As there seems to be a surfeit of nasty news and I like to be contrary ( who doesn’t?) (Well OK not you and clearly not me and I would never say so either.)….
One of the list of things that needed mending about me after four and a half years of neglect was a foot. Yes indeed Holmes, I do declare there is something underhand afoot. Halong with my aitches, dearart, I ’ad dropped my arch. ’Ad my dear departed mother been around she’d have been endlessly able to tell me she told me so and she would have been absolutely right. (See live long enough everything ’appens.) (Well she wasn’t around when I went for ’elp but it started previous, like, doctor, so technically she was.)
It started when I was a ninfant. I was taken for flat feet once a week to stand in two tiny baths with electric plates in the base of them, they were filled with water and current was passed through. Amazingly, as you can probably tell whether you are medically qualified or not this did not electrocute me to death at all. In fact I don’t think it did anything except waste half an hour in a large hospital once a week. I was also supposed to do foot exercises a lot. All I can remember of them was that I had to pick up pencils with my feet. It would be so neat to say that is a skill I still possess today and finish off the blog with my big toe; sadly I cannot. I was a naughty child and would not do my foot exercises. Throughout my childhood this was held up as an example of my singular waywardness, usually as we embarked upon some other medical frolic that let my mother dress in her best and flirt with a doctor or two.
Anyhow, did them I did not and a mere sixty two years later, as ominously and frequently predicted, the arch of my foot fell with a mighty thlwup, my ankle rolled over and my left knee basked in affectionate proximity to my right knee.
Sometime later, other events having eventuated, I rocked up at phsio at the hospital and was given an exercise so simple even I could do it. I just had to do duck feet, stand on tiptoe and descend sloooooooooooooowly.
As the spring weather warmed up and we opened the windows I became aware that I was not the only one doing exercises. In a house at right angles to mine and close at hand a child was practising various instruments, considerably more assiduously than I had practised foot exercises.. We had Fai…r..y stops, stips, steps on an oboe for a few weeks. The fairy was chased out of the forest by a squeaky recorder doing scales, do me so far, far, fur sqkweeek, do me so, me squk, do me so far screeeel, squok. do me so, do me so, do me so far la tee squaaaaaah!
And then a flute and the Sugar Plum fairy. In the early days Tchaikovsky must have been whirling in his grave sufficiently to be used as an egg beater. As progress was made and the weather got warmer it got so good I found myself doing a Frank Muir singalong in the garden. If you are the right age his Cadbury’s Fruit and Nut Chocolate advert was never bettered and can still be found online. I didn’t have to look it up, for a lift and a laugh, I simply had to go out and do the weeding.
My foot exercises I did several times a day until the glorious day when worlds collided and an overweight pensioner found herself performing duck toed relevees in her underwear to the Sugar on and Plum off, begin again Fairy drifting through the open window. I like to think Frank Muir would have been proud of me and my mother would have enjoyed telling me so and serving me right.
I kept at it and so did apprentice Tchaikovsky and we are both very much better now thank you.
Next stop the Albert ’All in me shorts and Steady On Beethoven that was your Fifth, or not as the case may be.
Fifteen and a half probably, too hot to get the calendar out.