Thursday 21 May 2009

More Adapting

Those of you who have been loyally keeping up and are more numerate than I will have noticed that I had numbered my 'Retirement' blogs incorrectly. There are really user-friendly options for editing blogs so I have been able to rectify my mistakes and would even have got away with new readers not even knowing how stupid I am if the habit of confession was not so intrenched in my guilt-ridden character. But there you are; I feel obliged to acknowledge my failure of pagination and promise to do better in future. Indeed, I have taken the softer option of calling this blog "More Adapting" just in case I have already adapted more times than I can remember telling you. What comes to mind as I write, is the occasion I was driving along Knightsbridge in search of Blue Badge Holder disabled parking spaces. If you are on the other side of the Pond or even on this island but not familiar with London, Knightsbridge is a broad thoroughfare going roughly east to west. (I only know which is west if a route could be headed towards Wales. This one is.) It is always very busy, indeed, with Hyde Park Corner at one end and Harrods at the other. (Now, wherever you are, you can't pretend you haven't heard of Harrods). Anyway, I was driving east along this road with the Blue Badge spaces on the other side of the road. I was just toying with the idea of doing a 'U' turn in the road, as had always been my wont, to reach Mecca, when a young man, in what I am reliably given to understand was an open-top Porsche, did just that, but from west to east, so that he ended up cutting in front of me with just about enough room to avoid a collision. Giving me a very cheeky grin, he pushed on regardless, regardless anyway, of the effect on me of his audacity. The effect was life-changing: I was forced to see that it would not be a good look on an elderly lady in an ancient saloon to swing across the stream of traffic as he had done. For one thing, given sexism and ageism, I risked being dubbed dotty- in- charge- of- a- motor- vehicle and even losing my right to drive. So, Dear Reader, I proceeded sedately east to Hyde Park Corner, drove round it and continued demurely back west towards my goal, the disabled parking bays. Or, as my English teacher would have corrected, the parking bays for the disabled. You may not think an extra five or seven minutes of' 'comme il faut' driving much of an adaptation, but, sh, I have been known to drive much less than sedately in my youth, which lasted, in driving terms, pretty much until the day before yesterday.

It may be that this next thought is not so much an adaptation as a giving up. (Adaptation is tantamount to Giving Up: discuss). Anyway, I thought you would be struck by an irony that distracted me from my German for Absolute Beginners lesson. Next door to the room where the class is held is another class. Each week, during my class, I have noticed vaguely Eastern music which can be quite intrusive and definitely not Teutonic. This time I asked a fellow student: Belly Dancing: yes, really, Belly Dancing. Something rather optimistic, to put it mildly, to teach in the University of the third age wouldn't you agree? Although, as you know, I love to dance, my inner eye boggled. Since I am just about the youngest in this class, and, certainly in the Advanced French class, though probably less mobile than some, it was very hard to visualise the possible candidates for a class in Belly Dancing. Can one Belly Dance with a zimmer frame, I ask myself? Next week I am going to find the courage to peer through the door and give my inner eye some peace. I hope I can maintain a proper respect for what I see. No, seriously, I do not want to be tempted to mock or feel superior. I don't. My 40 year old self never saw herself as a Belly Dancer and it has to be too late, now. Hasn't it....... ?

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