I don't know how this will come out. Usually I have an outline of a posting in my head before I start. Not this time. I'll probably do the Hemingway "stream of consciousness" thing, but it might be a stream of nonsense.
Firstly, I've got to say that I've been very lucky to get this room. It's meant to be for two occupants, but no-one's going to be in the other bed, which is out of service. It has a large window so you know there's a world out there.
If you had this much space in a standard motel room you'd be happy.
Not only that, it's down at the end of the quietest end of the complex. Few staff pass by and no visitors. Occasionally there's loud talking at staff-changeover, but it's rare.
For a first-timer like me, the admission process appears to set off a hive of activity. Tracey wheeled me into the room where a half-dozen were people rearranging things. I won't go into details but they were turning a room for two into as spacious as possible a room for one.
An "electric" recliner chair almost like mine at home was found. Excellent. I still press the UP button for DOWN and vice versa as often as before. That will never change.
Staff immediately did the standard things to me – blood pressure check, temperature etc. It's all a bit of a whirl because of my rapidly failing short-term memory, which is just as well because describing it is unexciting. I was banded round the wrist and it helps me remember who I am.
That's a joke, by the way. The real reason, apart from matching pills with patients, is that they'll know who I am should I escape. The real joke is that I can't escape anyway, because for practical purposes, I can't walk. I'd need an accomplice. A lunatic, clearly.
Let's get down to the fun stuff. Meals. I got there not long before lunch, which was a mistake, because I got lunch. It didn't look too bad but that was some sort of illusion. I'll describe dinner instead.
I should say firstly that I chose this dinner from the menu which I was asked to fill in immediately after lunch on the first day – my meals for the entire day today. I admit that my luncheon experience had made me somewhat wary and I tried to evade certain items.
I should also say that short-term memory loss means that every meal is a mystery, because I have no idea what I ordered when it comes.
After I opened each dish on the tray, the mystery remained.
The soup, when stirred, was double-layered, like some cocktails you order at the bar, but not green and orange, and without the zing. It was the colour of various sorts of mud.
Tasting it did not make it any clearer. Not that I'm saying it was inedible, but I'm glad I wasn't a Muslim or Jew, because I found out later, from the list of what I ordered, that it was pea and ham.
I ventured on to main course. On opening the lid, I was puzzled.
By the look of them, the beans had been boiled for a good two hours and were as limp as little green very dead worms. They hung so wretchedly from the fork that I wanted to give them a decent burial. The corn, which turned out to be the best part, was straight from tin, but given a half hour in the microwave for good measure. The broccoli had probably given up the ghost even before boiling.
Beside these were two substances. I did recognise immediately an oozing poultice of mashed pertayta (potato) of strange hue, which failed miserably to bear its own weight. Something purporting to be fish with baked potato on top occupied an adjacent spot on the plate, but I'm sure it had never made acquaintance with an oven, and could easily have been confused with the sorrowful potato plaster beside it, except for a rich layer, underneath the faux-baked potato icing, of some misbegotten creature that must have lurked in the ocean depths and challenged any Darwinian theory by surviving.
That is, until it made it to my plate. It may, on reflection, have put up a good fight. Admittedly it was solid and tasted awfully strongly of fish.
The other possibility is that it originated in a can of sardines.
But the tapioca pudding wasn't bad, if you didn't look at it too hard. It reminded me somehow of my childhood, except there was no lime jelly. Pity.
There will be a part two. I'm sure this is fascinating to my masterchef friends and will give them a reassuring feeling of superiority. Either that, or I've given them some hot tips on unique dishes to have a go at.