ADRIENNE'S HIV BLOG – Hivine's Weblog

HIVINE is written by HIV positive women but still with a sense of humour

Radioactivists – Viv Lives 5

Radioactivists Viv Lives 5

Beryl Sleep hits the right notes

Last week I went to the Christie Hospital for my final treatment. It was further radiotherapy but because it was applied internally it involved a general anaesthetic followed by a very long stay in a room that was a bit like a military bunker. It was not painful but it was gruelling and my trusty I- pod once again came into its own. In the wee small hours of the morning I gave myself a stupendous, very loud concert which was wonderful. I ended by playing ‘Mercy’ by the lovely Duffy -it seemed appropriate. The nurses told me that the treatment is a very effective one so if it’s done the trick and eradicated any lurking nasties in my system then it was worth it. Anyway, the important thing is – it’s all finished!! There is no more treatment planned for me and I don’t have to step foot in a hospital until mid August when I go for a check-up. I feel almost euphoric and have realised that my life can now begin again. I decided that I would relaunch it (my life) by organising a girly night out to the cinema to see ‘Mama Mia’. I felt pretty smug as I booked the tickets all by myself on the internet and set about lining up Kay, Jeanette and Marion.

Kay volunteered to drive us and as the film began at 7.50pm we picked up Marion and Jeanette shortly after 7.00pm. The hysterics began fairly early on as in the car, Marion who, through her tears of mirth just about managed to relate to us a conversation that had taken place between her husband and son that evening. It went something like this…
Husband “Your Mother’s going to see a film with a gang of women tonight.”
Son “What’s she going to see?”
Husband “I don’t know – it’s got a load of famous actors in it.”
Son “Like who?”
Husband “That Beryl Sleep’s in it.”

So the tone set, we walked into the cinema and I confidently and smugly marched over to the machine to claim my pre-booked tickets. I inserted my credit card with just a bit of help from Kay who turned it round the right way but the bloody machine denied all knowledge of my card or my booking. Indignantly I accosted the pimply youth who was in command of the booking office and he took my card and tried it in his machine but the result was the same. I was outraged – all my efficient planning had gone wrong. Furthermore, the performance didn’t actually begin until 8.40pm. After a lot of discussion and telephoning other cinemas to see if we were supposed to be somewhere else we rebooked for the later performance and retired to ‘Frankie and Benny’s’ to fill in the next hour. I vowed to do battle with the cinema the next day to reclaim my money.

We returned to the cinema in good time and stocked up on the exorbitantly priced popcorn and sweets and made our way at last to the auditorium where the screening would take place. We chose our row and took our seats but something quite extraordinary happened, as Marion sat down, she just kept on sinking slowly. Holding her generous tub of popcorn aloft and without spilling even one, she announced up to the rest of us in a sort of squeaky voice,
“This seat’s broken”
We looked down on her in stunned amazement. She got herself up, fiddled with the said seat and tried again. Once again she slowly sank to a position, close to the floor beneath the rest of us but once again, her precious tub of popcorn was held safely in the air. This reduced us all to hysterical and uncontrollable laughter as we vacated the row and chose new and firmer seats.

The film began. Well we all absolutely loved it. It was cheesy, it was camp but it was great fun. Visually it was a feast and it reminded me of my sister’s (first) wedding in Corfu. That had been a memorable and fabulous wedding, (pity about the marriage) which had taken place in a taverna on a beach with a feast of roast lamb and lemon roast potatoes with sugared almonds afterwards. As in ‘Mama Mia’, there was a wooden jetty into the sea and we ended the afternoon jumping off it to swim in the warm, creamy water. One of the funniest scenes in the film is the male chorus dancing on the jetty. Anyway, Beryl Sleep’s first appearance sent us off into fits of giggles again but she did a good job of belting out Abba’s songs. Julie Walters played – well, Julie Walters. She was like the worst drunken aunt at a wedding but we all loved her. The men were cardboard cut outs and consequently hilarious too. Their greatest moment comes at the very end just as the credits are rolling. Whatever you do, don’t get up and leave too soon. It’s a film that laughs at itself, it doesn’t take itself at all seriously, it’s a send up but I’m sure that they had an absolute ball making it. It looked as if they were all having really good fun. Without any doubt it’s a girly film and if the Sunday Times critic is anything to go by not one to be appreciated by men who are not in touch with their feminine side. His name is (get this!) Cosmo Landesman and he says and I quote,

“The spectacle of these middle aged women in Abba-esque costumes, giggling and indulging in girlie antics as they murder Dancing Queen is grotesque.” What a prick! He obviously just didn’t get it.

As for the relaunch of my life it had been perfect night. I’m back in the real world and I’m going to have a bloody good time. On Saturday I’m going to my friend’s daughter’s wedding. This one won’t take place on a Greek Island, it will be in a lovely spot on the North Welsh coast so I’m greatly looking forward to wishing Catrin and Peter all the happiness in the world. The weekend afterwards we’re going to an event at an art gallery which should be great fun and then, and then and then, who knows but isn’t life wonderful?

PS I’ve just done a pile of ironing with ‘Abba Gold’ playing and I just danced and wiggled and sang my way through it.

PPS When I re-read my ‘Confirmation of Booking’ e mail, I realised that I had misread 17.50 hours as 7.50pm. So it was all my silly fault that I ended up paying twice. It was worth it!


  Rachael Garkow wrote @

I would like to say “wow” what a inspiring post. This is really great. Keep doing what you’re doing!!

  Rachael Garkow wrote @

Hello, this is my first time i visit here. I found so many interesting in your blog especially on how to determine the topic. keep up the good work.

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