One of the things about having ME/CFS is to survive everything has to be planned, every day paced to make a little energy go a long way. One of my rules is usually to do only one ‘activity’ every day.
Today though, I had a clash. It is the day of the ‘second’ Christmas market, arguably the bigger of the two events as it is part of the village Christmas extravaganza with late night shopping, mulled wine and Morris Men as well as Santa’s lair in the antique . It is also the second meeting of the recently resurrected Stanza poetry group.
There is an overlap of an hour, but my partner in market-eering has juggled around and is happy to cover the last hour of stall-minding on her own. All I hope is that I can extricate my car from whichever parking space I find and so get myself home in time to host the Stanza group.
In order to manage both events, I had listed everything… and I mean everything that I needed to do to make the day/evening run smoothly. The multitudinous labelling, packaging and listing of goods for sale was completed on Sunday; the dogwood twigs cut and dried to make out Christmas Card tree; green pinnie in the box; soup on the stove to take in a flask; room ready for tonight’s meeting with associated Christmas plonk and nibbles in place as well as paper napkins to use as plates.
I checked the soup…bubbling nicely… then decided to pack everything for the sale into the car well ahead of time, planning a good hour with my feet up, listening to radio 4.
Then the front door slammed. I am on the wrong side of it.
The back door remains locked when I am flitting about the house, if only to make sure the wind can’t blow it open to free the escapologistically inclined Jack Russell – Lucy.
So, I am in the drive, in my slippers, the soup is on the stove bubbling away merrily and the dogs are lined up at various windows, watching. I have no spare key anywhere. My other half is a good half hour drive away…and will need his own keys to get in because I will not be here when he comes home.
Inspiration – a friend has a spare key. Disappointment, I know she is on the golf course because it is Wednesday. She is always on the golf course on Wednesday. But she is the only hope.
After a mad dash to the club, I watch with dismay the electric gates to gain entrance. Wondering if I need a code to get in, I notice gleefully that a moustachioed type in a Range Rover is turning in. Accelerating I tailgate him furiously through the gate, then wave cheekily as we turn in different directions to park.
My motto is that if you pretend to belong somewhere no-one will question you as long as you do nothing outrageous. The most peculiar thing about me on the surface is…my soft, grey, cashmere slippers, with sequins!
I pad up the rather grand stone steps to the clubhouse, skirt round three gentlemen golfers who are studying the details of the Captain’s charity appeal, and knock assertively on the secretary’s door. My plight causes merriment, but, organised to a tee (!) they know exactly where my key-holding mate is on the course, direct me by road to the Halfway Hut where, fortuitously she is currently imbibing toddy and hot sausages to gear herself up for the homeward holes.
My slippers passed unnoticed as I ventured into the warm snuggery of the Hut as everyone else gathered there was more peculiarly attired in Santa hats of various styles, each more outrageous than the last, and a modicum of seasonal, dangling jewelry…not to mention red noses from the wind on the course ( nothing to do with wassail).
Spare key retrieved, for my friend is nothing if not well organised and keeps such items of importance close to hand at all times, I speed home. the dogs, lined up by now near the incredibly unburned and savoury smelling soup pot, welcome me with their usual madness.
The soup is better than ever thanks to its prolonged cooking time. I have ten minutes for a feet-up collection of myself…and its off to do Christmas number two…