Friday, 16 March 2012

Folks as tired as me should be kept in sheds

Away again in Wales for a 'break,' though I come to this tireder than a sixteenth century inter-town cartless vegetable trader. My six month old has been playing wake up tag with his two year old sister since three am. The game went on until it was time to 'get up.' This trip, my mum is with us. I suggested she might like a break and now she may be going home today in a breakable state, though I am relying on her fortitude to carry her sanely back to Warwick. During the times when they have not been half mast, being in the same house as my mother for the first time in ages, has been an eye opener. I thought I was scatty and generally bonkers because of lack of sleep; but I fear it's genetic. Apart from our marbles, Mother and I lose the same things every day (brushes, coats, hats, children): we don't know if we have not made the tea or just drunk it (we are taking it intravenously). Mum put couscous on Grace's cereal, mistaking it for sugar. I dropped my smart phone in a deep hot bath. Happily the phone is so darn smart that it is still with me, though its red eye blinks manically and accusingly at me all night, probably like my own livid red eyes do when taken out in the world by my sleep-hollowed head or possibly all night long.

I was in the Welsh Boots, which is more lilting and friendly than the barky one back in London. This little seaside place is awash with friendly retired people. I have no idea how else to put that. 'Old folk' sounds patronising in a jolly way, or jolly patronising; senior citizens sounds 'trying too hard to be deferential.' I could go on but I daren't. Folks as tired as me should be kept in sheds. During my last visit I was having a scary allergic reaction to drugs - not those kind, penicillin, no not that kind, anyway, this visit I left my regular medication in London. All important things are 'left' when you are crazed with tiredness. I probably wouldn't be surprised to wake up, or not wake up, as the case may be, without my left arm or leg. Severe tiredness is a kind of leglessness, but armless it is not. In fact it can be down right dangerous. Many times I have had to pull myself back from stepping off the kerb into afters. On more than one occasion I have offered the baby my own food instead of his. Don't worry, I pull back at the last minute! I have told stories about other people that were about other people. Who knows what dreadful dramas I have begun? I don't. I don't remember.

Back to Boots. There, I've landed. As I queued, old ladies (old-er ladies?) took it in turns to pacify my yelling baby as I tried to make myself understood to the pharmacist without yelling above the noise. One lady performed the most animated peek-a-boo routine that I have ever seen. Me and the baby were both mesmerised. Afterwards, when she was paying for her prescription, the Boots lady asked her if she was 'alright for a bag.' She then launched into a further comic routine about being 'alright for a bag,' which involved her face and her tatty handbag. It was hilarious and not something that is likely in London. Ladies like this do not seem to occur in London at all. Where are they? There is a call for more entertainment in queues. In London people are generally swearing under their breath or stamping their feet in a huff. Situations like that are priceless. As priceless as sleep.

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