Wednesday 11 July 2012


The point about snow is that once it has gone, it has gone. No-one knows where. No-one can find it again. No-one can prove even that it was there. The same is true for my waist. Now, normally this would be of no interest to anyone but me, but the time came for me to look out the scarlet swimsuit with which loyal followers will be only too familiar, and it doesn't fit. There you are. I've said it. Black and white makes for the scarlet truth. Unfortunately, it can be proved that it was there. There are photographs. I am of the age when bikinis first appeared. I appeared in one. I even knew why they were called bikinis. The provenance of the name was of my era. What's more, I looked alright in one. Now, I should frighten the horses. There are options. I can go and look for another swimsuit that will fit or I can lose weight and fit into the one I already have and love. Currently the jury is out about which is likely to be the more efficient or effective or both. It  encouraged me to think about what else had gone with the snow. My ankles have. Why is it that the elderly lose their ankles? I keep looking. It is true of nearly all the women of my age that I look at.  Should a skirt be essential, I do have little boots which come over my ankles and make a really good job of disguising them. However, they are a bit of a challenge to put on because, guess what, I've lost flexibility in my hands and wrists so, unless I've left myself more time than  scatterbrains usually do, I am obliged to climb in to my trousers after all.

There was a time when I had a whole lexicon of words: nouns, adverbs, adjectives, anything you might ask for which the crossword throws up. Gone, like the above frozen precipitation: gone.  You will be familiar, I think, with the old man in my archive pushing his ladder along the rows of information stored in my head, searching for whatever it is I need. Mostly, he  gets there. Mostly, I can produce the word before the need for it is obselete. Often, though, I incur the  cost of phoning the Father of my children whose archivist, although even older than mine,  does remain sharp and reliable. "What's the word for....?" I ask. He tells me. I thank him and replace the receiver. I have another friend of some erudition. I ring him, too. He never laughs at me. He is never impatient. He will search his own lexicon and generously produce answers even of the far from archane. Where do they go, the words I used to have?

Where does love lost go?  Ah there you have it: a mystery. How can one love passionately and forevermore and find, as the song goes, that forevermore is shorter than before? Is there a drawer in which that love will linger? Is there an attic where it is stored with old tennis rackets and broken toys? Of course not. It is lying with the snow of  times that have passed. I have a fantasy that there is a door behind which I will find my children. Not the man and women they have become; their toddler selves. It is as if those were different people, exisiting separately from the people of today. There is no such door. Those toddlers are no more. Where have they gone?  They are in memory. That's where they are. The snows of yesteryear may have turned to slush and gone down the drain. But the words, the waist, all the things that can't be found must just have moved on and out to leave room for the memories we would languish without. Don't you think? Nos da.


N said...

An inspired post, so perfectly crafted and so poignant. You MUST find a publisher. Your talent must not disappear like the snow!

Liz said...

Where ARE my manners? Thank you all, indeed, for taking the trouble

Liz said...

I have had so many emails on my home email, both liking the post and giving me ideas of how Villon followed on. I think I shall go with:'the rhetorical question which requires/expects no answer. Liz