Grancangirlcan't

Posted by Jeni in Ad Infinitum | 1 October 2017

The comment from 'Grancangirl', for just a nano second, upset me. My initial reaction to nasty posts always has the same affect on me. I read it once, then again, then wonder what I did to make 'Grancangirl', and the likes of her, be so hurtful. And then I remember that I am in favour or free speech and if i don't like unfavourable comments I should stop writing blogs. My ego, however, is always massaged by being stopped in the supermarket by my blog readers. Nothing like an intimate chat over the soups to know who your friends are.

So sorry to disappoint 'Grancangirl' but I am still bleating lots of rubbish on radio, telly and various salubrious venues, which you dear girl, will probably never turn up to, being superglued as you are to your trolling station.

This morning I was woken by three fluttering Blue Tits on the bird feeder hanging outside the bedroom window, secured there yesterday by my faithful Great Tit, who is at present, taking a video of at least five little birds pecking at the peanuts. I heard him shout 'Look at the tits on that' and a yelp of delight as a Nuthatch joined them for lunch. 'Grancangirl', just as an afterthought, the little Tit is a symbol of love and understanding, just saying.

This morning, to celebrate the first day of October I put on my walking boots, a blue Kagul, and a rucksack, courtesy of on my dawter's cast offs, and commenced my 10,000 steps in the drizzle; I took off my glasses as I couldn't see for the spray. All up hill, past B's old school, past the old police station, past the vets, past the pub, left onto the Green, past the church, down towards the supermarket and into the shop to get my free 'Observer' newspaper. I packed the rucksack with Coconut water, bean sprouts from the cheap shelf, creme caramel for the old git and my paper.

I set off down hill for my last three hundred steps. Got to the Farm, and called my chauffeur who obliged. As my wrist buzzed with my 10.000'th step he flashed me.

The old git turned the car around, I swung my load into the back and flopped down on the front seat. We were home two minutes later to porridge, sausages and coffee.

I've read the papers and now I'm researching a telly prog I'm filming next Friday - sorry 'Grancangirl'. The rest of the day will be taken up with thinking about gardening, thinking about bathing in an Epsom salt bath and thinking about life before technology when Sunday's were taken up with real activities, including singing round the piano, arguing over Monopoly and debating the merits of censorship.

Happy Hunters Moon, on Thursday, and may your October be filled with gits, tits and nuts.

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Feng Shui

Posted by Jeni in Ad Infinitum | 16 September 2017

Sometimes, just sometimes, I think my cottage may be the cause of my ill health. That the North/North West facing aspect is lousy Feng Shui. Then I remember that being ill and getting better takes time when you are three score years and eight.

When so many folk die in their late 60's I am delighted to still be alive, but it would be a lie to say that I find slow recovery easy. Or that the loss of my voice for two days was anything other than deeply disturbing. I squeaked like a demented mouse. Endlessly shouting at the old git, which was as ineffectual as slamming a feather on the table to draw attention to myself.

I have had the house Feng Shui'd twice, as it goes. Once by a professional geezer who charged us much money, but then gave it back to us as he had turned the house into a disaster zone. Jim and I argued all the time and, according to the second Feng Shui Master - an ex Buddhist monk - the cottage had gone 'Live' on us, what with all the mirrors and vases, wooden flutes and plants that the first geezer told us to get. The ex-Buddhiust monk, by way of payment, sat at the kitchen table and ate with us, tore down half the mirrors and removed most of the gewgaws that the first Feng Shui feller told us to install. The ex-monk suggested we take the stuffed Piranha fish off the mantle piece as it was in the wealth area and was eating up all our money. He also told us to keep the front door shut, hang plants between the stairs and the bathroom, to keep the bathroom door closed and the lavatory seat down, as the Chi was coming in the front door zooming up the stairs and disappearing down the loo. In other words we were literally pissing away our good fortune.

'Your house is a hungry ghost' said the ex-Buddhist Monk, 'Get rid of all those Bagua mirrors and stop eating Pork.' Then he cleared his plate and left.

I can't remember where the health area is but I bet there's some kind of muddle or obstruction. It could be the gaggle of wooden ducks by the telly, or maybe it's the thirty thousand DVD's stacked up with the mountains of CD's, or maybe it's got nothing to do with anything. I need to find the notes. But the reason I suggest that maybe it is something to do with the flow of energy in this old cottage of ours, is because the mystery illness has gone, and my sciatica has finally receded but I am now left with a throat so sore, so raw, so uncomfortable that I'm sitting in the kitchen with a silk scarf wrapped round my neck trying not to swallow. It's 2.35 in the morning and I should be sleeping in my big King Size bed, but the discomfort when I lie on my lovely soft pillow is a mockery. I have rings under my eyes and a cat that doesn't understand why I'm not lying down with her on my knees.

