Thursday, April 26, 2007

the kindness of strangers

We all stood on the kerb. I was going to have to put my thinking cap on for this one. Crossing the road had seemed so easy when we lived in London. Everyone drove so considerately there but The North was so full of downshifters racing to get to site meetings with their architects about their conversion projects that crossing the road, like so many other things in my new life up north, seemed so much more complicated than before. Suddenly a stranger approached. ‘Can I help you, pet?’ said the stranger. ‘You couldn’t take the baby could you?’ I said. ‘Aye, no problem, I’d be happy to help the bairn across the road’, said the stranger. ‘No, just take him!’ I said, thrusting the baby at the stranger. The stranger looked at me oddly, edged away and then quickly walked off. What was I to do now? I decided we should all try and cross a bit further down the road. A few minutes later we came across my friend the nurse. She would help us, I thought. ‘Hello’, I said. She looked up from some chap who was lying on the verge. ‘Oh’, she began, ‘it’s you’. I love living in a small community where people recognise me like that. ‘I need your help’, I said, ‘if you’re not busy’. She looked down at the man on the ground then up at me. 'Are you blind or something?' she asked, which of course I wasn't and she should have jolly well known that, being medically trained and everything. Suddenly I remembered my agent's instructions to learn and grow, to think of others. ‘What seems to be the problem here?’ I asked, quite pleased with my demonstration of character development. 'Is he unwell?' ‘He'll live but he needs a tourniquet’ said the nurse. 'Give me your scarf Rilly'. The man on the verge did look a state, his clothes all dishevelled and covered in yucky stuff, but I did think that french designers were maybe a bit of a leap sartorially at this juncture. 'It's Hermès' I said, 'sorry, but wouldn't he look a bit silly in my clothes whatever the label? What happened to him anyway?’ I asked. Think of others, I repeated to myself, think of others. 'Not sure’, she said ‘apparently he just muttered something about some mad woman then stepped out into the road’. She looked over to the huge 4x4 parked a few yards away. ‘But what about me?’ I said, 'I've got a manicure booked!' ‘Oh God, Rilly, don’t you ever think about anyone else?’ she said, inexplicably annoyed at something. ‘What are you, my f**king agent now?’ I snapped. Think of others, think of others said the voice in my head. I needed to think quickly. I looked at the jeep, it's bullbars splattered by the every imaginable bodily fluid of this poor chap at my feet. Show you care Rilly, said the voice, you can do it girl. I took a deep breath; ‘Oh my God! I exclaimed, ‘Now that’s going to take some valeting!’ Eureka!

20 comments:

mutterings and meanderings said...

You could've driven across the road in the 4x4.

Not a very good nurse though - you shouldn't do tourquiets now in case the victim's extremities drop off! ;)

rilly super said...

the effect of a tourniquet can't be any worse than wearing my jodphurs M&M, although I think perhaps medical practice in my village hasn't advanced as much as elsewhere. At my local surgery they use 'The Royal' as a training video, sigh

dulwichmum said...

Rilly Darling,

The nurse was pre-occupied by the ailing old man, as she has no appreciation of the damage and expense inflicted on swish 4 x 4 vehicles every day by irresponsible peasants - clearly! To hell with your agent, stick to what you know girl. You are an expert at being yourself!

rilly super said...

dulwichmum, you always know exactly the right thing to say, I would be quite lost without you. You know me so well, sometimes I feel as if we could be sitting in dulwich starbucks laughing over our lattes and then I remember how far away you are, sob...

Sarnia said...

You really do have to put up with so much, Rilly - I don't know how you do it.

Inconsiderate men lying in the road getting in the way; hapless women asking YOU for help and your clothes.

It's a wonder you have the strength and will to write about it.

I am full of admiration.

The Secretary said...

I hope you got his insurance details - I mean he must be made to pay for valeting bearing in mind it was his incensiderate behaviour that caused the mess.

spymum said...

It's all very well and good for your agent to bleat on about you thinking of others, but when are these others going to start thinking about you - that's what I want to know!

Take that nurse for example - does she have any idea how difficult it is to remove blood stains from silk!? What was she thinking?

Lizzie said...

