose, technically, he is not my uncle. But I have always called him Uncle David and I don’t see why I should lose a perfectly good uncle just because my aunty got divorced. I haven’t seen him since B.C. so it’s a rare treat. He and Penny live in Cardiff. They came up to London yesterday to attend the opening of an exhibition featuring photography by their son Timothy, Ben’s half-brother. I didn’t go because I was feeling simply toooooo tired, tired, tired.
Uncle David and Penny bring a ribbon bound box containing three chocolate éclairs from Patisserie Valerie. They’re different to the ones from Paul. The Paul éclairs are filled with chocolate custard whilst the Patisserie Val ones are filled with whipped cream.
We chit-chat for a while about cancer and chemo and how is Timothy and how was the show? Then, at last, Uncle David offers to make us all a cup of tea. “And crack open those éclairs whilst you’re at it,” I command. “Oh, we can’t eat those,” replies Uncle David, “Penny doesn’t touch cream or wheat or chocolate.”
So I’ve eaten three.