I've just swallowed and it feels like I've got one of those crumbly green oasis things for sticking flowers in lodged in the back of my throat. The cat is weaving her way round my legs and it's later than 2.36.

I read the papers and silently screamed at Jesse Jay's new video. What is it with the displaying of naked breasts all the time. Every young woman apparently needs to further her career by walloping her mammeries all over the place. It's under breast, sideward boob, see through shirts, invisible vests, it's just shabby exposure. It's like the Restoration all over again. The next thing will be dating programmes on the box where naked men and women ogle at each others dangly bits and then go on a date - surely not!!!

If I weren't so exhausted by my fury at arsehole leaders who want war, Prime Ministers who sell arms to Potentates who want war, ignoramuses who terrorise the innocent, and arms dealers who laugh all the way to the bank while the rest of us can't sleep because of all their war mongering, I would be up and about protesting, throwing my weight about BUT I'm not as swift as I used to be, and anyway my throat hurts. I wonder whether Ghandi wasn't right. And Martin Luther King, and Mr. Christ, didn't they have it taped. And didn't the Dalai Lama say recently that we've got it all topsy turvy, that we've forgotten how to love each other.

Ouch, just swallowed again, a mere first world problem, I'm not fleeing bombs, I'm not fleeing terror, I'm not dodging hurricanes, but maybe my inflamed throat is tired of screaming and not being heard. Nothing that a good bowl of Jewish Penicillin won't cure. I've got a saucepan of chicken soup in the fridge, if that doesn't work I may just call up the Ex Monk to see if he's got any ideas.....

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Afternoon Treat

Posted by Jeni in Ad Infinitum | 9 September 2017

In 1589 a botanical garden was opened in Basle, a Chestnut tree was planted in Duddleswell, East Sussex, whilst over in Somerset John Harrington was busy inventing the first flushing water closet at his house at Keelson in Bath. He called it 'Ajax' a pun on an Elizabethan slang word for privy - 'Jakes' -
Elizabeth I ordered a Harrington WC to be installed at her palace in Richmond.

Seven years later Harrington under the pseudonym of Misacmos, wrote a book called 'A New Discourse upon a Stale Subject: The Metamorphosis of Ajax' about his new flushing Karzy. It was, however, a coded attack on the 'stercus' or excrement that was poisoning society, so good old Queen Bess, banished John for his naughtiness. The proverbial scatalogy hit the fan.

Now 47 years earlier Henry the Eighth was eating like a pig and getting fatter and fatter. According to Suzanne Groom a fast meal served to Henry VIII and Katharine of Aragon included 'soup, herring, cod, lampreys, pike, salmon, whiting, haddock, plaice, bream, porpoise, seal, carp, trout, crabs, lobsters, custard, tart, fritters and fruit.' And that was just for starters.

Henry got so fat, he couldn't walk or ride - well maybe he could - but I bet he couldn't stand the thought of his thighs rubbing together under his tunic and chafing on his cod piece. No Johnson's talcum powder for that baby, and necessity being the mother of invention and all that, meant his serfs built him a platform to stand on called 'Kings Standing', a spit from Duddleswell. There he stood, on his little wooden tower, crossbow, in hand, firing off arrows as the deer ran past him.

Oh! dear. Are you still with me? Hope so.

I want you to fast forward to 1589 again, 47 years after 'Henery the Eighth I am I am' died, and remember that likkle Chestnut Tree sapling in Duddleswsell all tiny and growing, a mere five minutes canter from Kings Standing.

One hundred years later In 1689, as the Glorious Revolution revolted all over England, that tree, was still growing. It didn't stop chucking out its branches even as George Washington was being inaugurated as America's first president in 1789. Another century goes by and it dropped its sweet chestnuts as Vincent van Gogh painted 'The Starry Night at Saint-Remy-de-Provence' in 1889, then in 1999, as 'Spongebob SquarePants' had its premiere, oblivious to the goings on in that cinema, that good old chestnut tree still flourished. Another hundred years later and its 2009, and not even the appointment of the first ever lesbian Prime Minister of Iceland, Johanna Siguroardottir, or the overthrowing of President Marc Ravalomanana in Madagascar, or even Barack Obama, getting the Nobel Peace prize, could stop that rare old tree from getting bigger and bigger. In a couple of years time, when Trump has been banished to the newly refurbished Alcatraz, to make America great again, and Ms May may or may not be our first Minister, that Castaneae will still be standing, in the tea rooms at the Garden Centre in Duddleswell.

