If you’ve been paying attention here, you’ll know that I broke a bone in my foot in July, and lost a whole summer. Now I’m beginning to recover I find that being sedentary for two months has aged me by about five years. You know what they say: use it or lose it? I didn’t realise how quickly this would take effect. Can I get my strength back and shift the stone I seem to have gained? Good question. One seems to be dependent on the other but I’m not quite ready to start jogging again and anyway, the end of the novel (draft 2) is in sight.
Talking (writing) of jogging, one effect of my injury is that currently, I am able to wear only trainers or flat ankle boots. Choice of the latter is constrained by the fact that my left leg needs a built up shoe, and the only boots that fit the bill are in winter black and workman brown, neither of which are attractive with butterfly pink or sunny-sky blue, cropped trousers. Trainers remain the option of choice.
I have two pairs of built up trainers. Both pairs were expensive, I needed good ones to support the considerable impact of my feet on the pavement when running. One pair is quite clean and smart, if such a description can be applied to a running shoe, the other pair, if they were cuddly toys, would be described as well loved.
I had the left foot of the new pair raised quite recently. I wouldn’t have bothered had my daughter’s cat not taken offense, when we visited her new house in Chorley, and peed on the raised member of the old pair as it stood innocently on her new hall carpet. I didn’t realise what had happened until the smell made itself known on the long journey home to Magicbhunkshire.
Without wishing to drone on too long about trainers, the newer pair, the obvious option when returning to work, where trainers are generally disapproved of, have developed a squeak. I don’t know if it’s my new, skewed gait that causes it but one foot advertises my arrival with a nauseating holler. I feel like blind Pugh with a squeaky stick.
Wherever I go in the shoes people turn to see who is coming. The corridors at school are long and smooth. You can imagine the noise as I head for my classroom. I’m an aching, hobbling, squeaking, creaking woman. No wonder I feel my age!
Moving swiftly on, and reminiscing just a little, I can’t remember if I ever mentioned Julian Codd. We were school friends when I was in my early teens and I worshipped him. He, oblivious to this, would tell me of his sexual experiences with his long term girlfriend, to which I would listen with a mixture of curiosity – I had no sexual experience at the time, and anguish. He wouldn’t have made great dating material, and the prospect terrified me anyway like Mary Magdalene in Jesus Christ Super Star:
Yet, if he said he loved me,
I’d be lost. I’d be frightened.
I couldn’t cope, just couldn’t cope.
I’d turn my head. I’d back away.
I wouldn’t want to know.
He scares me so.
Such is the nature of teenage love.
One day I was watching Top of the Pops and to my shock, the head of Julian Codd, loomed on the screen, dancing to a song – I wish I could remember which. I still remember the jolt in my stomach.
There is a relevance to this, and it illustrates the intensity of some childhood experiences. On Friday evening I sat watching TOTP, 1962 to 1974. The rest of my family were communing with digital gods and I sang my socks off, knowing every word of LOLA, with Elton John at the keyboard (I never noticed how much Ray Davies resembles The Joker), and Maggie May (with John Peel pretending to play the mandolin). Sad to say I didn’t see the youthful face of the, by now surely, wrinkled Julian Codd, but I looked and looked. One day!