Evidence that I should be put away quietly in an institution for the safety of everyone else

I have proved myself a liability to both the human and the feline species today and am determined to stay in for the evening so I cause no more trouble.

Tricky moment 1.  I went to see my Granny who's 88 and a bit frail.  When I was getting ready to go, I picked up my handbag and slung it over my shoulder.  Now, I'm not one of those who carries around one of those diddy little numbers with a comb and a sewing kit in it.  So it was stuffed to perdition with books, my Walkman, a bar of nougat the size of the Great Wall of China and all the usual paraphernalia. I bent down to kiss my Gran goodbye, and when I did, the handbag swung off my shoulder and lamped her one in the stomach.  She yelled out, 'You punched me!'  Unsurprisingly, she looked shocked by this, being unused to her granddaughter attacking on her on Saturday afternoons just after we'd done the crossword so nicely together.  I did explain and apologise and explain and apologise and explain and apologise some more, but I'm still not sure she believed me.  I checked she was okay, but she seemed quite happy for me to leave.  Her memory isn't that brilliant, and I'm worried she's going to ring up another relative and tell the story, minus the handbag bit.  I may get a call later.

Tricky Moment 2.  After Granny's, to calm myself, I went up into town to mooch around the books in Oxfam.  (I wondered whether there might be one called, 'How Not to Beat Up Your Granny By Mistake'.)  In Oxfam, I got in a massive tangle with a man also looking at the books who was wearing a rucksack on his back that seemed to have been packed for a year in the Himalayas.  He was on the left of me.  On the right was a woman who kept bobbing up and down to look at books on all the different shelves.  She must have had good knees.  Looking at the books while sandwiched in between these two loonies - him with his gargantuan burden which kept banging into me and her acting like a Jack-in-the-Box - wasn't easy.  What hurt most was that both of them seemed to think I was the problem and kept tutting.  I extricated myself, drawing on all my skills from my previous career as an escapologist (have I not said?) - then grabbed a book, any book (The Memory Keeper's Daughter by Kim Edwards - anyone read it?).  I paid for it and left the other two sack-swinging and body-bobbing to their hearts' content.

Tricky Moment 3.  On the way home, I bent to stroke a nice little black cat which was strollling past me.  At first, it looked friendly, but then, when I leaned down to it, it decided it didn't want to be stroked after all - fickle or what? - and bolted out into the road in front of a bus.  (It's okay, it's okay, all you cat-ophiles - it ends well.)  It was just a matter of centimetres, and the bus had to brake, but the cat did suddenly realise, yowled and turned round to leap back to the pavement.  Such flexibility - he and the body-bobbing woman were made for each other.  Anyway, the cat shot me such a look (a kind of I-bet-you-re-the-type-who'd-bash-your-Gran-in-the-tummy look) and disappeared down an alley, leaving me oh-so-very-nearly responsible for a cat murder.

You can see why I'm staying in.

Someone had alerted the authorities that Fran had stepped out of doors


  1. I've rung that vigilante guy in Birmingham and asked him to pop over and keep an eye on you. He said he was "too frit" and was going to stay put.

  2. Cute looking "stroke me" looking cats tend to hiss at me once I've approached them. Yes I have read that book. I liked the cover. I don't think I'd read it again.
    I sit on the floor in Oxfam. It's the only way I can cope.
    Granny beater. I bet she forgets the bit about the handbag....hang on , are those sirens I can hear ?

  3. The Memory Keeper's Daughter by Kim Edwards - Yep, I read it. Kentucky author. I'm in Kentucky. Based on a true story. Neither the best nor the worst book in the world. Husband and I both enjoyed it.

  4. Hi, me again. Barbara Kingsolver's 'The Poisonwood Bible': is that the one where they wear layers and layers of their clothes because only the luggage is weighed. If so, (husband read it - I didn't) that is based on a true event in her life. Husband knows her parents and they confirmed it.

  5. My son accidentally hit me in the crotch the other day. I don't believe him either.

  6. Dearie me, I'm seriously depressed. Partly by your danger-to-human-and-feline-race activities but more by the information that your granny is 88. I knew you were younger than I, but not by that much. My mother is 89. Gosh. You've made me feel very very very very ancient.

    (Should you ever come to Edinburgh, I'd love to meet up but will keep you well away from both my mother and my two black cats.)

