It didn’t last of course. On Monday Grace and I woke to several centimetres of icy sludge masquerading as snow and by the time we got to Bath for our creative writing class it was pouring with the kind of rain that always manages sneaking icily down the back of your neck no matter how many scarfs you stuff down your coller. ('Grace in Snow' (c) T. Bush)
It is wonderful to be back in class at last. I get my entire week packed into one very very long day; a three hour seminar in the morning followed by another in the afternoon and usually a two hour lecture event in the evening. By the time I get back to Cambridge on the Wednesday evening I am weaving and woolly eyed with weariness.('Class' (c) T.Bush)
But mostly happy...so very happy!! Me..the kid who hated classrooms!
Well that is apart from last week and the incident at Edgware Road.. A signal failure at rush hour left Grace and I squeezed onto a train that sat sulking with its doors open, refusing to move.
Eveyone groaned and sunk into their books and newspapers but then, from the other side of the packed carriage, a voice shouts out;
'Look look at the doggie. I wanna hug the doggie!!'
I peer into the blur. This is not the voice of a toddler. This is at first glance an average middle aged woman wearing a duffel coat (couldn't tell you which colour anymore) and huge glasses. I see her eyes. They are gleaming with excitement. She has someone accompanying her - a sofa of an Afro Caribbean minder taking up two of the seats next to her.
'Shhh,' says the minder. 'The dog is working.'
'WHY?' shouts the woman
'The dog is the lady’s eyes.' hisses the fat sofa lady tugging the other one down back into her seat.
'What’s wrong with your eyes?' shouts duffel coat lady at me. 'Are you blind? Can you see anything? Can you? CAN YOU??? I WANNA STROKE THE DOGGIE!!'
Her minder obviously inured to this woman's huge and exhausting presence yawns and starts talking on her cell phone. At no point does she actually make eye contact with me....she just lets the woman rant in the crammed and edgy carriage. I try and make calm, quiet responses but this just seems to excite the woman further.
'Can I STROKE your DOGGIE??'
Gawd! After five minutes of this I am tempted to start shouting across at the duffel coat ‘You have a minder? Can I stoke your minder?? Are you a crazy lady?? Half crazy?? How crazy ARE you? I WANNA HUG YOUR MINDER!!! '
I look around for a hero, some lean jawed type to gently pluck Grace and I up and carry us far, far away ... but there is only the spotty young man next to me who is cringing so much with English embarrassment he nearly cricks his neck.
(Sigh.) (image from internet)
In other news my sister has moved into her new vicarage in Radstock and it is rather lovely. Its where Grace and I will set up base when doing our weekly commute to Bath.
And next week my Dad finishes his first grisly round of chemo and flies to Pretoria for tests. We are all on tenterhooks (what on earth is a tenterhook??) as these test will be the very ones that decide his next round of treatment. Remission? Stem cell therapy? More horrible chemo?
But worrying doesn't help. Just gives me mouth ulcers and a clicking jaw. Sexy eh? Seems the only superhero coming to my rescue is 'Blistex and Rennie' Man.
Will keep calm. Will keep you posted.
(Buddha in the Vicarage' (c) T.Bush)