Greetings to all my Tarot Friends,
Well, here I am back with some new Tarot Reading Exercises for you. This time we will be focussing on The Court Cards and the Exercise today is to match the Paired Court Cards with their Correct Conversation. As before, I have jumbled the Conversations out of order from their Corresponding Cards.
I have attempted to bring through the Personality of each Court Card via their manner of conversation and their reaction to each other, the issue or situation. Don’t expect it to be crystal clear, but look for the subtleties that will help you identify which Conversation belongs to each Court Card Pair. You may come across some that cross-reference. It has not been my intention to do so, but we all interpret differently and see in a unique manner.
My aim is to bring the Personalities of The Court Cards to life so that you can see them as real life, talking, moving, thinking, feeling and acting people. They have jumped out of the Cards and up onto the Stage. They have assumed their roles for a given scene as dictated by their personality characteristics. The props are all in place along with backdrops. Their lines have been rehearsed and they are good to go. Now listen carefully to what each have to say to each other, and how they react to each others comments and responses. Remember each Court is playing him/herself at the end of the day. They may dip into each other’s territory occasionally, but essentially they stay true to what comes naturally.
I do hope you enjoy this exercise and I will post the Correct Matching Pairs later in the week.
Best of Luck!
The Paired Court Cards
A Residential Nursing Home
Court 1 – Bright and Breezy and carrying a multitude of bags. ‘Hello you’ and Kisses Court 2 gently on the top of the head. ‘How are you feeling today? You certainly look much brighter in yourself. Do you like the new room you are in? It is close to the garden and what a pretty garden, isn’t it?’ Goes about setting down the bags on the freshly made bed.
Court 2 – Looks at the bed and begins to get flustered. ‘My bed, what are you doing. Stop it now, stop’. Tries to get out of chair but Court 1 runs to restrain Court 2.
Court 1 – Settles Court 2 back into the chair and pats Court 2’s hand fondly. ”These are bits and pieces I brought into you. Don’t worry, I will tidy your bed. It’s lovely to see you out of the bed for a while. I told you this new room would make a huge difference. The other room was dark and the colour on the walls depressing. And the garden, just look at those roses, aren’t they the best you have ever seen, such a deep fuchsia mixed with yellow. I think they are a breed of Tea Rose, the gardener certainly has done a good job. Pulls back the net curtain on the window allowing more light to stream in. ‘Look, aren’t they wonderful?’
Court 2 – Looks briefly in the direction of the garden and then begins to get annoyed about the net curtains pulled back. Court 2 waves a walking stick at the curtain and scowls.
Court 1 – ‘Do you not like the light, is it hurting your eyes? ‘There I have put it back the way it was’ , stares out wistfully at the sun on the roses and then settles the net curtain neatly into place. ‘What would you like to do today, a stroll through the garden, I could read to you maybe, or would you like to spend some time visiting in the dining hall?’ Court 1 moves around the room, straightening and tidying. Dead flowers are taken out of a vase and tossed in the bin. The stagnant water is emptied down the sink and fresh water sloshed around, the vase is topped up again and placed back on the chest of drawers by the bed.
Court 2 – Closely following the movements of Court 1. ‘Who are you and what are you doing here?’ Now very cross and a little nervous.
Court 1 – Stops in tracks and puts a hand to their heart. Moving over to Court 2 and kneels on the floor in front of them. ‘Its me, you know who I am. I was in yesterday and you were talking to me. You knew who I was then. Look closely at me and it will come to your mind. You know me very well.’ Pats Court 2’s hand lightly but has to move away swiftly as suddenly overcome with emotion.
Court 2 – Looking very confused and startled attempts to get up off the chair again. ‘Get out, get out, do you hear me’.
Court 1 – Not so jolly as mood has changed but manages to pull together. ‘There now, don’t be getting so distressed. I have been coming to visit you every day for months. Of course you know me. Look at the dressing gown you are wearing, I bought that for you in Weston’s Store. You gave out to me for spending so much money on it and I told you that you were worth it. Do you remember that? And those slippers, remember they gave me a mis-matching pair in the beginning and you had one brown and one navy and we laughed and laughed and you showed them to every nurse who was on duty that day. Do you remember?
Court 2 – Struggling but something Court 1 has said has triggered a vague memory and begins to stare down at the slippers. ‘You’re wrong, these slippers are black, not brown, not navy’.
Court 1 – Relieved at getting some normal type of response instead of aggression. ‘That’s right, they are black. Do you remember, when I brought back the mis-matching pair they had no more of those colours left and I had to get you black instead? You said you liked the black best of all when you saw them’. Now beginning to sort through the bags on the bed.
Court 2 – ‘When am I going home? I have to go to work and they are keeping me prisoner here. They lock the doors at night you know so we can’t escape. They are listening to us now. They have spies everywhere.’
Court 1 – Arranging fresh flowers in the vase but leaves the task and returns to Court 2’s side and takes their hand. ‘It is okay, you don’t have to go to work anymore. Your workplace knows that you are here and they say you have to rest. No one is keeping you a prisoner, you are here because you can be looked after properly and they lock the doors at night so that you can sleep safe and sound. They are checking to see if you are alright when they suddenly pop their head in the door, not spying on you. I promise. I wouldn’t let any harm come to you, or put you anywhere that is not safe’. Kisses the top of Court 2’s head. Turns away before Court 2 can see the tears flowing down their cheek.