And if, like today, you have the pleasure, as I did, of sitting under that 450 year-old-tree, supping your latte, as the sun shines through the dappled leaves, or you gasp at the glory of the ancient bark as the plate is set down before you with the perfect bacon sarnie, it's tomato ketchup oozing out of the soft white bread, if you decide to take an afternoon walk in Kings Standing, then settle beneath the branches of that ancient Chestnut Tree, with your very own old git, you may remember the summer of 2017 when Hurricane Irma battered Cuba, Texas, and half The Carribbean, and be grateful for this tiny piece of England.

God Bless us all.

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Runners and Courgettes.

Posted by Jeni in Ad Infinitum | 29 August 2017

In-between the floods of Texas, the old gits birthday and a glut of runner beans, the month comes to a balmy close.

This August has gone so quickly I can almost recall it minute by minute.

My little red car had new pistons because I drove it into the ground without oil. My car does not have aeroplane controls, it's just me, a sound system and a clock thats stuck to the dashboard with blu tac. So I had no idea, until the knocking started, that we were clear out of the crude stuff. What will I do when we go electric, or hybrid, or even wind powered, which is what happened to my body when the car stalled in the middle of a road, on a bend, round the corner to my Bowen bloke in pouring rain. My mechanical genius turned up, threw me the keys to his car and rattled round to his garage in my car, where he fixed it.

I've attended a birthday in a tippee, a gathering on Hastings Pier, a dinner in a Hackney Warehouse and two trips to Brighton to see ANGELS IN AMERICA, the live streaming from the National Theatre. Don't like them as a rule but this marathon of 7 hours was full of Denise Gough, Russell Tovey, Andrew Garfield, Nathan Lane, Susan Brown, James McArdle, Amanda Lawrence and Nathan Stewart Jarrett, plus an assortment of angel shadows and star turn scene shifters.

Not even a bout of senior Sciatica, could mar the performances. The man sitting next to the 'oosbind brought a jute bag full of sandwiches, bottles of wine, suckable nibbles and his mobile phone which he turned on in the two intervals. There were several plaid shirted women and short wearing men, there was a full house of oldies and an army of professional armchair critics. The consensus was that Tony Kushner, who wrote it yonks ago, didn't put a foot wrong. I was utterly enthralled.

No foreign travel this year, although we are going to Galway in September. Just reading about the flight delays, road works, station closures and traffic accidents, was enough to remind me that a Staycation in Stop-at-Home was just what the doctor ordered.

I'm gearing up for the autumn, three projects are sniffing round the corner, and a gals body is nearly what it should be given it's vintage.

I made a Nadiya inspired banquet, which included Latkes, old style. Last Thursday I craved my mothers fried fish and fried potato cakes. Prized the Jewish cook book, off the shelf and pulled the food processor out of the corner. Grated potatoes and onions, added matzo meal and 2 eggs, mixed and slapped them into shape. Vegetable oil, heated hot in a wok, three Latka's slipped into the boiling fat, turned constantly until a crispy golden brown. We ate them with carrot and parsnip bhargis, watermelon/helloumi cheese/and focaccia kebabs, alongside a huge green salad with two home made sauces - tamarind and chile. Not to mention Lamb Chops marinated in pomegranate molasses and garlic. The only thing birthday boy really liked.

I cooked for three hours, then sat at the table as my guests praised and applauded me. I swear we cooks only feed people for the plaudits.

Tonight is the new Bake Off. should I, shouldn't I? I'm too curious not to watch, but I do feel guilty, like reading the Daily Mail bar of shame.... I swear if people only read the Daily Wail they could be forgiven for thinking that life was only about breasts, boobs, mammaries and a Big Bother, yup it doesn't deserve an 'R'.

From Brexit humiliation to Trumpeting terror, we all have to keep the nasties in the light, don't we? Never giving up on believing that humans really are good, because if you believe what you read half the time, along with me, we would be holding hands and jumping off cliffs.

Time for some left overs and a new batch of running beans in spicy tomato sauce.

