“This too shall pass”


I have a gimp left foot, a burnt left arm, my son isn’t pleased with me and I was called a racist. 1134x4e7c6599522Somewhere long ago, somebody said of such a time, “Oh, God’s gone off me !” And it felt like it.

The foot is plantar fasciitisfoot (explanation too boring) but it’s unfair (I sound about six) because I have worn laceups most of the time for years.   The burn is a scald, the lid came off as I faltered with a new pan full of boiling water and green vegetables.   My son and I are not communicating with our usual clarity , he’s tired, I’m scared567d9684b05d329f57776fcd7558e4e3 and the end result is stand back and wait.     And the man on the bus threw me.   We had been exchanging two or three jokey remarks – he said I sounded forbidding (I had said something to somebody else). I rejoined, looking at him and referencing myself, that he would find a woman with dark eyes and an aquiline nose forbidding, especially if she was older, coming from his culture.   Never mind the “n” word: you mustn’t use the “c” word. human_race_poster-r715dfc36740040cfb6ca1968ac69e3cd_w2y_8byvr_324  “I think that’s racist, “he said.   I was aghast.   “I am sorry” I said, “ that’s not what I meant at all.”     “Where do you get off talking about my culture ?” he asked. I said I was sorry, I was referencing myself and he did one of those bad tempered “convince me” shrug and mutter jobs. I said I was sorry and shut up. I was off next stop. I thanked him when he stood up for me, I would have done anyway. I am a founder member of the thankers’ union.

At the door leading off the bus, a short elderly man looked at me with wry patience and made the old gesture of the index finger, round and round, against the temple. I said nothing. We got off the bus and he said” You weren’t racist. He doesn’t know what he is talking about. He’s jumpy and easily offended. And anyway, you apologised three times. You wouldn’t have done that unless you meant it. Don’t worry about it. I heard the whole thing.”   I gave him my hand, and asked where he was from. “Egypt” he said smiling. So I thanked him, and, shaken, went on to the emergency clinic which has been one of the two great finds of the week, where the wound on my arm has been cleaned and dressed. The clinic is open 12 hours a day, 7 days a week, as a walk in and it is obviously successful.   How nice to hear two different NHS employees talk with pride about the quality of the care in their place of work.

The foot will involve orthotics and I have done a gait test, to see where I put the weight as I walk and why it is straining this foot and that. Oneself in underwear and unflattering lights outside the privacy of bathroom makes corsetry and a crinoline seem like a good idea and I had remind myself that I put on 10 pounds every winter, like an old bear.   And that I like bears. black_bear2But the podiatrist seems capable and the treatment of feet is very specialised.

And as for once words fail me (happens every so often, inevitably when I most need them to land well and clearly and precisely), I was thrilled to find an article hymning the analogue (from which I took this blog’s name) in the Sunday Times colour magazine (05.02.2017 – India Knight, Page 5).zoe   I had read that Eastman Kodak were reissuing products once discarded in the move away from the darkroom and the studio to the computer.   Book sales – printed paper in covers hard or soft – are up. Vinyl records sold 53 per cent more in 2016 than 2015, yippee. And life isn’t all you or all me, black and white or even many shades of grey.     Analogue is infallible, imperfect, slower, more fraught with problems (clearly), more interesting.   You don’t have to have (or be) digital or analogue, you can have both.   A friend told me that her written desk diary is much more efficient that entering, amending, losing track of her appointments on line. There it is, there’s the pencil, there’s the rubber if things have to be changed.

And the heartfelt title of this post is credited both to the Sufi and King Solomon.  images-23

5 responses to ““This too shall pass”

  1. You are the woman on the Clapham (or wherever you live) omnibus. The serendipity of your connections with your fellow travellers results in insights that recharge mundane Mondays.

  2. Of course I meant mundane Tuesdays – got carried away by alliteration………

  3. I just think you’re very brave to talk to strangers on buses. I once got told off for calling them mobile drop in centres. Ours has a hail and ride section, which seems to just make it take an hour to get 3 stops. I hope the scald heals soon.

  4. I’m so sorry you’re out of sorts, it’s very painful and this is a miserable time of year. Glad you’re getting nice treatment and the elderly gentleman sounds very kind.

    Speaking of differences, I’ve decided today to cut off all contact with my neighbours and everybody in the city where I live. It’s not my home town and I moved here years ago for practical reasons and a fresh start. It soon became clear it wasn’t friendly, unaccepting of ‘outsiders’ and rough but it’s the trouble I object to. I’ve had my cheap second hand car vandalised again and it’ll cost hundreds to fix. I’m on a low wage. After years of noise nuisance, threats, vandalism and general ignorance and nastiness by a few I’ve had enough. They’ve complained about anti social behaviour but give the same treatment to those who are well behaved. I believed in being neighbourly and in community, no more. What makes me laugh is they’re the loneliest people I’ve ever met. Two different elderly neighbours were found lying on their floor for days because nobody cares. Many are elderly, alone and ill. I would have helped them. From now on I’m going to concentrate on my life, friends, charities, hobbies and work elsewhere. Let them get on with it. When people choose to be offended, bitter, insecure and jealous I’ve learned to walk away. They only end up hurting themselves.

    Do what you can to stay well and keep the faith. I’m trying to.

  5. Anna, if you put your vegetables into a chip basket and then into the water. When the veg are cooked you just lift the basket out and can leave the boiling water to cool on the hob before lifting. This prevents risk of scalding ( worked in Occupational Therapy many moons ago) hope this helps

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