Category Archives: Blogging

Part 4a. I’ve been sidetracked by the peacock. Again.

And then we moved to Yorkshire…North Yorkshire, to be more precise. My lovely husband changed his job role and location to the North East of England, and given that I wasn’t working and the (step) kids were young adults who didn’t live with us…off we went. We live in a lovely area, complete with wandering peacock. This is where I get a little sidetracked!

Seriously, the first time I saw the peacock – or Alex as my nephew named him, because why not? – I was making a coffee, and looking out my kitchen window into the back garden. And lo! There is a magnificently plumaged peacock wandering about the lawn. We’d only been there a few days, so not aware that Alex was a regular visitor, I phoned the local petting zoo.

“Hello, have you lost a peacock?”

“No, we don’t keep peacocks” ( Yes, in retrospect, I realise that they are NOT pettable. At all), “but you’re not the first person to phone us. Why don’t you try the RSPB?”

So I did. And when the bloke on the other end of the phone had finished laughing, he kindly advised me that they could only help if the peacock was injured. Didn’t look injured to me, so I did what anyone would do in this situation: I phoned my mum.

My mother knows more about things than she lets on. Claims she doesn’t understand modern technology, but still managed to install Netflix on her mobile phone so that she can watch Call the Midwife in the car whilst she’s waiting for my nephew. That’s just one example – she does that all the time. Gives you a blank look, but secretly knows exactly what she’s doing. And I’ve just realised that I do exactly the same thing…ANYWAY. Could she solve the peacock issue? Well, reader, on this occasion…No. No, she could not. Perhaps I expected slightly too much from a youthful pensioner in the south side of Glasgow. She advised me to call the police. I did ask her how exactly she thought that conversation might go…’999 Emergency – Hello, there’s a peacock in my garden’. Perhaps not. I would have ended up in the papers as an example of a complete time waster, like those eejits who go up Ben Nevis in flipflops. Why would you even do that? Think of the blisters…!

Photograph of peacock in my back garden.
My introduction to Alex the Peacock. “Hello, is that the police? There’s a peacock in my back garden…”

I did email the local police though, as a responsible citizen. Perhaps someone had misplaced it, and was, at that very moment, crying into their cuppa about their lost pet peacock. And with that, I had done my good deed for the day, and went back to my unpacking.

This story doesn’t have an ending. 2 years later, Alex the Peacock is still a frequent visitor. Turns out that he belongs to a local farmer, and goes wandering frequently. He can even fly, because he’s not had the relevant feathers clipped. He seems to like my street – possibly because there are very few cars, but more likely because there are a few residents who feed him (I’m looking at YOU, Mrs Across-the-road-and-up-a-bit). He is often to be found on the roof of a neighbouring house, usually up at the window. Imagine opening your curtains in the morning and finding that Disco Turkey staring at you! He is incredibly beautiful – the colours are sublime – but he is incredibly noisy. Peacocks don’t chirrup sweetly, oh no. They honk like a goose. Loudly. I think they might be a bit daft or are secretly longing for the Antarctic, given the number of times I’ve seen Alex out in the snow and rain. He brings colour and a talking point to the street…and that’s just lovely.

Photographic image of peacock looking through patio doors
Nosy, isn’t he! One December day, whilst sitting beside my patio doors, I had a visitor. No, I did not let him in!

I have found my mittens!

Image of small cat wearing mittens. Caption is 'Behold! I found my mittens, now I shall have some pie'

This nursery rhyme reminds me of being a child. I didn’t ever wonder about the correlation between mittens and pie – it made perfect sense to me that you weren’t allowed to have the nice thing (I assumed it was a sweet pie, like rhubarb or blackberry) until you had found the thing that you had misplaced. I do remember wondering how the kittens were going to eat their pie wearing woolly gloves… clearly, I had a streak of pragmatism even then!

At this point, I have to tell you that I had written a paragraph about the nature of loss and foundingness.* I stopped to have some toast, re-read it, and thought, ” Well, that’s a load of navel gazing rubbish.” My actual thoughts were a bit more sweary than that, but you get the gist. I’ve always shied away from personal blogging, simply because I don’t want to be perceived as a self – obsessed show off (Oh look, there’s that West of Scotland thing again). So I deleted it…

What I did find during the process of writing was that I find writing quite therapeutic. The actions of choosing my words, crafting the structure of the piece, the editing and rewriting – I had forgotten just how much pleasure I derive from these. And right now, having that option to edit is very useful. When I’m tired, my words just…disappear. I turn into an inarticulate, idiotic numpty. But writing allows me the time and space to find these words. My words. And this makes me feel…whatever the opposite of a numpty might be.

Let’s bring this back to the blog title: I was at risk of going down that navel gazing path again, and nobody wants that! Sometimes with MS I feel like I’ve lost myself, and I base that on what I can’t do any more. It seems that I’m not lost…I’m still here. And I’ve found something that I didn’t realise was missing: my love of writing.

Last bit: I’ve not suddenly had a massive epiphany regarding my life direction. Oh no. I’m not that annoyingly cheerful. Not until I’ve had several coffees anyway. I’m having a good couple of days, and I’m learning to appreciate them for what they are. Tomorrow, I might have to hold onto the walls to stagger around my house, and that’s fine too. Those kittens found their mittens, and although they’re going to find it a bit difficult to eat their pie with gloves on, the pie is back on the agenda. Assuming they’ve eaten their vegetables first…

*foundingness: yes, I know this isn’t actually a word, but I still can’t think of the noun that comes from the verb ‘to find.’ It might come back to me.

Is blogging still a ‘thing’?

Um, hello? I don’t wish to sound disingenuous, but I’m really new to this medium and actually quite reticent about blogging. I’m more private than my people think, so this is not coming naturally – no, seriously. I might be quite talkative, and generally quite open, but I don’t really want people to know all my business, nor do I wish to look like I’m showing off*.

*Yes, I am from the West of Scotland, how could you tell?

Perhaps blogging is not as popular as it seemed to be a few years ago, in which case nobody will read this and I’ll not have to worry about it. Meantime, my main reason for starting a blog is to record my adventures in MS land. I’ll do another post later concerning that, at some point, probably, but I’ve just done a long and higglety pigglety post about hot chocolate on Twitter @laurakwthomson and I’m going to put it all in order HERE. At some point.

(You’re supposed to do tags and stuff, aren’t you? Not today. I’m having an ok day and I don’t want to waste that on faffing around. Besides which, my hands are cold. I might have another hot chocolate)