Monday, 11 July 2011


Chloe dropped in quite early this morning, not long after the OH had headed to the office.  I’ve not seen her for a while – she found some additional paying customers and she knows I’m never going to become one of them.  Anyway, I was just loading up the breakfast things into the dishwasher when I heard a knock and halloo at the back door.
“Woke up early, thought I’d drop in on you, see how you are,” she beamed at me.  “Come on, sun’s shining, let’s go for a walk!”
The sun was indeed shining and although we were only walking – something that Chloe calls ‘power-walking’ so a bit faster than comfortable – I soon felt quite warm.  A couple of runners jogged past us as we headed out of the village and down to the bypass and I certainly didn’t envy them in the early morning summer that we experienced today.  After we’d done a short stretch of the bypass, where the pavement is marked out for cyclists and pedestrians but the council’s gardening department hasn’t bothered trimming the hedges and sweeping up the leaves so that the pedestrians are forced onto the cyclists’ path, we headed back.  Chloe did, after all, have somewhere else to be.
“By the way,” she said, after an idle chat about what George and Celeste are up to (on my part) and the complete unfairness of the penalty shoot-out when it came to England’s women’s football (Chloe’s contribution), “I thought I ought to let you know that I’ve signed you up for the Race for Life.  The info pack should come in the post in a couple of days.”
“You’ve done what?”  Racing is not something I ever get involved in, watching (cars, oh the tedium of the TV this weekend) or participating.  At school, I perfected a sprained ankle every summer term so that I was unfortunately unable to participate in house athletics.
“It’s all right, you don’t have to run, in fact quite a lot of people walk.”  She beamed at me as we reached my front door.  “Though a bit of jogging probably wouldn’t go amiss.  You’ll be fine – it’s only five kilometres.  Anyway, can I quickly use your loo before I go?  My next customer is a sweety but cleanliness is something that happens to other people’s houses as far as he’s concerned.”
She shot into the downstairs loo before I could really complain.  I suppose walking five kilometres probably isn’t that far, though I draw the line at jogging. 
However, I digress.  I know what you really want to know about is the Ball.
Initially, it was jolly good fun.  The food was good, the band was good (they’re called The Groove Company, here’s their website and the company was good, once everyone on our table had arrived – there had been some confusion over the start time of the event and even the OH thought it started later than it did because he found it on Facebook and was surprised when his friend Alan phoned to ask where we were.  There were some very glamorous dresses and the shoes had to be seen to be believed!  The height of some of those heels! I tried to take some photos because I knew that you wouldn’t believe me, plus I’m rubbish at estimating distances, whether it’s between stationary vehicles when the OH is trying to park or the height of a heel.

My apologies for the blurry photos, but of course there was dancing; in addition to which, of course, my photographic skills aren’t anything I’d really want to write to anyone about.  As you can see, there were two ladies in particular who were wearing similar shoes and even similar dresses, and I was a little concerned that we were going to get more fireworks than the scheduled ones outside, but in fact they thought it was very funny and after a fair amount of alcohol, could be seen with their arms draped around each other’s shoulders, even slow dancing together at one point.  However, it was the alcohol that was their undoing.  Someone slopped a drink slightly, someone else slipped slightly, and one of our stilettoed ladies went careering down to the floor and through another couple, her feet leading the way.  The band tailed off to a somewhat disharmonious halt and all that could be heard was ‘Ow! My fucking ankle! Ow! Fuck!’  And more along those lines.  If Colin Firth can do it, I suppose an injured lady can.
On closer inspection, I could understand her need to swear.  I read recently about a study that has found humans cope better with pain if they swear.  I don’t think the experimenters were hitting their subjects on the thumb with a hammer to gauge their reactions, but the results suggested that a good long section of blue language can help defuse the throbbing if such a thing happened.  And Hilda’s ankle was very definitely throbbing.  Already, it was swollen and I’m pretty certain that her foot was at the wrong angle when compared with her leg.  A couple of people had some medical training and someone else had common sense training, so while the latter phoned for an ambulance, the others raided the bar’s supply of ice in order to apply some sort of cold compress.  The band tried to carry on playing but it was difficult for any dancing to continue as long as Hilda was still sprawled across the middle of the dance floor, so they gave up and the backing-track that had been on during dinner was turned back on.  Even once the ambulance had been, some half an hour later, and removed Hilda and her partner, the mood had gone and no-one really felt like dancing. 
So remind me, next time I’m invited to anything like a ball, that I really don’t want to wear stiletto heels.  I really really don’t.

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