It’s hard to believe that a week ago I could neither move, drink nor eat and today I can manage all 3 before midday…fancy! That said I am still taking antibiotics and skin infection still hasn’t gone so who knows where this calm moment may segue.
Now I am in a lesser state of panic my thoughts turn to the important issues of the day which, given, my limited life at present, are of more limited scope. Through the rather dirty early winter light this morning I sat over a pot of tea. That may sound like the start of the day’s ponderings but in fact that is it…”a pot of tea”. Despite my northern roots I am not a morning tea person…never have been…thought I never would be….I certainly don’t remember in the many booklets, websites, advice I have been given seeing anything about cancer changing you from a coffee to a tea person. I can’t seem to find the right words to carry my rage about this…
You may have thought that I would know better than to be raging about something so unimportant whilst bobbing about on my little lifeboat. However, I think my strong feelings to associate myself with the smell of coffee rather than any possibility of the whiff of stale tea transports me back to the 1970s and a former teacher of mine.
My nemesis still sits behind the same desk in the same room. She is a permanent fixture in forming my lifelong hatred of handicrafts. 2 o’clock on Thursdays she took control of the sewing room like a wizened despot. An orderly queue of girls destined for domesticity formed beside her. This left the disorderly rabble of which I was one, the ringleader if she is to be believed, playing with the sewing machines. Despite many yelled commands from the demon who exuded stale tea, I was “a complete failure” unable to master even the most basic skill of threading the machine. I spent week after week unpicking the birds’ nests that I had creatively made rather than accomplish any of the tasks that were set.
Sometimes she rose from her throne and stalked the room – the cigarette drenched cardigan giving a short warning of her approach. This alone, reduced me to a helpless mass of uncontrollable giggles and I was sent out of the class. I was sent out of the class most weeks.
Perhaps the final straw came when I called her class “a fate worse than death”. She swooped on me, her prey, with venom, yellowing teeth bared, breathing forth the last over-steeped cup of tea “YOU…you can’t possibly know what a fate worse than death is, do you?” There was no answer to that although it caused much speculation and I still spend idle moments wondering what raw nerve I hit that day. By half-term it was easiest to graciously accept that I was indeed “a complete failure” and at 2.00 on Thursday I just made my way to stand outside the headmistress’ office rather than face needlework ever again. I was proud of being a failure.
That said, I enjoyed my pot of Yorkshire tea this morning and may just have to leave the roasting coffee bean smell for another day…