However, although the Whale doesn’t have a spiteful bone in his body he can be incredibly irritating.
Take, for example this little incident:
There I was typing an email to a friend when Whale wheeled himself through and appeared at my elbow.
“How long do you reckon these tiles are?”
“Well, we measured them some time ago. I can’t remember exactly, but they’re about a foot square.”
Silence for a while and then he started again.
“Have you got a ruler?”
“No, not on me but I’ll find you one when I’ve finished this email.”
Two minutes later.
“I had a plastic ruler in this drawer: a transparent one. Have you seen it?”
Through gritted teeth: “No, I haven’t. I said I’d get one when I’ve finished my email.”
Now, why did he want a ruler with such urgency you may ask.
The reason is that he always practises his walking (with a walking frame) by going in clockwise circles and I’ve suggested time and time again that he might try changing direction or walking in straight lines once in a while. He wanted to know how far it was from the radiator to the cupboard to see if it was worth walking in a straight line. And when he wants something he wants it yesterday!
As indeed, when he wanted a bloodtest. The doctor gave Bear a prescription for his three monthly ‘prise de sang’ to check on his diabetes.
“I want a bloodtest for my PSA” said Whale as soon as he heard about it. “Will you ring the doctor and ask if I can have a prescription?”
“No, it’s not urgent. We’ll wait till she comes to see you next week to renew your prescriptions.”
So on Friday morning the nurse did Whale’s bloodtest and by lunchtime he was pestering me to go to the chemist and see if the results were back!
In case you find this puzzling. In France, GPs actually want to see you for renewing prescriptions because they are paid each time they see a patient. For a bloodtest, the doctor writes a prescription to give to the nurse who then does the deed and takes the blood sample, with the necessary forms, to the local chemist. From there it is sent to a laboratory in town and the results are returned to the chemist for the patient to collect (and pay for – but it’s reimbursed) while another copy is sent directly to the doctor.
My sister and family are due to arrive tomorrow and she phoned me today to share this little titbit of information:
Her husband has been teasing my niece’s boyfriend (as they are both coming as well) by telling him that Bear is slightly mad and is likely to swear or even lash out without warning. My niece is joining in the joke so the poor boy had a little heart to heart with my sister while they were having a smoke in the garage.
“Are you looking forward to going to France on Sunday?” asked my sister.
“Yes, of course. Well – er – I’m just a bit worried about this Bear chap. What do I do if he hits me?”
Did my sister come clean?
No, she didn’t! So I’ll let you know what happens.