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Fox, red

  • Posted on January 19, 2014 at 2:53 pm

For a long time I thought it was the wind
channelled around the building, humming
its low tones into my rooms.

I’d lived too long in a house, my mind
on the roof, for rattles and rumours
of tomorrow’s urgent repairs.

But as I became accustomed to rails,
felt dark drumming under my feet,
the song was commuted, like rain.


Today I thought it was trains and sleepers
hammered in ballast on the ten-minute turn
but the wind had won with trees.

In the late sun, the unsung rails ran rust red
neither glint nor well-oiled silent shift
of points in these roots to my home.

Just a silent brazen fox, trotting down
the long, empty, parallel track, unaware
of any change above his earthy den.

2014 © Andie Davidson

An act of kindness

  • Posted on January 19, 2014 at 9:41 am

Today I threw away a blog post. Too much a Sunday sermon. Instead I just want to be bright.

Regular readers will know that I slipped into considerable despondency over letters that take two months to type up (it’s 2014 folks, there’s technology available), and appointments that take five months to be arranged, and waiting lists that add a further nine months. Would it really take five years, from recognising what my whole-life problem had been, to receiving final treatment?

My despondency on the phone led me to ask one final question two weeks ago. Who could I ask about how long funding decisions take? A name was offered, a helpful person told me that it was cleared two months ago but never communicated.

Then, due to an act of kindness, I found that I could have my funding redirected to a different provider. The NHS is not against this, and all my paperwork for surgery is already complete.

Another kindness: being able to talk about and see the results of this surgeon. We need this, not just photos and explanations.

Reassured, I made phone calls and wrote emails. Suddenly there were people who were being kind, who were talking to each other, returning my calls, including me in, emailing each other, transferring documents. Goodness, they were just being nice, and helpful, and reassuring. In the space of a week all is in place, a first appointment made, and suddenly I know where I’m going. It will cut a year off my wait for treatment, and at last I have a horizon, over which the sun is finally rising.

Perhaps it is the contrast, but I saw in how I was spoken to, dealt with and responded to, more kindness than I’ve felt from NHS services in most of my gender encounters so far. So all I really want to say this week is that I am back in the world of sheer gratitude. I haven’t cheated the system, but I have sought kindness and found it.

Thank you to everyone involved.