Unexpected Rainbows

Sometimes life throws you an unexpected bonus or – if things have really been bad –  a consolation. For example, the other day I had to wait an hour at the hospital for a blood test, and the buses home only go once an hour. I sat with my torn-off paper ticket (number 106 in a queue starting at 85) and I sat, and I sat, and finally I got behind that blue curtain to get my blood test, one minute after the bus was due to have left. I trudged to the hospital bus stop and found nobody waiting. Yes, my bus had definitely gone. And then there it was, like magic, my precious bus coming round the corner, two minutes late. Did you just do me a good turn? I asked the universe.

And today I have rainbows. I put some sheeting stuff up at the kitchen windows – it’s clear, textured plastic, held up by nothing more than warm water and washing up liquid, plus suction. The reviews on Amazon did mention rainbows but I hadn’t seen any. Ah well, I thought, I am now invisible to the neighbours and vice versa, and that’s all that matters. Privacy is restored.

I have this thing, you see, about eyes. It feels as if I am caught in the headlights when someone stares at me, and particularly if they persistently stare at me. I read somewhere that in the 17th century and earlier, people did not yet understand about light and vision (I believe it was Newton who eventually sorted it out) and actually believed that people ‘saw’ by sending out an invisible beam from their eyes. In other words, their eyes were sending out light rather than receiving it. John Donne uses this to good effect in his erotic poem The Ecstasy:

Our eye-beams twisted, and did thread / Our eyes upon one double string…

Anyway, although I am a Thoroughly Modern Post-Newtonian Person and know that nobody is actually fixing me with their X-ray eye-beams, that’s what it feels like. In some sort of psychic or psychological way, it hurts. And similarly, if I am forced to stare at someone or even see them when I don’t want to, it hurts. Without intending to they are invading me, and the space around me, just by being in my line of sight.

So, given this weirdness, which seems to be  one of two absolutely fundamental and incurable issues with me – boundaries and visibility – I more-or-less solved the problem by buying two rolls of the plastic stuff on Amazon. And today, finally, the sun shone brightly enough through my kitchen window to create those promised rainbows.

Sorry it’s cats again – and sorry for apologising since I know from previous feedback that this is British of me – but sorry, anyway – but cats is what I have a lot of and cats are what I spend most of my day either feeding, tripping over or being sat-upon by. I just saw these rainbows on the cats – and on the floor – and decided I must try to capture them – for posterity – for this electronic treasure trove of ours – and for – not having to wash up a whole sink load of cat dishes for at least another five minutes. So much more fun to tiddle about with photographs.

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Plastic rainbows on my grubby kitchen floor (hence the vignette filter causing a convenient Darkness on the Edge of… um, the floor tile)

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Henry in his basket, bedecked with rainbows. Suspect he cannot see them, as I read somewhere that cats can only see in shades of blue and lilac. This seems like a terrible disability, if it’s true, but it doesn’t seem to stop them catching mice.

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 Henry – more rainbows.

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Martha -no rainbows, because being a tortoiseshell (calico) she carries one around with her.

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Rosie – no rainbows, just because I love her, and she’s getting on a bit now. Rosie was rescued from a road in Norfolk as a tiny, sick, dehydrated kitten and brought to me on a hot summer’s day, in a cardboard box with no proper air-holes, all the way round the M25 and beyond. She is the inspiration behind my blogging name: Rosie2009 and the reason for much subsequent confusion.

The Museum of Procrastination

I’m going through a bad patch at the moment. It’s all the uncertainty about the house. As soon as I find somewhere to buy and get an offer accepted I’ll be OK. However…

…there is plenty I could be getting on with, but which I am not getting on with. The latest story, for example. I know the title, I know the heroine’s name – name and cover-name, in fact; I know precisely which magazine I am aiming the story at and I have typed out a comprehensive outline of the plot. I even know the approximate number of words the story will contain because I have this useful little gift(ette): I am able ‘set’, say, 3,000 words in my head at the outset and the story will turn out 3,000 words long, give or take a hundred. Quite often it’s been 3,000 on the dot. It’s similar to ‘setting’ six o’clock in your head, going to sleep and waking up at six the next morning without troubling the alarm clock.

What I haven’t done is started writing it. This is because it is going to be hard, focussed work and I haven’t got much focus at the moment. This is because I’m lazy and am vaguely hoping some other old dear will write it, or that somehow or other it will turn out to have been written thanks to a crinkle in the fabric of time. All of which reminds me of an ad for a well-known bank in which is featured the Museum of Procrastination. This contains towering stacks of gym memberships that were used once only and spent the rest of their lives in wallets, unfinished novels, musical instruments that only ever played Frère Jacques and a giant green wastepaper basket full of screwed up paper – all the good ideas people have had and done nothing whatsoever about.

Outlines are something I don’t tend to do with blog posts nowadays. I start off with a spark, sit at the computer and meander about on the keys. Better stuff comes out that way – stuff I’d have censored or polished out of existence given half a chance. Better unpolished. Then I hunt around for a picture to match or mirror my thoughts, which often takes as long as, if not longer than, writing the post. But I don’t mind that, because it’s not writing. There’s something about writing… It’s like matter and antimatter. One feels frustratingly prevented from doing it when forced to concern oneself with stuff like washing up, ironing and food shopping, but one feels endlessly reluctant to start doing it as soon as there is time.

I would like to visit the Museum of Procrastination. It sounds a lot more interesting than the sort I got dragged round at intervals as a child, which mostly consisted of clay pipes, axe-heads, dinosaur bones and Roman coins. The problem I always find with museums is that things just sit there, looking dusty, just staring at you. And I always feel sorry for them because they are imprisoned in a future they could never have imagined – if axe-heads, clay pipes and Roman coins can be said to imagine. They should have died when they were supposed to. How weary they must feel, here, unmoving, in cabinets of glass; faded brown labels, curling at the edges, in front of them. What sort of life is it, when you were designed to be sucked by a sailor (no, that doesn’t sound right…) bring a woolly mammoth to its knees or pass from greasy palm to greasy palm in the purchase of silks and spices? That was the life of these objects and this… this is their interment; this is some hideous, static afterlife being visited by schoolchildren and looking at your own mournful reflection in the glass.