It had started as so many days do. Completely uneventfully. So I got on my bike and cycled to the office. Windy days; head down; cycling hard. I had taken on the persona of Miss Gulch from the Wizard of Oz and might just be about to be blown away. By the time I had cycled over the footbridge I was a hot sweaty mess which used to look captivating in my thirties with wind tousled hair but now looks slightly worrying when you are hitting the mid sixties mark!
Plantar fascilitis by any other name…
Still not having recovered my breath and in need of my morning caffeine fix I was surprised to encounter LM with his foot up on the desk. Now before you all say that this is because he is the Financial Secretary and allowed to do what he wants, I want to add that his foot was most definitely up on the desk but minus not only his shoe, but the sock as well. Hardly a professional look, methinks! ( Sidenote, as you would imagine the socks were not black to match his shoes but bright red with the Arsenal Logo emblazoned across the ankle! )
I could see he had on that “victim look” which he usually only reserves for when Arsenal have lost a match which meant that something BIG was going down. I shelved getting the coffee on the hob and went straight over . It would be pointless to waste time and utter the words
“ How are YOU today”
because he had already started to say that his foot was painful. In fact “Beyond painful” he countered. He continued in a quiet drone. Almost like the water chugging through the radiators, a quiet gentle hum. He told me that he could hardly walk and worst of all and because of this, he missed out on 2nd place in the Golf Comp and therefore could I please take a look? At this point he stopped. He took a deep breath and pointed to his foot, adopting the “woe is me” pose and waited. I could see that we didn’t have a minute to lose!
Now I don’t know if its because at one time it’s fair to say I did have a Nurses Uniform languishing in the ” Fun Cupboard”, but that was in the distant past and so for the sake of clarity I have to inform you that I don’t have any medical training in the slightest. However, that single point was not going to distract LM from having his foot inspected and so I “ drew nigh” and looked.
To be honest and lets face it, one always should be, I couldn’t see or feel anything. But I continued to prod and press with all the air of a Podiatrist in the hope of giving succour where it was needed. I cocked my head and sucked my teeth and stopped in situ to consider the options. I don’t know if it impressed the shit out of him or not, but by the end of my stroking and rubbing his feet ( which really are amazingly soft and stroke-able ) I told him that I was none the wiser and recommended he call the doctor. He did seem disappointed in my prognosis, or perhaps it was simply the fact that I had stopped stroking and kneading his foot. Well, lets face it Folks I had work to do and he had had a free foot massage for the best part of fifteen minutes! But there was definitely a sulky air when I told him to get his foot off the desk and put his socks back on!
He went straight from birth to solids
The day was further compounded by The Pilot emailing to say that he thinks I have confused him with an employee from DHL. He was employed to fly airplanes not do grocery shopping for me. It all stems back to my hearing about some rather lovely Hamman Towels – with Pom Poms on each corner, for sale in the local Souk. I asked him, very gently, if he would kindly consider buying these Bath Sheets for me to place, rather proudly, in my bathrooms. I could almost hear him sucking his teeth when he read the request all those miles away but knew that his enduring fondness for me and the fact that he does, however much he argues the point, rather enjoy my quirkiness would on this one occasion win him over! He said that he had considered my request to purchase the rather fine Hamman towels with pom poms on the edges but that I was not to ask again. (and yes he did underline it to emphasise the seriousness of the matter)
He concluded that he had, very reluctantly, bought twelve of them even through he said he would prefer six as a maximum, because, did I realise how difficult it was to carry his Nav Bag; an overnight bag even if it was on wheels, and twelve rather large bath sheets into the cockpit and then do his flight checks around the pile? He further imbued a tone of seriousness by stating that even though he had access to interesting objects from the local Souks and Markets and could bring back the finest Italian coffee from Ethiopia, he was not a Pack Mule and his job consisting of flying people to and from destinations not delivering local hand made gifts to me from across the Globe. I think he mentioned this twice just to emphasise the point. My requests were merely something that if he could fit it in, he would, and not to get confused with any other meanings. He continued that he certainly would not be put in a position to reschedule his Schedule just to please me and could I kindly ” sit up straight and take note” ! .
I read the whole email again and thought that as a Baby he probably went straight to solids.
speaking of solids…..
I have also seen a little of Mary this week. I could tell she was quite stressed! This was because she was supposed to be on the Grapefruit Diet but arrived holding a Hot Dog and Double Fries. Stress does cause Mary to eat! She had overplayed her hand with the Book Peddler, and he, fed up with her delays and demands has now taken out Lindy. I have to say that Lindy is more his kind as they both share a love of books; opera; Italy and cooking and I would say that this is definitely a match made in Heaven. So yes, Mary was certainly stressed. Still I feel she has no one to blame but herself and told her this as I threw her a napkin to stop the ketchup from dripping down her chin and onto one of her more expensive silk shirts. Mary still hasn’t found the knack of eating and speaking with a degree of finesse.
Yes, there’s a fine line between playing it cool and a lack of interest. She told me that if The Book Peddler ever looked her way again she would spread her knees so wide they would be in different Time Zones. It took me a minute to work that one out and mentally I clinched my buttocks at the thought of it! And after that preferred not to dwell on the vision which had floated into my head.
