Sunday, 6 September 2009

Sausages


The dog’s kennel is not the place to keep a sausage.
Danish proverb
.


I feel stronger. The sun has made a resurgence this week and even if the light is slowly leaching away from each day, this warmth and high, blue sky has been a brief reprise. Friends have reminded me of how winter can be inspiring and cosy; good for long boots and classic clothing. I am soothed. I have a stock pile of scarfs and socks. (Note potential winter hat!)



And there has been good news.


I am finally nearly possibly definitely maybe positive that I shall get a chance to go and do the Creative Writing MA at Bath Spa University. You have NO idea how complicated it has been to even get to the point of ‘fairly’ as opposed to ‘faintly’ possible. It has involved endless phone calls to the Department of Work and Pensions, rather uncomfortable ‘Disabled Student Assessments’ run ins with my bank, tears, tantrums and finally I am green lit. Sort of. Ish. If the local benefits agency decide to refuse me they will let me know about 6 weeks after the term has started. Ho hum. But I am EXCITED and life has purpose once more!

I have to thank my family, especially my Dad and my Mum (and extended family Susan, John, Hattie, Pol, Hannah, blogger pals and those on fb!) for their support and love with all this. I would have given up long ago without you!

So I am preparing! I shall have to commute between Cambridge and Bath going up at the weekend and coming back midweek. (I’m still looking for a cheap room in Bath..anyone got any ideas? If we don't find anything we will sleep rough and Grace will have to get used to pooping down deserted alleys when no one is looking. )

Talking of Grace I took her to my pole dancing class on Friday. I have been going into that gym for months and never a peep from the chaps behind reception as I walked through with dark glasses and cane...but last Friday, as I clumsily clambered through the doors hanging onto Grace, they leapt up horribly perturbed.


‘Can I HELP you?’ Yelled one spotty youth pointing accusingly at the dog and me.
I realised that he did not recognise me at all. He thought a blind woman had wandered into the gym by accident.


I pointed at Grace. ‘It’s her fault.’ I said. ‘She’s taking the pole dance class tonight. Gotta follow the dog...'


The youth swallowed and then gagged a small smile and nodded a curt ‘carry on then’, managing to look outraged, aghast and mollified at the same time.

Grace was a little anxious at first watching us jiggle around and then do funny things on silver poles but after half an hour she fell asleep. It wasn’t very flattering to hear her snore through the routines but she seemed happy.

As we left I glanced right but reception was empty. Then I realised that for the first time this year we were leaving into darkness. The end of summer had caught up with us and I had not even thought ahead. For me the outside of the gym felt like walking into a cafetiere of filter coffee before the plunger plunges; a thick, treacherous, darkness and I was frightened.


‘Hell,’ I thought. ‘I haven’t got my cane with me. I have a ruck sake and now added to this I have a BLOODY DOG to look after.….’ and then it sunk in at last. I have Grace and she is a GUIDE DOG.
DUHHHH!!!


All this time and I have been using my residual daytime vision and now there weren't no daylight! For the first time for real I had to give it up to her.


‘Steady,’ I whispered to her unsteadily as we stepped into the gritty night.


I slackened my grip, relaxed my left hand so I could feel her gentle pull on the harness and follow her as she moved adeptly right, left towards the lights of the underpass.


‘Steady.’


Back at the flat I filled her dog bed with toys and chews as she yawned and rolled her eyes.
She had not a clue as to what the fuss was about.

11 comments:

Susan at Stony River said...

Good girl, Grace! And good girl yourself (which is the odd greeting I get from our postman...?) You've almost made me look forward to winter.

Congratulations on the Bath adventure! Good luck getting the rest tied up too. I'm determined to go back as well, and get my Master's. It's not easy getting all the arranging and details done, but I'm so looking forward to getting there. You've given me a nudge to keep pushing for it, so thanks for that too!

Shiny said...

Ah... Clever Grace. And clever you! x

lodgeman said...

You are a brave and determined girl. I'm sure you'll be able to avoid sleeping in alleyways! Love the thought of Grace learning to pole dance! Keep writing!

nmj said...

My fingers are crossed that your access to the course is unimpeded by nonsense bureacracy. And Grace rules. She simply does! x

The Bug said...

Love the hat! I say definitely yes wear it this winter. I'm trying to get in a better frame of mind about it too...

Congrats on the chance to get your MA - you're already a good writer, so it'll be a snap.

And, last but not least, - go Grace! You're not trapped - you're free!

The Bug said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Janelle said...

aw shucks t been catching up on ya. ah MAN GRACE IS GORGEOUS!!!!! and CONGRATS all round, esp on the creative writing course in bath...really really hope it all works out for ya! sending much love always. XX j

gigi-hawaii said...

Grace. What a beautiful name for a dog. She looks like my black dog in New York City back in the 1970s. I love reading about Grace. Such a splendid guide dog.

Mud in the City said...

Wonderful Grace the pole dancing guide dog! There can't be too many of those.

And many congrats on the course too.

karen said...

Wonderful news!! That course sounds amazing. And you and Grace are certainly a great team, even if she isn't too impressed with your pole dancing skills!!

Chimera said...

Thank you all for such lovely comments. Grace is well pretty ain't she! She is a sweet natured thing too...so far... hmm. She may yet crack going back and forth to bleedign Bath each week and chomp me on the train!

And watch your local pole dancing club for rthe new Bitch Rules disco set!
T xx