Wednesday, 15 February 2012

The Unexpected - In Multiples

Firstly, many thanks to My House from Quercy for the Liebster Award. Unfortunately I haven't been able to copy the logo but I am most grateful!

Last week ended horribly. The sort of horribly that you try and prevent but can, at the time, do nothing about. The sort of horribly that feels as if everything is draining out of you.

I was due to go to a party on Saturday night and a friend asked, “Are you sure you want to go?”
“Absolutely,” I replied. When feeling dire, do something to make you feel better is my motto. So I put on my favourite skirt (car boot last summer), good luck scarf (Christmas present), and at 8.30 we set off.

I found my friend Deb wasn’t at the party, and knowing she had a curfew of 9pm as she was babysitting her grandchildren, I nipped up the road to get her. She wasn’t in her house, wasn’t in the main house round the corner, but her son-in-law answered the door. “She’s in hospital,” he said. “Chest pains again. I’ll let you know what happens.”

I went back to the party and despite worrying over Deb, ended up having a great time. I caught up with some good friends, met several people (yes, men), had a few bops, several glasses of wine, and got to bed rather later than I’d intended.

The following morning was thick with text messages about Deb who was being kept in hospital but as I was heading that way anyway I said I’d see her in the afternoon after doing a walk for Cornwall Today. I collected Viv and set off with the dogs to China Clay country, pausing to drop off some belongings en route.

I waved from the van as we drew up, and hadn’t even got to the fellow’s door when it opened and the gentleman opened the door with a huge smile. “How lovely to see you!” he cried. I handed over his belongings, told him we were going to do a walk nearby. “Come and have a cup of tea when you’ve finished,” he said.

We set off with Viv musing over whether we might be fed. “Do you think he might nip down to Costcutters and get some Battenburg?” she said hopefully. “Or perhaps something else, as not everyone likes marzipan?”

“Stop thinking about food,” I said, “and get on with this walk.”

Unfortunately what looked like a good circular walk on the OS map proved to grind to a halt in a car park 45 minutes later. We consulted the map, realised we’d been walking in the opposite direction, and then asked a young couple if we could do a circular walk.

“No,” said the husband, “but you can go this way,” and gave highly detailed directions of where we could go, ending with the fatal words, “you can’t get lost.”

“Oh yes, we can,” said Viv.

We had to retrace our steps, weren’t able to do a walk for the magazine, but got back to the van having had a good laugh, the dogs had a good run and we caught up on the news. Then we went in for a cuppa which was most welcome. “Can I offer you something to eat?” the lovely gentleman said. “Biscuits? Cake? Bacon and egg pie?”

Viv’s eyes lit up at the word pie but I kicked her under the table, fearing that this was his tea for the next few nights. “No, we’ve just had sandwiches,” I said, watching Viv’s face fall. “But a biscuit would be lovely.”

“In that case, let me show you my gadget,” he said. I blinked slightly at this but it turned out to be a tap that spews out boiling water at the press of a button without having to boil a kettle. (Called a Quooler, it has a lagged tank under the sink that takes 2 weeks to cool down if you turn it off. Very impressive.)

We spent over an hour there, listening to this gentleman’s life – he was a Marine commando in Malaya when he met his wife – their first night of courting, and how he is managing now she is dead. He grew up in Truro and was telling us what it was like in the 1950s; like me, he enjoys car boots and told us about the one he goes to at Par on Thursday and Saturday mornings. In the middle of this, Deb rang to say she was allowed home and was being picked up by her daughter.

It is cheering to find that even when life is upsetting, there are unexpected pleasures. As my mum said last night, “you’re the sort of person things happen to, darling.”

In which case, what will happen next?

PS Have just sent my novel off to Legend Press so fingers crossed


Chris Stovell said...

I think you're the sort of person who makes things happen, Sue! That's why it's so good to hear that despite the bumps, you dust yourself up and go back out there. Glad to hear that your friend is, hopefully, on the mend and all best wishes for your novel.

Flowerpot said...

Thanks, Chris. Yes I do tend to do that - I find it's the only way to keep going. And I'm so pleased Deb is safe and well.

