Friday, April 04, 2008


My shoes are too big. I bought them in Aberdeen the other month, at the end of a tiring and boozy weekend with Carrie.
‘This is the best time to buy shoes,’ she said, ‘when your feet are swollen.’

Apparently not, for me - it must’ve been the accumulation of champagne, white wine, lager, vodka & coke, Tia Maria and Cointreau & lemonade...of course, the cakes and chocolate wouldn’t have helped either, nor all the standing at bars. They were reduced to £2 in Primark and I have worn them with socks and trousers so think I’ve had my money’s worth. I love them; pretty kind of silver ballet slippers, more metal-coloured than shiny – definitely not suitable for climbing trees.

I haven’t had a drink since, so my feet sit lightly in the shoes and flap them on and off as I turn my chair in circles. It’s been pretty quiet recently at work; I’ve crocheted a lot of blankets and am now on to handbags which I line with curtain fabric to give them body. One has ended up looking like something that Terry Pratchet would give to a witch’s assistant for collecting squirrels’ secret hoards (or maybe Magpie feathers).

I’m swinging on my twirly chair at work, contemplating the artex ceiling and thinking, I don’t need to wear make-up, nail varnish or jewellery; all my embellishments are inside my head. I am The Faraway Tree; my mind just climbs up my limbs and leaves through the hole at the crown, into space; an installation to populate with word-art; a fabulous Etch-a-Sketch. I suppose this puts the interpretation of the statement, I want to be a tree, in a completely different light. Oh for Dame Wash-a-Lot and the fruits of all seasons; my life would be empty without Enid Blyton.

I often wish my visitors were insubstantial, less demanding. I’m not crazy, just very enthusiastic about things; if I can’t see it then I want to know what its thinking. Life isn’t easy; sometimes we need a little stimulation, it helps with circulation, especially if you have a sedentary job, which I do. The most satisfying thing about being single is the selfishness you are allowed to get away with; it gives you a sense of being in control.

People ask me if I’m lonely, and what do I do with my time and do I want to go sit in the local pub with them or spend my Saturday nights in clubs watching fifty-year-old women wobbling around like misshapen Barbies to bang-bang music. No; I’m in clover and this field is mine. Nobody’s getting on a lawnmower and cutting my grass, unless I request it.

A woman on her own is travelling; she is definitely not a ballerina, twirling herself dizzy on a musical jewellery box to the tune from The Bodyguard.

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