13 March 2011

Dear Sophisticated Ladies

Another curious chocolate box week with a few old favourites interspersed with the odd unpleasant marzipan coated surprise. Marzipan being my least favourite sweet meat with the texture reminiscent of the exfoliant I currently use to polish my less than sculptural visage. The latter being rather more expensive; why I wonder do I just love the smooth after effects of a robust buffing! Should I reach the age of ninety I may reflect ruefully on this weekly routine.

I must begin with the highlight of my week; the observed wisdom of my almost three year old godson. The family cat has just had kittens ~ slight aside did you realise feline babies go for circa £50? Not I think an excuse to avoid having the beast spayed as this procedure would curtail this revenue stream! Anyway back to the anecdote. Godson says to his mother ‘why has Mimi (family cat) got mice in her belly?’ Mother responds ‘no darling not mice come and look’ and gets a kitten out of the box where it is sleeping. On being picked up the kitten squeaks to which Godson responds ‘see I told you they were mice’!

Little darling Godson came for his Saturday afternoon visit yesterday and was as delightful as ever. It always makes me smile the way he marches into the house and goes straight to the kitchen. ‘Where are my grapes Auntie Fran?’ he asks and we go on a contrived hunt for the penguin shaped dish containing a pile of black grapes. These days the visit is peppered with ‘why? Why? Why? And of course this must be somewhat irritating to live with but as I don’t I find it amusing.

Godson has recently become obsessed with monsters. He asked me if there were monsters in my house again. Only when I reassured him that there were no monsters in my house, because there was no room and besides I was a nice person, would he go to the loo. When I asked where this talk of monsters came from his mother said it was her. Bemused I pursued this and she told me it was the best way to get him to go to bed! Godson’s mother follows the naughty step model of discipline which I confess I don’t entirely agree with. Surely there are other ways to get children to do things other than frightening them. Hmm perhaps something childless spinsters should steer clear of commenting on.

On the subject of motherhood I was leaving Starbucks on Friday and as I said goodbye to my friend I noticed that the car next to mine contained a sleeping child. No one else just a child in the back seat. This was curious enough especially as it was in a disabled space. I, as you may be aware, am disabled and have a blue badge.

As I smoked a cigarette and chatted I saw a woman sitting at the table by the door. She was a glamorous woman with long dark hair and precise perfect make up. She had a latte and was reading a magazine occasionally looking up in the direction of the car. I was not impressed and smouldered whilst I considered speaking to her. The woman came out when the child moved as it started to wake up. She brought her magazine and her coffee to the car. The reluctant mother then proceeded to paint her nails whilst still parked in the disabled spaces! Of course I didn’t do anything aside from glance disapprovingly. Am I a coward I wonder?

Would challenging someone who behaves in this way really make her think; I suspect not give the lack of interest in the child in the car! It’s the thoughtless nature of this behaviour that irritates; I didn’t choose to be disabled, she chose to become a mother. Able bodied people seldom appreciate how much difference a disabled parking space can make. We tend not to use the space just to make a quick run to the cash machine (could this be because we can’t)!

On the subject of disabled benefits I arrived home to two letters from the Wales Millennium Centre informing me that the ticketing policy was changing. The disabled patron will no longer be able to have a free ticket for the person attending with them. In future one will have to be in receipt of the higher rate for the care element of disability living allowance to claim this. Of course I don’t disagree with this in principle however I had always understood that the reason for the ‘privilege’ was to help you get out in the case of a fire. I receive the middle rate for the ‘benefit’ and am to be eligible for a 30% discount on the second ticket. What do this say about the value of my life? I fully intend to follow this one up as, you may have sensed, I am not happy!

This week friends and I went to Milford Haven’s Torch Theatre to see the No Fit State show as part of the National Theatre Wales programme. It took us longer to get there than anticipated and we were unable to eat before the performance. Food orders stop at 7 pm so we had to eat cake! Is this good service I wondered? The chocolate sponge I had selected was dry and this did not fill me with pleasure!

Am I on a roll in terms of receiving service falling short of my expectations? I am not a woman minded to complain largely because I am too well brought up and hate confrontation. And to top it all the show was a huge disappointment. I love No Fit State’s work usually but this performance was lacking the wow factor I associate with the Company. It was OK but nothing more. The collaboration seemed to have stripped out any element of spectacle. It had predictable circus techniques; juggling balls; safe acrobatics; prosaic clowning that just was not funny. But I still say you can only judge the National Theatre on the basis of the entire annual programme. And finally, and yes this means the missive is shorter this week ladies! I went to the garage to get a bulb replaced. The alert on the dashboard had been there for about a week and yes I should have attended to this sooner! I asked for the brakes to be checked whilst I was there too. They hadn’t been spongy (whatever that means) but they just didn’t feel right. So what had started as a light bulb suddenly turned into two rear brake pads/shoes, a new tyre and a light bulb! Bloody cars! So if you haven’t booked a space at the March Salon on 21st March please do let me know. It will be your last chance to see my co host Fiona Allan before she leaves the country and waves goodbye as she goes over the bridge to England! I’d love to see you after the success of the last Salon and your collective support over last year. Fiona and I have has great fun and I will miss her a Yours in exhausted sophistication

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