One of the problems of having a blog is that you run the risk of people thinking you are as bitter and twisted as an old lemon, always moaning like the old biddies that fill the buses. Partly this is due to not really needing to tell the world all is well. It would be a short and potentially annoying blog: Today I feel great because everything went right. Who would want to read that? I do have days like that, but they don’t inspire me to write. It’s days like today. You see I have woken up – well no – not true, I GOT up – to wake up you need to have been to sleep in the first place, and to sleep at the moment I’d need to pour a sneaky bag of cement in next door’s pond – something to clog up the incessant noise.
It used to be a pleasing gurgle – rather like the gentle hum of a new computer, it’s there, but you can block it out, and it’s only when you switch it off and the wall of silence pounds the eardrums that you realise there has been a noise. Then one day you switch the computer on and you look outside for the tractor which you assume is driving past.
The pump is making a knocking, rattling, banging, gurgling, spluttering electrical sort of clattery-hum, like a hideous aquatic one man band. It’s not just at night, it’s there in the daytime too, but I swear she switches the volume up as it goes dark. Perhaps she screws in a loudhailer attachment at dusk.
So I GOT up this morning to find that my right ankle has mysteriously doubled in age. The rest of me is as sprightly as an overweight elk (not as sprightly as I could be – but still sprightly), but the one leg is as agile as an antique table leg. How did that happen?
Yes. I walked a lot yesterday, but no more than normal days when I walk a lot. My foot doesn’t always inflate like a lead balloon. I’m walking downstairs like Long John Silver and I can fully appreciate why he yo-ho-ho’d in a bottle of rum all the time.
Not having any rum in the house, I took solace in the last slice of wedding cake. I’ll regret that later, when the after effects of the wheat kicks in. The contents of my stomach will be liquidised, I’ll feel like I’ve eaten a sack-full of nettles, and I’ll be farting for England, the gold medal will be dropped round my neck and the Union flag goes up and the National Anthem is played on a wonky trumpet. Today is the day I give up wheat. After a month of experimenting with it, there is no question, it really does hate me.
On Wednesday I developed hay-fever. I had it once before, very briefly when I was 14 and had a broken nose, but I haven’t had it since. When I go out my eyes run, they itch, they feel sore and swollen. Inside, they revert back to my eyes. There is something in the air, I can feel it, I can smell it. It must be some mutant pollen that is creeping in now that I’ve opened my bedroom window, still it takes my mind off the fat ankle and noise-polluting pump.
I’ve been reading a book this week – such a novelty. It’s something I just haven’t had time to do while I’ve been doing two courses, but now I’m just doing one I thought I’d treat myself.
I can’t cope with a novel yet. I can’t commit to one. I can just about cope with short stories. Something I can pick up, read for a while, then delete it from my memory when I put the book down. I don’t have to remember who’s shagging who, who's been murderered, and so on. Novels invade your life, yet in a way these bloody short stories are as well. Had the author not said she was Irish, I would have known by the way she writes, so I am reading it with an Irish accent, which I can do really well – in my head. But now I’ve put that aside for the day, picked up my book on post-war German cinema, and can I get rid of the Irish accent now? No I bloody can’t, it’s most off-putting.
I’ve watched half of the German film I have to watch for this module. I would have carried on watching, but it was time for Eastenders, and give me East-end 'reality' of Peggy’s wigs, Dot’s bible quotes and Jean’s ‘Sausage SURPRISE!’ any day over the unexpected full-frontal male nudity – it wouldn’t have been so bad if he’d been good looking, but no one wants to see some old ugly bloke’s bits flopping about in your living room when you’re trying to eat your tea.
Oh great… now there are bloody seagulls flying about outside my window. Not those poxy little small inland gull things either, these are giant beasts with 4ft wingspans and beaks like mechanical diggers. We’re about as far away from the sea as you can get in the country, so why are they here? I’ll tell you why - they’ve been lured here by next-doors pump and they are currently circling, looking for something the size of Niagara falls, and let’s face it, the only thing round here that fits that description is my bloody ankle.