My parents dropped in for a cup of tea this morning and we sat in brilliant sunshine on the micro-climate of my deck, fearful of moving too far in case the first bitter breeze of the autumn discovered us.
I was reminded of Iain Banks brilliant book The Crow Road and the famous line about his grandmother that hooks you expertly into the plot. All four of my grandparents lived into their late eighties and nineties and were cogent and active most of the way. One grandmother even fell down a perilous flight of stairs when in her eighties and broke her arm: the doctors warned that at her age it was probably shattered but were stunned when the x-ray showed a neat, clean break that went on to heal in under six weeks. Good genes.
This time last year, my mother, doing her bit for recycling, was busy flattening a milk carton, by rigorously jumping up and down on it (as you do?), when it tried to escape by running away.
Alas, this left my mother suspended in thin air like an outwitted cartoon Tom. The animators made the most of the scene as her downfall moments later was accompanied by a huge CRASH and a loud THUD! In finest Tom & Jerry tradition it upset the nearby chair and table, my father, whose dinner landed robustly in his lap and my mother whose arm had, until then, managed to remain break-free for 77 years.
Time is a great healer, but I have to confess that I was unable to suppress a childish snigger when my mother announced this morning that she had fallen out of the cupboard.
Now I could leave it there and let your imagination play with this tidbit on its own, but I feel that I should add her own clarification, that she had slipped and had actually shot out of the cupboard backwards!
I should also mention that the doorway through which she so gracefully sailed is eighteen inches above the floor… I can almost imagine Tom, Jerry and all of the animators jumping visibly at the THUD! when she hit the floor!
Suffice to say that resilience is in our genes and my mother, although slightly tender around the shoulder-blades, is undaunted by the experience. I do hope that they’re not playing a game of one-upmanship though, exploding onto the pages of my blog with each new and more daring exploit!