Court 2 – Returning their attention to the bags on the bed. ‘Get those off my bed’. Waves the walking stick in the air.
Court 1 – ‘I will take them off once I have finished unpacking them. Some have gifts for you so please be patient’.
Court 2 – Becoming fixated on the bags once more. ‘Get those off my bed’. obviously distressed.
Court 1 – Moving quickly now, sighs and removes the bags from the bed before all control is lost. A nurse arrives with a lunch tray before informing the nurse that they will take care of the feeding. The tray is placed on the mobile table and Court 1 begins to cut up the meat and vegetables into miniscule pieces.
Court 2 – ‘Who are you? What are you doing here?’
Court 1 – Ignores the questions and moves the table closer to Court 2. ‘Lunch is served and if you eat all this I have a surprise in one of the bags for you.’ Places a napkin around Court 2’s neck and begins to fork feed the lunch to them. Some of it dribbles back out and Court 1 swiftly wipes it away. Court 2 appears to be quite hungry and eats happily without any disagreement.
Court 2 – On completion of their meat and vegetables. ‘Where is my surprise? Why are the bags gone? Someone stole the bags.’ Getting very cross.
Court 1 – ‘Aha, you can’t remember who I am, but you can remember that I said there was a surprise. I see. The bags aren’t gone. You told me to take them off the bed. Do you remember? They are over there on the floor and I will get your surprise for you’.
Court 2 – Watches Court 1 going through the bags and then stares intently at the small bowl that is produced. It is a Tupperware bowl and Court 1 carries it over to the table and stirs the contents.
Court 1 – ‘ Mrs Mercer, your next door neighbour, very kindly made this rice pudding for you. She told me it was one of your favourites and I promised to take some in for your lunch as a surprise. Isn’t Mrs Mercer very thoughtful and kind. Good neighbours are hard to find and she certainly is one of the best. She told me she was in to see you last week, but that you were asleep most of the time. She brought you your favourite flowers too. She said to say hello to you’.
Court 2 – ‘Mrs Mercer, Mrs, Mercer, Mrs Mercer, Mrs, Mercer.’ Continues to repeat her name over and over again as if trying to find a memory connected to it. Smiles as the first spoon of rice is tasted.
Court 1 – With lunch over and tray tidied Court 1 pulls a large soft woollen rug from one of the bags on the floor. ‘I got this for our walks in the garden. The autumn chill is beginning to set in and you need something heavier than the fleece one I got you for the summer.’The rug is opened and displayed for Court 2 who is asked to feel its texture.
Court 2– Rubs their face with the rug and begins to cry, heavy deep sobs. Court 1 rushes to their side.
Court 1 – ‘Oh dear what is it, tell me what is wrong? Why are you crying. I am so sorry for upsetting you. At that moment the door opens and the nurse appears to collect the lunch tray. The nurse upon seeing him crying, goes straight to his side.
Court 2 – Holds out the woollen rug to the nurse and calls the nurse by a name. ‘Feel, wool, so soft’. The nurse takes the rug and gently rubs the soft knit. The nurse agrees with Court 2 about the rug and then takes the tray and heads for the door.
Court 1 – Notices the nurse’s name badge. It was not the same name used by Court 2. Court 2 had called the nurse by Court 1’s name. Court 1 is relieved that they have not been totally forgotten.
Court 2 – Trying to get the rug around their shoulders looks suddenly very, very small and fragile. Court 1 produces another item from one of the bags. ‘It is a glorious day out and the roses still in bloom. Let us walk in the garden and I can show you something very, very special.’ Court 1 wraps the rug neatly around Court 2 and fetches their reading glasses. The two depart for the garden with Court 1 pushing Court 2 in their wheelchair.
After a stroll around the garden, they come to a stop at a garden bench. Court 1 puts the brake on the wheelchair and sits down on the bench. The item from the bag is brought out from the pocket at the back of the wheelchair.
Court 1 – ‘I have a very special photo album for you to see. I had to go to a lot of trouble to get it as it had to be posted from another country. It came from your sister’s house in Ireland and it is very old indeed. It has lots of photos of you as a child and growing up, and photos of all your family too. There are even a few of me at various weddings and family gatherings. Do you want to have a look?’
Court 2 – Sits staring ahead. Court 1 places the reading glasses on Court 2 and begins to turn the pages of the photo album. The album is placed on the lap of Court 2 and Court 1 points out all the various people and identifies them to Court 2. Slowly they work their way through all the album with Court 1 passing on the stories that accompanied some of the photos. Court 1 stops at one particular photo and won’t allow the page to be turned. It is of a woman in a long black skirt. Her hair is piled high on her head and she wears a formal looking blouse. She stands beside a man who appears smaller than her. The man has dark hair that is oiled down and a wide narrow black moustache. In front of them sit five young children. It is hard to tell which is boy or girl as they all appear to wear a form of dress. Court 1 knows this picture and points out the child third from the left.
Court 1 – ‘That is you isn’t it? You look so cute and so small. Your mother was very pretty. I can see your sisters in her and even her likeness in her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Her strong good look genes have come down through the generations.
