She used to, but that was before we knew each other. When we met, she had a pile of books stacked next to her coffee table, up to the height of my thigh. She’d read all of them, except the one on top, which she’d gotten partway through and stopped reading – not only it, but all fiction, altogether.
A few months back she did a spring clean and the books disappeared along with the expired cans of food, obsolete paperwork and an incredible array of shoes that were easy on the eye but extremely unkind on the feet.
As a child, I had the misfortune of being labelled the brainy one. My younger brother scored the accolade of being sporty.
Don’t get me wrong, I saw my smartitude as a wonderful thing. When I grew up, I wanted to become a doctor and get a PhD and end world poverty. But I was less thrilled that braininess seemed to rule out the possibility of having any sporting prowess whatsoever.
A few years ago, my son spotted a remote control helicopter out the back of a charity shop as we dropped off some clothes. He immediately wanted to buy it.
Unfortunately, the bloke at the store said he couldn’t sell it to us. Because it was a potentially dangerous, untested electronic item, he was supposed to throw it away.
However, he mused, perhaps he could trust us to take it and throw it away for him? Wink wink nudge nudge.
My son joyfully brought the helicopter home, powered it up and launched it high in the air on its maiden flight. It span briefly at its apex, burst into flames and plummeted to the ground, smashing on impact.
Far from being disappointed, he was thrilled by the unexpected outcome. Continue reading →
Soon after returning from our European adventure, my boyfriend and I were telling travel stories to a group of friends. We were explaining how we had serendipitously found ourselves across the road from the Arc de Triomphe one evening, courtesy of yet another wheelchair versus public transport complication.
When we got to the part about crossing the infamously busy Place Charles de Gaulle intersection, one of our workmates interrupted to say, “But you’re not allowed to cross the road there! You’re meant to use the pedestrian underpass.”
“Nonetheless,” I countered, “We did cross there…” and my boyfriend continued the story.
Afterwards, I chuckled to think that someone would feel compelled to stop a narrative dead in its tracks simply to highlight a breach of pedestrian protocols.