Today I did Chemo #6. Two weeks of tablets now and it’s over. They told me to cancel the March review; they’ll book me another CT scan for May (to be sure, to be sure, as we say) and we would have a review later that month – this is on the 1st year anniversary of diagnosis.

I feel healthy. I’ve become all- too-adept at scanning the gaunt, wan looks of fellow patients and knowing which ones are safe bets for the dead pool. I feel like a healthy fraud, which is not a complaint I can assure you.

So, out cancer, out. I have no spirit of destruction within me. I ban it with chains of iron (well, platinum).

Brian Eno & David Byrne – The Jezebel Spirit (1981)

Did you know that if all the pure platinum mined in the world was put into a swimming pool it would only come up to your ankles? Gold would fill the pool three times over.

Mustn’t get too cocky, mind.

Eno/Byrne took the title for that album “My Life In The Bush of Ghosts” from a Nigerian novel – the fear of a young child left alone among the spirits of the forest. I should be more careful what books I bring with me to clinic – today I read Alice Sebold’s “The Lovely Bones” cover to cover and felt pretty sad as a result. Good book, reasonably-well written, not especially clever but moving. Tears were shed.

A celebrity death and a funeral caught my eye. The death from breast cancer – Rose Gray, cook and co-owner of the River Cafe restaurant. True, it gave us Jamie Oliver, but next time you stir some pesto into a bowl of pasta or use a marinated anchovy bear in mind how much she and Ruth Rogers did for Italian/Tuscan food in the UK food scene.

Then the funeral in Dublin of Eugene Lambert – the puppeteer behind the kids TV programme ‘Wanderly Wagon’, watched by me and my kind on RTE on Saturday afternoons in the late 60s. This anecdote comes from the funeral service: Mr Lambert once met the German ambassador. “Do you have any children?” he asked. “Nine,” replied Mr Lambert. “Never mind,” said the diplomat. “There is still time.”

Bit of an Irish theme this weekend. Rugby result of course but also article in Observer about the current Irish financial crisis and the return of mass emigration (Canada is popular) to younger generation (the ‘tiger cubs’, not sure that’s a compliment but then neither was “Nipple” in the 80s – new irish professional person living in england). Immigration is hard-wired into Irish culture, it said. It may not be the ideal solution when it’s forced onto a reluctant population, but there’s no doubt the influence it’s given Irish Culture since the 1840s.

Prosperity wasn’t sitting too well in the past 10 or so years with the Ireland I was seeing. People who weren’t themselves well-travelled suddenly encountering immigrants from Africa and Eastern Europe was hoping for too much. They’d learnt feck all from our own history and were as xenophobic as you’d expect. Add to that the gombeen back-scratching between property developers and the Government – well they could keep it imho.