Court 2 – Points to the image of the woman and begins to rub the face. Suddenly there is a splash of wet on the photo and Court 1 looks up to find a steady stream of tears rolling down Court 2’s face. Court 1 begins to cry too.
Court 1 – Through a veil of tears. ‘You miss her don’t you? It is a long, long time since you saw your mother or your father. Decades and decades. It must be very hard for you. My heart breaks for you. Takes Court 2’s hand and holds it tightly. They sit in silence for some time and only return indoors as the sun begins to wane.
Back indoors Court 1 wheels Court 2 through the communal area where several other residents are sitting quietly. One of the nurses approaches Court 1 and asks if it would be possible for them to play a few tunes on the piano before tea is served. The nurse tells Court 1 that the residents had been plaguing him all day to ask Court 1 for a sing-song after they had been spotted on arrival by a group in the lobby.
Court 1 – Smiling and laughing simultaneously, happily agrees. Court 2 is settled into place and the wool rug is loosened in the warm room. Court 1 takes their place at the piano and prepares to sing along to songs that have been especially sourced and learned for these occasions. These songs belong to another era, the era of all these residents and Court 1 knows how important and precious they are to them. They help them remember the old days and Court 1 was happy to give of their free time to bring a little joy to these lovely people.
The atmosphere in the room changes once the singing and playing begin. Some of the residents’ voices are still strong and hearty and even though they may not remember every little detail of their life, or indeed what they did yesterday, they can remember every single word of the songs. They sit tapping their feet, clapping their hands or nodding their heads. They have all become animated and lively. Some of the nurses watch and all agree that Court 1 should think of a job in nursing or caring for the elderly as they have watched and admired the daily visits and all the efforts made to ensure Court 2 was well looked after, entertained and loved. They agreed that Court 1 was a very special person with so much to give. Lovely indeed.
Media Company’s Head Office
Court 1 – ‘Where is the person who is normally at this desk?’
Court 2 – Looking up to find a very tall and serious looking Court 2 staring questionably at them. ‘Oh excuse me, that person has left. As of today I am the new person on the desk. Can I help you?’
Court 1 – ‘Oh for pity’s sake. No, I doubt if you can help me’. Shouting at no one in particular, ‘Find me someone who knows something. I really can’t cope with new people. Someone get me a coffee, I can feel a headache coming on.’ Storms off into an office down the corridor and slams the door.
Court 2 – Face burning with embarrassment turns to find no one staring at her. Everyone is just going about their business, looking tense and strained. Not one smile or casual stance is to be found. People are talking in hushed tones and walking briskly past each other.
Court 2 – Phone suddenly lighting up with several calls coming in at same time. Panic setting in. ‘Hello, Morgan Media, Can I help you?’ Someone screaming down the phone looking for someone in accounts. Which button is accounts??? Puts the caller on hold. Next call, ‘Hello, Morgan Media, Can I help you? Someone looking for Court 1 but can’t make out the name. Has to ask three times but Court 2 still cannot make out the name. The caller hangs up, obviously annoyed. The other caller is still on hold for accounts. Court 2 is struggling but eventually manages to make the connection with accounts. Success but there are more calls coming in and once again the caller looking for Court 1 is on the line and asking to be put directly through to them. Can’t find Court 1 extension. An internal line lights up and appears to come from extension 321. Court 2 answers.
Court 1 – ‘Who is this? Are you the new person on the desk?’ sounds peeved bordering on fuming.
Court 2 – ‘Yes, I am the new person on the desk. My name is….. ‘ cut off by a sharp retort from Court 1
Court 1 – ‘I didn’t ask you for your name. I simply asked if you were the new person on the desk. Your name is irrelevant to me’.
Court 2 – Mortified and close to tears ‘Of course, I am very sorry, how can I hel…..’ Cut off once more.
Court 1 – ‘Where the hell is my coffee. I asked you half an hour ago and I still don’t have it’. Shouting down the phone.
Court 2 – ‘You told me I was of no use to you when I asked if I could help. I thought you wanted someone else to get it. I am so sorry. I will get it now’.
Court 1 – ‘Everyone knows around here that the person on the desk gets me my coffee. Who else do you think is going to get it?’ Hangs up on Court 2.
Court 2 – Still has the caller on hold for Court 1 and in a nervous move puts the caller straight through to Court 1 without checking first. Heads off to find someone who can tell them which way Court 1 likes their coffee. Wants to grab their jacket and run out the door. The atmosphere is so tense and awful. Has tried to smile and make conversation with people but everyone wants to bite their head off.
Arrives at Court 1’s office door with their coffee and taps gently but gets no answer. A girl at a nearby desk looks up briefly and nods at Court 2 to just walk in. Feeling as if they are walking into a firing squad, Court 2 gingerly lets them self into Court 1’s office and places the coffee on the desk. Court 1 is on the phone with a very different tone to the one they used on Court 2.
Court 1 – To the caller ‘Yes of course, I would be happy to show you the first proofs tonight. I have a meeting now so must go’. Hangs up and then turns to glare at Court 2 ‘How dare you put a call through to me without asking my permission first. What sort of a useless idiot are you? Who hired you anyway? Takes a long sip from their coffee and hands it back to Court 1. ”That is not how I like it. Get me another one’ .
