Mr B has sprained his ankle.
We are not quite sure how he incurred this injury but the best we can come up with is that he twisted his ankle while trying to get out of
the car, on account of the fact that I had parked too near the kerb, making his exodus more tricky. I knew it would be my fault.
The trouble is, the ankle is every bit as painful as if he had sprained it while
skiing off-piste down a mountain, or abseiling the face of the Spinnaker Tower - but it doesn't have the same ring about it. Sympathy is therefore somewhat muted. It reminds me of my most Ignominious Ankle Injury.
It was many years ago now but the events are still painfully clear in my memory. I had been attending a parish council meeting in my role as Intrepid Local Reporter and Mr B was outside in the car waiting for me at the end of proceedings. In my haste
to join him, I leapt over a low brick wall - only to discover, too late, that there was a steep drop on the other side. Mr B described it to our friends thus: "It was like the Grand National - she fell at Bechers Brook first time round!" Emboldened by the
mirth which this shameless account of my misfortune always engendered, he would add, soulfully: "They shoot horses, don't they?"
Bearing this in mind, and recognising that memories ((especially painful ones)
can run deep, I think I have been most understanding of his current situation. An Administering Angel, that's me. I have kept his ankle wrapped up in a cold poultice (one of the Twinkles' muslins, steeped in icy water), run his many errands without demur,
and always been ready with a sympathetic murmur as and when the occasion demanded. A veritable Florence Nightingale. But without the lamp.
Because he was indisposed, I had to attend today's two important engagements
alone. The first was the Questers' quarterly meeting where I sat next to Margaret who commiserated with me on the grounds that, she said, all men make bad patients. Loyalty to the Injured One made me explain that Mr B had been a most Patient Patient, all things
It's a funny thing but, even though unaccompanied by Mr B, I was still aware of his presence, warning me not to volunteer for anything else, or I would have to answer to him. I could almost hear
him telling me to sit on my hands, should I feel inclined to raise my arm in response to a request for a volunteer. I resisted right to the last when I did say (whisper it who dares) that I would be prepared to organise a behind the scenes visit to Fishbourne
Roman Palace - but not until sometime in 2016. I think that's far enough in advance to hardly count. I will break it to Mr B gently. In other words, he will read about it in the Daily Blog...
In the afternoon,
I took myself off to our monthly cribbage afternoon at the Delightful Delia's. Alone, again, naturally. I think I know a song about that. During the coffee break, half way through the afternoon, Colin entertained us to a series of magic tricks. He should be
on the television, I told him. I kid you not, he was amazing. I wish I could explain each trick to you but one followed another so speedily that I could hardly tell where one began and another finished. On his last trick, he counted out five one pound coins
and asked if anyone present would be prepared to wager that the top card on the pile in front of us was not a Jack of Hearts. We weren't daft, no, not us. Our money stayed in our pockets. It was, indeed, a Jack of Hearts. Whew!
Once, a long long time ago, I organised a conference for local government marketers at beautiful Barnsgate Manor Vineyard. Sitting around a long table at lunchtime, we were unexpectedly entertained by a wandering conjuror who had a selection of magic
tricks quite literally up his sleeve. I found out later that he had been commissioned by another party celebrating at the Vineyard that day - we were the lucky recipients of free entertainment. None of the delegates at the conference knew this, of course,
so I gained a welcome, but totally undeserved, reputation as an Ace Organiser of Conference Entertainment.
I told Colin he should certainly put his name forward as an act for our up and coming U3A "soirée".
Our Chairman, Myra, is on the lookout for talent and keeps threatening that she will have to cancel the whole event if enough would-be entertainers don't come forward. Colin says he has already volunteered his services.
All I need now is a miraculous remedy for Mr B's poor ankle. A wand waved above it, a murmured Abracadabra. Mr B rising from his chair and hot-footing it across the room without so much as a wince or a whimper.
Now that would be magic!