Thursday, 21 October 2010

Laughing at my own jokes

That'll get me into serious trouble one day, that will. For now, it's just another mildly funny episode in the nightmarish treacle pudding that today has been.

Ever get those nightmares where you know you want to do something really enjoyable, or really important, like take indeterminate children to the beach, or go swimming with someone, only to find that first you have to go to town to buy a costume, only you can't do that because another indeterminate child / pet / person has done something indescribable, so first you have to clean that up only you can't find the disinfectant; where before you know it it's almost midnight and you're still trying to reach the front door... and then you wake up.

Well today was one of those days for real. I decided pretty early on (well for me anyway) that I would go out and enjoy the sunshine rather than stay in the chill house and mope. But first of course I had to have breakfast; but before that I had to write my list of jobs for the day; but before that, I just had to peek a teensy at Facebook. Before I knew it, it was 11, no breakfast and no list. Never mind, the outside world was waiting. So eventually, dressed and slapped up, it's seemed important to straighten my hair. And then of course I had to check Facebook again... summoning all my willpower I closed it down, strode downstairs and...

it was then that I discovered the bills. Quick open, check balances and - what? Oh I need to sort that out. And then something else comes up during the same call. And oh yes, while I'm on, how about a third thing... I transferred a credit card balance over to another one. Good job, big savings to be had. Fine. And what's wonderful is I can't remember the PIN on the card that I'm transferring to but I have the PIN for the transferred out card etched on the insides of my eyelids. Until after 35 minutes of phone call, I realise that it's been so long since I've used this card, that actually, my eyelids have healed over... panic. Oh well, stick it in my purse and go try out what I think is the number in an ATM. With me so far? I know I can remember the digits, but are they in the right order...

oh and what's this other post? My Christmas card kits - only all the stuff I've ordered is out of stock and the order can't be met. Shall I go and reorder something new? I don't have that much time left and I'm a slow worker... No, I need fresh air. It can wait till later...

so now I need another going-out wee as my original going-out wee was so long ago it doesn't qualify as such any more. So I have to do another going-out wee. Never forget what your mother told you - if it was worth repeating THAT many times, it was worth remembering. Then I remember that I've left my sunglasses case in the bedroom - hooray I've saved myself an extra uncomfortable trip up the stairs. However, sunglasses case and purse don't fit into super-slip handbag. Not at the same time anyway - so now I have to transfer handbag contents over. OK fine and deep joy, look I've got £10 vouchers to use against the new jeans I need. Oh yay. And then...

handbag transfer complete, I don hat and gloves to realise that (a) the scarf is upstairs and (b) I'm not wearing the matching socks (I knitted all of them). Oh bugger. Never mind, the socks I cannot be arsed to change. But if it's as cold as it seems I will need that scarf...

Finally I am downstairs, coated, booted, bescarfed-hatted-and-gloved, and all set to go. I remove the necessary baggage off the scooter and manoeuver it over and out the front door....

and I've forgotten the scooter key in the other handbag. I go fetch.

With a feeling of utter blissful relief, I am finally ready to go. I get the scooter down off the front path onto the pavement. I lock the wheels back on, exchange a cheery wave and hello with my lovely neighbour over the road. By now it is a good hour and a half later than I had anticipated leaving the house. And what's more, while the house is freezing, outside is balmy, even the breeze is warm. So I shed the scarf and hat - the gloves remain coz you won't believe what a chill factor can be kicked up at 4 miles per hour. Eager to get going, anticipating the wind in my hair, I turn the key in the lock and

realise I've left the battery in the kitchen where it was charging. I huff and swear and lug the thing, step by simply painful step until it is on the machine. And then - FINALLY - I am off. And the breeze kisses the PIN number magically back onto the insides of my eyelids. Happy.

