Monday 7 September 2009

Remembering Funny Things Instead Of Getting On With Serious Stuff

Today is full of fizz and decision. I have made many decisions, all with fizz. I have not over eaten which is odd, but there is time to do that later when the fizz wears thin. My desk is brimming over with Awfully Important And Urgent Papers and the lists I am drawing up are all merging into a venn diagram that a code breaker would have to spend time chewing their nails over.

However. It is, as Alan says, about taking control. Much control has been taken, and much more needs to be done.

So. What are these Amusing Things that distract me? Well the first one I will tell you about happened on Saturday in Clarkes Shoe shop. I had cycled into Chichester to buy some school shoes and as I left the shop I thought Hum, Ladies Shoes and went to have a look. As soon as I saw the shoes, beautifully displayed I felt my head explode and I thought Too Many Shoes What Do I Want More Shoes For Bah, What Kind Of Shoe Should I Have, What Should I Do? If I Wore Any Of These What Does It Mean I Am Not Equipped To Wear Shoes I Don't Know What It All Means What Would I Wear It All Boils Down To I Don't Know Who I Am. All this happened in a microsecond and I left the shop in a panic, muttering and dribbling and shaking my head.

Outside in the street I thought This Explains Everything. I react like this over any choice that contains more than 2 options. This is why I can't paint just one subject and stick with it. Why I can't decide where I want to live, why I can't stick with my own point of view when there are a few other points of view to consider. Why I can't just Do Things. Why I can't clothes shop. And yet, once I have made up my mind, I can be as focussed as the next obsessive. I can, if I really DO make up my mind, stick to it even if it is not working. That is a whole new blog though.

Having had this Eureka Moment, I passed the Oxmarket Gallery and went in to look at the space I am having the Every Day Angel exhibition in. What I really went in for though, was to tell the man at the desk, a kind and understanding fellow, all about my Clarkes Shoe Life Moment. And, it seems, he understood. I think he said he was like that too.

Here is another Thing I remembered today. I found a photo of my mother on her wedding day this morning, and found myself recalling, as a little girl, how I could have had such a beautiful mother. She was (and still is) a real stunner. And I remember her going off to work on a bike when I was very young, with a basket at the front. Where Are You Going Mummy? I asked her. She replied that she was a midwife, and that she had to go and deliver babies to their mummies. I had another Eureka Moment and understood that that was why there was a basket on her bike. She put the babies in there and cycled around posting them to new mummies. How sensible.

One thought led to another, and as I found I had rubbed my eyes with my dirty hands this morning and left black marks on my face, I thought of the awful journey I had home in June this year, after 19 Year Old Daughter and I had been to Verona. All was fun and games till we parted, Daughter and I, at Gatwick. Bye Darling I said, as the thunder crashed and the heavens opened. My little red and white cotton dress was cruelly inadequate protection against the wind and rain and my little size 7 feet slipped around in my size 8 flip flops. Bugger, I thought.

So, waiting on the platform, I see a train come in. Oh loyal National Rail I cried, and hopped on. I had my newspaper and read the first page before I realised I had left my bag, lonely and forlorne, on the platform of Gatwick Rail Station. Off I plunge at the next stop, into the monsoon, and have to run, slipping and sliding, all the way down the long platform to the 6 inches of cover at the other end under which a tired and droopy Guard was watching me. When I explained what I had done, he was very good, called and located the Gatwick Staff and told me to run over the bridge where another train was just pulling in, and go back to Gatters where someone would show me somehow to the bag which was being taken away for a controlled explosion. Off I go, in pretty sun dress, flip flops making me look disabled in the wet, over the bridge, caught the trian with a nano second to go, and went back to Gatwick. I have to say I looked like the only one who hadn't a) heard the weather forecast that morning and b) hadn't twigged that if it was raining last night, had been all week, was overcast and foul in the morning, I would be better off in a coat and brolly and real shoes. A sun dress and matching lipstick and flip flops would show me up as a bit borderline odd. It would only make it worse if I made it known I was in Italy in hot sun only a few hours earlier. British people would only glare at me and mutter We Weren't Born Yesterday. You Are Just A Silly Billy.

Oh thank God for kind Gatwick Rail staff (in coats and scarves and wellies and umberellas) Who gave me back my very wet very heavy bag. Who's A Scallywag Then they chortled as I curtsied and thanked them and swam back onto the platform where my next train was delayed. At last I got onto the train and Lo! Only one seat left. Now I thought that as I was brown and in red, a bit of a drenching would only add to my allure. I thought, if one was to look at me, one couldn't help but see that I was not a drowned middle aged woman, innapropriately dressed and obviously not making good progress in her day. One would see that I was an exotic and exciting woman whose dress clung to her and whose flip flops gave her a certain quirky charm. That I was tanned and could only have come from Italy and, what if it is raining on me, I need only to glance at you for you to forget the drops of water falling from my nose and earlobes, it would be obvious that I was an exciting traveller with a piercing intelligence in my eyes and Oh what a story to tell.

It was in this frame of mind that I noticed the handsome (dry) man sitting in the only seat next to whom there was a vacancy. So I sat, like Elizabeth Taylor. Like Holly Golightly. Like Ava Gardner, next to him and he turned and gazed at me with his mouth open. Yes, I thought, I am not like Other Women, I am Different. I am Exciting With A Story To Tell. He kept glancing at me all the way to his station. Only because I am alluring, I thought, as I read my newspaper. Then when I got off at my stop, I glanced at my reflection in the window. I had pushed back my hair, and wiped my face dry many times on the journey and each time had left another black streak of newsprint on my face and neck. I didn't look like a Screen Goddess, I looked like I had been in an Initiation Ceremony in Papua New Guinnea. My face was covered in black symbols and lines and had probably made my handsome co-passenger have to take the rest of the week off to consult his psychiatrist.

Now. Back to today. Before I remember any more silly stuff.

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