Tag Archives: numpty

Drowning, Not Waving

DunceOh dearie, dearie me. Oh my.

I started the Masters course in Creative Writing last week. How hard could it possibly be? I love reading. I love writing. Simple?

Er, no. I am a fish out of water. Or prawn. Squid?

It started so well. I made my way to induction, swimming and elbowing against the tide of children headed for the canteen. They were very, very young and I felt very, very old. Mumsy. Grey. Got my ID card. The woman who took my photo said, ‘you can smile you know love, it’s not Crimewatch.’

I grimaced, picked up my card and joined the young folk in the classroom. And I loved it – learning something new. Filled with enthusiasm, the first lecture loomed. Wasn’t too bad, took notes, swotted up. Then a different lecture about research. Without warning, the tutor switched to Swahili and the four hours passed in a blur of ‘why am I here, what am I doing and when will they unmask me and chuck me out?’

Then, the first writing assignment. I knew I could do this. I’ve been writing a form of flash fiction for two years with this blog, each post around 400 words but (hopefully) conveying so much more. I was chuffed with my effort, slaved over it, rewrote it, obsessed about it.

Let’s just say, I Don’t Get It. I am panicking. I wrote a terrible story. I adore my course, I love the research. I just don’t think I have what it takes.

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Dim? Some.

Memory, what memoryI was with the boss one morning last week; we were driving to a warehouse to buy something or other for our latest project.

He pointed towards the humungous Tesco Extra on our left, saying, ‘it’s been refurbished, there’s a Costa there now too.’

‘Oh, um, great! Must check it out, but you know my heart lies with Ocado.’

We got the something or other from the warehouse, loaded the van up and drove away.

‘Hey, boss! Did’ya know that Tesco’s has had some kind of makeover. Someone told me. And Costa’s has opened. That one, over there.’


Then, ‘are you winding me up?’

‘Nope, boss. Just know you love your Costa coffee with the caramel swirly thing.’

‘Yeeeeeees (very, very, slowly), but ten minutes ago I told you about it. You’re freaking me out.’


‘Your memory, honestly’ – then all I heard was the word ‘dim’.

‘Oi! I’m not dim. I won a medal once. For badminton.’

‘Noooooooooooo (very, very, slowly), I said you’re like a dimmer switch. Sometimes very bright but other times, you know, dimmer. More dim. No, not dim. Just not as bright. But not dim as such. You know what I mean.’

*sulks all the way to the meeting with the architect*

But, he had a point. My memory over the last six weeks has been atrocious. Embarrassingly so. I asked my mum, ‘I know I’m ancient now, but was your memory this bad when you were 41?’

Mums are a polite bunch, aren’t they? ‘Well, dear, we’re all different. We all have strengths and weaknesses. We all find our unique place in the world. But yes, your memory is dire.’

The Teenager plays on this – ‘But you said, you said I could have a Dominos. Is your memory playing up again? Don’t forget you said we could get a dog. AND, remember that £20 I owe you? I’m so happy I paid you back’ (he didn’t. I know this for a fact). Nice try.

Anyway, on the one hand, it’s a great cop-out (pesky MS cog fog), but on the other, I am liable to be hoodwinked on a regular basis, plus I just can’t remember anything important. I have to write everything down, to the point that when I walk through my house, I’m accosted by a forest of post-it notes. Which I can’t remember writing. What does ‘T-hhhhhhh!! CJ R’ even mean?

And as for Costa Coffee. I haven’t been yet. Did I tell you they opened one in my local Tesco Extra?

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Livin’ La Vida Sofa…

livin' la vida sofaSince my spectacular fall last Thursday, I have been hobbling around at home going stir crazy.

I made a break for freedom on Sunday when a friend enticed me outside with the offer of brunch and some retail therapy. He quickly walked ahead of me as I yelled, ‘Hello trees! Hello shops! I’m out!’ and grinned manically at everyone I passed in the street.

Two hours later he dropped me back home, full of coffee but exhausted. My leg was throbbing and as I peeled my jeans off the bruise spread even further. Oops.

I have a sinking feeling the injury will take a lot longer to heal than I first thought. I’m not going anywhere this week, so I skulk around the house and spend far too much time on my sofa.

When The Teenager comes home from school, I bribe him with cake in the vain hope he will sit down long enough to tell me what it’s like in the outside world but all he wants to do is have another look at my bruise before heading upstairs to tweet and get up to the next level of Candy Crush (no idea).

I have set up a Command Centre from my sofa – everything I need is within reach. Remote control, magazines, mobile phone, Bacon Bites. I have watched every programme on my Sky Planner and now have to resort to watching Catherine Cookson adaptations and angry people shouting at each other on Jeremy Kyle.

Friends and family have been brilliant. My mum comes round every day with gossip and my latest batch of laundry. A friend dropped off a huge Victoria sponge on Saturday. Even the cat is behaving, although we argue over duvet rights on the sofa.

My days are punctuated by painkillers and chocolate (it’s medicinal). I really should get cracking on my next essay. I need to put an online shopping order in. My bank statements are staring at me from my desk. The dust balls are having a party and my garden is sadly neglected. Life is on hold.

I remain optimistic though. MS has taught me to expect the unexpected. Soon enough, things will return to normal. In the meantime, a friend is coming over soon with the new issue of Grazia and I’m going to chuck the cat off my duvet. Again.

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Stumbling In Crutches

imageI am feeling rather sorry for myself. As I write, there is a pair of crutches next to me and I am floating among pink, fluffy clouds thanks to the strong painkillers.

Yesterday I fell quite badly, and to be fair, it wasn’t due to the MS, it was me not looking where I was going.

Unfortunately though, my MS treatment has left me with a tendency to have out-of-proportion bruising, so my leg is now a fabulous riot of colours and has swollen so much I can’t get my jeans on. To top it off, I think the shock of it has increased my nerve pain temporarily so I’m buzzing and tingling all over.

The bruising must be impressive as The Teenager keeps wanting a look at it, saying ‘ewwwwwww’ before taking another look.

All in all, not the best of days. Thank goodness for family and friends. My partner-in-crime at the museum trip (see post below) came up trumps and after making numerous phone calls, tracked down a pair of crutches I can borrow. My mum is carting away loads of laundry for me and drops round food supplies, flowers and news of the outside world.

So, yet again, I am whiling away the hours at home, not studying, not writing up my essay notes and chomping obscene amounts of Maltesers and Bacon Bites. Ho hum. I have worked out how to switch on the fire with a crutch without getting off the sofa, I count down the hours to my next lot of painkillers and The Teenager has had two takeaways in a row.

I’d like to say I have learnt something from this experience, that I will never, ever take my health for granted, but hey, didn’t I just go through all this recently with the whole MS saga? I don’t need any more time out to re-evaluate the direction of my life. Been there, done that, drowned my sorrows.

So I’m off to have another pity party and pop more painkillers. My mum is at the supermarket buying me a tub of prunes. Life goes on…

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