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Dreadful Nonsense

"I've read your blog. it's really funny. you should write a column." - Jon Ronson

30 April 2006
Picture it: on the flight on the way back from Dublin, He Who Only... was staring out the window watching our plane take off and admiring the precision of the take off, and I was clutching his arm, weeping, and saying decades of the rosary (it took 3 in Irish and 2 in English before I calmed down enough to remember I'm not a catholic) and trying to imagine myself back on the beach in Galway, throwing rope for the dog over and over again while he barked and tried to drown himself.

I realised at that moment that me and He Who Only... have spent the best part of two and half weeks together without once leaving each other's sides. This has been a result of my back giving way to the most almighty set back I've had since 7 July 2004 when I had my last epidural injection. I spent almost a full week lying on the floor in various states of conciousness and hysteria, constantly thinking that (a) I was going to lose my job; (b) I was going to lose my flat; (c) I was going to lose my sanity. Even in the haze of all the hideous side effects that came from the prescription of Tramadol (I'm now officially allergic to EVERY PAINKILLER CURRENTLY KNOWN TO MEDICAL SCIENCE, GODHELPME), I never once stopped to think that maybe I was going to lose my boyfriend. Because, ladies and gents, the man is a miracle on legs.

He spent a week looking after me, making me lie down, sit up, eat things, go to bed, putting hot and cold things in rotation on my back all day and night and never once did he complain when I burst into tears for the fifth time in an hour and never once did he tell me to pull myself together and never once did he stop telling me that everything was going to be okay, and then it was.

And even when we were sitting on the Stanstead Express train in Liverpool Street, the first time I'd been out of the house in a week, and I was shaking and crying again because of the pain and the fear that I wouldn't be able to get back to Ireland and would instead die there on the very platform, he calmed me down and talked me through it, and we got there, and our plane was delayed and that was okay because I had a lie down on the filthy floor of Stanstead airport for three hours and we got to Dublin and everything was okay.

And then we spent 8 hours together in a car driving to Galway, while I missed the exits off the motorway and picked all the music and pointed out things to him that he couldn't possibly look around at and told him ridiculously boring stories about things that happened when we were kids and Mum and Dad used to drive us to Galway every summer, and he never once complained.

And then we spent a week in a cottage at the edge of the Atlantic that didn't have a working toilet, just me and He Who Only... and two jack russels, and we didn't speak to another soul and we drank more Guinness than should be legally allowed and we stared at the fire and told each other stories and talked about everything and nothing and almost froze to death every day getting water from the outside tank in the pouring rain to pour down the unflushing toilet and in all that time we didn't once have a bad word to say, we didn't once get bored, and we worked out between us the exact life span of a goose because it seemed important at the time.

So on the flight out of Dublin, while I was weeping and he was gazing out the window and trying to talk me into looking at the pretty coastline and once I had calmed down a bit and we started doing crosswords out of the crossword book that I'd bought in the airport, I realised how damned wonderful my life can be and how damned great my boyfriend is and how damned lucky I am and what a great place the world is and shut up I'm happy.

The rest of this week will be taken up by photographs of dogs and stunning views of Galway. I hope you enjoy.

21 April 2006

I'm going to Dublin today, and then to Galway on Sunday. I've been lying on the floor screaming and generally carrying on for the last week, due to my back SPAZZING OFF BIG STYLE. I was given some FANTASTIC DRUGS that unfortunately made me want to VOMIT MY FEET OUT THROUGH MY HEAD and then KILL MYSELF WITH THE CRYING. So I stopped taking those drugs and instead have to be a brave little soldier, because the doctor informed me that I'm obviously "one of those people" who is allergic to all known painkillers. And heroin! It's good to know.

ANYWAY. We've just finished packing, I've just finished hobbling around the room clutching my back and I'm about to take a MASSIVE DOSE of valium in order to get me from my flat to the train to the airport to the plane to Dublin.

Oh Holy Lord Help Me.

See y'all in a week.

10 April 2006
Holy SHIT, y'all, I'd forgotten how much FUN it can be to read the internet in the comfort of your own front room. Email! Pictures of nakeds! Plus, you know, all of that consumer power. Dude! Pass me the credit cards! I've got some plastic to buuuurrrrn.

And also as well, the man that I live with is watching some of the most TERMINALLY BORING (YEAH, I SAID IT!) TELEVISION I'VE EVER SEEN IN MY LIFE. And I grew up with RTE1 people. I aint making this shit up.


Caps lock off for the rest of the post, I promise.

Thing is, I've got nothing to talk about today, because I had a really tedious day at work (which I don't blog about, for the obvious) and then I came home, ate potatoes and attempted to flake out in front of the television. But then He Who Only... started watching BBC4, which is like television, but with long words and education. So now that there are no live action pictures of B-List celebrities eating worms or ugly people getting their faces chopped off or houses rebuilt, just what the hell am I supposed to do for entertainment?

