Category Archives: Davie Police

So, it’s goodnight and goodbye to Davie Police

Last night was the last night of Civilian Police Academy with Davie Police (sob, sob). It was a fitting finale to what has been a splendidly entertaining and informative ten weeks.

You might recall that a few weeks ago we had a simulated training session in which I managed to “kill” two innocent passers-by, and have myself shot as well, before I got to kill the bad-guy. Well, last night we did simulated traffic stops. The police training officers took the roles of the motorists and we were split up into pairs to get the driver’s license from the driver, write the ticket and then let them drive off without anyone getting hurt. You can guess can’t you? It didn’t go well for most of us. My partner did a great job of getting the driver’s license, of getting back to “our” car and writing the ticket before returning to the stopped car and getting shot as he didn’t move the driver away from the gun which was visible next to the seat, neither did my partner tell me there was a gun in the car, so once I saw the driver bringing up a gun and shooting my partner I got my gun out and fired but, by then, my partner was “dead”. How did the other participants fare? Not too well on the whole. One young female participant was totally phased when the “driver” having been asked where he was going replied, “Home with you I think”. Evidently this kind of response is not unusual for either women or men but can create a change in the officer’s mindset which can lead to them not reacting quickly enough if the driver pulls a gun. On the way home my wife and I saw a traffic stop on the other side of the road and were avidly watching to see whether the officer carried out the stop in the approved “safe” manner – he did.

So, that’s the end of the course and empty Tuesday evenings now seem to stretch out ahead of me. What am I going to do with myself?

Chief Lynn was explaining that the police were thinking of creating Citizens’ Patrols so maybe, just maybe, there will be something to do by next year!

That apart life goes on pretty much the same. I’m still doing job searches on a daily basis and applying for an average of around three per day. So far I’ve had one rejection, from Comcast, which was phrased so nicely that it was almost an apology for not employing me – well not quite but it was clearly written to not cause me to feel so downhearted as to throw myself into the river! A jobs fair beckons tomorrow so we’ll see what comes of that. I have to say that I’m finding the concentration involved to be very tiring. Maybe that’s good as it at least shows my stamina is increasing.

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Riding along with Davie Police and Memories of Victor Prooth

If you’ve been following my blog you’ll know that for the past couple of months my wife and myself have been attending Davie Police’s Civilian Police Academy and thoroughly enjoying ourselves. Yesterday was a sort of “extra” as I got to go on a ride-along with Officer Rivera between 2p.m. and midnight and I have to say I was really impressed.

Officer Rivera was apologising for a boring shift when we’d been driving around our beat for an hour or so with nothing happening other than him running license tags as we drove. Riding passenger while the driver uses a laptop while driving at around 45 m.p.h. is an interesting experience! No longer will I judge someone’s keyboard skills by words per minute, instead it will be words per mile! Our first call was a young lady who was having problems with her husband and wanted Officer Rivera to make him leave the house. Seemingly this can’t be done in Florida without a warrant as the husband lived in the house and the young lady admitted she wasn’t in fear of any injury, she was just fed up with the arguments and the neighbours commenting on the number of times the police were being called to the house. We went to speak with the husband but he wasn’t home and wasn’t back when we returned to check later on. Our next call was to a possible burglary in progress. We got to drive with the lights flashing and the siren wailing and I got to see how the queues of traffic look from the other side of the wind shield. Cool is the word which comes to mind. Naturally the sirens etc. were turned off before we got to the burglary just so that we wouldn’t alert any burglars who were on the premises. Within seconds of our arriving three other cars arrived and the four officers quickly went to investigate – naturally I stayed in the car as, even though I’d signed to say there would be no law suit in the event of my being injured or killed, they really wanted me to be safe! It turned out that the house was empty as it had been repossessed by the bank and the window and door had been left ajar. It was really impressive to see how the officers quickly swung into action despite the potential danger to themselves had their been anyone in there with a gun.

