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|