Stayin’ Alive

Five months today since I smashed my wrist. Maybe I should have bought flowers to commemorate the day, but actually I did something far more exciting.

Bike in the Park

Bike in the Park

In the weeks following the accident I seriously wondered if I would ever get back on my bike. It stayed locked up in the bike shelter, gradually getting dirtier and dustier while I looked at adult push scooters, and waited for my fracture to mend.

I thought about selling my bike; unravelling the floral garland; removing the star shaped reflectors from the spokes; handing it over to a stranger along with my cycle clips, gloves and hi-viz jacket. It felt like betrayal. But I was scared. What would happen if I broke my wrist a second time? The talk of possible nerve damage when I was in A&E kept playing in a loop around my head. I’d got away with it this time, but a future when I couldn’t use my right hand made me cold with fear.

The consultant was reassuring. With all the metal in my arm, even if I broke it again, it would be in a different place. Rather haughtily I was told they had done all the wondrous and wonderful work on my wrist exactly so I could ride my bike again.

So the problem was me, how I felt, not my healing wrist. I kept renewing my bus pass and stopped looking at my bike. Deep down, I believed my cycling days were done. Continue reading


The Visitor

Not Cat took to our visitor straightaway. They met in the garden. He came to me with his tail up and kinked over at the top, then went to respond to her greetings, lifting his head to her hand.

Confident Cat

That’s a confident cat, she exclaimed. We headed for the flat with himself prancing along with us. Inside the door to the building, he barrelled past her up the stairs. She was hefting a rather large and very green case, so her progress was understandably slower. Not Cat waited on the doormat as though for the world showing her which door she needed. Continue reading

It’s a Hard Life

Not Cat has come a long way.

The timid creature who was scared of the outdoors and who went into a panic when I was out of sight, is long gone.

Now, he wants to spend as long as he can outside. He doesn’t even need me there. He comes to see me, just as Cat did, then bounces off again to resume his great passion,  hunting for flies.

I got him to come indoors at nine o’clock. It was dark. I couldn’t see him. Then I heard his bell,  he emerged from the shadows and seemed so grown up, so sure of himself.

Sonny was in the garden too.  Not Cat was keen to get up close and personal. I was keen to get back inside with him and watch Who Do You Think You Are? 

I won.

Not Cat was not pleased. For a few minutes he was quite vocal.

But his hours of outdoor play had its effect.

Here is how he has spent the time while I watched the programme:


Such a hard life.


He is truly a Prince of Cats.
And I say this despite the fact that he wanted me to get up and let him roam around at three in the morning.
Before last night, I had been thinking that maybe Mother would come to visit Cat in the guest room, where he could feel safe and secure.
This morning when I moved to the door, he followed me. It was a lot noisier than last night, and he started to have second thoughts a few yards along the corridor, but he didn’t protest when I picked him up and carried him down to Mother’s flat. She was delighted to see him.
He was round eyed and scared; ignoring us, looking for dark corners to hide in. Maybe it was because Mother kept calling him a dog. I put a note on the door so that the carers would know he was there.
I told Mother that if we were calm and quiet he would settle.
She sat on the sofa and followed him with her eyes.
I broke the calm when he leapt onto the kitchen counter. It’s designed to accommodate people in wheelchairs so lower than most, but it’s years since he’s jumped on the counter at home. My “No!” was probably heard across the county. It worked anyway.
Sure enough he soon started to make himself at home. I’m sure he recognised Mother’s smell. He stayed at her old house a lot. When he jumped up and sat beside her on the sofa, she beamed.
Continue reading