After the burglary we were sent to help protect the route being taken by President Obama on his way from a rally in Hollywood to, I presume, Fort Lauderdale airport. Happily the most dangerous thing which happened while we were positioned to help block traffic was almost being clipped by a lorry and trailer which had very little more than the absolute minimum needed to make a right turn – when I say little more than the minimum I mean there was about half an inch between us. When we saw the sergeant later he explained that he’d sent us so that I could tell people “I helped protect the president”. I told him I’d already sent just that text message to my wife who had been at the rally,

The next call was to inform a citizen that a neighbouring police force had found his missing wallet. The owner of the wallet wasn’t home and the people who were there had no idea where he was, or when he’d return, nor how to get in touch with him other than to describe the kind of place he worked and locate it somewhere along one of the major roads in the neighbouring town. Odd? I thought so, especially as they claimed to be related to the owner of the wallet.

Our next call was to a car fire. Amazingly the owner of the car had parked it with the engine smoking and just left it. It seems he did that quite often so the fire was something of a surprise to him. The fire service arrived within a minute or so of our arrival and began extinguishing the fire. The police began evacuating the public from their homes in case the car exploded and set off explosions in the other cars parked around it. Some of the residents weren’t too happy at being evacuated and clearly saw no potential danger from up to 100 gallons of fuel going off and ripping half a dozen cars to pieces showering hot shards of metal on the surrounding area. The fire service soon doused the fire, and I have to say at, to my untrained eye, some personal risk as they were standing next to the car and if the fuel tank had exploded there was nowhere for them to go. Once the fire was out we were off to our next call which just happened to be two streets further down.

This call was actually a sad one as a pet dog had been run over and killed as a man was parking his car on his drive. Man A was walking two dogs each on a long extending leash. One dog was ahead of him and the second dog behind. The driver saw the man walking and saw the dog ahead of him and waited until the man had crossed the drive after which the driver proceeded to park his car without seeing the second dog, or the more or less fully extended leash which meant the dog was well behind the man who wasn’t looking at it. There was no street lighting. Both men were distraught, one because he had lost a “family member” and the other because he had accidentally killed a neighbour’s dog. Officer Rivera was really good as he got the facts of the case and calmed the situation to the point where the two men shook hands and each accepted that, tragic though the incident was, there had been a genuine accident. Did it need to be reported to the police? I would have thought not but I imagine the man walking the dog’s initial reaction was that the driver should be punished, although he accepted the officer’s decision that this was a genuine accident without a criminal offence having occurred.

Our next call was for a potential burglary in progress at a local warehouse. You guessed the lights were flashing and the siren wailing as we hurried along relatively dark roads (street lighting is pretty limited in these parts from my point of view). Before we got to the warehouse area the siren was off and as we drove into the warehousing all the lights were off so that we were driving at around 40 mph guided only by star light and light pollution, and yet I had no doubts that I was perfectly safe. I was told to stay in the car so that I couldn’t be taken hostage. We were there as back up to the officer who had noticed that the glass at the bottom of one of the doors had been smashed. It wasn’t a big hole and certainly I couldn’t have wiggled through but, let’s say, someone aged up around 14 years might have been able to get through it, and both officers approached with guns drawn and flash-lights probing ahead in an attempt to see through the door. Once again their courage was evident. Yes they were wearing bullet proof body armour but their heads weren’t protected and it was all too easy to imagine a shot from inside the warehouse finding a target. Gradually it became apparent that the officers could perceive no immediate danger. Two other officers arrived as did a member of staff from the warehouse together with, I presume, the owner/manager. The would-be burglars had done enough damage to the door to stop it opening from the outside so it became necessary with the owner/manager’s consent to break the window enough for a man to get through. This took a lot of doing, the glass would simply not fracture and fall to pieces. Anyway our next call came through while this was going on and we were off to investigate a car burglary which had occurred the previous night and which had just been reported despite the owner having discovered the theft earlier in the morning.