Court 2 – ‘I am so sorry, it’s my first day and all the phones were ringing at the same time, and then you wanted coffee, and that person’ pointing to the phone on the desk, ‘had been waiting for ages to speak to you and I couldn’t’ work out their name because they spoke so fast. I just put them through as it sounded important. Like I said I had to get your coffee too’.
Court 1 – ‘You’re very good at saying sorry, it’s about the only thing you are good at. Do you think I care that it is your first day. That is of no concern to me. You can either do your job or you can’t, and from where I am standing you have failed miserably so far. No get out and get me my coffee. My headache is worse now thank you very much.’ Shooing Court 2 away with their hand.
Court 2 – Wanting the ground to open up and swallow them. Feels close to fainting. ‘If you could just tell me how you would like your coffee I will do my best to get it right’. Waits for an answer from Court 1
Court 1 – ‘I have wasted enough of my morning with you. Just ask someone. I have enough to be doing without taking you through the step-by-step process of coffee-making. For goodness sake. Now go, go. Shoos Court 2 with their hand in a strongly dismissive manner.
Court 2 – Leaves the room and looks at the clock in the corridor. Only another 6 hours to go but tomorrow will come around again awfully fast. Goes to the girl who acknowledged their presence moments earlier and asks for help regarding the coffee. As Court 2 passes their own desk on the way to the office canteen, they can see about 10 lights, incoming calls, and feels a sense of panic about how they can possibly be expected to answer phones and deal with the likes of demanding, rude Court 1 and their coffee.
In the office Canteen, Court 1 is overcome with despair and feels a strong urge to cry. On returning to Court 1 with the fresh coffee, they are greeted with another onslaught of abuse and humiliation.
Court 1 – ‘Why aren’t you at your desk answering the calls? Isn’t that what you are paid to do? I come out into the corridor and there is no one at the main desk, and where are you to be found? No where!’
Court 2 – Feeling weak at the knees. Can’t get anything right today? ‘I was getting your fresh coffee as you had asked me to do’.
Court 1 – ‘Don’t get cheeky with me. Your job is to answer the phone and direct callers to the correct extensions. Your job is not to make coffee. I can get my own coffee if I really want one. Now get back to your desk and get to work.’ Storms off down the corridor and out through the external doors.
Court 2 – Turning to see who had observed this latest ordeal. No one watching, no one appears to be interested. ‘Where has Court 1 gone to?’ asking the crowd and no one in particular. A young man looks up momentarily to tell Court 2 that Court 1 has gone out to meet a client for coffee. Staring down at the now cooling coffee in their hand, Court 2 decides to drink it but is stopped in their tracks by the same young man who advises Court 2 not to as there will be awful trouble if they are caught drinking coffee outside the office canteen.
Court 2 – Returns to their desk and falls into a growing state of depression. They can’t possibly work in such a hostile environment. Court 1 is going to make their life a misery, and Court 2 knows that they cannot work in such a negative environment. It is not in their personal make-up to have to deal with such an unpleasant personality and they also know that they are not the best when it comes to being assertive or standing up for them self. There is nothing for it but to hand in their notice with immediate effect. They will finish the day, but they will not be back. They would hate every minute of work if they had to stay, and worse, they might even turn into one of their uptight, nervous and unfriendly co-workers. They needed a caring, friendly warm environment where everyone is happy to do their work, a place where people smile at each and are helpful and considerate. This place didn’t even remotely come near to that description. Court 2 had been sent by an agency and had been given brief details about the position. No they would not be staying. N o thank you.
As Court 2 leaves the building that day they wonder to themselves who their predecessor was and how long they had lasted working under the horrific Court 1?
The location – An expensive restaurant at lunchtime.
Court 1 – (Calm and Relaxed) ‘I see you’re not eating locally today, any particular reason? Have they run out of your favourite burgundy?’
Court 2 – ‘Very amusing! You know exactly why I am here and not there. You also know why you are here’ Intense stare at Court 1.
Court 1 – ‘Well, I presume it’s not because you were missing your old friend. I never hear from you unless you are up to something. What is it this time and in what way do you need my help?’
Court 2– Nonplussed. ‘Shall we order. I hear their beef is rather excellent. Melts in the mouth apparently.’
Court 1 – Perusing the Menu. ‘I think I shall have the sea bass. Please, let me select the wine. You know I have never let you down in the past with my selection.
Court 2 – Raised eyebrows and a hint of a smile – ‘Well you would know wouldn’t you? You must have sampled them all at this stage’.
Court 1 – Decides to ignore the comment – ‘ I say we go for a light and crisp chardonnay. After all, it is lunchtime.
Court 2 – I am sure it will be perfect. The waiter takes their order and the wine is brought to the table to be tasted. The Nod of consent is given and the two Courts settle into a more relaxed atmosphere.
Court 2 – ‘Down to some business now that the matter of food and beverage has been nicely taken care of. There are shares I want to buy in a company that is flying below the radar at the moment but is due to explode in the next month.’
Court 1 – Raised Eyebrows. ‘It is not like you to take a gamble on a company that has not yet proved its worth.’