Helloo September.

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august 7th.

Posted by Jeni in Ad Infinitum | 7 August 2017

The sky is low. the purple lilac outside the kitchen window looks limp. I've been watching the butterflies, because Saint David Attenborough wanted us to count them.

One orange, two red admirals, and some white ones. Not as many as there used to be, in 1984 we had blue butterflies fluttering by.

So I went for a walk through the oat fields. 'The fruits hang like chandeliers' said the old git. Wheat is tightly bunched and Barley has long hairs. The weather has smashed the crops, I wondered this morning whether, if I were to be in a drone, would I be witnessing a crop circle. At ground level it looks like a slushy mess.

Like apples the blackberries are ripening. I've learnt to my cost that if they don't drop easily into your hands they are tarty and sharp. I ate some juicy ones.

Everything feels autumnal. The spitting rain, the petals on the brown tinged lilies. I've a jug of flowers on the kitchen table, from the garden, never done that before, but the roses looked so forlorn I harvested them along with sweet peas, a sprig of fennel and a twig of marjoram. They are in a jug which was a wedding present from Jayne Irving. do you remember her?

Last night there was a Sturgeon moon, big and bright and good enough for the little fishes to come out. I couldn't sleep so I lit a candle, put some Rose Madoc essential oil on me finger tips, sniffed the scent and meditated. All a bit lary as we have a visiting house spider that is SOOOOO big, i'm concerned if I fall asleep it will walk all over me. Jim tried to catch it but it disappeared inside the kitchen dresser. It has longer legs than Naomi Campbell.

And the pigging slugs have found a way into the kitchen. Slimy and grey, I push the dustpan under them then chuck 'em into next doors garden. He's moved so they have a gourmet lunch on his chickweed.

Today it's writing in the attic, worrying in the kitchen and snoozing in the sitting room.

The suns just come out, teasing me......I asked the 'oosbind if he wanted to go and see SPIDERMAN.

'No' said the old man. Perfunctorily without a gap for negotiation.

Trumps playing golf, Theresa's walking, Jeremy's cycling and Aldi is selling the best gin in the world for a tenner.

I dont drink gin.

We haven't got an Aldi in our village.

So I look toward the day that our leaders do right by us.

heard a good quote.

LIFE HAPPENS FOR YOU NOT TO YOU. Hope that helps.

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Deer Park Cafe

Posted by Jeni in Ad Infinitum | 24 July 2017

Now the thing about a blog is that it's personal, owned by you. Written by you, for you and for whoever wants to be associated with you.

I've been blogging for about ten or so years, and I'm still none the wiser in how to make more people see what I write. I'm in and out of love with social media, loving what it did for the General Election, but hating it's very presence in our lives.

My silver serfing is confined to buying supplements, eco sponges and industrial sized bags of quinoa......

Today however I use this space as a blatant plug for THE DEER PARK CAFE in Eridge. Not the Deer Park Cafe that comes up first in the listings. That one is in South Africa. This DEER PARK CAFE is situated off the A26. Turn left past my daughter's old nursery school.

Eridge Village Hall hosts 'Little Acorns'. The hall is a wooden floored one room space. It has a small stage at the end and doors leading out into the countryside. A green garden that the children, and parents, can picnic in. But the hall also doubles as our local Polling Station.

The 'oosbind and I have voted there since 1984. Two tellers sit at a tressle table, tick our names off the electoral role, point us to the ballot box in the middle of the hall, and then wave us goodbye. We are the only two people in the area that do not vote Ukip or Conservative. What we do vote stays between us and the ballot box......Which is good since the cravat wearing, stick wielding locals would be hunting like they do the foxes.

Anyway you drive past the village hall, and continue on a windy windy road until you see the sign, on the right, for THE DEER PARK CAFE.

The caff is but one big barn, tables on the inside, and five or six tables on the outside, set in grass land. Fields, a dog walk. Dogs accompany families. Babies accompany parents. Children accompany each other. It used to be a camping place.

Before that the rooms were run by a woman who worked for the RCA. She displayed student photographs and hung pretty table cloths on each little table. My daughter got a job there, lasted one day. It was just a little too organised and twee for my anarchic muso kid.

The Barn is now owned by Joe. His brother Ben works there too. There's K an Indian chef, Jane, the mother, who hoes, bakes and sweeps and the big daddy who levels up the hanging paintings.

