Cometh the Hour, Cometh the Woman

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by John Connor |

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In this case, the woman in question was yet again my wife, Jane.

The hour in question was 4 p.m. on my usual day of writing. But on this day, writing had to be forgotten until a stint later at night (yawn). I had an entertainment Zoom call to partake in. Then dinner of an excellent vegetable rice concoction that contained vegan schnitzels, thanks again to Jane.

It was all as usual at my own instigation. This very night, July 7, was the 30th anniversary of my stage show, “The Edge.” So, for a change, I joined in the show’s regular podcast recording at 4 p.m. I’ll probably write about it next week — if I make the edit!

It’s been set in concrete for a couple of weeks. As is the way that everything seems to happen, Jane took a call about a long-awaited adaptation to my new bed. It needs to be lengthened, as MS hasn’t stopped me from still being 6 feet tall — at least when lying down. They’d be here in a couple of hours. Could they not do so between 4 and 5 p.m.?

This photo of my bed was taken by my wife, Jane, as I’m no longer 6 feet tall in my wheelchair. (Courtesy of John Connor)

With my laptop, desk, and therefore all of my showbiz paraphernalia beside the bed, there was no easy way to move me. So, she moved the bed, just in (pillow?) case. Because it’s a hospital profiling bed on wheels, this was relatively easy.

I am now living downstairs, where our living room has large partition doors. For nearly 10 years, this room had housed my 50th birthday present, a pool table I found increasingly difficult to play, let alone beat anybody! Still, it was a joy. You do what you can when you can.

My adaptation of the common statement used by my first neurologists (and indeed many others I’ve met on my medical journey), “Use it or lose it,” is “Use it or lose it, as whatever you do, you may lose it anyway.”

Our plans of touring Europe also have been curtailed by that which cannot be named. We were seriously looking at eating at the famed Danish restaurant Noma, and we were even on the waiting list.

Back to that hour in question.

The bed techs obviously did turn up, right in the middle of my Zoom call. They lengthened the bed, and I didn’t hear a thing.

Without my wife’s quick thinking, it would have all gone Pete Tong. (This is U.K. rhyming slang for “it’s gone a bit wrong,” which may have been first used to refer to U.K. DJ Pete Tong in a 1987 article about acid house called “Bermondsey Goes Balearic.” It also was used as the title of a movie about him.)

It’s Jane’s birthday this week, and I was meaning to do a mashup (I’ve gone old-school DJing again) of her diary about being a carer and my thoughts on being the “caree.” (OK, that is a made-up word. But writers are allowed to do that as long as their editor lets them.) Jane, of course, would have final approval of any copy I submitted.

We were going to do it if it weren’t for that Pete Tong!


P.S.: I thought “cometh the hour, cometh the man” came from the Bible, Shakespeare, or Churchill, but it may be attributable to an English cricketer instead. (No, I’m not about to explain cricket.)

One website claims that “it was notably used (about himself) by Cliff Gladwin, the Derbyshire and England cricketer, during the first Test Match against South Africa at Durban (20 December 1948). England were 117 for 8 requiring 128 to win, when Gladwin walked out to bat, remarking to Dudley Nourse, the South Africa captain, as he did so: ‘Cometh the hour, cometh the man!’ The last ball of the match hit Gladwin on the thigh and he and Alec Bedser ran a leg-bye to win the match for England.”


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