Wednesday, 29 October 2008

Question of the day...

What happens when you wake up so hungry that you almost inhale four slices of barely toasted bread before realising that the crusts - or at least the remnants of the one that is left - happens to be playing the subservient host to a mountainous chunk of mould? The edges of my breakfast boasted a green and white beard of such proportions that Gillette could have sponsored it…

I don’t know if I’ve ingested a mammoth piece of industrial strength penicillin or a family sized, rogue hunk of yeast-decay. And if I have, I don’t know what that means…

Once upon a time, I heard that eating mould sends the consumer insane. So here I sit, merrily waiting for insanity to take me under its dribbly, probably incontinent wing, wondering if I should call NHS Direct or scour the internet for a solution to this dead-bread riddle. Thinking about it, it’s probably better that I sit it out and see what happens. If I go bonkers, I probably won’t know much about it. Besides, a spell in the Laughing House with lots of available drugs doesn’t sound too bad. My current haircut makes me look as though I’ve been the unfortunate recipient of a dodgy session of ECT. If the cap fits and all that… You see, I try to avoid the advice of net doctors at all costs. The last time I tried to search for a natural remedy for a slight blemish on my forehead (I was beginning to get mistaken for a Hari Krishna person), I discovered – to my complete and utter horror – that my unslightly spot was something altogether more sinister, unpronounceable and very definitely terminal. In the end, it transpired that the world wide web has misdiagnosed me – it was in fact a simple, full fat spot and not death by over-ambitious blackhead.

NHS Direct don’t do much to calm my nerves, either… A worried, ‘Oh… erm, I… I don’t know what to say,’ is not the reaction I’m looking for when I call them, spluttering that I’m not feeling too clever. The rest of the conversation is generally punctuated with pregnant pauses and the odd snigger – neither of which does much for my confidence. Next thing you know, they’ve hung up on you and there’s an ambulance at the door and fully armed guard. It never rains, eh?

So am I going to pop my oversized clogs or simply get committed to my nearest economy mental institution? Or will I just get belly ache and spend the next few hours acting as an unfortunate room odoriser?

Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Home Sweet Home...

Since Mam died, I’ve been to see a few psychics. The first one was a fat, smelly slag of a charlatan whose air of oddness seemed somewhat contrived, all things considered. All I wanted was a direct line into Mam’s celestial office: a quick word would have done… I only wanted to know that she was okay. Instead, I got a wannabe-insane woman (who smelled curiously of sponge cake and Christmas in equal measure), rocking back and forth in a haze of piss-stinking incense. As she gripped my hands I tried not to giggle: she looked like she needed to be inducted into the nearest laughing house. A few minutes of making sex-esque noises prevailed, after which, she told me that my aura was red, that I was stressed and that my Dad had a bad back. After fifteen minutes of her slovenly bollock-fest, a kitchen-timer made an intrusive noise signalling that I’d had my fair share of netherworld mediations. Immediately, her expression morphed into something different. Her face became more lucid. Harder. She smiled sharply as she asked me how I’d like to pay.

Never again, I thought to myself, as I sulkily trudged round Ealing’s streets twenty pounds poorer and no closer to any form of nether-world contact with Mam...

Such an opinion lasted about three years. I was casually flicking through the local newspaper one Thursday evening when I came across an advert for a psychic fare. To this day, I don’t know why, but instinctively I felt as though I had to go. The drama queen within (behold, sista!) put this knee jerk reaction down to some kind of connection with the afterlife. I following my gut and went along to the event as advertised. Disappointingly, my psychic was called Doreen. I mean, I expected her name to be at least slightly exotic – like Rhonda-Starpine or Bushwina-Moonbeam or… something. Anything but Doreen. Anyway, I digress… Doreen was lovely. She had a warm face and her eyes crinkled when she smiled, which was all the time. This put me at ease: five minutes prior to me sitting down for my appointment I had a horrible feeling that she was going to tell me I was going to die. Fortunately (for me, at least), she didn’t. Sadly, Mam still proved illusive. Instead, she picked up on my troubled relationship at the time, told me that the person I was with was vile and that I should dump him immediately. Looking back, every single detail was correct. Some parts were spookily accurate, to the point where I’m no longer a nay-sayer when it comes to this sort of thing…

I flirted with the other side one more time earlier this year. Again, some of the details and predictions were spot on. The level of accurate detail she entered into was scary… She predicted that I’d go and work abroad in Spain and that I was doing it for a reason… It was as though she was reading my mind. And she said that the place would heal me.

She was correct. Puerto de Pollenca did me the world of good and I will always be grateful for the time that I spent there and meeting the people that I met. When I first arrived, the thought of returning home would make my heart sink. I’d think about what I’d left behind and I’d struggle to catch my breath and fight back the nausea. I’d break into a sweat and feel dizzy. It took a while to realise that I was having anxiety attacks. In order to feel better, I’d take myself down to the beach with a bottle of San Miguel and watch the sun melt over the mountains. It sounds weird, but those mountains became like friends. I’d sit and stare at them for hours and afterwards I’d always feel better. The real friends I made there – Owen, Michelle Bombon, Jo, Lisa Long Legs, Andy and Stevie D, in particular – did me the world of good. I learned to love my life again. I’d sleep through the night and wake up with a smile. It was a perfect summer. One day I woke up suddenly excited about going home and I knew my time in Mallorca was up. It was a bit like the Littlest Hobo in that respect. Now I feel as though I can take on the world. Things have suddenly gone right in all manner of departments – a fantastic partner who makes me melt, a decent job and in 30 odd days, the home I’ve always wanted. Not a lot troubles me these days but when it does, I think back to those mountains, the sunsets I used to cry at and my friends in Mallorca and the worries dissipate…
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