Jane felt a connection to the place when it was up for grabs. She told us the story of the little red lady birds that appeared as a sign of good luck. Which they are. Little lady bugs, from the Chinese to the Sioux, symbolise love, luck and good fortune.

Jim and I wandered in a few weeks ago. It was like we had entered a secret place. Lots of people with enough distance between us to feel alone. The sun shone, the grass grew and Joe brought us THE BEST scrambled eggs this side of Bill Grainger, coffee made to perfection. The second visit the dawter and I had lunch. A sizeable salad, and service with a smile.

On Saturday I had a BLT. We had just come from the hospital where the old git had to have a CT scan to appease the doctors. The BLT was by way of comfortable compensation for spending a Saturday morning in the XRay department of Pembury hospital.

I asked for brown bread, which was cut thick. Doorstep sized chunks of delicious, chewy brown bread. The bacon crispy, the tomatoes and lettuce fresh, all accompanied by Jane telling us the story of the lady bugs.

I'm writing about the DPC because I want everybody in the world to visit, and make it successful. I want everybody to support an independent project that is run by brothers. helped out by the parents. Home made cakes, home made scones, smiles and chatter.

An eatery describes an area. What Joe and his fam have done is create an environment that defines conviviality. That smacks of old school hospitality. That speaks of communication and optimism. I don't know quite why it has touched me, maybe because it is but five minutes down the road. But I think it's because from the get-go - an awful Americanism - it felt like it had always been there. In the middle of the East Sussex countryside.

Simple, clean, ridiculously reasonable and the perfect spot for tea and cake. For chat and coffee. For soup and snivels. For writing and hot chocolate. If you live near GO visit immediately, if you Iive far, book a B&B and spend sometime there. Whatever lets give Joe a huge round of applause for coming up with a venue that is delightful enough for even the muso dawter from Hackney to enjoy.

I shall take friends, family and myself there. They will be laying on summer BBQ's. There will be music. There will autumnal teas, but mostly they will just be there.

THE DEER PARK CAFE

SHAM FARM ROAD

ERIDGE GREEN

ERIDGE

EAST SUSSEX

TN3 9JB

They even have my initials as a post code. What more could an egocentric blogger ask for.

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Auntie Beeb

Posted by Jeni in Ad Infinitum | 20 July 2017

So now we are witnessing the outing of well paid BBC players.

Outed by politicians who own companies worth millions, outed by dispassionate hard hearts who have always bleated on about the BBC being biased. Outed by a government that has as much decency as an evangelical pastor who has been outed by a self-serving evangelical pastor. Outed because its a super duper smoke screen to cover their facile Brexiteering. Outing so that our minds are turned away from the decimation of our society before our very eyes.

The hypocrisy that is surging around us makes it hard to know who is right. Who is culpable. And we, like meek lambs, stand by and watch as our democracy is skewered from the inside out.

As long as a society is polarised with the rich getting more and the poor getting battered, as long as a civilised society sees success as money and money as success, as long as millions are neglected whilst the minority climb into bed with Lucifer, we will have strife.

And there's nothing poetic about living a life on the bread line. Hand to mouth. There is nothing character building about doing three jobs and still not having enough left over to buy a rail ticket to clean air.

And there's nothing as humiliating as a selfish, entitled group of parasites outing another group of people who have quietly gone about their business in becoming successful. They cant have it both ways. Either everybody is equal, or nobody is. Either we're all important or none of us are.

The BBC has been exposed, and I wonder why, all of a sudden our PBS broadcasting company is being singled out for a lashing. What about Therea's May's husband, a senior executive at a $1.4tn investment fund that profits from tax avoidance companies. What about him?

And what about Blair buying up property like a property tycoon?

And what about Jeremy Hunt who is secretly selling off our NHS, with a smug smile?

And what about Grenfell Tower?

And what about our schools. And what about and what about and what about......

I don't need to go on, my fury gives me hiccups. My sadness at the shenanigans of the weak power brokers who are hiding in plain sight gives me acid reflux. And we do nothing, because as yet we don't know what to do.

Meditate?

Rebel?

Pray?

Join hands?

Believe?

Read?

Wait for new leaders?

What is to be done when the young are ill fitted and the old are bent double?

Where to turn whilst our taxes, paid for in blood sweet and tears, are being squandered on illegitimate causes. Where the news is bleak and the puny powerful skip all the way to the bank.

