30C today; hazy sun out. Wind has abated and the fact it's still from north is for once welcome; it cools things. Granny is feeling a little more friendly to her island - summer the time she likes here least. The figs though are ripening. The slavery - bottling, freezing, jamming - begins. Care for a working holiday anyone?
If she doesn't write much just now, she apologises. Partly she has found herself in heavy correspondence with Anan - see Base Details post - partly she and Beloved have embarked on a course of needle therapy; acupuncture to you. A course recommended by the football lover, Mr Handsome from Blackburn of all people; who claimed that this was what cured his bad back a few years ago. In consequence, the two of them are to be found, from 11am each morning till 11.30am, at right angles to each other, prone, in an office opening straight onto an narrow, unprepossessing not to say industrial street, part of the one way system down into the main town, opposite a Shell petrol station and the main Mercedes dealer.
A topless Granny lies on her right side with thin needles sticking out of her arm and shoulders, one of them plugged into an electrical device which beats steadily and makes her feel her heart has migrated to her arm. A trouserless Beloved lies on his front with rather bigger needles sticking out of his bum and thigh; big enough to make him bleed. The acupuncturist meantime sits behind her desk talking in rapid Chinese with some Spanish phrases thrown in. To her left side is a Chinese calendar and her diploma from a Spanish institution. To her right a cupboard out of which she takes her equipment. Above her a large figure like a standing Buddha stands on a shelf, arms straight by its side, palms turned out, lines and script all over it detailing every muscle and vein and organ. Charts of the same are on the wall above her prone patients' heads.
The door is open against the heat, the flow of Chinese backed by traffic noise. It makes for a strange, intense experience of displacement. It's not painful exactly - though from the yelps, the insertion of Beloved's bigger needles this morning was more painful than the sensation of being punched which accompanies the insertion of granny's. 'Pica?' asks the practitioner tenderly. Yes. It picas a bit, but not as much as Granny feared. Better than the dentist for sure.
Does it work? After yesterday's session, Granny felt a welcome relief, which abated as time went on. After this morning's she could raise her arm higher than before. Beloved was better yesterday, less so today. Handsome claims improvement comes and goes like this; he felt worse after second session, totally alright after the last. So, who knows. All Granny does know that it is costing if not quite the arm and the leg they meekly present for insertion - a lot less than Harley Street, for sure - probably about the same as a chiropractor, it's enough. More than enough if it doesn't work.
But if it cures them; if it saves Granny having to go on to anti-inflammatories with a list of side-effects running off the page...it will be worth it.
She will report.