Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Self-Portrait 29


I have an aunt, her name is Ivy, she lives alone in a bungalow near Eastbourne and she is 89 years old.

She can’t get out, isn’t very mobile and thus doesn’t see people very often – so apart from when my sister or I ring, she doesn’t speak to anyone.

The other day she was in her kitchen – I learnt this when I rang her – and she bent down to pick something up and “something fell on my head”.

When you are almost ninety I don’t think you need many things to fall on your head if you wish to carry on living, the fact that she had just returned from an examination at the local hospital where they had declared lumps on her head to be cancer free lends a certain irony to the event.

Don’t you think?

Who am I talking to?

See, it’s in the family – her name is Adams, mine too – we talk to ourselves most of the time these days.

Now here’s a thought – couldn’t it be that what happened to my aunt was paralleled in my universe by the book I’m reading at the moment.

Let me explain.

My aunt wasn’t surprised – apparently - she just stood up, rubbed her head and looked to see what had fallen thereupon.

It was a budgerigar.

To cut a long story short, something my aunt won’t do if you phone her, she closed the windows and the budgie flew around for a couple of hours until the night carer dropped in and Ivy asked her to look in the garage for an old cage stashed away therein.

My aunts garage is........ well, you know all those things you thought you had but can’t find anymore?

Well they all ended up in her garage.

The carer got the cage, the cobwebs were historied and the budgie locked up.

The next day Ivy went to give the Budgie some water and the bird flew out, and around and around.

Later, when my aunt was asit, the budgie came and sat on her arm.

And that’s the point – clearly the budgie was MEANT to find her, and Ivy it (she has called it JoJo because she’s not sure if it is a he or a her).

Divine intervention!

Now she has someone to talk to everyday.

What has this got to do with the book I am reading – Johnathan Raban’s Driving Home?

Divine intervention of course.

I am clearly MEANT to be reading it - despite the random series of events that brought us together - at the same time I am trying to finish a Self- Portrait (the Bitsnbobs series of the month).

And clearly within its pages I will find deep insights into my own character.

I may, in fact, have alluded to some of these already but there were more last week that I chose not to share as they were too damming! (in a section about the poet Philip Larkin).

Today I read this (talking about himself) –“looking back at the scribbler from a three-and-a-half-year distance, I see (of course) that he’s a flying fool – a middle-aged man, inflated with unlikely hopes, trying to defy the force of life’s ordinary gravity”.

I will probably end up talking to Budgies.

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