Follow one crying eye on

Trial and tripulation

‘Aunt Helga’ – the scary Ionos lady from the ads

This is a bonus post, by way of a trial to check that my website hasn’t been irretrievably blown up. After my last sorry and long-overdue post, I received a message from Ionos (the ones with the scary lady in the ads on TV, with whom I seem to have entrusted my entire body of online work) telling me that they had stopped all emails going out from my website because they had spotted a potentially problematic event: a mass mailing from me to umpteen people with ridiculous email addresses, mostly in Russia.  The timing of this was exactly when I published the blog-post, and I would normally expect a much smaller number of ‘push’ emails than the 200+ they were citing. Unless I had suddenly become all the rage in Moscow, this must be some sort of scam or attack?

As a result of their action, I am unsure whether my published post from 9 November was sent to those few stalwarts who have requested such notification. I am too scared of the Ionos lady to ask for her further advice, although I have been assured that she has reinstated my mailing capability now I have promised to clean up my site. I have in fact just deleted a load of names who purported to be on my ‘team’, and I am hoping that together with a couple of small updates to Plug-Ins (oh, get me! I know the lingo now – haha), all will be well. When I press Publish on this missive, we will see.

In the meantime, in just a few ever shortening days, my voice has disappeared and my head and lungs filled with gunk (technical term) which I believe is round two of a cold I almost fought off last week but then stayed up till 2am on two consecutive evenings which I knew was a mistake at the time but we were having a laugh, and ‘all work, no play ‘ makes Jackie a boring old fart etc etc. Serves me right I suppose.

A fascinating consequence of this pestilential interlude is that I have begun to whistle. I suddenly noticed with surprise that I was gently whistling today’s ear-worm as I dutifully marched up and down with the lawnmower this afternoon. (I know! Mowing the grass in mid-November!!! – and see below as to why I was not indoors recuperating). Was I subconsciously channelling the gardening neighbour whose cheery whistle allows us to determine exactly which garden he is tending on any given day? Slightly embarrassing, but possible. But no. An automatic switch must have been activated in my brain to engage ‘whistle’ whilst the singing gear is out of action. I realised I had in fact been doing this all day – slightly under my breath, but quite definitely a whistle – and had only become conscious of it when I feared someone might think I was taking the p*** out of the jolly gardener. (Which of course I would never do, as I rather enjoy hearing him when he’s doing next door’s shrubs.)

In addition to enduring the inconvenience of coughing, spluttering and lack of voice, to my extreme annoyance I have had another episode of lying on a cold floor – that’s twice in the space of three days, this time at home rather than in Boots and on this occasion contemplating the idiocy of trying to load a dishwasher whilst wearing slippers, rather than my inadequacy in the ‘having an injection’ stakes. Oh dear, I think this is what fellow oldies describe as ‘Taking a Tumble’. 

Mind the gap!’ – the offending slipper with its lethal domestic-appliance-trapping hook (???!!!?)

Yes, in a manoeuvre I am sure I could never repeat, I caught the front of my stylish animal-print bootee on some part (still unclear) of the dishwasher door and catapulted myself backwards onto the tiled kitchen floor. I sailed quite some distance and can remember vividly the extraordinarily long time it seemed to take for my old bones and (fortunately) ample flesh to complete their arc towards (but mercifully not quite onto) the sharp corner of the fridge housing, finally landing with a horrified squawk which I am pleased to say miraculously and uncharacteristically contained no actual swear words at all. Nor did this squawk, or the related heavy thud, seem to permeate far into Jillings Towers. Mr J remained on his Teams call upstairs, completely oblivious. I therefore had several minutes to lie there alone, contemplating just how much worse it could have been if (a) my head had made contact with the floor or the fridge,  (b) I had still been holding the dishes and knives I had just deposited in the dishwasher or (c) I had somehow recreated this trick in Boots in front of a captive and astonished audience. I also took a moment or several to wonder whether the numbness in my right hand, shoulder and buttock might turn out to be the harbinger of a visit to A&E later on, or whether I was just being dramatic. There was no-one to hustle me out of sight this time, and in fact there is underfloor heating (although we’ve turned it down so much this year it could hardly be felt) so I just lay there until I decided I was probably fine after all. Naturally, I am now pathologically apprehensive when approaching the dishwasher and may have to revert to old-fashioned sink and bowl operations henceforth.

So it seemed I was physically unharmed. Nevertheless, I have been looking out for bruises ever since, somehow needing hard evidence to prove I was not making the whole thing up. There was no visible evidence whatsoever of my mishap, apart from a slight misalignment of the dishwasher door which Mr J has nobly fixed for me. In the absence of garish bruising, I have just been trying – and failing – to work out which bone in my backside connected so violently with the floor and, in my attempts to isolate it by clenching different parts (sorry, best not to think too much about this!) I have discovered that whilst there may be no visible mark, there is most definitely some deep-tissue damage in there. Of course, this also gives me a delightful secret occupation for the next few days, periodically checking (by means of discreet little clenches) whether or not I am healed. I have perfected a completely serene facial expression to accompany this which I find strangely satisfying.

Sadly, I suspect that I will remain at home in isolation for the next few days until my cold (or, heaven forbid, Covid) subsides, so the surreptitious fun of the clench will be largely wasted (Mr J being notoriously unobservant at the best of times).

You might, quite reasonably, suggest that I sit quietly and rest for a couple of days to recover from whatever gunky nasty is invading me and to avoid any further accidents. Sadly, sitting still simply aggravates my stuffed-upness and I cannot do it for long. So I have plumbed the depths of my ingenuity to devise a safe perambulation around Jillings Towers, making careful use of banisters, ensuring my route is sufficiently well-lit – and, of course, whistling and clenching as I go. 

Although not usually superstitious, I am also hoping fervently that close encounters of the cold floor kind do not come in threes.

I’ll keep you posted.


Follow one crying eye on