I might not really like Christmas, or the snow, or doing my assignments, but that doesn’t mean I’ve tipped over into unremitting doom for the festive period…
When I was a kid we used to visit my Nan and Grandad in Camberley, Surrey. They lived on Everest Road, only notable for once having a real rabid dog down the road when my mother was young and now for being, coincidentally where my cousin and her family live, albeit just round the corner.
It’s all army accommodation and they had a 4/5 bedroom house with a Mayan terraced garden that backed onto a wood.
In this garden my Grandad grew fruit: gooseberries, raspberries, blackcurrants maybe. All soft, shiny baubles the birds loved to nick which meant that he, in turn, could curse the birds, but not really. He also grew a money tree and had a yoghurt well; I think that’s it (I may need a collective family memory on that one).
Anyway, the point being that at the house at Everest Road, in the bathroom, there was quite a wide expanse of dark grey to black lino that was flecked with a mess of fine white squiggles and splodges. I used to sit on the toilet and stare at the floor and see faces and shapes in the random patterns and on every visit I would try to re-find all the faces and shapes I’d remembered from before, plus perhaps some new ones. I can’t remember what they were now, but it is a habit I can’t seem to stop. Not that there’s any lino in a bathroom to stare at any more, but there’s still sea and clouds and sand and sky and, currently, an awful lot of frozen ice.
That’s why, in the absence of anything seasonal to say, and the complete failure to send any Christmas cards to anyone I care a figgy pudding for, I thought I would share a couple of hearts I have spotted this year whilst I’ve been out. They aren’t allowed to be manufactured ones, they just have to be shapes I find when I’m looking hard, and when I’m not.
Look, you name your film after the US Triple Crown winner whose heart, on dissection, (estimated at around 22lbs) appeared to be three times the size of a normal racehorse’s heart; then you got my attention.
Then you throw in Walt Disney, a helmet-haired American actress, an actor I last saw in Babe the talking pig and you got me worried. Even the added attraction of John Malkovich in plaid doesn’t reassure me: I am *officially suspicious*.
It’s not going to be right is it?
Unlike BBC Radio 4 I would definitely end a major series on a Monday. It’s been a bit trying, perhaps painful in the case of the needle, confronting the disarray of my luggage. I’ve likened myself to a disenchanted mule and tried to blame the global capitalist society for my mess making ways. But now all that has to come to an end as the bag is a little lighter, a little tidier and good for at least another year of abuse before I consider a new one.
Before we come to the final item I thought I would, for the sake of truth and integrity, just do an inventory of the remaining items. It seems right, and it fills a few lines on a rainy Monday morning.
- Paracetamol, Alka-Seltzer and Migraleve – my friend says the latter is just expensive, pink co-codamol so expect that to join the pharmaceuticals in my bag tout suite.
- A magnifying heart mirror that fell out of a heart-shaped compact more than a year ago. Perhaps it’s time for that to come out.
- A metal credit card case that a student gave me. Shame it didn’t have a pre-paid Visa in it too. Decorated with Shakespeare.
- A Diet Aid essential roller ball. I don’t diet but I do roller ball. It is purported to “help diet focus”. As I don’t have such a focus I don’t know what it does for me, but I like the smell.
- A black balloon with my college’s logo on. You never know when you need one to give a kid.
- Various ironmongery: two pairs of scissors – don’t ask – a kirby grip, two more needles, one nail and one very nice coiled spring approx 2 cm long.
- Two plastic boxes for memory cards – I can’t remember where the memory cards are
- A lanyard with three stars on it “Improving strongly in Southend” – I wear the non-branded one thanks very much.
- A 20p, a 5p and countless 1ps
- A homeopath’s appointment card dated 07/04/08
- Old rail tickets to Devon
- 5 pen lids (no pens)
- Tiny bits of foil
- Sand and fluff