Well dear readers,
As agony aunt to the less than famous, the indiscreet and the truly damaged, let me draw your attention to young Phils queary.
Living in Thailand, as he does, and enduring Siam Suzie, which he does, Philip wanted to know why, after an exhaustive shopping trip, we ladies always end up buying our men ties for Christmas.
It’s quite simple Phil, there is always the feint possibility that you will tie the tie just a little too tightly around your necks which means our job is half done.
Oh! no it isn’t…………
In my capacity as agony aunt to the follically challenged, fiscally unaware and non gender specific enquiries, I will now turn my attention to Kerri, David and Michael.
I know that as an agony aunt I really shouldn’t get invovled with my subjects but sometimes it is hard to remain objective.
So with that in mind
I FECKIN’ LOVE YOU DAVID, MICHAEL, KERRI, CHRISSIE, And the rest of you, you all know who you are.
Now that I have got that off my chest let me explain my absence.
Take an 85 year old mother, a working actor, a 20 year old musician, take a pair of old pink Crocs, a fluffy pink dressing gown that just covers your modesty, take a box of food pairings to the compost, add some very wet grass, a mind that is not on the job and what do you get….
One furry dressing gown covered in thick brown mud, a pair of pink Crocs in the blackberry bushes, a box of food pairings all over the horseradish root, one mashed up ankle and an old agony aunt in agony.
I had to cancel my trip to my soothsayer, my acupuncturist, The Hackney Empire, The Chelsea Church, Dan the Man and re-think my whole raisin d’ettrer. ( I hope that’s correct Chrissie!?* )
On my way I popped into the dentist to have my filling repaired.
Patty P, the receptionist, is an expert on everything including sprains, I imagine its all that falling off the ladder looking for peoples teeth files, anyway Patty told me to go to the Minor Injuries Unit at the Kent and Sussex, I would be in and out in 15 minues – yeah! And my name’s Vera McCardle.
My ankle was so painful I didn’t feel the filling. Simon, my dentist asked me whether I ws okay I gurgled ‘No!’
I then drove, very slowly, to my cranial osteopath.
I usually have James Bibby, who’s built like a brick ship house, but he was booked-up so I saw my cranial osteopath instead. He’s built like a brick out-house but is way to young for me….
He squashed my ankle, moved my toes, worked on my sacral tail, asked me questions, made me cry and your normally centred agony aunty fell apart. Not literally, you understand, I had to drive to the Minor Injury Unit to get a second opinion. Was it a tear, a sprain or a break? As my ankle swelled before our very eyes it was thought a quick trip into A&E would be advisable.
Now I believe that the invisible world mashes you up when you don’t listen, if you continue to buzz around like a blue-bottomed-blue-bottle then one of the angels gets out her besom and bops you over the head with it.
Some 20 years ago the very same angel tripped me up on Oxford Street. I was thinking about my mother, just as I had at the compost, when I stumbled over my own left foot.
I heard the snap.
I fainted outside British Home Stores, I know it would have been better to have prostrated myself outside Selfridges with their far superior food hall, but needs must. When a girl has to pass-out she’ll take whatever piece of pavement she can find.
When I resurfaced I had been hauled into the mens department and was having my cheek patted by a bald man, wearing a bow tie who looked exactly like Alexis Sayle. I thought I had been brought back from the dead so threw my arms around Alexis’ neck, kissed him and hauled myself off the floor.
I then proceeded to limp down Oxford Street, right into Carnaby Street and then left into Marshall street where I crawled up the stairs into a television production office only to be immediately taxied off to Middlesex Hospital.
I was x-rayed. It was a clean break. I was strapped up, given a walking stick and told to ask for help.
The hospital and television offices no longer exist.
We agony aunts are good at dishing out advice but bloody useless at taking it. Asking my neighbours to help me in and out of cars, getting the props department at TVam to give me a longe chaise ( I hope that’s right Chrissie!?*) so I could stretch out my broken leg was torture.
Isabelle McGilvray, the psychosynthesist ( don’t ask ) I was seeing at the time, expected me to ground myself but not quite so dramatically.
1982 passed before my eyes as I pulled up outside the main reception at the Kent and Sussex Hospital, known for its friendly staff, filthy wards and MRSA.
