Thursday, 25 February 2010

Term Begins

What a difference a seriously blue sky can make even in the fridge like conditions current. All around me a few days ago were the various creaking and cracking sounds of peoples shoulders un-hunching and jaws unclenching as they looked up in in wonder at what is known as sunlight.

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)




9 comments:

The Bug said...

Ah - I have trouble dealing with really loud extroverted people - even if they DON'T have minders!

I posted a picture of my own slice of unexpected blue sky today.

I pray for your dad every night. Keep us posted.

SafariB said...

...oh i laughed at your photo of the people in the tube :) Very apt.

Hugs for news about your dad... a tough journey you are on xoxoxo

lodgeman said...

Lovely post and some great pictures! All the best to your dad, hope the news is good!

Verena said...

Hello Tanvi
I've been reading back through your brilliant blog, with such great photos. O yes - tube train hell - next time I'm on it I'll imagine the cast of superheroes! Very best of positive wishes for you and your Dad
Vxxxxx
PS Tenter hooks: as I understand it, comes from tenter grounds. Tenters were frames that were set out in fields to dry cloth after weaving it - the hooks were used to stretch it out (hence the image of tension - I think it's such a great metaphor!). You can see lots of tenter grounds labelled as such on old maps around Borough and such places. Here endeth the history bulletin!

Val said...

i also wanna hug Grace - but i shall keep it to myself :-)
hope all goes well for your Dad!

Chimera said...

Hi Bug,
Yes loved your photo! Sooooo very uplifting! Thanks for the thoughts on my dad. Hope you are having a good weekend.
T x

Ta SafariB,
Yes stumbled on that photo and just had to slot it in somehow. Thanks for kind thoughts too.
T x

You too Richard,

It is lovely to see you here again and hpe Livingstone treating you well over the Rugby weekend.
T x

Thanks Verena!!!
I KNEW someone would know about tenterhooks! I thought they might have been something to do with hanging meat and am much happier knowing they were for drying cloth! Must have beena lovely sight.
Ta T xx

Hey Val,
We both need a hug today! Grace pulled me over chasing a cat and I lost the plot. About to try starting the day again. Hugs all around!
T xx

family affairs said...

Keeping everything crossed for your lovely dad then and v pleased to hear the course going so well Lxx

gigihawaii said...

So did the fat lady pet your dog??? LOL. Well, you didn't say one way or the other. What an obnoxious lady. Too many like her, unfortunately.

I am thinking good thoughts about your dad. Hope he pulls through.

Meanwhile, we are waiting for the tsunami to strike Hawaii in 2 hours...

Susan at Stony River said...

Good luck and God bless to your Dad, and congratulations to your sister! I don't know what a tenterhook is either LOL

That poor woman (by whom I mean the minder)! When we take our dog for a walk, he's nearly invisible. Put his 'assistance dog' jacket on him (he was trained for our autistic kids), and oh boy, people are coming from all directions to give him a cuddle. I've been searching ebay for a sew-on patch that says "I bite. Fuck off". If I find it I'll let you know --!