Court 2 – ‘Ah, you see it has, but they have been keeping it under wraps. I have checked all the figures and had my forensic accountants go over them with a fine tooth comb. They have set the stage so that when they hit the headlines next month, it will look as though they have built an empire overnight, but the empire has been standing a long time. ‘
Court 1 – So why do you need my involvement? I am not in the market for buying shares at the moment, but tell me more about this company and I will give you my honest opinion. ‘
Court 2 – Hands over a manila file and Court 1 studies it intensely. A half hour passes without conversation. The food has arrived and is eaten while Court 1 studies the files.
Court 1 – ‘I have a good feeling about this. These guys having the makings of going colossal within the next year. I also am beginning to understand why you have asked me here today but I shall let you explain first.’
Court 2 – Aha, very intuitive of you indeed. You know I always make special allowances for your gut feelings. They are rarely wrong. The thing is, I want to buy a substantial amount of shares but once anyone gets a sniff of my interest there may be an attempt by others to block my purchase or hike the share prices. I intend to buy now before this company becomes extremely visible as then there will be a stampede. I want to acquire a considerable amount of shares and at the best price possible. I want a good return on my investment but I need to remain in the background for this one. That my dear friend is where you come in.’ It is all above-board and squeaky clean legal as usual so you don’t have to worry about getting involved in anything shady.
Court 1 – ‘Just as I thought. Very clever indeed. So you want me to handle all the financial dealings and keep your name out of it?’
Court 2 – ‘Precisely. You’re the best person for the job. You will get handsomely paid for your work as usual and I know I can trust you to be the sole of discretion.’
Court 1 – ‘It is always a pleasure doing business with you. I can assure you that no one will guess for one moment that you are in any way involved. I enjoy watching you make money and I equally enjoy benefitting from your success too ‘
Court 2 – ‘You’re a dark horse for sure and that is why it is you I call when any, let’s say, secret financial dealings are required.’
Court 1 – ‘I will take that as a compliment. Only the most successful people in business know that there is a time to show your hand and a time to play your cards close to your chest. My secret weapon is that I can see your full hand even if you try to hide it from me. I have the perfect poker face and save this information until I know the time is right to use it. Business is business, nothing personal.’
Court 2 – ‘ I can never understand why you haven’t joined the big league yourself’.
Court 1 – ‘Not interested. I enjoy my home comforts and the easy life too much. I Have more than enough and there is more to life than making money you know. However, I do enjoy helping other people make money. Of course I make money once they make money. I have other interests in life and am quite happy doing what I do. Your life would exhaust me, work, work, work and very little play. Come to think of it, how are your family getting on? Tell them I was asking for them. ‘
They finish their wine and leave. Court 2 has already paid the bill.
At the Breakfast Table
Court 1 – ‘Morning. I thought I was up early but you win the prize today for first down to the kitchen. Is that fresh bread I can smell?’
Court 2 – ‘Yes, well if you want fresh bread in the morning, it won’t bake itself. I can’t laze around in bed all day and have freshly baked bread ready for your breakfast all at the same time.’
Court 1 – ‘Don’t think I have ever seen you laze around. The only time I see you sitting for any length of time is when you are out in the garden.’
Court 2 – ‘Well there is always a lot to do and the Devil finds work for idle hands and all that. However, I do like my garden as you know and that is where I find my peace. I also do all my thinking there too. I don’t think I sit too much unless you count kneeling as sitting. Most of the time I am in the garden I am tending the vegetable patch, the fruit bushes and the herb garden, but it is a labour of love.’
Court 1 – ‘Speaking of fruit bushes, I just can’t make my mind up as to which preserve I should have with the freshly baked bread. Strawberry, Raspberry, Gooseberry? Oh decisions, decisions, decisions and all before I have had my first cup of coffee.
Court 2 – ‘Are you not going for your run this morning?’
Court 1 – ‘No, not today, I have a match to play this evening so will go the gym after work and limber up before I head over to the pitch. ‘
Court 2 – ‘Very well then. Do you want me to prepare some food for you to take or have you made plans to eat out? I could prepare you a picnic hamper. I could make enough for a few of you. Whatever you wish.’
Court 1 – ‘Sounds good to me but don’t you have to go to work yourself? You won’t have the time to throw a picnic together. ‘
Court 2 – ‘I don’t ‘throw things together’. Whenever have I thrown anything together? You know the saying ‘if you want something done, ask a busy person’. Well that refers to me and really it will only take me half an hour to prepare the basket, if you want a picnic. It really is no big deal. I could do it in my sleep and you know I always allow myself plenty of time to get to work as I hate being late. I can spare the time ‘
Court 1 – ‘A picnic it is then but you will need to cater for about four or five of us. You know what they will be like when they find out I have one of your famous picnics with me?’
Court 2 – ‘Splendid. Well you are the Captain of your team and a nice picnic will show them how much you think of them. Keeps up Team Morale.’ A plate of steaming toast and homemade strawberry preserve is placed in front of Court 1 followed by a large mug of coffee. ‘ Now eat before it goes cold.’
Court 1 – ‘Are you not having any?’
Court 2 – ‘Have eaten already’ and begins to prepare the picnic. As an afterthought ‘Oh I have walked the dogs too, so you have nothing to do except go to work’
Court 1 – ‘Good God, how do you manage to do it all’.
Court 2 – ‘Well, when you are running around in circles and ranting and raving about everything, I simply just get on with what I have to do. No fuss, no drama, no hysterics. I find it is the best way to complete tasks. You should try it sometime, you will be surprised how more relaxed you will feel’.
