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Saturday May 10th



8.10 a.m. It’s raining and there is a thunder storm passing over head. The forecast is for thick fog as well. None-the-less, we shall an attempt to go to sea at about 2 p.m today. We have no wind whatsoever at present and this is the first day this week with no wind. We have GPS onboard and good local knowledge so we should be fine dossing about in Castletown bay. I have just remembered I am not supposed to be blogging at weekends anymore. Well, now that I have started, I shall finish.


I have just told you my day’s plan; however, my plans are usually not worth the paper they are written on. On so many occasions in the past I have woken up in my own home on a normal day and expected to do normal things, only to have ended up going to bed in a totally different place amongst people I didn’t know.


One Saturday I woke up in my own bed in Janet’s Corner Castletown and went to bed on the same evening in Manchester. A well known character by the name of Eddie Hudson, better known as Ed the red, bumped in to me in Castletown and told me he was heading off to Manchester to a wedding and asked would I like to come. “No,” I said. “I have never been to Manchester and why would I tag along to attend a wedding of folk I didn’t know.” Well, to cut a long story short I ended up on the boat that afternoon and by tea time, I was knocking it back with the rest of them. I stayed that night amongst total strangers who must have wondered just what the heck I was doing amongst the guests at their wedding. Anyway, I woke the following morning and had a hearty breakfast, and set off with Ed on a whistle stop tour of Manchester. We began by walking along the bank of the Blackwater canal. Before long, we found ourselves onboard a passing boat. The boat was on its way to Worcester, so we tagged along for about 5 miles of the trip, were we put ashore and made our way by bus, back to the centre of Manchester.


I now discovered the plan was to remain in Manchester until such times as we had both ran out of money. In my case this would not be very long. That evening, myself and Ed hit the town. We started off in a night club that Ed used to frequent many years earlier when he lived in Manchester. I sat down at a table while Ed went up to the bar to get the drinks in. After about half an hour, I suspected that all was not well. A guy eventually came and sat at my table and explained that two guys had jumped on Ed while he was at the bar. Ed eventually turned up a few minutes later and apart from being a little roughed up, he was none the worse for his experience. We left the night club and headed for a pub called the Lord Nelson, better known by the locals as the Nellie. To describe the Nellie as a dive would be a generous description in the extreme. I had only been in there for about 10 minutes when a fight broke out. A few tables got knocked about and much shouting and bawling before it all died down. Apparently during the mêlée someone got stabbed and was not too happy about it. No great fuss though, and it appeared to be quite a normal happening. A little while later as I sat there sipping my pint, what seemed like a wall of water, engulfed me and the rest of the bar. The guy who had been stabbed had now returned to the pub seemingly fully recovered from the stabbing, with a fire hydrant to seek his revenge. We left the pub absolutely soaked through to the skin. Ed then decided it would be a good idea to stop by at an Indian restaurant for a meal. I have no idea why I agreed to sit down in a restaurant soaked through. However, with nowhere else to go it probably seemed as good an idea as anything else. Anyway I had only been sat down for a few minutes when this total stranger plonked himself down beside me. He explained that he was buying me the best meal in the house. He went on to explain that he had just discharged the hydrant in the pub and he hadn’t meant to include me. He explained how sorry he was and insisted on buying me a meal.


The next day with our money now running low, we made out way to the local Natwest bank to seek an overdraft to extend our trip. Fortunately, Ed managed to rub up against a door covered in wet paint on the way in. This gained us £30 compo from the bank manager, so off we went again. That night we headed in to town to a strip club. It was ten pence to get in and Ed and his brother pleaded with the doorman to let me in for half price. The doorman steadfastly refused to allow me in at a discounted rate, blind or not. He probably wondered just what the hell a blind man doing trying to get in to a strip club anyway. Later that night we ended up back in the Nellie again. I sat down and had a few beers with all the guys who had been fighting the night before. They all behaved as if nothing at all had happened out of the ordinary, all pals again. I didn’t linger for too long though, as I formed the impression that things could change very quickly in that place. The following day, our money had run out once again, and despite our very best endeavours, we could not find any banks with wet painted doors. So, we returned home on the car ferry Ben My Chree. I will always be grateful to Ed for one of the most entertaining and unusual weekends of my life.


Well, I guess you can never tell just exactly how your day is going to turn out can you? Such is life itself. I simply do not know what the results of my CT scan will be next Thursday. If one day in my life can turn out to be so different than I had expected, then who knows what the outcome of my cancer is going to be.


Until Monday then folks, this is Tom Glassey with News at 9ish, on the banks of the Silverburn, and if a passing boat doesn’t come along and whisk me off to Ballasalla, I will be with you again on Monday morning.



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