When we got to the house where the owner of the car lived we got the story that the owner of the car had discovered his passenger door ajar that morning and discovered that his wallet and credit cards had been stolen from the unlocked car along with his iPod. The owner said that there had been no fraud on the cards which I found to be amazing, particularly as a friend had her cards stolen on Saturday night and there were a stream of transactions on them within minutes. Anyway the owner of the car had a photocopy of all his credit cards and his driver license – it made things a lot easier in terms of reporting and is probably an idea worth taking up. The neighbour’s car had also been opened and the contents had been strewn around but nothing had been taken. It all seemed very odd to me.

That was our last call of the evening except for the local resident who was worried that something was happening and approached us for information while Officer Rivera was completing the reporting. There was a lot of completing to do as he hadn’t had the opportunity to complete the reports on the traffic accident which not only required the predictable data but also a sketch map of the incident.

That was our last call of the night and so we fuelled up the car before Officer Rivera dropped me off home at the end of an interesting shift.

What did I learn from the experience? Well, first of all that police officers are taking in and responding to a stream of information which wasn’t evident to me as we “just drove around”. I also learned that sometimes an officer on road patrol has no specific task and has to use his own professional judgement. It might be chasing something down, it might be making a visible presence in an area, it might be checking traffic or looking for speeding traffic, but at other times the brown stuff hits the fan and the officers walk into potentially life-threatening situations without seeming to give it a second thought. I also discovered that really good people-skills are required when it is just impossible to do what the citizen wants, but that, when possible, an officer will try to do whatever he can to help. Did I enjoy my ride-along shift? Yes, I certainly did. Was I impressed by Officer Rivera? Yes, I was. Yet again Davie Police impressed me.

Tomorrow is our ninth of the ten sessions of the course and we are on the shooting range. Neither my wife, nor myself, have ever previously fired a real gun if I discount the air rifles I used to shoot on the “rifle range” when the fair came to town during Barnsley Feast Week a half-century ago. It should be an interesting and enjoyable experience!

Almost as a post-script, the mention of Barnsley Feast Week reminds me of the day I got me GCE results. I’d arranged to meet my friend, Frank Lee, on the market which was closed because of the fair. I remember it was a grey overcast day with drizzle which was a good fit for our mood as we plodded towards Holgate Grammar School to discover the worst. I’m glad to report that we didn’t discover the worst – we’d actually done rather well, much better than either we or the school had expected.

I have to add a PPS as I’ve just discovered that the teacher who probably had the biggest impact on my education at Holgate, Victor Prooth, died last year. This article describes “Vic’s” teaching style as unorthodox. To those of us who had the pleasure of being in his classes the word “unorthodox” is a massive understatement. My class first encountered him at the end of our first year at Holgate. Once we were seated to his satisfaction he declaimed from his desk, “Gentlemen, you will have heard, I’m a bastard. It’s true.” We were both stunned and undeniably impressed. Here was a teacher who used the same kind of language that we did. It set the tone for our relationship with Vic through the next four years. He had our respect, we knew where we stood with him but none of us stood in fear of unfair punishment or retribution. If you got caught misbehaving in class you were simply invited to stand in front of his desk and look at an imaginary painting on the back wall of the classroom before being asked whether you wanted top-spin or back-spin before he clouted you on the back of the head. He didn’t have to do it often, and I don’t remember anyone ever complaining amongst ourselves. I remember that, on one occasion, having gained knowledge of my interest in Grand Prix racing he made sure there was a copy of Speed Six in the class library and then drew my attention to it. One other memory of Vic which I would like to share was an event which happened to a friend of mine whom Vic, as he did with many of us, called by a nickname, in this case “Freddie” after Freddie Jones the actor. Anyway, on this occasion Freddie was walking along the top corridor by the art room when Mr Prooth came along in the opposite direction. Freddie knew that he had been spotted and had no choice but to acknowledge the meeting. The conversation went something like this:

VP: Ah! Freddie! Have you done that homework for me yet?

