Ham, Egg, Chips and Bingo

I haven’t eaten ham since 1981 or thereabouts, but I ate a bit today. After all, I am a vegetarian.

Only a small bit but… And I must say it was worth it for the chips. The chips were super. And there was no vegetarian option. I decided to continue being a vegetarian whenever possible but, on such outings, for the sake of getting on with people and not-being-a-pain-in-the-arse (which I have been, all my life) not to make a fuss.

Who should I apologise to?

I am still a bit weird, having been ill for a week. Double, simultaneous ill, in fact. Only yesterday did I begin to feel that I was moving at maybe ninety-five percent normal speed, which gave me the confidence to venture out of the house and wobble down the road to the bus stop, there to meet a lady called Jenny and someone else who was giving us a lift. My first meeting of the Over Fifties Club.

Apparently there is also an Over Sixties Club. This confused me as I couldn’t see anyone at the Over Fifties Club under seventy. Are they bitter rivals, I wondered? Like those two gangs in West Side Story? Does the Over Sixties poach members from the Over Fifties, or do the Over Fifties all also belong to the Over Sixties?

As you can tell, I’m still not quite back to normal. One of my illnesses was a kind of super-cough/bronchitis or possibly asthma thing. This has meant being unable to breathe and lie down at the same time, which in turn has meant a week of nights alternating between a moggie-infested bed upstairs and a very uncomfortable sofa downstairs, propping myself up with various arrangements of pillow and cushions and trying to sleep sitting up. I have not had much sleep and last night I don’t remember getting any sleep.

So I was not in the best mental shape to be sitting in a vast, chilly seafront pub, looking out through the frosted glass patterns at distorted images of passing cars and learning to play Bingo.

My fellow Over Fifties did not at first believe that I had never played Bingo. They played Bingo regularly, all over the place, and had their own plastic bags full of special fat pens, which are not called pens but dabbers. I said I would pass on the Bingo-book-buying this time, but watch what someone else did.

So I sat next to Jenny as she explained Bingo to me, whilst I was wishing I had worn a tee shirt under my posh top. But I couldn’t hear her over the noise of the Bingo man experimenting with his sound system. However, there was to be no escape. She did one game then I found the dabber thing plonked next to me. I was going to have to “dab” alternate sheets in her books. Rats! Again she tried to explain to me the difference between a Line and a House, and what a Bit On The Side is (apart from the obvious) and what that last sheet is for.

After a few minutes of me hunting wildly around the sheet for the numbers as the man with the mike rattled them off, someone said “Does the lady realise the numbers are arranged in columns of ten?” I hadn’t, though it was in the process of dawning on me. Knowing that made things much easier.

Then they believed I had never played Bingo before.

And then I came home and discovered Amazon had delivered two 300l bags of cat litter to the Lady with the Illegal Scotsman in my absence, so I had to go and get the wheelbarrow. She took one look at me wheezing and coughing palely over the laden wheelbarrow and offered to push it for me, but I couldn’t let her because she is older than me.

Then, too stuffed with illicit ham, egg and chips (and cheesecake) to need to eat anything more, I made myself some coffee and sat through the entire, extremely long speech of the Catalan Prime Minister, hoping to discover that he had been brave and declared independence from those brutal Spaniards. He had. Yay! Or had he? No one afterwards seemed to know. Damp squib or what?

Then I sat and hand-sewed a patch on the leg of my jeans. You know those jeans with the arty kind of fraying? I always wanted some and eventually, at an unsuitable age, I got a pair. Unfortunately, after they had been through the washing-machine numerous times the elegant fraying began to turn into falling-apartness. And then my big toe started getting caught in the falling-apartness every time I put the jeans on, which tore it even worse. I am wondering whether those ripped-right-across the knee jeans are not so much ultra-cool as the result of endless big-toe-catching.

I was going to do it on the sewing machine. I had to remove the white thread bobbin and wind specially a denim blue bobbin. Bobbin-winding is not easy on my sewing machine. Bobbins have a tendency to go ape for no reason. Either the cotton frantically winds itself around the metal stem that holds the bobbin in place, or the bobbin sourly turns itself into a nasty thick bobbin at the top and nasty measly bobbin at the bottom. I have been know to throw bobbins across the room.

Shows you how little sleep I have had, then. I completed this rigmarole, went to put the jean leg under the sewing machine needle and realised I couldn’t – not without unpicking whole jean leg – because a jean leg is a tube.

4 thoughts on “Ham, Egg, Chips and Bingo

  1. 🙂 There ye are! I was so worried, I was going to post an inquiry in the comment section of your Sept. 30 post: “ARE YOU ALIVE?? SHALL WE SEND THE MARINES? THE MOUNTIES? SPECIAL OPS? TRANQUILIZER DARTS?” — but I didn’t want to risk your thinking I was stalker-ish. (Or coo-coo pants.) I’m so glad you’re feeling better!! How does one go about obtaining an illegal Scotsman, and, phrases like “damp squib” could so easily make ME one. (Thank you.) Bingo — it’s not for the faint of heart, is it? As for being vegetarian, I learned most dreadfully well not to let onto it, lest everyone start pandering to one. I can also sympathize with.. oops, sympathise! with the large-toe-jeans-thread-catch thing, too — it all but pitches one onto one’s head! Have a wonderful day. Stay well. And grant yourself a wee nap. The moggies will love it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Arrr.. here I be! It all sounds vaguely nautical. By all means send the Marines. Mounties even better. It was a bit of a mish-mash, that post. Am still not caught up on a week’s lost sleep and lost food (thanks to the other illness).

      Illegal Scotsman – yes, the lady over the road owns him. I foolishly mention him occasionally and then have to explain. Over here you get a considerable reduction in Council Tax if you live alone. Sometimes a lady might acquire a gentleman companion but fail to ‘declare’ him on the form the Council send out once a year. Rumour has it Council officials lurk in parked cars and up trees and lamp posts, spying on their suspects. So that was an insult from an enemy neighbour – ‘She’s even gone and got herself an Illegal Scotsman…’

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Oh dear.. I’d better send both the Marine and the Mountie with food and wine! And, I’ll bet Scotswomen would say there’s no other kind of Scotsman.. It put me in mind of Sean Connery — the only James Bond, in my opinion. (We all have our Dr. Who — the be-scarfed curly-haired fellow — and we all have our 007.) (I suppose.) 🙂 So glad you’re on the mend!

        Liked by 1 person

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