Friday 11 April 2014


A day or so ago I was standing at a kerbside in the centre of busy London waiting for the taxi I had decided to treat myself to. (Never mind the syntax, even I can find myself too pedantic at times: 'to which I had decided to treat myself?' I don't think so.) The decision was taken on the grounds that I was carrying a stick and three heavy shopping bags and would have needed two buses to reach home from where I was, with a good walk at the end of it. Anyway, there I was, waiting for the kind of taxi for which I have a Pensioners special rate when a young man came up and asked me if  I needed help to cross the road. He said he had been watching me and thought my hesitation was because I was afraid. When I could speak I explained I was quite alright, just waiting for a ComCab. Since many other free taxis were passing all the while, it was not surprising that his manner then changed to one of fear for his own safety at the hands of this obvious madwoman. Dear Reader, I assure you I was politeness itself and thanked his retreating back profusely for his thoughtful kindness. However, I'm not sure I am safe to publish what my inner voice was saying. (I am sure: I can't).  I'd be glad for some input as to how long it takes to adjust to this business  old age. The other day, I stood up on a crowded 'bus to offer my seat when an elderly man with a crutch got on. Naturally, the person next to me, who had arisen to let me out, believed I wanted to get off and was decidedly nonplussed when I sat down again having realised the pot had been calling the kettle black.

The nub of the problem seems to be the need to see oneself as others see one. Here, there seems to be a dichotomy between how  others perceive  ones inner world, ones way of being in the world, and ones actual, physical appearance, in the external world. I think I have reached a Nirvana of harmony and balance. What you pick up from my inside is what  and who I am. What I look like standing by the kerb of a thundering London street must be very different. Sometimes, the pain in my back and legs is such that I crawl up the street taking twenty minutes to do the erstwhile five minute walk  home from the nearest 'bus stop. During this journey I am clearly invisible - is this physically possible, can one be clear and invisible? - as people jostle passed me on the inside. Just now, a leadless, (leash, if you are in Mountview, California), collarless chocolate labrador nearly nearly tripped me up. I asked him if he were with anyone. A voice replied "It's she and she's with me." That was it. No apology, no smile, just umbrage because I had got the gender of her beloved wrong. I read of a lady so disillusioned by the lack of humanity in the current technology which governs our world that she decided to end her life. She did so under the auspices of the Swiss clinic, Dignitas. I was overwhelmed, not only by her courage but by the serendipity of the name of the organisation. Perhaps this deserves a post of its own. Until soon....Bore da

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