Saturday 24 September 2011


Acts have consequences. I know: you learned that at your Mother's knee. The concept came to mind recently as the result of a bizarre and disturbing accident. I was grilling some fish. The grill is inside the oven on my cooker so it can't be seen from the outside. In due course, I lifted out the tray to test for doneness. Around me were a couple of flies one of whom droppped on to the grilling pan. I watched in horror the inevitable and unavoidable demise of the fly against the inferno of the pan. It was unbearable on several levels. Imagine if it actually felt the pain of death by frying. I must say, Liz's normal capacity to bounce back from the awfulness of this and that in her life was severely tested. It gave me an opportunity to think about other things done without thought - or realisation - of the consequences. Sunbathe without protection and you, too, will burn. (My Goodness! It does make you believe in the unconscious. What an example to pop in to mind straight after the fly tale). Moving swiftly on, let us consider the consequences of ageing. After all, a blog which considers the dichotomy of a seventy-year-old body housing a forty-year-old soul is what this blogpost is about. Last night I went to a concert. I needed a snack before the start and presented myself at the queue for this facility. Picture it: stick, tray, handbag the weight of a small toddler, programme too big for inside the bag and ticket sticking out of my pocket. From near the front of the queue spoke up an American voice. "Here, Dear. Take my place."
I accepted, gratefully. As I was struggling with impedimenta to find cutlery and so on, she reappeared, telling me she had collected all those necessaries and found me a table. There you are with a great example of the consequence of ageing. The sting in the tail being that she looked about the same age as I. (Pedantry may be another consequence)

I threatened you, last time,with the promise of more travellers' tales. In fact, that all seems so long ago I think I may bore us all silly with going back to it. But I do have a connected confession. I came home with the wrong suitcase. I don't suppose I shall ever know how that happened. Mine has a band going right round it with my last name embroidered every few inches. It had a Frequent Flier label, making identification easier, and a hand-written label logging the current flight details. This last was red. I cannot believe I accepted it off the carousel and walked it through Customs without noticing that what I was dragging had none of the above appendages. Two contributory factors: the wheelchair had failed to collect me on arrival - again - and the ordered Mini Cab was not represented by its driver as I emerged in Arrivals. As a consequence of the former, I was in pain and a bad mood, concentrating on getting out of the dratted place. As a consequence of the latter, I was irritated and in a worse mood. As a consequence of all that, I could have mistaken the bag for mine, I suppose. However, when the driver did turn up he left me to fetch the car from its distant parking spot. I got talking to a small girl trapped in her push chair and didnt notice him come back and load the/a bag in to his car. Did he pick up the wrong one? Did I retrieve the wrong one? Dear Reader, we shall never know. The consequence of all that is that this elderly lady, exhausted and upset, after hours of telephoning, including to irate owners of the wrong bag, had to go back to the Airport, taking the wrong bag and going through hoops to get back the right one. (Are there elderly lady terrorists, I ask myself) Several Airport, wheelchairless miles later, I finally made it back to my car and the dear friend who had driven me there six full hours after my original return. Dottiness must be the consequence of more than three score and ten. Today is my birthday. It can only get worse. Prynhawn da

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