Wednesday, 4 May 2011

The Fire

Yesterday evening, when Kevin took Whisky out for his pre-bedtime pee, he noticed what looked like a huge bonfire behind the houses opposite us. In a manner of speaking it was. From the upstairs window we could see that some buildings not too far from where we live, were on fire. The Fire Brigade were already there, and thereby hangs a tale, because they had warned that if these particular wooden-framed buildings went up, they had been built too high for their water cannons to reach.

And unlike in any TV programme, where person A rings person B and tells them to turn on the TV and lo! They are just in time to see the exact news item their friend wanted them to see, we turned on the local news just in time to miss the item, and then the cable provider went down, followed by the power across the street.

This morning, there were lumps of smouldering charcoal in the dog park, and more significantly, on the path that runs behind the houses - this path being on the edge of peat bog. This afternoon, Cambie Road, where the fire happened, was still blocked off and guarded by police vans. The scene of the fire was still smoking.

This evening, the larger pieces of charcoal debris had been trampled and spread about.
Ahead of us we could see Whisky's friend Peanut going for a drag. Other dogs walk, or saunter, sniffing everything around, Peanut, small, but not accessory small, and certainly not an overweight dog, simply lies down and refuses to move,so that she has to be dragged along.

Since I've lived in this city, there have been some remarkable and spectacular fires, one caused by a small plane, piloted by a man with a known heart condition, ploughing into a block of flats in the centre of Richmond. Another, caused by a small plane ploughing into some buildings behind Ikea. This one seems to have no small aeroplane involvement.

This morning I visited my friend Anne. She was waiting for the doctor to come, as she has had a bad and rather rough sounding cough since Easter. The male doctor arrived, sadly, as I suspected, one of my own countryfolk, and in spite of his North of England accent, was as condescending as only we southerners can be. My friend wanted to query the dosage of one of her meds. He went and fetched the report that came with her from the hospital. My friend and I were sitting in chairs facing each other and he was standing to the side, but between us. He opened the report and turned to me,
'Can she read this?' he asked,
'Better than I can,' I replied.
It reminded me of the old BBC radio programme for people with disabilities. It was called, 'Does he Take Sugar?' because that's the way people with disabilities are often treated.
To be fair to him, many of his patients there are...well, not all there, but still, my friend is sharp as a tack and could run rings around him with anything involving words.

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