It's Tuesday, and alreadt it feels as though the working week is two days old. I missed posting a blog yesterday, and for that I apologise. I offer the best of excuses: my writing would have been terrible. I was hungunder.
For the past thirtyfive odd years I have suffered from hangovers after over indulging in the Western world's Number One Drug, alcohol. My body is becoming less tolerant of this abuse, and I have come to the conclusion that whenever I do get hammered, I end up under the weather. I am not over anything. I feel grotty, sick, trembly, and altogether as though I have been run over by a flock of Percheron horses.
I feel as though I have been hung under a river of molten sandpaper.
I am not hungover, but hung under.
I have now recovered from Sunday's folly, to most of a degree. But then next time I see Jo and Martin I am going to bray like a wounded mule and start bellowing about the option of joining a strange religious sect if Marty makes a move toward his stash of single malt whiskies.
LISTENING TO: Janis Ian, "BIllie's Bones". I couldn't cope with rock music today.
READING: Robert Radcliffe, "Under an English Heaven". Elegant. Marvellous characters.
WORD OF THE DAY: No. Say it, do it.
Here’s a list of movies Henry recommends:
The Wild Bunch
Romeo + Juliet
The Lord of The Rings (All of them, of course. And in order.)
Ladies in Lavender
The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
The River Queen
The Sound of Music (someone has to)
For Whom the Bell Tolls
All that glisters
What is it that makes a woman like Mary love a man like Henry? Let’s relax for a moment, and put Henry’s woes and bullet-pierced hide to one side, and sneak a peek at a curious item in Mary’s jewellery box. It’s a necklace, and on today’s open market is worth, roughly, oh, nothing. Or thereabouts, anyway. It’s bright and colourful, and Henry made it as a gift for her tenth birthday. It was the first real gift he had given her, and it took him a year to make. Here’s how he did it:
First, you take a toothbrush. In 1971 toothbrushes came in a fairly regular size and pattern: there was nothing like the bewildering selection we now enjoy. The handles were of clear vividly coloured plastic, and the business end featured a no-nonsense brush.
So you have your toothbrush – or, in fact, a number of them. Henry had collected his family’s used toothbrushes for nearly twelve months (Gussy favoured the Tek brand), and was now about to start work. He started by dumping a couple of brushes into a pan of boiling water. After a minute or so, the bristles came loose, and floated free. Now’s the time for daring and quick action! The toothbrush handle is grabbed from the water by tongs, and then, before it has a chance to cool, it’s twisted into shape by hands and fingers made clumsy by protective gloves. Henry had 23 toothbrushes – ruby red, emerald green, turquoise, sunflower yellow, a kaleidoscope of colour – and twisted 21of them into figure eight shapes while also plaiting one into the other so he ended up with a rope of colourful plastic. The last two he twisted into interlocking clasps – one for each end of the toothbrush-handle rope.
A Necklace, the likes of which had never before been seen in Northridge. Henry, blushing, had given it to Mary for her tenth birthday, and she wore it every day from then on until her wedding (not to school, however: there were Very Strict Regulations, young lady, about Wearing Jewelry At School! Take That Bauble Off or have it Confiscated, and Thrown into the School Furnace!). So she wore it to school, took it off while there, and put it back on after school hours. Mrs Pickering understood her Mary, and gave her a small jewellery box in which to keep the treasure. It was, and still is, made of faux-tortoise shell, with flaking gilt hinges and trim. A tiny heart-shaped lock keeps it sealed: after all, you wouldn’t want the tooth-fairy to see it. She might want it for herself!