Friday 23 February 2018

On wounded knee a screen is shattered

Cracking a screen
I have never had a cracked screen on my mobile phone, probably because I have been careful or just because the phones themselves are quite durable.
I remember commenting to certain friends who cannot resist an iToy that I have never seen an iPhone without a cracked screen, they must be a design feature and there is a business that thrives on replacing screens.
Yet, I have come to that experience and it happened last night, though there is much of a story to tell before we get to that episode. A few days before, I walked into a shop where I had been eyeing a pair of boots but had not decided whether they were for me.
Sizing my foot
On this particular day, the shop had three boots on display and for the very first time, it is strange to walk into a shop and find that the shoes where all the same size and that size is my size. There doesn’t seem to be a good standard measure for shoe sizes, though, on the law of averages, we can settle for Size 12 UK or 46 EU, though I have seen Size 13 UK fitting like Size 12.
When I went shopping for trainers a few months ago, I noticed that shoe sizes could be arbitrary when for a particular brand I was shod with Size 19, that was scary. My feet are long, they are not big and so the pejorative of Big Foot or Sasquatch is just what it is, pejorative.
Shoes matter especially from a childhood where my feet outgrew my shoes before I had worn them in and long before they were replaced, I suffered a lot, so the comfort of good fitting shoes is the banishment of childhood trauma.

Fitting the parts
These Undercover boots are no more on the market, sturdy 14-hole boots that demand a new way of lacing them, offering the comfort of ankle support, though not the easiest to slip on or take off. I had not worn them in when I decided to wear them for a journey without a spare pair of footwear.
My first tentative steps were adjusting to the weight of the shoes, the feeling at the shin where I have to pull the tongue to ensure the laces are a bit taut rather than loose, the shaft high up on my leg giving me a clunky feel to a plodding walk until I was well-adjusted to the newness of it all.
The collar is snug, the hem of my trouser leg will slip over the boot and yet when wearing a tracksuit, the track bottoms can be tucked right into the collar, giving a rather militaristic look to things.
Falling on hands and knee
In any case, I had just finished looking at my phone and since I was about to cross the road, I held the phone in my right hand, noticed that the cars had stopped and I crossed. Just as I absentmindedly mounted the pavement or thought I had, I really had not cleared the height either out of getting adjusted to the outsole, I tripped and almost as if I was in a drunken stupor, fell forwards breaking my fall more with my right hand than my left hand.
My left knee hit the ground hard and I was not down for long as my next step as a lady ask if I was OK was to get up and continue walking, thanking the lady for her concern whilst somewhat dazzled by the unexpected accident.
It was then that I looked at my phone and noticed the screen had cracked, it had taken the brunt of breaking my fall. The phone was not damaged beyond repair but I immediately saw that the pattern security lock was not as responsive that I had to change to a PIN code instead.
Nursing my wounds
When I got back to my hotel, I pulled off the boots, took off my trousers and my poor knee was both grazed and bruised, it had bled a bit and it hurt too. I cleaned the wounds but had not first aid kit to tend it. I wrapped tissue paper round my knee, fixed on a towel like a bandage and went to bed until the morning when I would get some antiseptic cream and plasters for my knee.
As my mobile phone is not a popular brand, the screen cannot be easily replaced except if I acquire one off eBay, the intention to replace my phone that I have vacillated about for months has now been forced upon me.
Invariably, I cannot say if it was the boot or plain clumsiness that caused my fall, it happened and that is the tale of the broken screen on bleeding knee.

Saturday 10 February 2018

Thought Picnic: The memories of times, places, events and people

The memories of another day
16 annual Sundays ago on February the 10th in 2002, we gathered for brunch at my favourite Paris haunt, Café Beaubourg to celebrate the 50th birthday of my dear friend Dick van Galen Last. We were both residents of Amsterdam, but we had met in Paris some 4 years before, when I still lived in England and kept contact through when I moved to the Netherlands in 2000, when he was my most friendly support in helping me settle down in my first month.
We had a tradition of meeting every few months for dinner, usually, at his place where he entertained an eclectic crowd, Dick was a global citizen with friends from all corners of the earth.
Dick would have been 66 today, but he passed on, on the 2nd of February 2010, just days short of his 58th birthday.
To memories of events that last
February presents to me in many ways, the end and the renewal, 2002 was a celebration of life and the joy of friendship, a few years after, I had two nephews born on the same day, two years apart, young boys coming into adolescence I need to make more than an acquaintance with.
On the 8th of February 2010, I had two events to attend, the morning was at a chapel where some crowd numbering hundreds on one of the coldest February mornings in Amsterdam gathered to bid Dick farewell, I could not make it to the reception after the internment.
For memories to recall in the future
Then, I hurried to the hospital for my penultimate session of chemotherapy with a nursing team who were just as shocked as I was at Dick’s demise, we shared the same consultant and oncologist. That session of chemotherapy when we finally found a vein to stick a needle in, turned out to be my last and the road ahead of me after that became one of recovery and recuperation.
The memories are keen and they are fond, to friends and lovers gone before, you are never forgotten. Let February bring life and happiness again.