Sunday 27 April 2014


To resume: forefend you should think I had given up blogging. The gap lies in the lap of a book I am writing in collaboration with a friend. She is a youngster and, therefore, still working, so the Easter period was an ideal space for her. It's nice to be back, though. I have been thinking about the expedients one invents to overcome or accommodate the vicissitudes of three score and a great deal more than ten. Not only that: there are plenty of examples of adapting and adjusting in the younger world, too. Mind you, I think people of my era must have the edge. Brought up in the war there were untold, probably uncounted ways of making-do and insteading. The one that springs instantly to mind is the little bottle of orange juice all we children were issued with. Real oranges were folklore as were bananas and many other things we now take for granted, (though I can't think why onions were part of the war effort and, therefore like hens' teeth). The resemblance the bottles had to oranges lay entirely in the colour. The liquid was certainly orange-coloured. I wonder if any of us has encountered a seriously ill orange, with a high temperature and a foul taste in its mouth. That would cover it from a point of view of description and flavour . It seems to me I remember my Mother and her friends using potatoes instead of flour in the baking. She, and they, would draw black lines up the back of their bare legs to simulate the seam in a stocking, the which those of them without contacts in the United States army didn't see from start to finish of hostilities. There was a US post office next door to where my Father worked so we did know one or two. Dinner in a real home equalled one pair of nylon stockings. A date with the 17 year old elder daughter equalled one for her, too.

Thus, after my middle years of comparitive going with the flow, I entered my current age with no little experience of the business of adaptation. My bath with its lovely fierce jets had to go. Why? Picture it. There am I, warm and cosy, aches and pains nicely pummelled when the time comes to climb out. I can't. I am as entrenched in the bath as if leg-cuffed, hand-cuffed and bottomed down. Clearly, I did emerge or I wouldn't be here to tell the tale. But I was scared and frustrated and thoroughly chilled,  Dear Reader, out went the lovely bath and in came a chic shower. For one who hates water pouring down on her head the shower doesn't do it; nor does it sooth the aches and pains. I suppose I can keep clean, though, and that has to matter.  It seems a long way from the 5 inches of water we were allowed in a bath during the war. It strikes me how honest we must all have been. No official ever appeared at the bathroom door to measure the level of the water but 5 inches were stuck to and no cheating. Still, some adapting has to be more user friendly than others. A friend has a friend who makes his living as a film extra. He is a very striking, handsome man with a goatee beard. On his last shoot he was asked if he would like a small, wordless part as a Rabbi. He agreed with alacrity. There was a proviso: he had to have hair extensions to his small beard to make it more Rabbi-like. We agreed it was a very good thing that was the only adjustment he was asked to make. Nos da.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Dear Liz
I reckon it's your sense of humour that breathes life in to you. Hope the 'Rabbi' did get away with only hair extensions