Never rely on the weather forecast. The powers that be swore blind to us that today we should expect torrential rain. They even kept up that belief through the whole day in spite of evidence to the contrary. In fact it's been crisp sunshine. Very pleasant indeed, if on the chilly side of pleasant. Oh Lordy, do I sound English here? We are all obsessed with the weather. I stare at the online forecast every day. Sadly. Anyway, encouraged by the lack of rain, Lord H and I have spent a large part of the day wandering around The Devil's Punchbowl - yes, it is a great name. We didn't find many birds, but we did manage to get so far down into the valley that it took me at least eighteen years and a great deal of moaning to climb out again. Ah, my knees just can't take it, you know. Mind you, they never could - I'm only good on the flat.
On the way back, Lord H nipped into Tesco to stock up on essentials such as ice cream and champagne (how we love to live elegantly here in the shires), while I popped into the hospital to see Gladys - who has unfortunately fallen over and broken her wrist earlier this week. As well as sustaining a rather horrendous amount of bruising. Being Gladys, she of course wasn't wearing her alarm (deep, deep sigh) when it happened and so had to lie there all night before the carer came in the morning. Thank the Lord the heating was on really. Anyway, she's not best pleased at being in hospital. The twenty minute visiting time went something like this:
Gladys (loudly throughout due to despair and anger): I don't know why I'm here. I want to go home.
Me (also loudly due to big mouth and genetic inability to whisper): You're sick and you've broken your wrist. That's why you're in hospital.
G: You're a horrible girl and you should take me home but you're too nasty to do that.
M: Yes, I'm really evil. I have no idea why you put up with me. I am indeed on the slippery slope to hell and the fire is already licking at my ankles. Shall we fill in the menu?
G: I'm not eating anything. I want to go home. (attempts to land Yours Truly a sharp right hook at this stage, but is unable to do so as too bandaged up)
M (ticking boxes on menu): How about some chicken, mashed potato and ice cream? You like ice cream.
G: I don't know why you're all keeping me a prisoner here. They broke my wrist deliberately to keep me in here.
M: Did they? They must like loud old ladies in wards then. They probably don't have enough of them. Would you like some water?
G: I hate water. I want to go home. All you churchgoers are evil. You're hypocrites.
M: Oh defintely. Mind you, as I don't really go to church any more, I'm glad that doesn't apply to me. At least not for that reason.
This latter statement seemed to flummox her - I don't think Gladys has ever really got the hang of my leaving the church - and so the conversation continued. I was really jazzed up when I left. Not because I'm a softie who likes doing good works - to be honest, I don't. Gladys has become a duty over the years and I've never had a capacity for mismatched friendship. I was more jazzed up from having been shouted at for twenty minutes for no good reason. Bloody hell, I'm not at work now. It's all very exhausting. All the more so as I doubt that Gladys will be heading home any time soon. I suspect a nursing home may well be on the cards - and should have been for some time, in my opinion. Please God let me have the ability to know when it's time to give in gracefully to the inevitable, when I reach that stage. Bloody hell though, I suspect that she'd even like it, if she just stopped complaining for one second.
I also have to admit that at the point of being accused of breaking her wrist myself (which came later), I did think that if I had done it, I might have resorted to the pillow method instead. So much quieter. Sigh! Anyway, why is everyone I know or in some way responsible for in hospital at the moment? And different ones too, dammit. Do I have no healthy friends left??
Meanwhile, back home, I have reached the milestone of 60,000 words for The Bones of Summer. Hurrah! I'm going to stop it there for a while now - partly as I need the break and partly as January looks like being an editing month. Jay Margrave's novel, Luther's Ambassadors - which will be the third of next year's Goldenford books - is ready to be given the once-over now. It's come at the right time too, I think.
Oh, and some other bugger has rejected my poetry submission too. I can't even be arsed to give their name, the losers! Ah, m'dears, it's the bitterness that holds me together, you know.
Today's nice things:
1. The non-hill parts of the walk
2. Leaving the hospital without having committed murder
3. Getting to the Bones milestone.
Anne's creaky old website