The rain from the day before had relented, so off I set on my marathon hobble to the Queens Medical Centre, from my humble wreck of a two-up-two-down crumbling holed roofed hovel of a home, for the painful trip to get my regular INR Warfarin blood tests done.
Having taken as much care as I could not to forget anything: Old bread to feed the pigeons with in bag - check! Hearing aids in - check! Bus pass in pocket (for return journey) - check! Reading classes in bag, normal vision glassed on head - check! Medications in bag - check! Paingel put on arthritic knees - check! Paperwork needed in bag - check! Shoes on feet and not slippers - check! No taps left running - check! No heaters left on - check! Cooker turned off - check! Pen in bag check!- Crossword book in bag - check! Mobile phone in bag - check! I felt moderately confident I had not forgotten anything, a final check that I'd locked the door - check, and I was off on my way.
I got as far as the end of the street, and returned to collect my bag from the hovel.
Off again, to end of the street onto Hucknall Road where the youth was shot in the back of his head last week, and died.
Cut through Claremont Road passing the Solicitors Offices that were broken into two days ago, and left into Nottingham Road, down passed the recently ram-raided Baptist Church Hall, and right into Gregory Boulevard.
The Stage Hotel, on my right, where a fortnight ago a youth was shot with an air-rifle, in the exact spot I was walking by.
I crossed the road, down to the Tram Park & Ride car park, fed the pigeons me bread, passing the tram station, and on to the traffic lights.
Over the lights. passing the Chemists shop raided last month on my left.
Treading gingerly through the multicoloured collection of dog shit on the pavement, I did not notice the Police van, and tape across the road until I came upon it.
Another fire-arms incident, the road blocked, no access. So I had to walk all the way back to the lights, and find another route through.
As I was cutting through Collison Street, I changed my mind when I saw a gang of five youths approaching a gang of about eight youths, with them shouting obscenities at each other - so again I backtracked and used Thurman Street, on which the off-licence suffered an armed raid last March as a cut-through across Alfreton Road and down Player Street back to the Boulevard.
Down Hartley Road, passing the old site where I used to work as static security officer when the local youths set fire to the lorries on my right, along past the massive student accommodations, and the ram-raided two weeks ago garage on my right.
Across Ilkeston Road, down Triumph Road, and onto Derby Road, took a right turn, crossed over the road, and continued on my route, past the Subs outlet where the manager was injured in a burglary last February on my left.
A few hundred or so yards on, left in towards the main entrance of the hospital, pleased that I was in plenty of time. Then I saw the great crowd in front of the doors, and realised there was a fire alarm (again), and waited 30 minutes for the all clear, and nearly got knocked over in the rush by the crowd - talk about like a jumble sale!
Then, the classic of all time, even for me!
An elderly chap was having trouble getting a queue-ticket out of the machine, so I calmly showed him how to do it, gave him his ticket, and helped him to a seat. Sitting next to him, I got out my Warfarin sheet ready, and had a go at my crossword book.
The chap started to tell me about his ailments, then his history, and I was engrossed with his tales.
After about 20 minutes, I realised that I had not taken a ticket for myself!
All went okay, and I got the bus to town from the hospital, called in the pound shop for some cheap antiseptic, and joined the queue for the bus home from town. Where the handle broke on me bag, the antiseptic broke, others in the queue said 'Phew', and mobile got soaked too, no longer works, and I got meself in right proper stew!
Life eh, huh!?