Freddie: No Sir.

VP: Why not Freddie? Have you never had an event you will remember all your life?

Freddie failed to spot the trap which was being cunningly laid.

Freddie: [With enthusiasm] No, Sir. That’s it, Sir. I’ve never had one, Sir.

VP: [Using pantomime villain voice] Then come with me, Freddie.

At this point Mr Prooth, followed by an increasingly nervous Freddie set off in the direction of Mr Prooth’s classroom: Freddie was surprised when they didn’t go into the classroom but instead stopped at the top of the stairs where, according to Freddie, Mr Prooth grabbed him by the ankles and dangled him over the bannister at the top fo the staircase where all the jumble which was then carried by school boys in their blazer pockets began to fall on the heads of the unsuspecting pupils using the staircase.

VP: Will you remember this event for the rest of your life Freddie?

Freddie: Yes, Sir!. I will, Sir! For the rest of my life, Sir!

VP: So, now you can write my essay can you Freddie?

Freddie: Yes, Sir!

VP: And when can I have my essay Freddie?

Freddie: Tomorrow, Sir. Tomorrow.

The conversation was at an end and Mr Prooth put Freddie back on his feet before walking off leaving my friend to collect his belongings from the four flights of stairs down which they had tumbled. No-one thought this behaviour to really be worthy of comment other than to find it amusing and effective. Freddie wasn’t complaining about it when he told me the tale.

Victor Prooth was definitely one of a kind!

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This and that

This is not really much more than an update about how I’m progressing, my developing social life and my job searches.

First of all then, my progress. I think this is going quite well. I’m currently sporting a fairly unique post-chemo hairstyle the like of which has possibly only ever been seen previously on either a fashion week cat walk or at a punk concert. It’s a kind of post-punk trying to meet hippy sort of thing lol It’s definitely coming back darker than it was before it went. My stamina is also increasing though I still need more sleep and rest than I used to do, but at least, now, I can usually manage without an afternoon nap.

My social life also seems to be on the up, I’m glad to say. Last weekend saw my wife and myself attend a thank you party given by Bill Penzer for those involved in his most recent book “How to Cope Better When You Have Cancer“. It was a very pleasant party and the people there were interesting for many reasons. Bill was kind enough to give those of us who are mentioned in the book our own copy. I haven’t started on the book yet as I’ve been finishing off the one I was reading, but, tonight seems like it will see me open the covers and go for it. In actual fact I did have a bit of a dip into the book as Bill had marked the pages on which I got a mention. I’d already seen those parts as he’d submitted them to me for approval, but it was still something of a shock to read them again and discover just where I had been only those short months ago – an emotional experience. One thing which did strike me at the party was being referred to, along with several others, as a “survivor”. As I said to Bill, I hadn’t really thought of myself in that way. To me a survivor is someone who comes through something such as a train wreck. Bill was quick to point out that he sees cancer pretty much as a train wreck, but my point was that I expected to be cured, that I, personally, wasn’t suffering from a life threatening disease as some of you are, that I was told I would be cured and I have been. On that basis although my life has been significantly impacted by the cancer, and I really wouldn’t wish to downplay that impact, for me it was never life-threatening and so I don’t really see how I am entitled to call myself as “a survivor”. There’s emotional stuff in there somewhere I think and, yes, it is quite possible that I’m unknowingly choosing to create a perspective which allows me to avoid that emotional impact.

My wife I are still going along to Davie Police’s Civilian Police Academy and thoroughly enjoying it. This week we were taken through a homicide investigation by the investigating officer Detective John Stokes. The investigation was fascinating and made all the more so by the, shall we say, especially unique, style of the presentation. Looking ahead to Sunday I get to join one of Davie’s finest for his shift from 2 p.m. until midnight. Some people on the course have already had their shift in the car and were tremendously enthusiastic about the experience and what they had learned from it. Hopefully I will have a similarly interesting experience without anyone deciding to take a shot at us!