Court 1 – ‘I am relaxed and organised’.
Court 2 – ‘Hmm, Of course you are, but take a bit of advice from me, multi-tasking is fantastic as long as you actually complete all the multiple tasks. You go around giving out about what you have to do, roaring and shouting orders at people, then follow them around until they have managed to make a mess of it, so that you can roar again about having to do things yourself if you want it done well. All you are doing is wasting time and energy that could be put to much better use. You could achieve much more in the day if you thought things out clearly before starting, instead of just being too eager to get started. Your ‘to do list’ is always so much longer than mine. The difference is that by the end of the day, my list has been achieved while yours constantly flows over in the next day. I feel relaxed and a sense of achievement that I have completed all my ‘to dos’ for the day regardless of how busy I have been, while you stress about the ‘to dos’ you couldn’t’ get around to. You overestimate your capacity and underestimate the time everything is going to take. Whereas I know each day that there is a very good chance I will achieve all my aims in the day because I have set realistic goals, you set impossible goals and then heap tonnes of stress on your shoulders trying to achieve them. You are going to wear yourself out in the process.’
Court 1 – ‘Sound and practical advice as usual. I have tried your way but I can’t help who I am. Wish I could take things in my stride like you do. I never see you ruffled. You are my rock’.
Court 2 – Watching Court 1 heap mor preserve on to their toast. ‘Go easy on that preserve, try not to empty the jar in one sitting’.
Court 1 – ‘ It’s there to be eaten isn’t it?’
Court 2 – ‘Yes, but not in such greedy proportions’.
Court 1 – ‘Well it is homemade so it must be healthy for me.’
Court 2 – ‘Yes, I only use the best ingredients when cooking and most is homegrown. They are packed with nutrition but too much of any good thing is bad for you’.
Court 1 – ‘Well, I never see you gain any weight. You are a picture of health, vitality and not a gram of excessive fat to be found’.
Court 2 – ”That is because I watch what I eat and get plenty of exercise. You are what you eat they say and I do try hard to prepare nutritionally high meals all the time. I am thinking of doing an Online Nutrition Course this Autumn and possible Herbalism.’
Court 1 – ‘Gosh, I wouldn’t have the patience or self-discipline for home study. I would prefer a classroom full of people and a tutor. It would be more fun that way. Studying alone must be very boring.’
Court 2 – ‘On the contrary. Home-study suits me because I find that when studying with a group, a lot of class time goes by with irrelevant chit-chat. I have something I want to study and just wish to get on with it without all the constant interruptions. I can complete the course in half the time if I wanted to, but like to work at my own pace so that I assimilate the information instead of just cramming it. I don’t study to socialise or have fun as you say, I do it to learn.’
Court 1 – ‘The model student and every teacher’s dream. You must have been a real swot in your day, top of the class no doubt’.
Court 2 – Laughing ‘Yes, something like that. I come from a family of them. You mentioned last night that you wanted to talk to me about something. Can it wait until later or do you want to run it by me now if you like?’
Court 1 – ‘Yes, I was thinking about that attic conversion that we wanted. I think we should just go ahead and just start it. Do it bit by bit over a period of time. Get a little bit done as extra money comes in.’
Court 2 – Continues to prepare picnic. ‘You know we have discussed this several times. There is not enough funds for that project yet. I told you I had done my research and had several builders in to give quotes. It is a lot of money and something that just can’t be rushed into. We need to save quite a bit more before we can even contemplate buying the first nail or plank of wood.’
Court 1 – ‘Oh I am tired of waiting. I have a friend who knows of this guy who will do it at a knockdown price. We should consider getting him in to give us his opinion. He does all the work himself so doesn’t have the burden of paying wages.’
Court 2 – Quite snappy now. ‘A knock down price in my experience equals knockdown quality. When the attic is converted I want it to be done to the highest standard and not just flung together with a few nails and a bit of twine. We will be looking at it for many years to come. So this guy is qualified in several trades? Is he a builder, an electrician, a plumber, a plasterer?’
Court 1 – ‘He is a builder but he knows what he is doing when it comes to electrics and plumbing. I saw my friends attic and it looks fine to me. The whole job was completed in just over a month. ‘
Court 2 – ‘I wouldn’t trust a builder who was able to finish a job like that, all on his own, in just over a month. That sounds too good to be true. He would have to cut corners or rush jobs. ‘
Court 1 – ‘So what if it is not 100%. Who is going to know? We will have saved a fortune, have our attic, and could be getting the use out of it’.
Court 2 – ‘Aha, doesn’t sound like his work is up to scratch then, and regardless of anyone else knowing, I would know that it was not perfect and not able to stand up to close scrutiny. Do you not think I want to save money where I can, but on certain things it really doesn’t pay to take the cheap route. I also have plans for the attic. I want to design it so that it is not like every other conversion. I want solid wood flooring and bespoke windows so we can avail of that beautiful view of the mountainside.’
Court 1 – ‘We will all be dead by the time we get the attic converted or too old to enjoy it’.
Court 2 – ‘Now you are being silly. I would prefer to wait until we can afford the best. The money would be in place and we can hire certified builders and tradespersons who could be relied upon to complete work to a high standard. You just can’t skimp on those kind of things’.