  7. "As ye sew so shall ye reap" .
    Being threatened by a backpacker , however intellectually inclined , seems a just payback for temporarily disabling your grandmother .
    I'm not sure what form the retribution for attacking a sweet little black moggy could take .
    If there's a hungry growl outside tonight though , I wouldn't open the door .

  8. Steve - that's okay. I don't want anyone near me who says 'frit'.

    bad penny - next time I go to Oxfam I will take your advice and sit on the floor. I will give your name when i get arrested.

    Barbee - yes, the Poisonwood Bible is the one with all the layered clothes. Great book. Thanks for visiting.

    dbs - so many distrustful relatives around.

    Isabelle - be comforted, my friend. Everyone in our family has their kids in their late teens. This explains the relative youth of my Gran. She is the same age as my husband's mother.

    SmitandSon - thank you for your comforting Biblical words.

  9. You can come visit me because my Granny's dead (I am the Granny now) and I don't have a cat and we can order books on Amazon.com. That ought to work.
    Love and peace, Manzanita

  10. re TM1 - You weren't relying on that inheritance were you?
    re TM2 - I expect they'll soon be releasing the DVD of how to avoid DVT (lot of acronyms in this post - are you keeping up?)- 'Begin your exercises in the Airport Bookshop, like these folks here - "Bend and stretch, up and down....")
    re TM3 - 'Nice little cat' - isn't that what wheelie bins are for?

  11. News travels fast in the cat world and their motto is 'Death Before Dishonour' so that black cat would have known about your Granny bashing episode and feared the same treatment.
    As further punishment for the cat and Granny debacle you probably won't enjoy The Memory Keeper's Daughter and wish you'd chosen differently.
    I didn't like the book but let us know your opinion of it.

  12. Manzanita - you've thought of everything!

    Vintage - How CAN you make that wheelie bin joke? I ought to blacklist you. I have sensitive readers where cats are concerned.

    Linens - I will let you know about the Memory Keeper's Daughter. If I'm not enjoying it by Chapter 3, I'll know it's retribution.

  13. Oh dear! Probably best you do stay indoors from now on! Although this post has left me giggling a little to myself!

  14. Some days it's best to not even get out of bed!

  15. I can't get over your ability to take a daily (one might say mundane, at least until you get hold of it) incident that the rest of us would probably slink off and do our best to forget and make it into an unforgettably hilarious story. Three in one go, no less!

  16. Photopuddle - actually, I quite like Molly's idea of not getting out of bed at all.

    Molly - see above!

    Raining Acorns - It seems to be my life's work, to entertain others with my own failure. Ho hum.

  17. Don't worry! Days like this are normal. We all have them. Where it seems that everything is out to get us. Or we fall, trip, cut ourselves, etc and end up wishing we had stayed in bed.

  18. How do insurance companies react, when you ask for accident cover?

  19. (I'm so glad that the Japanese Student is safe, by the way.)

  20. Oh dear, sounds like it was the sort of day to remain under the duvet with a good book :-)

  21. I'm laughing because I have had days like that and haven't quite shaken them off yet.

  22. Technogran - if days like that are normal, I don't know how I'll cope on abnormal days ...

    Martin H - badly.

    Isabelle - thank you - that's kind.

    Eliza - that sounds SUCH a good idea.

    LilyS - I won't be shaking this one off for a while yet, I imagine.

  23. There is a book called: Swallowing Grandma, by Kate Long (translated in Dutch: 'Where do we dump grandma?'). She also wrote 'the Bad Mother's Handbook'.
    Come to think of it... are you sure you're not her alter ego?

  24. A very adventurous day! Has granny forgiven you yet?

    Anna :o]

  25. Poor Granny! She's not got Alzheimer's then? I must admit it is a nuisance when thee oldies forget who you are - on the other hand it does come in handy in situation like these.

    I think you should experiment with a clutch bag for a week and report back to us on how you get on. Could be an interesting experiment!

  26. Oh, dear! But you did give me a good chuckle so I'll forgive you (even if Granny and the cat don't.)

  27. Don't feel too bad, your granny probably did something in her long life to deserve that punch. Tell her it's karma.
    Anna May x

  28. Carolina - I must admit, I don't think even I could swallow my grandma by mistake. (I've obviously given you all just that impression ...)

    Hypercryptical - I'll take some chocolate with me on my next visit. It's sheer bribery. But it might work.