As a measure of my increasing stamina my wife and myself have been able to commit to going to a bonfire party this weekend, with friends Melvyn and Lisa, to mark the failure of The Gunpowder Plot and which is often called Guy Fawke’s Night as effigies of Guy are traditionally burned on the bonfire. I always associate Bonfire Night with frost, cold winds and a smoke bedraggled landscape on the next morning; with wrapping up in woolly hat, scarf, gloves, two pairs of socks and a duffle coat (doubt there will be many dressed like that despite being in autumnal Florida!) while eating roast potatoes made by Jackie’s mum, Mrs. Taylor, wrapped up in serviettes so that they wouldn’t burn our fingers while melted butter would dribble down each chin. By today’s standards I suppose the fireworks were relatively weedy affairs but I still remember the excitement as either my dad or Jackie’s dad would fasten a spinning wheel to the outside of the toilet door – I ought to point out that back then no-one in our street had an indoor toilet – and we all waited with almost bated breath to see whether it had benn affixed too tightly in which case it wouldn’t spin, too loosely in which case it would fly off and gyrate around the area, or whether it had been fastened just right and would spin away happily. Sadly out of the two families who got together for the fires only two of us are now alive and if I’d had my cancer a few years earlier there might only have been one.

My job hunting continues apace and I have to admit that I find it quite tiring. I’m applying for a wide range of jobs so each application needs to have it’s own resume and to produce a good customised one takes quite a considerable time. Then there’s the time taken to fill in the online applications. Usually this goes well but then there are instances such as today with the Comcast site where having completed each field on the form I pressed submit and got a message telling me that I couldn’t submit the application until I had filled in two additional fields. The only problem is that those two fields aren’t on that form. Yes, I’m absolutely certain they aren’t. I looked. I looked again, and again. I did a search with CTRL + F and the only time the relevant words came up were in the error messages. Is there a help function. You betcha, of course there is. Does it work? You betcha, of course it doesn’t there’s a Java error. Is there a contact us either on the job ad or on the job form. Of course not. So it occurs to me that maybe the problem is because I’m using Chrome and I decide to try the same thing with Internet Explorer. The problem (well you knew there was going to be a problem didn’t you?) was that going into the site again I needed to log in. Now, I don’t know about you but my log ins are pretty much variations on a theme so, even though I couldn’t remember what they were for this particular site, actually I couldn’t even remember them for this particular site, I was happy to give it a go and guess what they probably were. My guesses were futile but I wasn’t going to be outdone. “I’ll do it again for a different email account”, I thought to myself, so I did but I wasn’t required to log in, or create a password before starting the application so I was no better off than before. This is a major company and there is no direct way of contacting them about this. Other than that I applied, amongst others to citi a while ago and today had my telephone interview. I may, or may not, hear from their “local recruiter” in the next seven to ten days to take my application to the next level. So far since starting my job hunt I’ve usually applied for two or three jobs most days and I’m hoping that some of them are now sufficiently far advanced to be looked at by a real person.

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Filed under Bill Penzer, Bonfire Night, Cancer, Cancerville, chemo, chemotherapy, Davie Police, Guy Fawkes Night, Hodgkins Lymphoma

The Hood and The Dark House

Yes, I know this sounds like the title from a detective story written in the late nineteenth or early twentieth centuries, but it’s not. No, it’s what happened to me yesterday evening.

Some of you may know that my wife and myself signed up for Davie Police’s Civilian Police Academy, but, what you may not know, is just how much we, and I suspect everyone else, are enjoying it. Last night was as good as anything we’ve enjoyed previously but because we were more involved it was even better.Last night we met Sergeant Choquette’s Training Team and we got to play with them, or maybe it was them playing with us. Clearly a major concern for any US police department is the proper use of firearms: a wrong decision and someone who shouldn’t be dead could be. Last night we got some insight into some of the training which Sergeant Choquette puts his officers through.

