Never be lulled into a false sense of security. I predicted a fairly innocuous week ahead only to be faced with a self-inflicted debilitating injury coupled with the aftermath of too much apple cider vinegar! One couldn’t write it – but, for those immersed in the life of the banal, I shall give it my best shot …
Minutes after posting my latest musings last Friday, Manny was vacating the premises. Waving him off, as is my wont, I suddenly realized I had forgotten to ask him something of great importance and thus endeavoured to navigate the three levels in front of me – at great speed – tripping over the final wall, twisting my ankle and falling (in slow motion) in a heap on the pavement … and on my left pinkie! Superb. Used to picking myself up and getting straight back on – the horse, that is – I convinced Manny that I was fine as I hobbled back into the house all the time thankful that I wasn’t left-handed! As many know, I all but severed through my left thumb courtesy of a Swiss army knife in 2016 but recovered 90% mobility thanks to the plastic surgery unit at Ninewells Hospital in Dundee and subsequent weeks of physio at Livingston. Unable to drive, I ‘enjoyed’ the scenic bus route to and from the hospital, my only other trip to Livingston having been on a Saturday night to see a nationwide live screening of Macbeth starring Sir Kenneth Branagh. Livingston, one might well ask? Well, where else would there be guaranteed an empty cinema for the screening of a Shakespeare play?! The memories endure.
Not prone to leaping out of bed at the best of times, the left ankle was more than a little painful – and swollen – as was my left pinkie. Onwards and upwards. It did, however, hit home to me that perhaps, nearing the end of my sixth decade (why would anybody write that?), I should be taking better care of myself. Cue the apple cider vinegar! My friend, Emily, is the living, breathing oracle on homeopathic remedies and I constantly urge her to put pen to paper. Apple cider vinegar, moreover, is one of her mainstays and I, consequently, have a large bottle in a kitchen cupboard. Well, hobbling and in pain, virtually unable to use my left hand thus making the simplest of tasks more stressful, I sacrificed the wine – try opening a bottle with one hand – and resorted to the vinegar (those words, alone, being a sign of maturity considering they were once interchangeable!): two tablespoons – neat – before going to bed. Oh, boy! Like a lamb to the slaughter … The first night, I did sleep like a lamb (au fait with how lambs sleep, obviously); however, following the second, I awoke with a niggling headache which only developed as the day progressed. The day being Wednesday, I had a long-held lunch date to which I had been looking forward, partly as a means of escape from my surrounding mayhem for a few hours. Not to be. Never a ‘lady who lunches’, I spent all of twenty minutes at the restaurant before the all-encompassing nausea forced me to retreat. Managing only two sips of my large glass of wine, the food was untouched as I left with a doggy bag. Had I not been an obvious victim of stress overload, I might have been inclined to suggest I was allergic to the common ‘girlie lunch’. Perhaps someone just knows me better than myself …
Ignoring the mind-numbing subject of Brexit – note the date – in a world in crisis, the trivialities abound: never-ending studies such as that suggesting too much sitting is killing us never mind the one indicating that menopausal women should spend more time walking downhill to preserve their bones. Who is carrying out these studies let alone funding them – and why? A total and utter waste of time! Likewise, these little green men might as well return to the planet Zorg content with their booty of cocktail sticks as a timely reminder of Tiger Lily. Intelligent life is long gone.
We live in a world of labels. Endeavouring to book a haircut at a new salon last week, I was bombarded with the different titles from stylist to Designer to Creative Director, Senior Creative Director and, finally, Style Director. All I wanted was someone of sufficient competence and experience to cut my hair. Don’t be ridiculous! It’s all in the name and one must learn to play the game … I could digress, now, into a rhyming ditty but restraint is all.
On the news yesterday was the announcement that any car produced in Europe, from the year 2020, will be equipped with an intelligence system which prohibits an excess of speed beyond the instructed limit. Together with driverless cars, it smacks of mindless subservience. I can’t live like that. Talking of mindlessness, I’m sure most are familiar with Ken Bruce on Radio 2 and Pop Master? Humour me. Suffice to say, more often than not, it is a comedic interlude as Mr Bruce struggles to feign interest in those who phone in. A Glaswegian with the customary dry wit, one can only imagine what is going through his mind as he endeavours to make small talk with some who are, shall we say, intellectually challenged. Always the ones too, of course, who take the opportunity to mention ‘everybody who knows me’! Why? Four vacuous words doing nothing more than use up time and oxygen. Having scored an average of about 6, usually with the excuse that the questions were a bit before their time, they then comment that they did so much better on the questions of their opponent – who would have thought it? – before spuriously wishing him/her luck. Day in, day out. Never question Ken Bruce’s pay cheque!
The sheep syndrome. I don’t think it will be too long before one struggles to differentiate between a human and the inevitable robot. Seemingly programmed, the masses appear to thrive on imitated behaviour. Driving into town during the morning rush hour yesterday, I was faced with an endless sea of miserable figures dressed in the ‘uniform’ black or grey, absurdly incongruous trainers, each plugged in to the obligatory earphones or glued to a screen. Self-inflicted isolation ensuring no form of interaction with another being. No wonder everyone is so depressed. That which scares me the most, however, is the identity tag. Talk about demeaning! Ironically, those who wear them have all but voluntarily forfeited their identities. Little difference to branding cattle.
So, the world is my oyster subject to the invention of a time machine and self-employment! Oh, one other form of self-limiting restriction I should mention … I could never appear on a television programme requiring one to wave vacuously on introduction. Prohibitive in that that rules out the exercising of my knowledge on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, it would also have proved arduous had I married Prince Andrew! Ah, well, all for the best, then …
‘Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.’
This is Trish, signing off.