Splat is not a sound you want to hear when you're in your mid-80s, and sightless. It occured to me that she would have had no idea of when she was to have hit the deck: the fear she must have felt!
She spent at least three hours on the floor in the garage. The fall (no more than 75 centiemtres, but body-length) had knocked the strength out of her, and she was unable to get back to her feet. She was also disoriented: When she's on her feet she can reach out and touch something familiar, and get her bearings. On the floor, nothing familar was in reach. She reckons it took her an hour to find a wall.
She could smell her own blood, and hear her own whimpering. "That dishusted me, Allan," she said. "I'm nothing but a foolinsh, cowardly old lady." I however, am astonished by her courage, and presence of mind.
The pain in her hips astonished her - and a broken hip is a killer. She was hurt, frightened, alone, and five metres away from her panic button.
She is now getting a panic button that can be worn. And the Council, bless 'em, are putting me through a First Aid course. I've just comepleted the first day, and much to my surprise I've learned a lot. So, if you plan to break a bone, cut an artery, or sever a limb - just make sure you do it within fifteen metres of moi. You'll be right.
READING: Charles Bukowski's last book of poetry. I discovered Bukowski when I was in my 20s. Not that I'm in my middle 50s, he still astounds me with his wit, brevity, precision, and hatred of phoniness. Philip Caulfield should have read Bukowski.
LISTENING TO: Julian Lloyd Weber, "Unexpected Songs". Such a better musician than his brother, although it must be said that I don't know if he's ever written anything original, either. And before youleap to a conc, let it be said right here: I like JC Superstar, and Cats.
WORD OF THE DAY: Splint. It not only looks good, it's good for you.
Arthur genuinely liked the Major, and he felt that they had a good, but still slightly uneasy relationship.
Arthur started clambering to his feet, but got a foot tangled on the one-legged stool, and fell on his arse. “Christ!” he swore. “Sorry, Major.” he stood, and saluted.
“It's George today, Arthur,” the Major said, taking off his cap.
“Well, if it's George today, then I have to tell you again. Stop wearing that fucking cap. Put some tin on your head. That cap's a target for the Hun snipers, and they've got a very good boy over there right now. Be a shame to see that titfer with a 9 millimetre hole in it.” This would
be the fortieth time Arthur had warned George Weatherby about the cap, and it would be the fortieth time George Weatherby would ignore the advice. George Weatherby smiled, slapped at his leg with his swagger-stick, and said, “This is a semi-social call, Arthur. Pour me a glass of that officer's scotch you've got there and I won't put you on a charge.”
Arthiur smiled, and grabbed on of his two enamelled cups, and poureed a healthy slug of Johnny Walker into it. Weatherby accepted the cup, rapped it against Arthur's, saying “The King!:”
Arthur nodded, and said “Long may he reign over all Britain,” and drank.
“Not her colonies and dominions, Arthur?”
“He can have Canada and Australia, George. But I reckon – well, it doesn't matter what a colonial sergeant thinks, does it?”
“It might, if he were to say such rebellious things in front of the brass, Arthur. Keep your tongue still around them would you?”
On Thursday we start a new yarn. Anything further I have on the Rats front (another 100 or so pages, with the ending still a few chapters further on ) is too rough for reading... it's not even at the rough and ready first draught stage
of what you've read so far. So, while I'm thrashing away on it, and my other new project, you'll be reading a play. happy drama!