You may remember my somewhat frantic post back in August, concerning a mate who, on feeling a little under the weather, visited his doctor and was immediately rushed into to hospital, placed in a medically induced coma and had undergone major open heart surgery - all within the space of about 48 hours. We sat on tenterhooks for days, waiting for any updates from his wife. Slowly, miraculously, he recovered enough to be allowed home to convalesce, where I visited him towards the end of November. He was weak, tired and hoarse from the tubes he'd had down his throat for some weeks, but otherwise....like I say, the only word that comes to mind is miraculous. I felt like hugging him and simultaneously hugging the whole of the NHS.
Frail as he was, his sense of humour was completely intact and he had us all laughing out loud as he recalled being brought out of the coma soon after his surgery. He groggily found himself in bed in a virtually silent and completely white room, surrounded by a group of people dressed from head to toe in white. Confused, disorientated and in considerable pain, he managed to attract the attention of one of them and whispered, quite genuinely, 'Am I dead?' 'No dear,' said the nurse, '...you're in Basildon'.
Richard Dawson's '2020' is a phenomenal stream of consciousness, state of the nation address - one of the truly great albums of 2019.