Thursday, 31 March 2011

You can never tell

They’re digging up the road in the village. I am assuming the ‘they’ is someone official and not some random group of road vandals. The process inevitably involves lots of ‘tractory noise’ and juddering just outside my open windows. Part of the spectacle involved a rounded foreman type, wearing the standard bright green tabard, who sat the entire lunch hour, in the drizzle, on the war memorial. This is about as exciting as it gets in Mawnan Smith.

The village notice board has a few other excitements advertised. Not least is our attempt to celebrate the Royal Wedding with hog roast and beer (no matter the weather). The WI is still going strong, as is the rival ‘Mawnan Wives’ group – goodness only knows what culinary rift precipitated such a public divide.

There is one notice telling me I can go to Pilates on Tuesdays but I have to decide whether I am needing a gentle or for the ‘slightly fit’ class. I will of course be mortified if all the elderly are hyper in the front row and I pass out at the back.

Thinking of being mortified I made the biggest blunder this week. A very important managery sort of person, in a suit and painful high heels, flew down from Newcastle and then hired a car to visit me in my little room for those who hate school. I was able to offer her a canteen sandwich, made by a very cross, red-faced canteen lady who quite frankly terrified me into choosing a smelly egg sandwich. Anyway, after our ‘working lunch’ my motherly nature kicked in and I felt sorry for the poor love as she was apparently six months pregnant, had been up at 5am to catch the plane and was heading ‘up North’ imminently.

My little room not only has Classic FM on most of the time, but I have three comfy chairs (mostly for drug counselling) but I also use them for those 11 and 12 year olds who have started smoking in their break-time and come over all queasy and need to ‘gather themselves’. They lie down and I talk of poison and how a 20 a day habit cost £2,500 a year. They of course don’t listen because they prefer Classic FM and nick all their tobacco anyway. I digress. The dear lady from up North was looking post-lunch sleepy and I, being imaginative, visualise some medical emergency in the clouds above Birmingham. So I said, “I expect you are really tired, I really don’t mind you having a rest for 20 minutes if you need to, being pregnant……”

“I’m not pregnant,” she said!

This is the moment when I wish I was a heartless, cold, not caring a bit about anything person. Of course I grovelled and apologised and said something like,
“Who am I to talk being ‘Mrs Porky’”. My colleague, later, reassured me by saying, “at least you didn’t say, ‘are you sure?’”

I have never seen anyone look so six months that isn’t six months. Oh well you live and learn. At least she didn’t look as pregnant as the road-digger man sat on the village green this lunchtime.