Court 1 – ‘I could help at the weekends. You know I love DIY and have all my tools in the shed. I could do a lot of the work myself’.
Court 2 – ‘Yes, I am sure you could but we have seen what happened before when you decided to knock the wall down between the kitchen and the dining room. You promised that it would be done and dusted in a week but I was still falling over tools and bits of masonry for two months. I had to argue with you to finish the job. You start these things with great enthusiasm but get bored if it is not going as fast as you had planned. You should have realised at your age that everything always takes longer than we expect and should make allowances for that.’
Court 1 – ”That was different. I was also working on that big project in work and had to put in a lot of extra hours. I also had my training to do and matches to play at the weekend. I had very little free time’.
Court 2 – ‘And you think it is any different now? Look at how busy you are. Sure you are never home until late at night and when did you last have a full weekend to yourself? You have a lot on your plate as it is and to think you are considering throwing an attic conversion in on top of it is incredible. I admire your enthusiasm and you are full of good intentions but we both know where it will end, and I don’t want to have that argument all over again, or the mess. ‘
Court 1 – ‘Well you have certainly put me back in my box. I just thought it would be a great idea and I know how much you are looking forward to having the extra room. I was just trying to help.’
Court 2 – I know you were and I am touched, but my job is to pull you back down to earth every time you get too excited and carried away. Really, you are like an over enthusiastic child at times, but a very cute one. Yes, I would love to have work start next week but I am very happy to wait until the money is saved. I think it will be well worth the wait. You need to stop dwelling on it and just get on with your work. It will all come in time and you can drag every one of those power tools out everyday if you like.’
Court 1 – ‘I admire your patience. I don’t know how you do it all the time. You never cut corners in anything you do. The garden is a testimony to your patience. I have seen you toil for hours on end in all kinds of weather so that all you have sown and planted flourishes and thrives. You have natural green fingers but the rest is hard work. You certainly clip my wings when I try to fly too high too soon.’
Court 2 – ‘Thank you dear. I am only too well aware of your lack of patience and I have to work hard to find a balance between us. I don’t want to come across as a spoil sport but at times someone has to be practical and this is where I excel. Sometimes I can be too practical and cautious, and then I need you to jolt me out of it’
Court 1 – ‘Yes, I think we work well as a team. Together we could take over the world!’
Court 2 – ‘Sounds like a good idea, but not today as I have to go to work now. Taking over the world, just like getting the attic converted, will have to wait for another time. Now, here is your picnic, all ready and prepared. I won’t be home until late myself tonight as I have end of year accounts to prepare for the end of this week and want to make sure all is in order. If you get home before me, there is a Quiche I made yesterday. It only needs heating and a little salad with it. Perfect light supper. You will find it in the fridge. Oh by the way, just to let you know I found your dirty kit bag lying beside the bins in the garage the other day. You will be needing that for this evening’s match I presume?’
Court 1 – ‘Oh no, I can’t believe I left it there. I did mean to carry it in to be washed but must have forgotten about it. I have no clean kit for the game then!’
Court 2 – ‘Well it is just as well I washed and dried it then. You will find it neatly folded in your wardrobe. Now I must dash. Have a good game dear and if I don’t see you tonight, I will see you in the morning. Just don’t leave the kitchen in a mess, and please put your dirty kit in the wash this time.’
Court 1 – ‘What would I do without you? You run this house like the Captain of a ship! Better be off myself as I have to be on site in less than an hour and then have meetings all day after that.’
Court 1 and Court 2 exchange a brief kiss in the hallway before heading out to their individual cars.
A Hospital – Patient waiting to see Consultant regarding MRI results.
Court 1 – To the Clinic Receptionist. ‘Can you please show my next patient in’. Receptionist calls Court No 2 and escorts the waiting patient into the Consultant’s office. She places the patient’s Medical File on the desk and closes the door quietly as she leaves.
Court 2 – Sits on a chair and looks at the Consultant expectantly. Court 1 is quietly scanning through his patient’s files. Court 2 begins to get a little restless and seems uncomfortable with the silence. ‘So, did anything show up on the MRI? I didn’t think I would have to wait so long to get my results. I remember a few years ago having a scan done and my doctor had the results within 24 hours. It must be all the cutbacks.’
Court 1 – Glances up briefly at Court 2 from under a pair of spectacles and then resumes reading the file without commenting.
Court 2 – ‘I have done quite a bit of research on the internet with regards to my ongoing symptoms and found some really interesting Forums that I have now joined. Nothing like getting to hear some real life stories instead of the medical textbook accounts on most sites. The people on the Forum are the real sufferers and probably know more about their conditions than their medical team do. ‘
Court 1 – Glances up again, and without speaking to Court 2, indicates that they are trying to read the medical notes.
Court 2 – Goes silent and watches the expressions on the Consultant’s face which do not look very reassuring. The consultant is jaw rubbing and has two deep furrows between their brows. ‘So you found something? Can you tell me what you found please. I really need to know at this stage’.
Court 1 – Puts the notes and scan results back into the folder and looks up at Court 2. The stern expression has been replaced by something more disconcerting. The expression is now one of gentleness and compassion. ‘Your scan results were delayed because there was a shadow found on one of the images that warranted a second opinion. That second opinion has now come back and we will need to do some further testing before we can give you an exact diagnosis.’
