By now the
message had become clear it was not my day.
Sod the lot, I
thought, with an understandable depth of emotion. Ill go fishing. Get
fishing bag and discover it stuffed with Pike gear and I want to go Trout
fishing. Cannot find fly lines or flies. At this point our dog an unusually
perceptive Jack Russell, hid under the table.
final demand for electricity, reminders about two subscriptions and a stack of
papers from the Readers Digest with a leaflet telling me that today was
my lucky day.
Will go out and
buy a pile of magazines and go to bed. Car wont start. Dog howls. Mrs.
Westleys Budgie (were looking after it) starts pulling its feathers
out and one of the boys goldfish turns belly up and dies.
doorstep looking at garden through tear-dimmed eyes. A sparrow, nesting in the
porch ivy shits on me. Final indignity too much, hunt for razor, remember I
gave up shaving. Miserably wonder if D.H. Lawrence ever had days like
Find flies and
lines only to discover that because of bandaged thumbs I cant hold them
Now all this
might sound like I was having a terrible day
and I was, but the important
thing to remember is that at that point it was only 9.30am and I had the entire
day spreading out before me like a vast personal minefield of booby-traps,
accidents and disasters. On my record to date I wasnt going to get past
In an emotional
crisis my mind veers unerringly to food. Im an emotional eater and this
was a day created for my stomach. A food supply and the safety and protection
of the bedroom with a few well-chosen books was the obvious answer
youve tried it you can have no idea how difficult it is to prepare food
with two redundant thumbs, its not difficult at all
bloody impossible. Toast, for some totally incomprehensible reason I had chosen
to do toast. You might have thought that in my situation I would have settled
for biscuits straight out of the tin, wouldnt you I did, it was
Have you ever
heard of force X? Well, force X is that imp of energy that determines that
whenever you drop a slice of toast and jam it always lands jam side down. Force
X directs collar studs and cufflinks into the most inaccessible places, fish
hooks into clothing and dropped letters into the nearest puddle.
Forces X worked
overtime in our kitchen. Not only did the toast fall butter side down, but it
traveled horizontally to land in the filthy, ashy bit of floor in front of the
Rayburn; not just once or twice, but three bloody times and thats without
mentioning the two pieces that caught fire, or the fat in the grill pan that
set fire to the cooker.
Anyone want a
neurotic dog, a nude Budgie or a melted plastic egg-timer?
With my scalded
feet (I poured boiling water on them instead of into my cup) and my half-cup of
coffee I limped, defeated, off to bed.
bed wasnt made, naturally I tried to make it before falling into
I did fall, heavily, when I heaved on the blanket I was standing
After that the
nervous dog for a walk across the fields. At the most distant point it pours
with rain. Fall off fence, slip in mud, fall on dog. Dog regards this as
personal assault and bites me with more than a degree of satisfaction my
raging paranoia detects.
make up the fire in the living room, almost unscathed cracked back of
head on mantelpiece having lived here for more years than I care to
remember without doing that, my paranoia now encompasses the house.
Just read my
stars in the Daily Mail, Keep on the move for a lucky
its an oven-ready turkey and trying to stuff itself with cuttlefish. Fire
goes out, bung in another firelighter and crack back of head again. Fire goes
out, bung in three firelighters and studiously avoid cracking head. Turn and
trip over dog. From recumbent position watch fire roar up the chimney and
consider calling fire brigade. Decide to be Viking and go down with burning
ship, irrationally hope it gets dog.
apparently not imminent decide to have can of beer. Pull ring off can, throw
can on fire and retain ring. Hissing steam fills the room. Dog cravenly slinks
snap and beat fist impotently on arms of chair forgetting injured thumbs
home and blithely asks, Had a good day?
into her eyes as my hands close around her milky white throat forgot
thumbs more PAIN!
events are true and happened on the 12th March 1976.