I walked to the reception desk, having applied my Mac Red lipstick which I keep in the cubby hole in my car, just like Badon Powell I am always prepared. It’s a bit like underwear always keep a spare handy you never know when you may need to tart yourself up.
I have lipsticks of various hues in all sorts of sectret places.
The receptionist, wearing more bling than P. Diddy, fiddled around on the computer, called me ‘My Dear’ and took down my details. She asked me whether I needed an umbrella as it was tipping it down, the inclement weather was the last thing on my mind, she then asked me whether I had any money to pay for the car park. Despite the application of Mac Red I clearly looked like death warmed up because she said very loudly;
‘I SHOULDN’T BE DOING THIS.’
as she filled out an official form, tore it out of her blue book, and told me to stick it in my windscreen.
I pigeon stepped out to the car, stuck it on the dashboard, and then shuffled my way back into reception. Mrs. Bling sent me off to the MIU.
A very old man was wheeled past me. I burst into tears, he had about 3 minutes of life left in him, another man was trollied past who had about 8 minutes oxygen left. Holding onto the lavatory green walls, past grubby yellow skips of dirty laundry I made my way to the MIU.
I could veritibly hear the bugs debating as to whether to alight on my feeble body.
I took my seat in the Magnolia coloured waiting room.
One wall had a notice board with advice and information pinned up all over it. Broken bones was the order of the day. Neck injuries, what to do with them. Ankle injuries, how to deal with them. Head, nose, back, all known minor conditions were pinned up on the wall, alongside a display imploring us to give up smoking. A crumpled piece of grease-proof paper signified a smoke cloud. I hadn’t seen a more depressing piece of art work since I went to the Tate Modern and experienced Damien’s dead cow,
A family of drinking, smoking, tatooed Kent folk came in. The ‘Larkin’ family they were not, more ‘The Wretched Twigs of December’ than ‘The Darling Buds of May’.
The smell of their last tipple wafted through the waiting room over me and a father and son with a broken ankle, a mother and daughter with a broken wrist, a dinner lady, covered in mud with her arm in a sling, a teaching assistant who had been attacked by a pupil who had left her with whiplash, and a lone woman who kept sighing.
It was 11.o’clock.
The notice on the wall told me to raise my ankle above my hip so I lay down and hauled my foot up onto the back of the black metal chair. The swelling was now the size of a small, green,pulpy melon – and getting pulpier.
I sat up, closed my eyes and meditated.
Finished my meditation lay down again to try and reduce the swelling.
It was now 12.05.
Finally my name was called. I was taken into a cubicle where Jenny Raker, the physiotherapist asked me to take off my shoes and prop myself up on the couch.
Jenny prodded and poked, twisted and turned my foot. Asked me whether I had ever injured my foot before,
‘Several times.’ I replied.
She set about my right foot poked, prodded, twisted and turned it, asked me whether I had ever injured my right fetlock.
‘Oh! Yes.’ I said knowingly.
‘Well since you are such an expert on your feet, do you think you have broken it?’ she enquired.
‘I don’t know, I whimpered.
Jenny couldn’t make a definitive diagnosis so she asked me whether I wanted an x-ray.
We both agreed I might as well take advantage of the offer as I was there, so I was sent off to the x-ray department.
I wanted to go barefoot but Jenny looked me in the eyes and suggested it wouldn’t be advisable what with all the wee beasties a-lurking, so I squeezed my now elephantine foot back into my trainer and dragged myself round the corner into x-ray.
The nurse in the window told me to sit on the grubby green chair and wait for my name to be called.
I read the John Lewis Christmas Catalogue which was lying, inert, on the chair next to me. I entertained a ‘Portaloo’ for Jim’s xmas gift when I heard ‘Ms. Barnett’ being shouted from the window.
I was helped onto a bed, a nurse lined up my ankle, ran into the back room, clicked the camera, ran back to rearrange my ailing foot, ran away again, took a photo and then helped me down. I shoved my cantaloup sized ankle back into my trainer and made it back into the MIU.
My chair was now occupied by a woman in black Crocs. She was accompanied by a white haired bloke who had a bag of newspapers. Sitting opposite them was boy and his skinny mother who had bougt a brown carrier bagsworth of lunch,
It was now 1o’clock.
