Tag Archives: London Philharmonic Orchestra

The Man Next Door

feathers‘The real life is led in silence —all the things that lead you away from the silence are not so lovely. But those things from outside led you here. That is the gift of balance. What follows and, perhaps, hardest of all, is an acceptance of that silence. This comes later. After you’ve banged your brains about with strong ales and abused the bishop in your sleep.’ Abbot Terence Legrange (1565- 1603)

I was admitted to hospital last Wednesday with a serious viral infection that needs intravenous treatment five times a day. The spare bed is in the isolation unit on the HIV ward, as the nurse said: ‘there’s a lot of money in HIV.’ The ward is pristine, a conservatory filled with aloes and a piano where a man jabs with one arm at a Chopin score (the other is attached by the cannula in his arm to a drip). The chef is paid for by Elton John. I want to rush out and buy his CDs to boost his royalties. The staff are intelligent, inquisitive and compassionate. They have become good friends in the quick way that illness allows. I’ll be sorry to say goodbye. Continue reading


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