Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Happy Holidays


My anxiety seemed to get worse by the day. Watching repeats of the Two Ronnies, Morcambe and Wise and Dad’s Army, all I could really think about was the next blood test on January 25th. Felt I couldn’t wait that long, so without telling my mother, I went off to see if I could get an appointment with the village doctor, but he was off until January 4th. I walked about the village seeing the whole ghastly thing unfolding again.


Use hair shampoo for the first time since August. It’s coming back slowly, pepper and salt now. I think I’ll keep it like that, won’t bother with any more hair colour, a small sacrifice, a mark of change.


On one of my walks around the village, stopped at the lower church yard across the road from the church, expanding into the fields around. It’s much bigger than when I used to go in there at night to snog boys and drink cider. Looked for the graves of two locals I knew well who died in the last two years, Dorothy who always went to the same hotel in Weston Super Mare for her holidays, and Iris who was an expert with horses, dogs and poultry. Neither of them had any flowers on their plots at all. Stood there rather aimlessly, saying hello.

Someone had inscribed on a tomb stone: “Without you there is no perfect day.” A bit defeatist I thought. My sympathy is now squarely with the dead – at least you unhappy mourner, are still alive and kicking.

On the way back visited an elderly woman I know from the church. She had quarrelled with her son over Christmas because her loo broke down and he tried to fix it, but made it worse.

“I told him to leave it alone” she said, “but he would have ago. I was not there to stop him as I was out with the rabbit.”

I picture her and the rabbit making the slow bus ride from Codsall into Wolverhampton for the sales and coming back like my mother and me, complaining that there was really “nothing in the shops this year.”

Bed at 11pm. I have had quite enough of 2010 and don’t have the energy to even wave it goodbye.


I didn’t mention my anxieties to my mother until I was leaving when I said, “of course it could be anything, indigestion, wind, or muscular.”

“Well, you always do use your muscles a lot,” she said disapprovingly her chin going into her neck, as if that was some particular foible of mine, always out lifting weights or getting involved with construction work.

Back to London. Being a Sunday the roads were quiet but I got back in exactly the same time as usual. No matter what speed I do it always seems to take three hours. Must be something to do with relativity.

Spent another three hours exactly unpacking the car and sorting out presents, sales shopping and all the left over food my mother had unloaded onto me.

Found an Xmas card from another Linda, my third, but I only know two Lindas. Also a card with a double signature saying, “I bet this is a surprise for you!” It might be if I could read who they are. Another friend had sent me an e mail thanking me for the presents I sent to her children. She said my presents were, “Always thoughtful,” and Timothy Elephant has been a prized toy ever since they got it. Unfortunately he didn’t come from me. The last time I gave them a present in person the little boy went off screaming. I wonder if they think some other friend is really bad at sending appropriate gifts?


Maisie is in a big sulk. She did this the last time we came home from Codsall. My mother says she likes the stairs. I think she likes everything in my mother’s house, particularly the arm chairs, the large warm rooms and the 1970s gas fires. She sat with her nose in one until it was turned on, then lay spread out on the rug, looking like a really happy cat should. She took a great interest in my mother's large, flat screen TV but ignores my small portable set. I haven’t got any squirty cream either.

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