I sometimes read my stories out loud to myself and if you can get a rhythm going so much the better. Anything wrong jars and it’s easier to spot typos. I amuse myself by doing it in different accents and I have no idea where they come from because I certainly don’t write them with any accent in mind.
It’s been a strange, unhealthy and rather unhappy week what with one thing and another, but things could be a lot worse.
On the up side, it looks as if I’ll be able to see Lachlan in his Christmas play in two weeks time which I’m looking forward to so much. He’s got lines to learn and he’s a bit nervous.
And it’s got me thinking about the Carol services we used to have.
The first one I can remember was at infant school. I had to read a piece out. It included a line something like, “And they came with haste, and found Mary and Joseph and the baby lying in a manger.”
When I was reading it out to the headmistress beforehand she tapped the page and asked what was wrong with that line. I said I didn’t know. I was five and scared (she was a very scary woman).
After a lot of exasperated huffing and puffing and with eyes a-bulging she said it read as if they’d found the whole family in the manger. It was probably my first real English lesson and I have never forgotten it.
Nor can I ever think of the nativity without imagining the whole family stuffed in a straw filled feeding trough with silly grins on their faces.
Later, at primary school, we’d troop down to the church for our Carol service. One year I was in a pageant – I can’t remember what my costume was, but I think we had to dress up as people from different countries.
My mum made my outfit and at the church we were put into pairs and we were to walk down the aisle holding hands with our partners.
The boy I had been partnered with – I can’t even remember who it was – had a runny nose.
All I can say in my defence is that I was very young, seven at the most.
I said I didn’t want to do it. I couldn’t do it and I absolutely refused to hold his hand – I was terrified that dangly drip would fall and land on me. Everyone was very understanding about my apparent stage fright, but most understanding of all was the boy with the runny nose.
He was so sweet. I do remember his kindness and the concern in his eyes as much as his runny nose. He asked me why I didn’t want to do it. I have never forgotten how I felt when he asked me that question.
I just knew I couldn’t tell him the real reason and hurt his feelings, so I said I was scared. And so that year I didn’t take part in the pageant and just after I’d been sent to sit in a pew, the teacher asked him if he’d got a hanky and she got him to blow his nose.
Without the drip I saw him for what he was, a nice, kind boy and now he was holding someone else’s hand.
I could only watch miserably as the colourful parade went down the aisle without me.
And the moral of this story is . . . well there isn’t one. I was just waffling as usual.
The worst part about this week is that one of my daughter’s cats has gone missing. He hasn’t been home for three days and it’s not like him. He likes his home comforts and usually sleeps on her bed at night. All we can do is wait and hope.