Court 2 – Stiffens but quickly pulls together. With a racing heart and suddenly nauseous stomach ‘yes by all means do more tests but if you don’t mind I would like to hear what the ‘second opinion had to say about this shadow that was discovered.’
Court 1 – We cannot confirm anything at present and I would prefer if we had the full facts in front of us. Otherwise we are merely speculating and in my experience that is not advisable when dealing with the lives of patients.’
Court 2 – Oh for heaven’s sake Doctor, just tell me. How bad is it? I am made of strong stuff and I can take it, so please, I am giving you permission to tell me the second opinion before any other tests are done. I know you will be speaking off the record but I have to know. I can’t sit around waiting anymore.’
Court 1 – Very well but I must remind you that more tests will need to be done to confirm this diagnosis, and I am not in the habit of breaking rules that have been put in place for a very good reason.’
Court 2 – ‘Yes, I understand all that and admire your ethics. However, I would like to take responsibility for myself and in this instance I need to know what I am dealing with, or will have to deal with.’
Court 1 – Regarding Court 2 very closely, ‘your scan appears to show evidence of a large mass on your spine in the area where you have been feeling intense discomfort. At present we need to conduct further tests, including a biopsy, to determine what this mass is and how we go about treating it. Until then it would be best to not dwell on your condition too much until we know for sure’.
Court 2 – Suddenly very pale. ‘So you are saying that I have a tumour on my spine. You’re saying I have cancer?’
Court 1 – ‘We don’t know at present if the mass is malignant or not.We need to do further tests’.
Court 2 – ‘Damn the further tests, is it cancer or not? You know but you just won’t say because you want the hard evidence in front of you. Is it cancer I am dealing with?’
Court 1 – ‘The mass has all the appearances of being malignant but we have to wait for the biopsy results.’
Court 2 – Suddenly very flustered. ‘So it is cancer. How large is the mass? Is it a primary tumour or have you found cancer elsewhere?
Court 1 – The mass is quite large and we will have to wait for biopsy results to determine if it is primary or metastatic cancer. If the biopsy shows that the cells are or of the spine then it has not spread from somewhere else but if we find cells from another organ or part of the body, it means that it started somewhere else and has now spread to the spine. ‘
Court 2 – The full impact beginning to hit home. ‘My god, how bad is it? What is my prognosis?’
Court 1 – ‘Unfortunately we will not know until we do some further testing but I will warn you that the mass is very large’.
Court 2 – Sitting up straight and erect. ‘When do we start to fight it? I am not going to just lie down and die because I have been diagnosed with cancer. I will fight this with every breath in my body. There are cancer survivors and I am going to be one of them. I will prove to everyone and especially this filthy disease that they picked on the wrong person this time. I come from a family of strong-headed stubborn people and I will fight it.
Court 1 – ‘I think you should take some time to let all this digest. No treatment can start until all the tests have been completed. Saying all that, a positive attitude and outlook is a bonus and a must if you want to battle this disease. It can take you very low so you will need a strong spirit to keep going. I have seen it done before and have patients who should be dead many years ago, yet are still here. It is nothing medically that we have done,for we have done the same for the rest who unfortunately didn’t make it. Therefore it might have something to do with the individual. However, I can only vouch for the world of science and medicine. That is my realm and I really cannot help you with anything else. Would you like my receptionist to call anyone for you, a partner, friend, family member? Really you should not be alone after receiving this news. I would prefer if you got someone to collect you rather than drive home on your own.
Court 2 – With almost feverish eyes . ‘No, that won’t be necessary. My battle begins here. I am perfectly capable of driving myself home. In fact, I am going to go straight home now and take out my laptop. I will begin a Blog which will document my journey through this disease. I want to share my experience with others who are going through the same or some day in the future will. I will start a Forum on my Blog so that other cancer patients can network and support each other in their own battles. I am not just going to sit down Doctor and let this disease do as it will. Would it be possible to record some of my scans, you know a webcam so that I can put it on my Blog.’
Court 1 – Taken aback by this sudden flurry of near hysteria. ‘Really, I think you should take things slowly and quietly. You will have a lot to deal with without having to inform the whole world. I would suggest you let everything rest until the other tests have been done. Then we can talk again. You may have changed your mind about a lot of things by then. ‘
Court 2 – ‘Take things slowly and quietly?. I think not. No, this is happening to me and if I have to go through it then some good must come out of it. I can help other people, maybe eventually set up a help line or community support group. Who knows?’
Court 1 – Very well but please take things as easy as you can. My receptionist will send you out appointments in the next couple of days for your scans and biopsy. Until then, please do not hesitate to ring if you are concerned or your symptoms worsen. I am sorry for delivering such awful news and we will do everything in our power to increase your chances of survival.
Court 2 – Thank you Doctor. I presume we will be seeing a lot of each other in the coming months. You will have to forgive my very forward and direct nature. That is who I am and I will challenge and question all the way. If I get too bossy, you will have to put me back in my place.
Court 2 walks out the door rapidly and takes a wrong turn. The receptionist calls out and points to the doorway for the main Hospital Exit. Court 2 is very preoccupied and thanks the receptionist before heading for the door.
Copyright © 2006-2014 Vivien Ní Dhuinn