The hood is exactly that. As the trainee we stood in the centre of the floor and a large hood was lowered over our heads. Our instructions were to react to what we saw when the hood was removed. We were told we could stand still, we could move, we could do whatever we wanted, we could even shoot the hand gun if we wanted. So there I was, standing still in the darkness and wondering just what would confront me when the hood went up. The “what” turned out to be a tall guy who approached me very rapidly gesticulating wildly and talking loudly. You can imagine I felt threatened as that’s the nature of the training so, up came my gun and I pulled the trigger but nothing happened. The guy who was approaching me had, by now, got very close and started bending down and reaching close to my gun as he told me he was looking for his dog and it was about so high. How could he carry on telling me this when I’d shot him? I didn’t know but as nobody else knew I’d pulled the trigger and the guy was no threat I kept quiet about that one! Down came the hood again and when it went up this time there was the same guy facing me with the gun raised to shoulder height and pointing straight at me. You can imagine my gun came up faster than John Wayne’s ever did and I pulled the trigger several times but nothing happened. Eventually someone said I should have fired and I explained I had. It turned out I’d left the safety catch on. So, current score is one dead member of the public and one dead me. Not doing too well so far was I? Now for scenario 3. The hood goes up and there’s the same guy dragging someone who is clearly a hostage across the front of me. Naturally my gun comes up and I fire. Equally naturally I hit the hostage as I’m still shooting John Wayne style and not really aiming! The scenario continues and eventually I manage to make a head shot at the kidnapper. Final score is four dead and only one of them was a bad guy!

For the dark house exercise I worked as one of a pair and our assignment was simple. There’s been an alarm at a house which is in darkness and our task was to go in, armed with handguns and flashlights and clear the house of any intruders. Somehow it just didn’t feel as it looks on t.v. We heard the sound of guns being fired but hadn’t a clue where the sound came from. We managed to catch one of the intruders before the exercise was over but I think, in a real situation both my partner and myself would have been killed long before that moment. The officers we spoke to said that this is the kind of scenario which happens to them on a fairly regular basis although they would normally send for a SWAT team to clear the house.

Once again the officers of Town of Davie Police impressed with their enthusiasm for their job, their knowledge and skills, their desire to do a good job, their desire to get it right, and their desire that the public understands what it is they are doing.

This course is becoming something like a good book. You know when you are enjoying reading it so much that you just want it to go on and on and yet the nearer you come to the end you regret that it is going to finish? Well, that’s how I’m beginning to feel about this course. Last night was session five out of ten so I’m already beginning to think of life without something to do on a Tuesday evening. Whoever thought I might be sad NOT to be going to a police station?

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Police, Pizza and Cookies

Yesterday was the second night of The Town of Davie Police Civilian Police Academy and, just like last week, it was really enjoyable. Officer Weissberger did a session on traffic and road traffic accident investigation which was fascinating: the session included using radar and laser speed guns. The speed gun session was great. Officer Weissberger’s motor cycle was parked alongside the road, he was in uniform and there were twenty or so civilians gathered around with three at a time lining up the speed guns on approaching cars. It was hardly surprising that we didn’t catch anyone breaking the speed limit although we did see quite a few cars slow down as they spotted us. Perhaps the most surprising thing was that we didn’t cause an accident simply because of people slowing down and staring at us instead of watching the road. One of the big issues on the roads of Davie is the introduction of traffic cameras at intersections to identify vehicles turning right on a red light without stopping first. (For those who aren’t aware Florida law allows a car turning right at an intersection to do so against a red light provided they stop first and the way is clear.) You can imagine that these lights aren’t really popular as they are identifying a lot of people who haven’t changed their driving from treating these intersections as “Yield” rather than “Stop”, but, prior to the introduction of these cameras Davie Police were attending around 400 accidents a month, now they are only having to attend around 100 a month. I found that a totally amazing statistic.

