By George!

Have you ever discovered an injury and not known how you got it? All sorts of lurid explanations flash through your mind:

I must have started sleep-walking and walked into a cupboard, then walked back to bed and fallen asleep again. That’s why I have this purple bump on my forehead…

I was abducted by aliens, who did experiments on me. That’s why there’s this inexplicable star-like scratch on my knee – it’s a kind of marker so they know not to abduct me twice. And then of course they would have had to erase my memory…

I was just shuffling about in my bedroom slippers, as you do, when suddenly…

Ow! Why are my big toe and second toe suddenly so painful?

Incidentally – and I know you didn’t want to know this – my big toe and second toe happen to be the same length, in fact I believe the second toe may be a micro-millimetre the longer of the two. This indicates that my genome contains Neanderthal genes. Maybe. But I digress.

I inspected the toes in question with care. They looked a trifle puffy, a trifle bruised perhaps but had retained their waggleability so were probably not broken.

My imagination went into overdrive. It must have happened when I was out in the garden yesterday. Some awful jungle critter had burrowed its way into my foot and only now was I noticing the first symptoms as it chomped and chomped, consuming my flesh from the inside, and from the big-and-next toes up.

There had been a lot on TV about the prevalence of ticks and their dreaded consequence, Lyme’s Disease. OMG, I thought, it’s only a matter of time before that distinctive target-like rash appears on my foot, and then I’m a gonner. Maybe I should start finding foster homes for the cats now, before the pain gets too bad? Is my Will up to date?

And then it dawned on me – George, the clumsiest cat on the planet. It was George who did my toes in. He was pottering past Kitten’s Room yesterday morning and was involved in yet another of the Incidents that George always seems to be getting involved in.

I should explain that Kitten is well over a hundred in human-equivalent years. I had to rescue her from Mum a while back and she immediately ring-fenced the spare bedroom for herself, sleeping in a cardboard box underneath what was once my writing desk, waking up at widely-spaced intervals to totter across to her feeding station and sample a few gumsful of special old-lady catfood, or to bellow in deafening, hideous senile fashion for… something. I still haven’t discovered what. Maybe she just forgets where, what or why she is.

So just as George pottered past, splendid black tail aloft, Kitten did her party-trick – the high-speed, sideways, fully fluffed-up totter out of the spare room. In terror, George tried to bolt but instead encountered my slippered right foot and rammed most of his black and white furry self between big-toe-and-next. Both of us screeched. He ran off. I somehow forgot about it. Kitten retreated to her cardboard palace.

Mystery solved.

Even wobblier in all sorts of ways than I had imagined

I’m not a great play-goer. They tend to be ‘foreign territory’ to me, along with ballet and opera. Well, opera I just hate. So the few plays I’ve seen, apart from pantomimes, tend to have been with N.

N was my boss when I was a legal secretary. We shared a love of the labyrinthine coils of English Legalese and general bad luck with men. Her luck was to change, eventually; mine wasn’t. Intelligence-and-common-sense-wise she was several hundred points ahead of me but she was patient, considering my whimsical incompetence, tendency to throw a wobbly or quietly panic most days and to either file all her stuff in the wrong place or forget to file it at all. She even found it amusing that people tended to think I was the solicitor and she the secretary. An entirely logical conclusion: the big bony lummox must be the boss, the little birdlike one must be the secretary. It’s evolution, innit? Eventually she went to work for another legal firm. Eventually, also, she became my friend, for which I am grateful.

In my defence, I could type really fast. It was just… well, all the rest of it.

Sunday, September 14, 2003

Extract from (long lost) first blog : Blue, with Stars : 2003 – 2006

Rosie the kitten is sitting on my knee. We had the ceremonial opening of the cat-flap yesterday and she shot out into the outside world. Of course I spent the whole day trying not to keep checking up on her and making sure I could still see her, hunting for her all over the place. This must be what it’s like for parents letting their children go off on a gap year to Africa or whatever. Luckily Rosie didn’t set off for East Anglia (where she came from) at a brisk trot, via the M25 so she must be content to stay with me. I’ve been doing some calculations. I had vaguely thought she would be about 6 months (when they have to be spayed) in February but according to my diary it’s more like December, just before Christmas. I’ll have to check with the vet in October, when I take the remaining three in for their cat-flu injections.

Went to the theatre with N on Friday night. Not the best of nights as I was exhausted, as always after work, but especially at the end of the week, and I think she was too. She hadn’t been home but had carried on working. It was an amateur performance, and I thought it might be interesting just because of the “wobbly scenery” possibilities but it was even “wobblier” in all sorts of ways than I had imagined.

The theatre was a very small section of a leisure centre and we had to wait in a rather dismal area on a motley selection of hard chairs, saggy sofas and chaise longues, while the (one) lady behind the bar struggled to serve the queue with orange juices etc. Then we found that the theatre seats weren’t numbered and all the locals had stampeded in first to bag seats for their friends. We couldn’t sit together because there simply weren’t two seats left.

The play was a murder mystery of staggering uninterest, the actors had costumes made of what looked like curtains dyed different colours and were totally miscast – eg the ‘honeymoon couple’ were a reasonably attractive young woman and a hideous old bloke (who later got ‘killed’ and staggered back in with – possibly strawberry jam – all over his white shirt). Thank goodness for that, I thought.

The second half was a kind of question and answer session where the audience and a panel asked questions of the cast and tried to work out who dunnit. Nobody had a pencil to write the answer down. The plot had so many logic-holes (normally a plus point, as far as I am concerned, and one of the most entertaining aspects of Star Trek) that I couldn’t work out why they dunnit even when I was told that they had dunnit, and furthermore I didn’t care. It turned out to have been written by a member of the cast (the fat one with the bow-tie).

I felt a bit embarrassed that I had let N in for this awfulness but she seemed to find it quite amusing, said it was better than sitting at home writing Wills for people all evening.

# posted @ 8:56 AM