Welcome! You have found the home of 'Being Me', Fran Hill's blog. If you like what you read, you will enjoy my new book 'Miss, What Does Incomprehensible Mean?' to be published by SPCK Publishing on 21 May 2020. My website is at www.franhill.co.uk. Come and visit for more Fran info!
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Reasons why Fran is playing more children's games these days
A month ago, to see my grandchildren, I had to go on one of these all the way from Leamington to Richmond in South-west London.
Now that they have moved to within ten minutes' walk of our house in Leamington, I just have to go on one of these.
Correction. Two of these.
Correction: The legs above were my dream legs, not my real legs.
Correction: These aren't my real legs either. They're someone else's. For my legs, think, 'Somewhere between Picture 2 and Picture 3.'
It's taking some getting used to, knowing that just by putting one leg in front of another (never my favourite activity) I can be at my son's house, playing Snap or Snakes and Ladders with a 3 year old and a 4 year old, or watching a Peppa Pig DVD, or answering a litany of questions from a curious Elijah, who's just started school and wants to know the answer to Every Awkward Question Ever.
I took them both to see their Great-Great-Granny in her care home. She's my mother's mother, is nearly ninety-five, and Elijah (nearly 5) was fascinated. He wanted to know
- what does nearly blind mean?
- what is a walking frame for?
- why does she need us to shout?
- why is she old?
- why can't she walk very well?
- what is quite deaf?
- why does she live here?
- where does she have her dinner?
- who else lives here?
- why don't her legs work very well?
Sometimes, he asked the same question two or three times, not because he hadn't heard the first time, but because he was so interested, and wanted to hear the information all over again.
It was ironically not unlike a conversation with my grandmother, the dear old lady in question, only with her it's because she forgets that we ever had that conversation, so we have it twice. Maybe thrice. And again the following day.
Some might lose patience with this, but I find it oddly calming, and it saves on thinking up new topics. Every time I visit her I can say 'Did I tell you so-and-so had died/is getting married/has moved away?' knowing that I did, but she'll deny all knowledge, and so we can do it all again. She's just as pleased with the news every subsequent time I tell it. I told her about Vera Lynn becoming a hundred years old at least five times, and she relished the information just as enthusiastically on each occasion.
My grandmother is 95 in July. I am 55 at the end of April. Elijah will be 5 in July.
Out of the three of us, Elijah's legs are definitely the ones with the most potential. My gran's legs are weak and unreliable. Mine are too plump and varicose-veiny. Elijah's got his dad's legs: like a young footballer's, with strong thighs and muscles.
I feel like breaking into 'The Circle of Life'. To save you the pain of that, here's Elton John singing it instead.
I watched a wasp die on the bus yesterday morning.
I know, as an opener, it's not the same as 'Hey, did you see the latest episode of Game of Thrones? but it's all I have to offer.
I'm nervous about wasps. I'm sure, if they could talk, they'd say they were nervous about me too. But all I have in my armoury is a rolled-up newspaper and a bad aim. They have a stinger. And, close up, they're pretty scary.
A wasp in a field, I can cope with. A wasp in the garden, just about.
But a wasp on the bus is a cross wasp. (Move along, Dr Seuss.)
I saw it progressing along a window two seats in front of me. It was crawling my way.
I don't mean, crawling in the way I'd crawl, as in 'Oof, oof, my knees, and how will I ever get up from this position?' I mean, crawling towards me.
I expected a confrontation. I picked up the copy of the Metro I'd collected when I got on the bus and began rolling.
Okay, so they're not the real thing, and only there because I had to have two fillings and therefore a shedload of anaesthetic enough to numb a herd of wildebeest. But just for a few hours, as I sit here, just returned from the dentist, my lips feel deliciously Massive.
And they only cost me £36. I bet celebrities pay a LOT more than that.
When I got on the bus back from the dentist, I had to speak to the bus driver, of course. And my lips felt so big, like two barrage balloons top and bottom, that instead of saying, 'Single to Leamington, please,' I said, 'Smibble doo Lebbyt…
This is a scene from a novel I hoped to get published. But I've moved on now and am writing another book which will be published in 2020. Watch this space!
I really like the scene, though. So I thought I'd let you read it, rather than having it fester on my laptop.
Enjoy! It's very much based on my personal experience, and it's a scene that's played out in real life in many, many classrooms across the country. And perhaps the world.
Setting: a secondary school classroom, England. Friday afternoon. Characters: an English teacher and her class
The pupils, as they did every
week at this time, drifted from all corners of the school, in spits and spots
like a gradual, hesitant build-up of rain. They
seemed weary, as did their end-of-the-week uniforms, which drooped and slouched
on their bodies as if drained of life.Indeed, some of their blazers had died and slidden off their bodies like
thin corpses, hanging now from the ends of their fingers. Several pupils had