I know! Let's talk about:

What I've Learned From Google Image Search!

Girls called Sharon look like this -

And this -

Also? This -

Plus... This -

09 April 2006
I was going to write a lovely big post about my brilliant new phone and all the music that it plays in my ears and all the lovely photographs that it takes for me, and the fancy colours and buttons and radio and all these lovely things, but... it blew up. The phone exploded. All I did was have a temper tantrum and pour some petrol on it and then throw a match at it, and then it exploded. Imagine that.

Mind you, it's all the bloody thing deserved.

I had no idea when I agreed to take the phone for free in a ridiculous offer that seemed to be too good to be true that the offer was actually too good to be true. New mobile phones have new problems with new bugs and new ways of fucking me off and making me want to cry. It keeps corrupting photograhs, and mixing up songs, and deleting entire albums and just plain not working. Oh yeah, the phone part works - that works very well indeed, and really I shouldn't complain too much about the rest of it but the PURE FRUSTRATION makes me want to pour some petrol on it and then throw a match at it and so I did.

Anyway. Here, to make up for me moaning about the problems I have with the cool free things that people give me, is a photograph of my poorly toe, a week after dropping a shelf on it. I think you'll agree with me that it's quite green.

07 April 2006
Right. Kids. This is getting totally out of hand.

I have lots of things that I need to say, because if I don’t say them, they jangle around in my head until it starts coming out in song form, and standing on a packed commuter train at 8.45 in the morning and suddenly realising you’re singing “All Of You Can Go To Hell” over and over again to the tune of “Don’t Look Back Into The Sun” by the Libertines is not ideal.

So, in an attempt to save (or finally disconnect forever from) my sanity, today I will be blogging 12 - that’s 12 - entries. Imagine that. Can you imagine that? The mind boggles. At least mine does. But that’s okay, it’s Friday.

Chapters include titles like:

“She was only the President’s daughter!”
“A generous helping of marmite.”
“Put that in there.”
“Go away.”
“I would like them all to be pink, please.”

So, yes. Here we go then. Starting from Tuesday 28 March and working upwards, let’s all join hands and plunge headfirst into MY BRILLIANT LIFE.

NB - Do please remember to progress from bottom up, else it’ll all become a bit confusing.

05 April 2006
The next morning I was incredibly grateful for my hospital attendance the night before as, when we woke up, my toe which had previously been the lightest shade of blue had overnight turned black as a battered banana. If I hadn’t been told the night before by two different doctors (as well as closely examining the x-rays myself, with absolutely no idea what I was looking at or for) I would have been utterly convinced that not only was my toe broken, it was dead and about to drop off. Still, with the medical insistence of Hackney’s finest, I strapped on a shoe (very loosely) and boarded the train to work.

Oh, the hell of commuting with crutches. This, I thought, will get my blogging juices flowing. Crutches? In London? With all of those rude people? Blogging gold, I thought.

I thought wrong. People are incredibly keen to give up their seats for you. One lady almost had an argument with me, so insistent was she that I should take her seat. People move out of your way, hold doors open, look at you with great sympathy and generally make you feel even worse that, actually, it’s not broken at all, just badly bruised. I feel the need to put on an extra limp when leaving anything on which I have been offered a seat, because although I do need to sit down, I feel like I may be defrauding these kind hearted souls. If there’s one thing I’ve learned from all of this, it’s that London does actually have a lovely core of kind people, who just need to be given the opportunity to be as sweet to you as they possibly can.

Everyone at work has delighted in the novelty of someone walking about with one shoe and one sock and I’ve been advised on several occasions that, were I a horse, they would all be taking turns at taking shots at me. I’m not sure what to make of the equine murder spree that many people at work have expressed an interest in, but overall the having of a sore toe hasn’t been too awful an experience. Hobbling up and down stairs is the worst part of it all, but I have learned how to get on and off escalators and tube trains with crutches and with the minimum of fuss, something that I hope will never come in useful in later life.

04 April 2006
Following a long application of some frozen peas and the giddy, heady feeling that personal injury can give to a lady, I decided that limping bravely down to the pub would be the best approach for everyone involved in my catastrophic injury prone lifestyle. I wasn’t too concerned with the colour of the toe involved - I bruise incredibly easily, like a peach in one half of an abusive relationship - and I expected everything to be a bit blue for a while.

What I didn’t expect was everyone else’s insistence that the toe was broken. “I thought it would be broken,” He Who Only… mused later that night, as we sat on our sofa gazing at the toe. “Are you sure it’s not broken?” my Mum asked down the phone. “That sounds like it’s broken,” my Dad advised from the background. “It’s probably broken,” everyone at work said the next day, as I hobbled about with no shoe on one foot.