    Jane - no, she doesn't have Alzheimer's thankfully. Yes, I think a clutch bag might be safer.

    When I am Rich - thanks for your forgiveness. Someone needs to.

    Anna May - can I tell her you told me to say it? I'm not sure it's going to go down that well.

  29. Oh yes, you thought I wouldn't notice didn't you? But you have a WALKMAN in your bag? As in a Sony Walkman?! That plays tapes?!

    That is WAY more shocking that you beating up your Granny and a cat.

  30. Annie - it's a DIGITAL Walkman! What is ziz 'tape' you say?

    Did you see my comment on your Oldfield Road post?

  31. I wouldn't sweat it...unless law enforcement looks into your case; but some of us are "indoor people"(like you and I) and some are "outdoor people"
    (like cops, firemen, etc.) Now cats are my favorite animals and I'm glad you weren't responsible for the demise of this one. What makes them superior to us is that they just don't give a random rat's tusch about guilt trips, being stroked, or almost killed by sensitive human, book-lover, knapsack-wearing,
    granny-hassling, word wrangling, adverb busting, infinitive-splitting, anecdotal-inspired, funny writers. My best

  32. I'm so far down your page I've come across Kate Atkinson. I've just read Emotionally Weird having failed to find any more of her Brodie stories - I read When Will There be Good News not realising it was in the middle of a series. I like her sense of humour and rather enjoyed all the fonts and characters in EW... so perhaps I shouldn't say that I loved The Memory Keeper's Daughter finding it both sad and uplifting. I remember it with fondness but little detail. I rarely buy books for myself, I get whatever the library can provide, and I'm too mean to pay a reservation fee.

  33. Love this! The other day I walked into my boss's desk whilst she was sat at it (not good), and also tripped over and managed to land with hands flat of a parked car that somebody was sitting in. Seems to be a theme here...

    Re Memory Keeper's Daughter, it is a bit slow, and depressed, but good. One of those books whose atmosphere you can recall years on.


  34. Ha! Well at least you will have a good read to keep you company while you isolate yourself. Somedays its just best to stay in. My motto for today.

  35. Count - what is a tusch? Let alone a random rat's one.

    hausfrau - everyone I know says they're enjoying Kate Atkinson's latest (Walk my Dog or something). It's next on my list. I do like her Jackson Brodie series, although I don't tend to read crime novels.

    billygean - I really enjoyed that image of you landing on the parked car. I bet that surprised the occupant.

    Midlife - I would like to be able to stay in and read for about six months at the moment.

  36. Bloody hell yeh - I read your comment on my post! I was well freaked out about it (in a nice way).

    So Fran, it appears that we lived less than 3 minutes walk away from each other for seven years! I was gobsmacked to find out that we had both lived in Hampton, let alone discovering that you had lived in the neighbouring road (the one with all the big houses you posh git!).

    So tell me, did you ever hang out at the 'Railway Bell', 'Moroccan Cafe', 'The Jolly Coopers', 'The Bell Inn' or 'Chinos'?

    Why did you move to Warwickshire? Hampton is lovely.

    P.S. This is shaping up to be a blog post in itself!

  37. P.P.S Just imagine how much blog fodder we could have had if we had met up in Hampton and done 'stuff'. Gutted!

  38. Slamming your hands onto the bonnet of someone's car just as they're beginning to reverse does rather startle!

  39. Actually, Fran, this was my attempt at trying to take some of the slangy crudeness out of the well known "rat's ass" phrase. But, as usual, when you try to improve on a beloved expression, you come up with a half-tush (sp.?)
    solution. My best.

  40. Anonymous17/3/11 07:44

    Boozoos with backpacks are hazardous to my health. They always love to spontanously back up, swing around, do the shimmy, whatever, when they are infront of me in line. Inevitably I have to bend backwards (like I'm doing the Limbo dance) so that their bag doesn't bean me in the head. - G

  41. Annie - Railway Bell - regularly, especially for Sunday lunch. Moroccan Cafe - expensive or what? But yummy. The Jolly Coopers - husband down there regularly with his mates. The Bell Inn - favourite haunt of workmates, so went regularly. Chinos - absolutely. What's the betting we met in a queue and didn't know it?

    billygean - Shame. I was going to try it tomorrow, but I won't know you've said.

    Georgina - I don't know why, but 'bean me in the head' is my new favourite phrase.


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