Cast your mind back to January when this was the outlook from my kitchen window. I was only a few weeks into being what I'm currently calling 'housebound' but I'm hoping to either remove the word from my vocabulary or find something infinitely better. The very effort of coming downstairs to watch TV and certainly, the extra three steps into the kitchen was often too much for me. The currently present Absent Bloke took this photo of our back garden and our fabulous view of St Saviours Church in Larkhall.
Now, there's only so much TV a girl can watch (believe me, I've peaked) so one January Saturday, I asked AB if we could go to our local DIY store to buy a bird feeder and some bird food so at least I could sit on my sofa and watch the birdies. I can be such an Edwardian lady at times :-)
I got wrapped up and then dressed up. That was my coping mechanism. Get myself warm (with no immune system getting 'a chill' isn't an option). I then poured on the make-up and with a warm woolley hat on added a decorative scarf on top, for the sake of appearances and off we went.
Parked up at a set of traffic lights there was a lycra-clad cyclist, I imagine by his absolute white pointed goatee, he was in his late '60's/early 70's. Well bloody good on him I thought. I certainly won't be cycling around Bath in my 70's, so kudos to him. As I looked at him he motioned towards my window (remember I'm a passenger in this car). I opened the window and stuck my head out into the cold. He pointed out that the car was over the line for the traffic lights. I apologised, said to AB 'you're over the line' and turned back to acknowledge the cyclist who called me a 'sarcastic bitch'. Well, I dunno about you, but that wasn't quite the exchange I'd been expecting. I calmly asked him not to speak to me like that, to which he came back with something equally unpleasant. By now I should have realised that what he wanted was a bit of road rage, he didn't give a rats how we were parked, the problem was that firstly we were in a car and (I'm guessing, this is becoming a bit of a recurring theme) but a very nice car. Sorry for making an effort an' all that. What a prize prick. Anyway, this 'exchange' continued the length of road we were both on, with AB getting involved too.
I'm shaking just typing this now - I can't express how upsetting I found it. Anyway, we got to Homebase where I just pulled my scarf and hat off (and it was freaking cold) and walked through the store on that busy Saturday afternoon totally bald (not in the style of any of these Hollywood actresses going through 'breast cancer' who have perfect eye-lashes, eye-brows and make up but in the style of someone fairly sick with sores on their mouth and nose and the make up looking like a child who's played in her mother's make-up bag. I saw someone I knew from the theatre and didn't want to embarrass him by saying hello. I think I do the angry/empathy thing quite well no?
So this blog is really to explain where this 'anger' I have comes from. It didn't start with the diagnosis, 'why me?'. I hope I'm really not that selfish. It started with the actions of one man with an ego problem who went to war with a woman he saw in a car and that woman was too distressed with everything else in her life to cope with an exchange that took probably less than a minute, one Saturday afternoon in January 2010.
'Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a battle' Plato