Thursday, September 27, 2012


Is clumsiness cyclical?

I ask because I seem to be in the middle of a phase of if-it-isn’t-nailed-down-break-it-itus.

So far, over the past couple of days, I have smashed a wine carafe, the high-frequency dog repeller and a multi-charger.  I have hit my head on a curtain post and stubbed by toe on a wall.  I have dropped things innumerable, crushed bread and watched receipts fly away in the wind.  In short, around me, things which should be immobile until I give them velocity, have taken on a life of their own.

I think it is related to my nails.

My nails have never been of the hard as diamonds variety, but recently they have been as brittle as a Chief Whip’s attempts to show that he is a man of the people and not a squalid classist lying snob.

My attempt to open a can of Bitter Kas wreaked havoc with my nails and they are now as short as a student’s dress at the end of St Mary Street in Cardiff late at night in the depths of winter when all the clubs are open.  A bit of an extended and over specific simile there, but you only have to be the end of St Mary Street at the right time and observe the astonishingly sparse clothing of obviously hardy (if sometimes inappropriate) girls to have the image fixed in your mind for ever!

I think that my frayed nails are an outward and visible sign of an inward malaise which has resulted in flailing limbs connecting with various parts of the physical universe in an inappropriate manner.

I seem to remember that eating jelly for its gelatine is a good thing to do with nails such as mine.  Or one can simply take more care.

To Toni’s continuing despair I do not follow his “everything in his place” philosophy – even making allowances for his individual use of the possessive pronoun.  Where I sit is the calm epicentre of wreckage spreading like a tsunami until it reaches the sphere of influence of someone tidier than I.

For example in the immediate vicinity there is a multi-charger which I have just knocked over yet again; an I-pad; an empty cup; a camera; a cheque; a stamp catalogue; a camera; a leaflet, a computer case and the metal cap of a Cava cork that I am saving for Tina’s sister-in-law – and all of that is just on top of the chest of drawers (actually an IKEA metal-mesh filing cabinet on wheels) which is next to my chair.

On my part of the coffee table there are three guides to various art galleries; a collection of leaflets; a collection of poems; three instruction manuals; a magazine; a catalogue for a recent exhibition; employment documents in an envelope; a box containing a Nano I-pod and earphones, receipts and pens; a Kindle, a dog irritator and details of this month’s rent.  And my slippers are next to the table.

On the floor . . . but you get the idea.  Gradually my “area” is being defined by what I have always regarded as the main aim of life: the accumulation of things!

Even I have to admit that the very “thingness” of my surroundings is getting a little oppressive, almost as if I am digging myself in to keep the wider world at bay.  A winnowing needs must occur – although it is often enough for me to articulate the intention and then to allow that to take the place of action.

But, as I write that, Toni and his Mum have just left for one of their marathon walks along the paseo, so this timing is encouragement for me to get something done so that they can ignore my efforts on their return!

I am almost galvanized!

And galvanized I was.  

By the time of their return my “area” was transformed into an expanse of arid conformity with some abstract idea of placement and order.  

And not a single solitary glance or word of acknowledgement of my Herculeanean efforts.  At all.  I don’t know why I bother!

And now I can’t find a damn thing.
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