Friday, January 16, 2009

Puffing and Pootling

Awake before mid-day but afraid to move a muscle in case it set off symptom alert. It made me think of a story I was once told by someone whose mother decided to gate her for an extended period: after school she was confined to her bedroom and the rest of the house was wired to set off an alarm if she so much as put a foot anywhere downstairs. So she learned how to slide down banisters, climb on the furniture and sneak out of windows without being detected. The eye of the ever watchful M.E. guard goes deeper than that and won’t be so easily outwitted.

I crept around a bit, squeezed some juice from an orange and half a lemon, drank it, lit a candle for Son of Signs who had exams today, had two puffs of a hand-rolled cig before putting it out and then had a bath.
It’s ok, I said to M.E. guard, I’m not going anywhere.
Too right you’re not, he leered.
I pootled around the place (Signs Cottage is not big and the stairs are steep so pootling is best confined to one room, usually kitchen) and heated up a bit of veggie couscous. Look, healthy. See? Lit up another cig and put it out; pretended I was going back to bed; checked emails and blogstuff; planned to go for a walk just as darling daughter rang en route to a teaching assignment so talked to her instead, and just as well because it began to drizzle in a most grey and depressing fashion and talking to daughter was better for the spirits; casually picked up my A4 notebook and pootled back down to the kitchen where I covered one page, then another, then another.
I’m watching you, said the guard.
Don’t worry, I said, I’m just scribbling.
Covered another page.

Went for a Chinese in the village with Mr. Signs. We had: sweet and sour pork, Cantonese duck, prawns with ginger and spring onion, vegetable curry and some Chinese beers. Neighbour over the road invited us over for a Burns celebration next weekend – poetry, songs and haggis.

I say this in a whisper: I am planning to go to the Smoke on Sunday to see daughter playing the piano and singing on a barge somewhere on the Thames.
And I am planning to cover more paper with words.
And my name is Sister Nicotine of the Two Fingers. Two Fingers for short (thank you, Cusp).

And here’s tae us, sweet sister North.


Anna MR said...

Hugs, Sister Nicotine. Mwahs, too, and here's to your indefatigable, unbeatable spirit (well it looks like that to the onlooker, right? Even if it doesn't always feel that way to you).


Zhoen said...


trousers said...

What ms mr says - it does look to the onlooker that there is an indefatigability and (er,) unbeatableness to your spirit, regardless of how much that's a reflection of how you might be feeling.

I'm not suggesting it's anywhere near the same, but I remember looking back on diary writings from when I was going through some rather testing times. My words had more guts and insight than I would have ever expected, but it was a sign that such things existed within me even if I didn't always realise.

Oh and the meal and the Chinese beer sounds gorgeous!

Reading the Signs said...

and top of the morning to you, Sister MR and Zhoen
(this pebble thing is a great idea, I first saw it at hers).

Trousers, I know exactly what you mean about coming up against yourself in old journals. I did the same and remember feeling quite impressed with the person I met there.

Re. Chinese meal: these details do matter, somehow.

Cusp said...

Hail Sister ! I've just been released from my cell (religious)and now I'm on refectory duty --- doling out the water, dry bread and pull-it before I have to go and self-administer 6 lashes. This regime is similar to the LP but cheaper and slightly more physically painful. Mother Superior says it can only do me good but I wish she would let me out for an evening so I could come round to yours for a Chinese. MS says this life of denial is doing me good after the last 8 years of '...pure self indulgence...' as she puts it. No doubt the lack of luxury and the purging will eventually make Mr.ME clear off. I pray tis so. Now I'm here I can see it would be counter-productive to wear the habit in a place of gambling so I shall not take up the Bingo Caller's role.

I love the idea of you being Sister Nicotine --- has such a
60s ring about it and suits the picture of you rising around midday for a quick drag, mouthful of some wholefood/soulfood and, no doubt, a soak in the old patchouli bath oil before retiring to your bed for a quick read of Blake for inspiration.

I think I might take on *this* name as Mother Sup. has not chosen a name for me yet

PS NMJ thnks I'm on drugs now and I don't suppose the above will do anything to persuade her otherwise

Reading the Signs said...

Hey Sister Morphine, I wonder what on earth would make NMJ think you are on drugs.

I like the sound of that regime you are on - not that I would want to be on it, you do it so the rest of us don't have to. Probably much cheaper than LP.

Cusp said...

' do it so the rest of us don't have to...' well, heh, someone has to be the martyr.

Montag said...

I am so glad that you went for Chinese in the village. Your winter was beginning to sound too much like mine, where we ghost around the Last Redoubt, pootling in eternity.

If I smoked and if I drank, I would have one of each for you.

We shall never forget this winter.

Reading the Signs said...

- and anyway, Cusp, I've done the LP so it's your turn.

Montag, I'm not sure I want to pootle in eternity like poor old Ivan Osokin. Lets vow to go for a Chinese if we ever feel that happening.

Kahless said...

I hope you had a good few puffs of that fag before you put it out.

Reading the Signs said...

I trick myself, Kahless - because I really (I mean really) shouldn't be smoking. So I roll it up and take a couple of puffs, then put it out.

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