This morning I was stupidly excited: I was going on an outing that I usually dread – a breast screening appointment at our local hospital.
For days, during this lockdown, I’ve slopped around the house in comfy trousers and baggy sweaters. Showered, hair washed, I opened my wardrobe doors and chose something coordinated. I had forgotten about the hat I eventually chose – I wore other clothes too 😉 . A quick spray of my favourite perfume, a dab of makeup and I didn’t recognise myself in the mirror.
‘I’ll walk,’ I told my husband, who offered to wait in the car during my appointment.
‘But it’s pouring with rain.’
‘I’ll be fine,’ I replied.
And I was.
The kind, professional nurse asked me to wear one of the hospital masks instead of my floral one and to put on lots of sanitiser. The horrid squashing of my boobs in the horrid machine that presses down and squeezes until it can’t squeeze anymore (and that I always fear won’t stop at the critical point) – that was all over in less than ten minutes and then I was free and out into the drizzly, salty air.
And, magically, as soon as I started to walk, it stopped raining and, boy, did I relish my hour and a half. I kept stopping when I noticed sights that I’ve no doubt seen dozens of times before. I paused and gazed and enjoyed.
The strange fungi growing on the bark of a tree in the park:
I know that my Italian friends eat certain tree mushrooms. I’ll ask them to identify. The daffodils poking through yesterday’s frosty soil, announcing that spring will be here soon. The fishing boats resting on the pebbly shore near the pier.
The patterns in the shingle where the tide had tossed seaweed and shells. My two characters, Mavis and Dot http://mybook.to/MDot, sitting on a shop shelf, staring at the wet promenade. They bossily told me to get on with writing their next adventures…
I’d made myself a flask of coffee and half way along the sea front, I sat on a groyne, watching the tossing sea:
and lo and behold, as if entering stage right, some hardy swimmers passed by in the cold foam, providing me with entertainment, their colourful safety buoys bobbing behind them.
I passed a couple of signs which up until now I’ve ignored. They told me of past shipwrecks and courageous World War Two stories. I hadn’t realised the Canadians were garrisoned in the Worthing area. More stories to track, perhaps…
Once again, this morning reminded me to appreciate the little things. Somebody had decorated one of the shelters along the prom with painted stones, showing flags from all over the world and it reminded me of what the breast screening nurse had told me an hour earlier: ‘We’re all in this together. Stay safe!’
Indeed. Stay safe, everyone. We’re getting there. And open your eyes and drink in our world.
Now, back to writing my next book