The problem with having back trouble when you’re this old is that it turns you into a little old lady. Arrrgh. When you’re 30 or 40 and you have back trouble and you’re hobbling around*, you’re a person with back trouble. When you’re past 70 and hobbling around** suddenly you’re a little old lady. I’M NOT A LITTLE OLD LADY***. MY BACK IS BEING A DAZZLING FATAL-EXPLOSION-VARIETY-PAIN NUISANCE. And yeah, I’m old, your point would be? At least nobody has tried to help me across the street yet, but that is probably to do with the vibrant presence of a manic German Wire-Haired Pointer in the near vicinity. I can assure you from effulgent experience that the long extending lead is dangerous to overly blasé Good Samaritans.† Genghis, however, is basically very sweet natured whereas I refuse to take responsibility for any possibly violent reaction I might have to some ditzbrain trying to help me across the street.††
My back is better though. I did talk to my homeopath about it††† and he prescribed something for stress, nothing to do with back pain per se . . . and suddenly I could pick up a dog bowl again without screaming or get out of bed ditto. I mean, great, but also, siiiigh. This is basically Book Stress and it’s not going away any time soon. I haven’t had a new book yomping through the publishing wilderness in don’t-tell-me-how-many-I-don’t-want-to-remember years and this new one is, well . . . . Maybe I’ll tell you some other blog post.
Meanwhile I seem to have gone overboard on the footnotes again. How did that happen??
* * *
* snarling. Well, snarling may be optional for some people. I snarl.
† I fall down occasionally.^ Because I’m going slightly faster than I can in pursuit of said manic GWHP, hit my foot on some giant protruding garbanzo of Scottish stone or fissured walkway and I’m aaaaaaaairborne. Briefly. I am then lying on the pavement screaming F*** F*** F*** F***^^ while Genghis looks confused. Come on, he’s saying, what are you doing down there, we’re hurtling. I once had some perhaps slightly inebriated middle-aged gentleman extract himself from the doorway of the pub opposite where he was lounging in the pleasure of a fag^^^, and amble across the street to see if I needed helping up. He was greeted with great enthusiasm by the GWHP, which got kind of interesting, because our current long extending lead has a nasty habit of sticking open instead of retracting^^^^ and the gentleman was having trouble figuring out what was coming at him from what direction. And possibly why. I did stop screaming F*** and started laughing, however, so his was not a totally unappreciated effort of rescue, although perhaps not in the manner planned.
We don’t go down that street very often during pub hours, precisely because of the cloud of SMOKE we are likely to encounter, so I don’t know if said gentleman now ducks back inside if he sees us coming. We are, unfortunately, highly recognisable. Blokes are also often curiously averse to being laughed at. Even in a good cause? He was alone in the doorway; I don’t think any of his buds saw our scene of entanglement. And hey, fair play. He was smirking more than a little at my horizontally appropriate language.
^ I don’t think this counts as weight-bearing exercise. WHAM. It should.
^^ I need a bad-language alternative-asterisk. I can’t POSSIBLY get through a blog post without FOOTNOTES. But bad language is also a thing in my life. Ahem.
^^^ which fortunately he stubbed out in the repurposed+ spittoon the pub in question keeps by the door for smokers. Pub culture. Cigarettes and spittoons. And dark sticky floors. And tobacco-yellow stained doorways. Ewwwwww. ++
+ I detest this word, just BTW. I only use it when I’m being SARCASTIC.
++ Oh, and? This particular pub welcomes dogs.
^^^^ This one has been a diva from the day it came out of its box. We are changing long-extending-lead brands when this one finishes kaputting its defective spring. They’re too frelling frelling doodah frelling expensive to throw out idly, merely because yours is the one that got run over by the forklift and doesn’t work.+
+ RETURN it?? You ever try RETURNING anything to amazon? Especially something you’ve actually taken out of its box and attempted to USE? When I’m reading customer reviews—yes, I do read customer reviews; if all the 1- and 2-stars say the same thing, I’m inclined to believe them, whether we’re talking murder mysteries or eggbeaters or embroidery floss, and I’m fascinated at the number of them that say ‘and so I returned it’. Clearly there is some magical incantation I don’t know about slicing through all the hyperbolic nonsense amazon throws at you the moment you stop being a good little doofus and want to argue about something. Or, perish forfend, return something.
†† Yes we should get out of town more, where falling on open ground hurts less and causes less blood loss.^
^ The worst thing+ about being chronologically a little old lady++ is the little old lady skin. I’ve always had thin skin, but it’s getting RIDICULOUS, especially when one (a) is possibly a trifle clumsy (b) has a house full of STUFF so that basic activities like feeding the dog or making a cup of tea or going to bed are enlivened by the obstacle-course nature of all progress and (c) shares quarters with a GWHP who, at rising eight years old, still likes to play. Those exuberantly waving forefeet are easily as perilous as a stooping roc’s talons. I go through plasters+++ as if I owned shares in the plaster companies++++. He particularly likes to play in the mornings, when we HAVEN’T DONE ANYTHING EXCITING IN HOURS AND HOURS, and when I’m vulnerable in my lightweight twirly dresses, which are usually not even sleeveless but possessing only little narrow shoulder straps, plus barefoot, and your average GWHP weighs about the same as a young Shire horse when he lands on you with, you know, purpose. Mostly I mop the blood off my legs and figure a few more bloodstains on the insides of my jeans are no big,+++++ but I do tape up my arms. I am at present displaying a bandage on my left forearm that looks like I blocked the attack of a crazed machete-wielding banshee. No, just a passing gouge from a large whirling forepaw belonging to a resident GWHP.
+ so far
++ I’ve already said I’m NOT one, but I admit to looking over my shoulder more than I used to for what may be gaining on me.
+++ Band-Aids for my American readers. I’ve mostly adapted to British slang# but ‘sticking plasters’ still makes me fall down laughing.
# As I know I told the old blog, and have probably already said here, living with Peter, who was not merely twenty-five years older than I but was himself old-fashioned, has made my everyday word usage a trifle eccentric.~ When, because Peter did, I caught myself absent-mindedly using the word wireless for radio—this would have been over twenty years ago and before the internet took over all our lives—I thought it was so funny I kept it.~~ Now of course there are whole world-wide-web regiments of scintillating ironies to calling, let’s say a radio, a wireless, that I’m certainly not going to give it up now.
~ When you add the rich little-changed American accent it becomes a whole new level of eccentric.
~~ Nobody has called a radio a wireless since approximately WWII, and it was out of date then. It’s a radio, dummy! Keep up!
++++ the latest personal first aid scam appears to be ecologically friendly plasters. I’ve tried I think three brands so far? They don’t work. The bandage part comes off the sticky part or quietly disintegrates the first time it comes in contact with damp, like, for example, blood, the sticky part doesn’t stick except in gluey little clumps, and the fabric itself that the unsticky stickum is stuck to, shreds. partly because the edges are all flapping gaily because the sticky isn’t sticking. I end up using micropore# tape to hold the whole shebang on, which I think is probably counterproductive on the ecological score.
# Since Word is objecting to ‘micropore’ I assume there’s an American word for it—although my Word is SUPPOSED to be set for British English it periodically has nervous lapses. I only discovered micropore since I moved over here, so I have no idea what, if any, the American word is, and my search engine is not offering any alternatives
+++++ especially since more and more of my jeans have large colourful patches on them, and I back said patches with felt before I nail, I mean sew, them on. Felt is very absorbent. Someone tell me why all my jeans seem to be developing holes at the same time.
††† Yes. Homeopath. Get used to it.