The term 'break from work' seems synonymous with piecing together Swedish flat-pack furniture, non? Oui:
All the meant-to jobs got done in a post-paintbrush flop after (on retrospect) quite a busy, non-stop first half; luckily, (or the result of steady training and a regular chomp on an orange segment...do footballers still do that?) I like to think I scored a few goals and perhaps set up a few more. Back to me; upside down under a wrought iron implement of torture- oops, sorry, day-bed, on my mother's sitting room floor. There is a slowly seeping sensation like- like someone left the window a teensy-bit open all night when it wasn't really warm enough and now everything's a bit damp and all the enthusiasm has gone from life...no, I'm not directly blaming my mother, but I should have known...
SHOULD HAVE KNOWN I could not make her life more comfortable; the woman has specialised in her own brand of self-denial and flagellation for years, even the Giant Shed of Domestic Dreams is not going to get Mum to kick back and enjoy life through the flat screen on a 'so-nearly-a-sofa-no-one's-going-to-know' 'This will solve all your problems' sodding 'Yanka' day bed. Or whatever it was called.
It is too large for the room, or was, till we threw all the furniture into the garden, apart from the TV and D.B. (I dare not say its name)
Fine, fine, and there's space to put the clothes airer (mum doesn't do outside- winter, too cold, summer, flies and pollen); fair enough, you cant actually see the telly from the high-seat chair where she usually sits, but, she says she'll manage.
Actually, technically, she can't use the D.B. yet because the mattresses are too soft, and simply eject her from semi-recline position to 'It took me 2 hours to get off the floor' position. Still she's had a lot of fun fretting about it, where it is, what people might think about it (The Furniture Police are in your area) and how much she's put everyone out, which of course, is her biggest worry.
That, and not having enough to worry about.
So, like a giant white elephant (only black, and made of metal, and not an animal at all) the D.B. squats, a memorial to well-intentioned children everywhere; I should have listened to my partner (and may have done, had he proffered the little gem before I began this whole sorry debacle); He said 'You should have bloody known.'
Sage words indeed, as the muscles in my back contort painfully with guilt when Mother announces on the phone she's moved the D.B. plus 2 mattresses 4ft across the floor, to get to the windowsill, and she's well on her way to a speedy recovery- she just needs to have a little lie down. On her bed.
Still, mothers; who'd live- no, can't go there, yet; only, I went out for a run, t'other day, nothing too athletic, I thought, a trot for 1/2 an hour; gets me out of the house an' all that, well I was on the road leading away from the village, just at a point where there's a green belt of trees between the road and the houses; a small burn runs under the road. I saw a bird a-fluttering along the bottom of the wall, clearly in distress. I could not run by, ladies and gentlemen, the clock was running, but I trapped the creature (only adding to its trauma, no doubt) and thought, after seeing it had lost most of the feathers on both wings and its tail, that I would pop it over the wall where it could find a little shelter, in which to die in peace.
I did not reckon on the feisty spirit of this little blue tit, and (it did try to peck me several times) after I deposited it over the wall, it gamely skeetered across the grass and dropped over a steep incline into the burn. Well, I could not run on, knowing this dear little thing had become the victim of a vicious double attack, by predator, then artless human ,so I heaved myself over the wall and followed the bird into the water. It was not deep, in fact, our little hero was clinging to a tiny twig in the centre of the waterway, perhaps 6 inches from the surface, It's little chest heaving with effort. I splashed towards it; it must have thought 'Oh F**k, not you, again.'
It took a while to get back up the sides of the ever-so-steep bank; I was muddied, a livid green streak up the back of my sporty shorts. I searched in vain for a little nook to place our blue tit in.
'Mother' I thought, 'She likes a lost cause.' I negotiated the wall once more and strode on with purpose.
Well, to cut a long story short, the birdy stayed with Mummy till I returned from my exercise, giving my dear old mum a chance to really fret about the dietry requirements of an injured blue tit; by the time I had returned, Ma was on the phone reporting an escape attempt and the little fellow was i her kitchen sink, pooing on the dish cloth.
I took the little champ home, where he upgraded from a teabag box to a shoebox, even survived the night, despite an enthusiastic cuffing from our pet cat. Hemade his final journey as a sought out a lady with a wild animal sanctuary, not far from where I live. She was out so I made my mind up to borrow a cage (I kid you not) from my Mother-in-Law and nurture little bluey till he mended and the bond between us was made good and he flew off, only to return and perch on the windowsill, every spring...aah, okay, took the lid off the box there, folks sorry; no what actually happened was, I took the lid off his box, to transfer him to his new, luxury 2-story wooden apartment and he'd bought the farm.
It is only by the grace of God I have two strong arms with which I can pick up sticks and beat myself around the head with both at once; saves time.
So, time off, yes, lovely, thanks. Back to the studio, phew.