Thoughts From Under The Parasol

We are on countdown this week dans la maison Strachan in the run up to Karen’s 50th birthday on Saturday.

Incidentally, when I say we are on countdown, I’m not referring to making an appearance on the Channel 4 quiz that tests numeric and word dexterity (that would start with a capital C). I allude to the fact we are in excited anticipation to celebrate a birthday that at one point we all feared we’d never see.

Writing about her illness can be an uncomfortable experience. In particular on the occasions I pen them while sat on a hedgehog, instead of a cushion!

Seriously, though, I find the darker, more melancholic monologues a far greater challenge to write than the tongue in cheek, hopefully humorous work I proffer.

With the daft stuff, I give myself carte blanche to be as self indulgent as I desire. There are boundaries of course……… They are at the cricket club over the road from me!

No, I do have boundaries. I attempt to avoid anything that may offend and if my daughter is to be believed, anything remotely funny!

Writing about Karen’s cancer fight is a different kettle of fish. Or as a friend who mixes metaphors/idioms would say “A different watched kettle of fish that never boils.”

It is difficult for a number of reasons. I endeavour to ensure the words reflect Karen’s fight not mine, or indeed anyone elses. ‘It’s not all about you!’ is a recently embraced addition to the GJ Strachan mindset. I’ve still a way to go but I’m getting there!

I’d be lying if I said the last five and a half years have not worn me down at times. However, I’m not the one who (to use Karen’s words) has felt like a ticking time bomb for over 5 years. God bless her!

This sword of Damocles an ever present during a fight made increasing difficult for her by minimal support and being let down by a whole host of characters, including me at times.

As I write this dans la jardin I’m shaded by a lime green parasol. Looking up I feel the umbrella glaring back, as if to say “Don’t look at me for inspiration. I can’t talk! Im only a parasol….. By the way did you watch Corrie last night? That dark haired barmaid in the Rovers is a decent looking bird!”

I’m not sure why I’m attempting to portray my parasol as some sort of soap opera loving misogynist. I best check that out in my ‘Psychiatry for Misogynistic Parasols’ book.

The outdated views of this parasol in no way reflect the authors!

Karen is about six foot away with a book in her hand and my Nike cap on (other sports brands are available). The head wear a necessity today as protection from the sun’s unforgiving rays…… As I sit watching her I can’t help but think “Who the bloody hell said she could wear my cap?!”

I desperately hope we can make her 50th birthday a really special occasion. With the strength, dignity, courage and sheer fight she has exhibited since her diagnosis in November 2010 she deserves nothing less.

I think of that cold morning on the 10th November often. I remember it with a heavy heart, helplessness and knowing my life had changed forever. It was also the occasion I learned that karma is an absolute heap of detritus.

The people I know who have the hardest life challenges always seem to be the nicest, most decent people. The loathsome ones seem to dodge the raindrops, or dodge their responsibilities when afflicted themselves.

I realise the paragraph above is a sweeping generalisation fueled by my bitterness, but venting helps me cope sometimes. So I’m going to leave it in.

As I pen this section of the narrative, a bizarre thing is occurring in front of me. I’m sat at my patio table and a small fly in my peripheral vision appears to be replicating my mouse movements.

Am I able to control flies via Bluetooth on my netbook? Have I powers to move anything else via the power of my computer mouse?…… After all, I moved the mouse ever so slightly just now and Karen sat up straight and turned her book page. Can I also control her via Bluetooth? I’m intrigued, so will carry out further testing when I finish writing this blog.

If it turns out I have been blessed by this power, the first thing I’ll do next is get her to give me my flipping cap back!……. Closely followed by a world takeover with my fly army!

I’ll close now as I need to nip into Crossgates to get Karen’s final present…….. Her own chuffing cap!

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