I hadn’t eaten breakfast, and the thought of lunch made me nauseous.
A hand written sign instructed us not to eat or drink anything until we had been seen by a nurse, so the skinny mum went and asked whether her son could indeed eat his sandwich.
She had a choice of prawn mayonnaise or a cold chicken breast. The thought of both made me gag. Three lavatories adjoined the waiting room. Skinny ma went and washed her hands in the Ladies, the sullen son went and washed his in the Gents, whilst the Janitor used the disabled one.
Ma pulled the sellophane off the top of her triangular sandwich box. She bit into the oozing pink prawns, her son watched her and decided to skip his cold chicken breast. I could see why the MIU was hardly condusive for a picnic.
The black-Crocked woman read The SUN, her companion The MIRROR, I stole a look at the headlines about the geezer who had declared himself dead in a canoe and then reappeared in Panama with his wife and a massive Insurance pay-off.
Whilst I was musing on how he thought he could possibly get away with it Jenny came and got me.
I resumed my position on the couch as Jenny put pictures of my ankle up on the computer, I craned my neck, there didn’t appear to be any breakage.
Jenny walked 23 paces and sat down at the end of the bed. I hadn’t broken my ankle but had severely sprained the anterior talo-fibular ligament and had ‘INSULTED’ the soft tissues.
Insulted it, I thought, more like offended the Bleedin’ Hell out of it. Jenny gave me two pages of physio exercises, told me to raise my leg above my hip, take Ibuprofen for the iflammation and cancel the next 48 hours.
I shoe-horned my watermelon sized left foot back into my ever decreasing trainer and dragged myself back into the waiting room, made a bee-line for the woman with the black Crocks, lifted up her left foot and implored;
‘Please be careful. These are the reason I am in here.’
I had picked up her fractured foot. She had only borrowed the Crocks to slip into the hospital. I bowed out making an embarrassed exit.
I gingerly walked to the car, in my earlier haste I had left the passenger window open, my book, diary, mobile telphone and big box of mansize tissues were all soaked. The parking slip had fallen off the dashboard and the passenger seat was drenched.
It was now 1.50.
I drove to the garage for a loaf of bread and some ‘Nurofen’, arrived home and cancelled the last of my appointments then took my place on the settee.
Hanna, my eldest daughter, ran up and down the cellar steps to get me ice-packs every hour. I took my homeopathic ‘Rhus Tox’ and ‘Ruta’ every 20 minutes to knit my bones and heal my tendons, drunk weak black tea and nibbled on an egg sandwhich, my prefered comfort food, and tried to read the papers.
Jim, who instead of staying at the Theatre, came home and sat next to me on the settee nursing my poorly foot.
It was now 11o’clock night-time.
After a Marmite sandwich and 3 ‘Nurofen’ I crawled into bed and, not unsurprisingly, slept until 6.15 this morning, when the alarm woke us. I kicked Jim out of bed and off he went.
He got to the theatre by 8.00, slept in the car for an hour, and then set about being the ‘Deadly Nightshade’ he played so well. I have a STARBURST sweet wrapper on my desk. The dame threw it out into the audience on Press night. The little square chew hit my knee and for the first time in my life I was one of the kids who got a sweetie.
I’m keeping the wrapper to remind me of the panto which is really good fun. Do go and see it if you can.
My acupuncturist has just called and told me that, esoterically, the left side is the female, intuitive side – well we knew that.
The right side is the male, logical side – yes we knew that too, but a broken ankle is about guilt, and not allowing yourself any pleasure.
It doesn’t take an Einstein to work out my motives then!
I am now about to meditate, take my place back on the settee, feet up, remedies at the ready and the remote control for the first of a number of films I shall be watching today.
I have to accept that the besom was necessary to get me on my back, tomorrow I’m on the LBC radio thingy for three hours and then again on Sunday.
Your homework for this week, if a little late is:
WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE GASTRO PUB?
OR YOUR FAVOURITE COUNTRY PUB?
Easy peazy lemon sueazy/
Thank you all for your blogs you are truly inspirational.
I may write later if anything happens, if not, have a very good day and