My buddy Sarah is back at work tomorrow after a ten day sabbatical away from her role as a care home support worker. This decuple of dawns and dusks spent predominantly in the company of a devilishly handsome chap and her two dogs. Not forgetting several hours in the presence of the Ossett lasses much loved family.
Footnote – Yes, the devilishly handsome chap is supposed to me….. As a dyed in the wool non-oil painting, a statement which perhaps indicates as much as anything I’ve written how vastly fertile my imagine can be.
The former Gildersome girl thankfully not shallow enough to let my aesthetic flaws impact our friendship. She rightly pointing out beauty is only skin deep…… Although, I’ve gotta admit I was hurt when she augmented the adage with an observation “And, if beauty is only skin deep you must’ve been born inside out, Gaz!”
Her cutting jibes one of many traits I bizarrely find utterly endearing. Putdowns similar to those my late mother’d employ to shoot me down in flames if my silliness got out of hand. The old lady oft opining of my humour that “You’re a good turn, Gary, but you’re on too long!“
Of the many things I miss about mum her ensuring I didn’t get too big for my boots when offloading jibes sits atop the ‘Missed Episodes List’. A comedienne par excellence, mater used those skills to ensure her eldest offspring was brought crashing to terra firma if his, admittedly playful, insults went to far. Amongst these maternal taunts the observation that “If wit were s**t, you’d be constipated!”
This tethering of my occasional hyper episodes something I’ve missed; well, until recently when Sarah took over the mantle as restrainer in chief. A role my brother Ian firmly believes she fills with panache, and more importantly a job needs to be undertaken sporadically to curb the sheer relentlessness of my mischievous side.
Admittedly, the words she employs in the role are a great deal brisker than my mother’s, but her motives remain the same as my much missed forebear.
Unlike contemporary times, my mum was a product of a generation who didn’t feel the need to litter polemics with the f-word, or worse. It’s fair to say any contrarian views to mine are delivered with a great deal saltier gumption by Ossett’s finest.
So from tomorrow, upon the divine Ms B’s return to work, GJ Strachan will return to doggy daycare duties and a great deal more time his hands to garden, write and sketch is solitude. Not forgetting endeavouring to improve his piano playing.
As I write, Sarah’s sitting adjacent colouring in a bunch of monochrome drawings in an adult sketch book. Wearing her gigs while making these series of slapdash kaleidoscopic marks she’s only saying a “Can you guess what it is yet?!” from adopting Rolf Harris’ easel front persona.
Footnote – To clarify, when I wrote adult sketch book above I was insinuating the scores of bound monochrome sheets have been designed for adults to colour. Not that she was achromatically augmenting a willy drawing, or something similarly risqué.…… That particular book’s upstairs on a higher shelf!