I can't face bodily fluids in public. I'd need a tourniquet somewhere for myself. You are so brave, Rilly.

Drunk Mummy said...

Dear Rilly, time for a branch of the Tufty Club to open in the Northeast (or do they eat the squirrels?)

beta mum said...

Looking forward to your take on spring flowers...

Anonymous said...

rilly, so that the competition don't get a jump on you, i feel that you should be one step of your agent, and introduce an element of true-crime, thriller suspense drama into your oeuvre, as that seems to be where the market is heading - a transition from chick-lit to flickknife-lit...

Well, the dodgy steering on the 4*4 has shades of 'The Hand that Rocks the Cradle' / Fatal Attraction in it and we might be able to get Rebecca de Mornay interested for the film...

Anonymous said...

Rilly - the Mother Who Blogged - has come up with something wry and sad and sweet all at the same time. Can you do wry and sad and sweet all at the same time?

You need to incorporate a Vile Harpy at the school gate. Curiously enough the Vile Harpy is waiting to drown you. The moral of the story might be Dont Go Swimming With Vile Harpies.

Wifey is in urgent need of a friendship lifebelt. Go for it Rilly.

Anonymous said...

Rilly, wifey don't seem to understand that not everyone wants to star in a 'reality tv' type blog. What is your advice ? Write them out of the cast ?

Portray them as frigid, insecure, introvert bitches ?

Or write a blog entry to comment on how they are upset because you wrote a blog entry to describe how upset they were at a blog entry detailing their surprise at being featured, without their consent in a blog entry..

[That's enough blog entries..Ed]

Anonymous said...

Is this a dead blog? Has it ceased to exist?

dulwichmum said...

Calm down anonymous, Rilly is composing herself for another post... only wastrels like myself post everyday. The best posts take days to put together - patience dear heart...

Anonymous said...

dulwichmum - fair point, but one does worry so about poor Rilly, I do hope no one has been horrible to her, or that she is upset about something..

I feel I should pop round, but one never knows if it is a good time, and it is three hours drive away..

debio said...

This is such a sad story - the 4x4 will be traumatised for life, all that mush and gore on its fancy bits.
To restore it to feeling valued, perhaps you could tie the Hermes scarf to the rear view mirror...

rilly super said...

sarnia, it's only with your help, I get by with a little help from my friends..

my dear secretary, thanks for dropping by and for reminding me that I forgot to get his details. I will go and see him in intensive care tonight. I may sue for stress you know.

spymum, how right you are! I'm beginning to think I should take the children to the playground in medical scrubs after this incident. London clothes are simply to good for the north.

Lizzie dear, I will check on medical procedures but I'm sure that issuing tourniquets to witnesses is not standard practice in the north yet, I mean you can't even get counselling sometimes!

drunkmummy dear, the squirrels have been largely eaten but this is because of the demand by downshifters for locally sourced organic produce at the farmers market.

betamum, darling, thanks for dropping by. Funnily enough, I have been inspired to write a few lines on that very subject today. How strange that you should mention it as well!

anonymous, I might have the lovely rebecca play me in the film if Renee Zellweger drops out, although I have been considering recently Whoopee Goldberg as an alternative as well.

anonymous, hey, I can be sweet and sour or hot and cold whatever combination you desire you know

anonymous, if people don't want to be in my blog they can always move their children to a new school, it's up to them!

anonyous, don't worry, no posts for two days is just me adapting to the pace of life. This is still rather frenetic by northern standards as I don't think any of the locals would notice if I stopped breathing for two days, never mind blogging.

oh dulwichmum, it's not that my posts take days to write, but rather that the stream that drives the water wheel that powers my computer tends to run dry this time of year and needs a couple of days to build up a head of water again

anonymous, thankyou for your concern. I'm afraid some people have been rather beastly. Someone even put their hand on my shoulder recently! That would be classed as assault in London you know, touching someone who you're not married to!

debio darling, lovely to see you. That idea reminds me of the yellow ribbons that my london friends have tied on the trees in my old street to mark my continued absence up north, sob

rivergirlie said...

phew! normal service resumed.
you can take the girl out of london ....

rilly super said...

hi rivergirlie, thanks for dropping by again. Managed to get the water wheel turning again, sigh