A heartfelt thank you to anyone who has clicked on this blog and read or looked or left a comment. Nearly all of those comments have been lovely and have meant a great deal to me.
I did at one point receive a flurry of weird/mildly offensive ones which made me feel a bit odd about blogging but I expect that's all part of it.
The reason I'm writing this is because lately a lot of people have stopped following this blog which has made me think about a few things eg., content. (Obviously those who've already left won't be reading this so if you see them, perhaps you'd pass on the message.)
I get a small pang of sadness when people move on, especially those whose blogs I really like.
The feeling doesn't linger too long though, unlike the smarting on my lower gum that came from ramming my toothbrush into it during some enthusiastic teeth cleaning two days ago. Have you ever done that? It really hurts.
Here's a picture for you. It's been like high summer in England today with temperatures at around 16ºC (68ºF). Almost balmy.
Lucy is at home searching for the phone so that she can call her mobile. She usually keeps it in her coat pocket but it isn’t there now. It’s also not in the next most likely place it could be – her bag, or the one after that – on the kitchen counter.
There had originally been two cordless handsets but one of them fell behind the living room radiator. Lucy tried to free it by shoving it upwards from underneath with a wooden spoon. She had also attempted pincering at it from the side with barbecue tongs and levering it out with a martial arts stick, but every effort to retrieve it seemed to wedge it in even more tightly.
Having turned over the ground floor of the house, Lucy finally locates the landline phone under the sofa cushions in a garden of raisins, popcorn kernels and general detritus. She wipes the dust off the phone, keys in her mobile number and waits for the ring tone.
A dulled buzz vibrates on the desk within arms length of where she is standing.
Lucy lifts up a woollen hat, picks up her phone and sweeps a fingertip across the screen to unlock the handset. She questions why she still uses a password when it was cracked months ago by the resident code breaking co-op Cagney, Lacey & Holmes Inc., App Downloaders Extraordinaire.
Messages – none. Texts - none.
Lucy goes to the kitchen, switches on the kettle then returns to the living room to boot up the computer.
She neatens the pile of mixed paperwork: drawings, correspondence, bills and so forth, forgets about a drink, forgets the kettle sometimes gets stuck on ‘boil’ and sits down at the desk.
In the corner of the room a green light flickers on the router. Lucy takes hold of the mouse and directs the cursor to her web browser and clicks. A line of bold red text stretches across the milky white screen and tells her:
The waitress had set down a teapot, a jug of milk, some flapjacks in a bag, a sort of ceramic paint palate that I think was the plate, and a bowl.
I thanked her and she went back inside.
I looked at the rectangular slab with the hole in it and thought that it might be right with cheese on it perhaps, but decided to eat the biscuits straight from the packet the waitress had brought them in rather than use the palate plate. It reminded me of an office party years ago when the caterer had arranged for the snacks to be served on mirrored tiles and everyone made a point of mentioning what a ‘fancy’ and ‘interesting’ (pretentious?) idea that was.
Then I checked out the bowl, swivelling it round in case there was a handle that I’d missed that would make it an extra large cup. There wasn’t a handle so I wondered if possibly the bowl was for putting the used teabag in or something.
Certain that the waitress would be back any minute with a mug, I played around with my phone.
She didn’t return and the penny dropped that I was supposed to drink out of the bowl.
I don’t know what stopped me from going in and asking for a takeaway cup with a lid as I’d certainly have felt less self-conscious using that type of non-handled beaker for a drink.
Whilst inside, I could conduct a straw poll to see if anyone else felt a bit silly eating off a ceramic oblong and drinking from a bowl and if they did, then I could - in a non-threatening way - feed the info back to the management and suggest that it’s okay for them to use ordinary plates, cups and mugs; no one will hate them for it.
Aware that my tea would soon turn from hot to warm to undrinkable and that I could still retrieve some value from my five pounds fifty including service if I hurried up, I chose to let go of my inhibition, grasped the bowl with my fingers and drank back some tea as confidently as if I took it like that all the time.
A few more gulps like this and the pot was drained. I then stuffed the remaining flapjacks in my bag for later, paid and left and the thought came to me - maybe the bowl had been meant for the teabag after all.