Next up were Officers Bishop and Vardakis from the K-9 team who explained about what they do and how they work with their dogs. Fascinating stuff. The demonstration was everything you’d expect with the “criminal” running and being  caught by the dog which hung so determinedly that the officer was able to lift it off the ground. Likewise the narcotics search where the dog was able to successfully identify the bag which contained the narcotics. What was surprising was when we were told that the dogs view all this as “play” and do it for the reward of a bouncing tennis ball! The dogs live with the family of their respective officer and are a part of the family. Seemingly the dogs recognise, and respond, to the difference between “home” and “work”. It seems that American bred German Shepherds are no longer suitable for police work and the Davie Police use Belgian Malinois instead.

In terms of my recover from the Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and the chemo therapy things have improved so much that I failed to remember my appointment with the oncologist so I’ll have to wait another month or so before I can see him and make a plan for the future. Strange that this should be the first appointment I’ve missed and that it is also the first after I’ve been declared clean – perhaps part of me is already in denial!

Another positive note is the Yorkshire County Cricket Club achieved promotion. Well done!

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Filed under Cancer, chemo, chemotherapy, Davie Police, Hodgkins Lymphoma

An evening with the police

My wife and myself had an interesting evening with Davie Police on Tuesday. No, we weren’t their guests in the sense of being arrested! Our local police force runs a “Civilian Police Academy” which runs for three hours per week for ten weeks and it looks as though it will be really interesting and enjoyable. This week we met the senior officers, Chief Lynn, Major Moyer, Captains Engle and Squarini, and last, but by no means least, Sergeant Choquette. The thing which really struck me about the evening was the quality of the relationships between all these officers. There was lots of banter and leg-pulling but, underpinning it all, was a sense of the respect they held for each other. This first week was mainly admin and a tour of the station, but future weeks will include the K-9 dog handlers doing a demonstration,with other sessions by the Dive Team, the Crisis Response Team, the Special Response Team, the opportunity the use the firing range and handle a variety of weapons and a chance to go on patrol in a squad car. All this and much, much more as the saying goes.

In terms of my health I continue to improve. My hair is growing back but is definitely darker than it was before I had chemo, strangely it also seems to be softer, at least it does on my eyebrows and beard. Strangely also, considering that the hair on top of my head is coming back darker is the fact that my beard came back white but is now turning grey! I was also surprised that, as hair grew back on my head and my body, the hair which had survived the months of chemo fell out. I hadn’t been expecting that at all as I just thought there’d be a mix of new and old as it were. It’s also strange to see the pattern in which the hair is growing back on my limbs. Have you ever walked through an area newly planted with trees? No? Well, the trees are planted at roughly equidistant intervals and in rows which track in straight lines at 90 degrees from you but also along diagonals, and this was something I hadn’t previously realised as I’d thought the hairs just kind of grew at random. My mental functioning is also returning although I haven’t yet been able to crack the website to book a written test to apply for my learner’s driver license here in Florida. Physically my stamina is also coming along well. We have a Wii fit and I’ve been using that for a little over a week. It’s not particularly intense which suits me fine but I can repeat things if they go badly and can see the improvement not only in my endurance but also in my scores though I think I am still quite a long way from having either the strength or stamina to make a trip to the gym worthwhile. I still have crazy sleep patterns which see me sleeping for a couple of hours at night and then being awake until 6 a.m. or later and then sleeping through ’till around noon. I always used to find it difficult to sleep during daylight hours but not now. The afternoon naps have dropped off though.

I’ve also started looking at job ads. I found one I’d quite like but couldn’t get enough of my brain together to write the c.v. I hate writing the introductory paragraph: I can write the damned paragraph easily for other people but when it comes to writing my own it’s a totally different matter and I hesitate and hack words around and then delete everything and thus the process starts all over again without really going anywhere. Doh!!!

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Filed under Cancer, chemo, chemotherapy, Davie Police, Hodgkins Lymphoma