So what's this got to do with laughing at my own jokes? Well not a lot really. Except that in order to get into town, I have to cross a particularly busy and dangerous roundabout, under which there is an underpass thoughtfully provided and maintained by the council. And each time I go to use it, I smile to myself (inwardly I hope - but possibly not, I do catch people looking worriedly in my direction and cross to the other side of the road) and ask myself - stairs or slope? Almost every time that I'm on the scooter I choose the slope - well ok 100% of the time on the scooter if I'm honest - but always I ask myself the question, stairs or slope. Today, I answer myself sensibly - slope of course - and off I go.

Coming home, arriving in the same location, the traditional internal banter continues apace. Stairs or slope? Slope you mad old bat. OK you mardy mare, stairs it is. Weeeeee - down the slope. Well don't expect me to get it right every time *rolls eyes*. At the bottom, I catch up with a couple of youngsters throwing rechargeable lighter cases down which I have to concentrate to dodge. Unawares, I pass the cyclist who has pulled over to one side to allow me to pass - until she says "you're welcome". Belatedly, I thank her; and then ponder upon the possibility of intended sarcasm? Maybe? in her tone. Kicking myself (again inwardly, I can't have people calling me the scary scooter lady) for not simply answering with an expletive, and smiling at myself for my forbearance - well ok I just didn't think fast enough! - I continue and conclude my trip through the underpass. Only to discover that, having returned home by an alternative route, I am now on the wrong side of the road, heading back into town, and the entire subway journey was utterly and completely pointless and now has to be done in reverse. Actually I decide to turn around and do it frontwards, thankful that Young Master isn't there to remind me that I've always told him I have eyes in the back of my head.

And yes *smug smile* of course I forgot to transfer the money-off vouchers into the handbag I took with me.

Friday, 8 October 2010

Just a perfect day...

On Wednesday, Great Chief White Hair took the day off. It rained - well it absolutely chucked it down - as we packed a few things for Young Master's sleepover, and got ourselves ready for the day and evening. Got in the car, and drove to Mum's to pick up the wheelchair, and sister-in-law to drop off the sleepover stuff; then off to London.

The weather was perfect, a crisp autumn day with so many layers of clouds gadding across the sky on so many different levels, but all against a deep background of every blue imaginable. Looking through the sunroof it felt as though I could fall upwards into the deeps. The road was familiar, and urban, but nothing could be boring today.

We arrived at the O2 arena in good time for a very late 4.30 lunch. We chose Garfunkels from the many different choices, and although I tried to eat healthily, well it was a bit of a challenge! But we chose well, and it lasted us for the rest of the day.

After lunch, we went for a walk - well ok I was on the wheels! - and we did the circuit of the arena exterior. It was a real education - 12 ft high Norfok Reeds on the banks of the Thames in the heart of London? At least 4 different kinds of seagulls roosting and rooting together on the mud flats? The terraces in the river floor where the tide had dropped, the calmness of the scene which was heightened by the small craft and water taxis skimming along the river and not subverted either by the aircraft taking off from City Airport - all these seem to add to the perfection somehow. Sitting looking out across the river, feeling so very much at home in that way you do when something is incredibly familiar, yet so very strange and new at the same time. Listening to my idea of heaven - traffic, boats, planes, birds calling, the wind in the rushes, gulls arguing over a fish one has caught but another will eat, the lap of the water.

Well I know where I want to live when I win the lottery!

And then onwards and back inside for the Main Event. Being in a wheelchair does have its uses - early entry and being allowed into the VIP lounge being one of them! By now I was nervous, and excited, with that child's "is this really happening and am I really here?" butterfly flapping its way around my insides. When was the last time I looked forward to something this much, unconditionally, unhesitatingly, with my life-and-soulmate by my side? When was the last time we talked, non-stop, for what, 6 hours? And laughed so completely, so unaware, so uncluttered.

And then the band came on, and I stomped, banged, sang and sang, and it was just me and them and what, how many thousand other people (but they didn't matter). And laughed and smiled, and was joyous.

If you were to ask me what the meaning of true love is, I'd say it's when someone gives up their busy time to take you somewhere they don't particularly want to go, to see something they don't particularly want to see, without ever complaining that they will have to look after you even more than normal for days afterwards, and smiling and laughing, making it one of the best, most perfect days of your life.