Private Note to Mary –we aren’t as irresistible as we were at 25!
However pretty, its still a Tin Can on wheels
Jonny has also been very active this week. In fact he turned up at the house in a Motor Home and declared it a great way to spend ( our??) holidays.
I thought my usual “WTF” and wondered if he had missed the fact that for the past twelve months I have been vacationing in the equivalent of a static motor home and therefore the lure and cachet of camping or living in a caravan or motorhome or in fact any bloody home that is made from a tin can has certainly lost its appeal I have to say he did indeed look a little crestfallen haven spent the best part of three long weekends renovating it. I simply couldn’t get excited by the fact that the bed is static and at the back of the motor home. I wasn’t blown away by the very nice bathroom with a power shower ( subject to hook ups) and good sized basin and the “all mod cons” kitchen whereby he would expect me to rustle up anything from oeuf benedicte to Beef Wellington in the *** oven whilst he caught up with the Cricket on the radio.
and from out of the mist appeared….
I don’t know which part of living in a hot tin can he didn’t seem to get but believe you me, the minute I can head out and live in a proper house again you wont see me for dust. So as Jonny reversed his new purchase off the drive I swung between feeling pretty shabby for seeing him so crestfallen and slightly miffed that he would think I would want to continue my confined living.
I went off to scour the horizon for dolphins again which, as you know, has now become something of a mission for me. If I get one more video sent through telling me they are 1km from the shore line I think I will scream, so Walter and I took ourselves off to the waters edge with binoculars and waited to see what came into vision. Walter was happy to sit quietly bearing in mind he knew he was in the rather aptly named ” Dogs House ” after chasing two of the chickens and almost catching one.
So imagine my surprise when I was seeking dolphins on the horizon and I came across the Book Peddler in a new boat. Now some of you will remember that the last watery escapade the BP had was when he thought he was buying an Italian motor launch to woo Mary and it ended up being a model boat for use on the local boating lake. Mary probably did overplay her hand on that one- hence the ( move away) from the Grapefruit Diet onto one of carbs and saturates ( ie Hog Dogs in a Bun) However the BP is rather like a dog with two tails if you include Mary and Lindy and so has treated himself to a RIB (Rigid inflatable boat) with outboard motor and wondered if he could park it ( I suck my teeth and remind him its “moor” or even “berth” but most definitely not “park“) his inflatable at the back of my house for ease? He said it was large enough for all of us to go out and enjoy the water and should he also be purchasing life jackets and insurance?
Meanwhile back at the Ranch, Jonny is slightly hacked off that I didn’t or rather couldn’t embrace his life on the road in a tin can and had hit the bottle. He took the van and parked it around the corner, which even though it was legally parked, was going to hack the neighbours off and I would be subjected to glaring looks and poison pen mail because of it. I have found him to be an enormous Sulker which really doesn’t sit well with me. I prefer to say something; get it off your chest and move on whilst he, being the Master of Self Settling, is happy to sit and sulk about something for weeks on end. After four very large whiskies ( and therefore unable to move the said offending vehicle to yet another resting place) he had taken to propping his head up in his hand and talking to me about Cricket. I don’t know if this is a bonus or a negative on listening to LM and the ” off side rule” but as he was so drunk by this time he occasionally fell asleep mid sentence. When this happened his head would roll away from the hand supporting it and bring him back to life with a resounding bump, which caused him to glare at me as if the whole sorry saga was my fault.
Furthermore, he had promised to come and erect my new iron bedstead which would look very much at home on an ” Out of Africa” set. I had scoured the local shops for a lovely piece of net and wanted to hang it from the ceiling like a mosquito net to add to the magic and ambience of my new bedroom. Jonny, that night had other ideas….
Let’s write the evening off, shall we?
“ Have you had enough to drink?” I asked politely
No, I haven’t. But thanks for asking..”
He replied in such a way it could only be described as “snippy” and made me think that I could not let him have joint control of Walter. This relationship may not yet go beyond the seven months it is currently hovering on.
I flicked the light off and left him to it! Walter, looking first at Jonny and then at me, very wisely, followed me to the bedroom!
Update on LM ‘s foot.
He told me that the doctor had organised a Zoom consultation the very next day and had asked him to show him his foot via a Video Link. The doctor told him that there was nothing much wrong with it apart from old age and he definitely didn’t need any surgery on it. The doctor had given him some daily exercises and very useful they were proving to be too. LM practised them each morning leaning against the wall on the outside of his balcony. He said it was nice to embrace the fresh sea air whilst closing his eyes and doing his foot exercises. I said that was all well and good and very ” alternative therapy” but I hoped he had put some trousers on because the lady underneath doesn’t want to look up through the decking and see the rest of his anatomy poking out from the leg of his boxers. I mean the old lady is in her Nineties and if her eyesight wasn’t good it could be mistaken for one of those grass snakes slithering around The River Rife. Worse than that, LM could be arrested for indecent exposure!
Needless to say, and in his usual reaffirming manner, LM glared at me and stalked off!
For JC – who really hates my “dreary ” music !