Sally said...

So glad your friend is okay. I also have a friend on Coronary Care and it's a worrying time.

Your afternoon with your old gentleman sounds quite delightful and I bet you brightened his day as much as he yours!

Good luck with your novel - now that is really exciting......

Just also have to say how lucky you are to still have your Mum to give you wise words.

with love,

Sally said...

This poem has taken me through some difficult times and I just thought I'd like to share it with you

Look to this day
For it is life
The very life of life
In its brief course lie all
The realities and truths of existence
The joy of growth
The glory of action
The splendour of beauty,
For yesterday is but a memory
And tomorrow is only a vision
But today well lived
Makes every yesterday a memory of happiness
And every tomorrow a vision of hope

Flowerpot said...

Sally - it is worrying when friends are poorly isn't it? And yes you're right I am very lucky to have my mum around still.

Flowerpot said...

Sally - that is such a lovely poem that I will treasure. Thanks for being such a lovely friend xx

Jane Lovering said...

I'm glad your friend is getting better, but I did have a giggle at your 'non circular' walk - I thought that getting lost was my own particular talent! It's nice to know that these things happen to others as well (but a shame there was no Battenburg, there isn't a day that can't be improved with the addition of Battenburg).

Flowerpot said...

Jane - we almost always get lost but never have we not completed a walk before! I'm not that into Marzipan, but Viv is.....!

Akelamalu said...

You're making things happen FP, and so you should. Good to hear that Deb is OK. x

Debs Carr said...

I'm glad that Deb is okay and agree with Chris that you're the sort of person who makes things happen. Good for you.

Good luck with your submission. *crosses everything*

Philipa said...

Congrats on the award, whatever it is. What is it?

When you said your week ended horribly I was expecting you to say your friend had died. Glad to know she's well and out of hospital :-)

Liane Spicer said...

I thought you were going to say at the end that something dreadful happened to your friend. Thank goodness it wasn't that!

Um, what is a car boot? I had visions of you rescuing a skirt that you'd forgotten in the trunk of your car since last summer but when you said the gentleman loves car boots I figured I was on the wrong track...

Flowerpot said...

Ak - yes perhaps I am making things happen. Did the preparatory work ages ago.....

Flowerpot said...

Thanks Debs - I'm keeping everything crossed, too!

Flowerpot said...

Phil - I forgot to say that the award is for favourite or best blog. Very cheering. I know, thank god Deb is OK. :)

Flowerpot said...

Liane - you have made me laugh re car boots! It's short for car boot sale and people take their cars to a large field (usually) and sell their second hand stuff from their car boots - or more usually tables next to their cars....

Philipa said...

Oh, yes, definitely a fave blog x

Flowerpot said...

Thanks, Phil! xx

Anonymous said...

Lots of luck with the novel, fingers firmly crossed for you.

Yes, it is strange how life works out. Though a contrast in life keeps us on our toes for the next "event".

CJ x

Flowerpot said...

CJ - thanks for that. Though life seems to be permanently full of lots of contrast. No time to get bored, I suppose!

Talli Roland said...

The whole time I was reading that, I thought it was going to end in a horrible way. What a relief that it ended on a high, and that it wasn't the horrible 'last week' you were referring to!

So pleased your friend is feeling better and best of luck with Legend Press!

Flowerpot said...

Talli - sorry to have misled you but both my friend and I were OK - what a relief!

Bluestocking Mum said...

Sorry it's been so long (you know why) but how lovely to read your blog and see none of your indomitable spirit has faded.

Totally agree with the others, Sue - good things come to good people and you, like me are one to make things happen.

Hope your friend, Deb is soon feeling better. And fingers crossed for your latest submission. Keep us posted!


Flowerpot said...

Debbie - how very heartwarming - thank you! x

Our House in Quercy said...

Good luck with the book! I love your most recent photos - assume this is the course having an effect? Keep up the good work. I am no techno-head either, and can only imagine the brain freeze any math reference would cause me. I can't see an email address - I could send the art to you if you like? You can email me if you like

Flowerpot said...

Thanks for this - in fact this photo was taken last summer!