Life is short. One day you're counting baked worms on the asphalt as the summer drifts into a misty autumn. The next moment you are lying with them. None of us get out of this alive. I don't care if there is life on another planet, I don't care if there is AI and UFO's I care that the life we're all living now is healthy and generous. We laugh at the concept of LOVE, but what else is there.

We cannot let the bastards grind us down, and yet they are. They have the upper hand, as long as we're divided the inefficient, deluded wielders of power win.

Protests, courage, truth, transparency, honesty, compassion, seemingly comes from the have nots whilst the weapon makers laugh all the way to their bunkers.

Declaring that Chris gets a lot and Emily doesn't, outing Gary, spurning Tessa, gloating Vanessa, all of it is irrelevant, as long as 'The Daily Wail' print cover stories like this we take our eye off the ball. For isn't that what they want?

We must claw back our decency, get outraged, make noise. We must call out the self serving, we must search for the truth. THE truth, not their truth, my truth but THE truth. We must acknowledge that, little by little, our silly little lives are being shafted.

I love life, with it's dark days and bad. Life, with it's up days and lilac. Clinging on to hope and sense, seeking out optimism, rejecting cynicism, believing in aspiration, embracing the dream. Recognising that we are being manipulated is the first step into changing. For change we must. To quote Barack Obama:

'Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.'

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Coccyx sucker

Posted by Jeni in Ad Infinitum | 12 July 2017

It's raining.

The kale, broccoli, cauliflower and runner beans are loving it.

The raspberries are shrivelled and the strawberries have a little life left.

I am, officially, theeee most boring woman in the world.

I've been doing my yoga, and walking. I've been doing my hoeing and mowing. I've been mediating and chilling and then BOOM. Out of the blue I had a twinge.

Nothing major just a funny old twinge in the right lower back.

The twinge twanged more. The pain increased. So I went to my cranial osteopath.

I had sprained the sacroiliac.

When I was twelve, I was at a girls school in Bushey. Lots of money, and then me. My father kept wadges of dosh in his back pocket, flicking through the notes when he need to buy his pack of twenty 'Senior Service'.

The school uniform was exclusive to Harrods. We had never been to Harrods. The sales assistants had never seen anything like the wide boy, market trader who swaggered through the underwear department. Bespoke suit courtesy of Moisha Spiel, his curly headed wife and me. He flashed the cash and bought me indoor shoes, outdoor shoes, a blue summer dress, a brown mac, brown beret and brown knickers, the paraphernalia that independent school girls required.

I arrived at the school, the new girl. Music bursary and East End manners. Miss Foulger, my piano teacher loved me. I loved her. She gave me her musical dictionary which still sits next to the top notes on my boudoir piano in the cottage. Miss Eddington and Miss Upcott loathed me. They thought I was coarse, crass and classless, which of course I was.

In the parquet floored hall we took lunch. Danced eurythmics and attended choir practice. Charlotte Rampling sung in the choir, punching the air with her fist in time to the music. A girl standing behind, me thought it a spiffing joke, to pull the chair away when we were asked to sit. I crashed to the ground.

Taken to the hospital, the doctor pulled on his Marigolds and proceeded too investigate my anal passage. ( I've often wondered, whether that rectal exploration was at all necessary.) Lying on my side I vowed I would never resort to latex gloves in later life.

The diagnosis was a bruised sacroiliac. That practical joker from the lower fifth, probably living in a timber framed house somewhere in Hertfordshire with children of her own, will be ignorant of the grief she caused me. The trauma of that fall has stayed with me since 1962.

So the simple task of hoeing my roses and plucking out the weeds, resulted in the 55 year trauma resurfacing, a literal pain in the butt.

For two weeks I have been ice-packing, pain killing, rearranging my sitting patterns and adopting a whole range of inappropriate postures. I'm walking around like a Chinese farmer with a stack of bamboo on her back. I sleep on the settee and bemoan the fact that, although I am flexible and able, my creaking frame is a reminder that things ain't wot they used to be.

Yesterday I sat on two bean bags and watched Johanna Kontor serve her way to victory. It took me three ball changes to get myself off the floor. I am in constant eye contact with the cat, who shares the bean bags with me.

I'm now sitting in the kitchen, the garden resplendent with rain drops and I'm sporting two ice packs, a coating of pain killers, and two hot water bottles under my feet.

I am reliably informed that it could take six weeks to fully recover, in the mean time I shall think about fashioning a voodoo doll of the fifth former, and then stick pins in her coccyx. See how she likes it.

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