Caving into the pressure of it all, I headed to A&E on Monday evening to see if it was broken. A man sitting in front of me had severed the tip of his finger, and I watched with gorey fascination to see if it would drop off as the nurse fiddled with it. Another lady to the left of me wasn’t able to stand up straight, and was walking about at an almost perfect 90 degree angle. Some policeman walked up and down with people in tow, and I considered again the wiseness of my decision to move to Hackney. When a man came in clutching his jaw and bleeding all down his front, I thought maybe my little blue toe might not be too lethal after all, but then the nurse arrived and took me through the back.

“That’s definitely broken,” Dr Sam said to me, moments after examining my foot and pressing hard on all the blue areas to see how far I jumped each time. “Tenderness in that area, along with the open cuts, points to a break. We’ll have it x-rayed just to be sure.”

Thank god for that, I thought, because having sat for 15 minutes watching a man with an incredibly bad burn covering the entirety of his right hand moan in pain made me feel like a bit of a fraud with my slight limp and a bit of a bruise. I was wheeled down to x-ray by a man called Dave (who had once also dropped a shelf near his foot, but thankfully, he told me, missed. That, he thought, would have been very painful indeed. I nodded sagely.) Foot well and truly rayed, I returned to A&E and waited for results.

No break. Nothing. Dr Sam even checked with another doctor, so convinced was she that the foot should be broken. She seemed a bit disappointed when she broke the news to me.

They strapped my toe, handed me some crutches, and told me to avoid falling furniture in the near future. I was then free to go.

To Be Continued…

03 April 2006
So we cruised to Ikea, we found our computer table, I pointed at a million other things saying how nice they’d look in our flat, and then we went down to the market place department, grabbed a yellow big and I started a floor dash that made the contestants in Supermarket Sweep look lazy. I grabbed at clocks, pillows, throws, lamps and other soft furnishing, each time fixing He Who Only… with the evil eye lest he tell me I wasn’t allowed. He in turn dragged me hell for leather through the floor, trying desperately to avoid the sections I wanted to spend the most money in, and we arrived breathless at the other end to find our computer table, queue up, pay, buy hotdogs and chips and then get the happy bus back home.

Once safely home, we turned our attentions immediately to building the table. Veterans of Ikea building by now, we whipped the table up in a matter of moments, and then stood back to behold the glory of our work. We looked upon it, and saw that it was good. We congratulated each other at how brilliant we are, and then decided to move it into its new rightful place by the kitchen door.

And then. It happened. The karmic retribution that had been building up since Saturday night, when I had thought to myself “ha ha, I win”. We picked the table up between us, and headed towards the wall, He Who Only… holding the back and me holding the front. Moving to avoid a cable or two, we tilted it slightly, and without warning the sliding shelf bit that holds the keyboard on the computer table shot out of it’s moorings and landed - CORNER FIRST - right on top of my unprotected foot. RIGHT ON TOP. CORNER FIRST. On to the toe beside my big toe on my left foot. Initially, it wasn’t sore at all, but right after that the shooting pain that accompanies any kind of foot injury began to manifest itself. Summoning up all the training I have had from years of television viewing, I started hopping up and down on my right foot while He Who Only… looked on with concern. I didn’t think it was too bad even then, until I was ordered to sit down and take off my sock, all the better to examine the damage.

Holy Lord, ladies and gents, I don’t mind telling you that I was a little bit surprised to see the blood involved. My toe had already turned blue. This wasn’t good.

To Be Continued…

02 April 2006
With the twin arrivals of Broadband and Fancy New Phone What Needs Music Installed And That arriving at almost the same time, entering the 21st century also brought another delight to my life, and one which I was quick to spring upon - a new excuse to go to Ikea.

Now, I had promised He Who Only… following the last sojourn to Ikea (on New Years Day, no less) that there would be no more Ikea trips forced upon him in 2006. What other furniture could we possibly need, I reasoned, and where in the world would we put it anyway? Satisfied, he settled back for a full 12 months of uninterrupted non-furniture purchasing or building, and thus his false sense of security was well and truly lulled.

However, once Mr Broadband brought his smiling face into our lives, and He Who Only… discovered that Chinese telly will show Liverpool footballing matches where no other telly people will, he acknowledged that there may be a space in our lives (and our front room) for a computer table, since hoiking the computer off the ground, onto the dining table and back to the ground again isn’t great for aging joints.

So I looked at the glory of the site that is Ikea, found a cheap-ass computer table, checked availability, confirmed with He Who Only… that he didn’t have a damn choice, and started surfing about to see what other pretty things I could claim for my own in a magpie type manner. As I sat cooing “Oooh, that’s cute!” I could see from the corner of my eye that He Who Only… had started gouging out his eyeballs in despair. Ha, I thought to myself. Ha.

To Be Continued…