There Can Be No Excuse…

It has been many months since I last laid my quill upon the parchment of Life’s Rich Tapestry, this tome, annal, novelette, biographical chapter or simply a five minute tea break. To bring you a thought, anecdote, titbit (or tidbit depending on where your origins lay), story, quote, quip, epistle, historical happening or short story, for your delight and delectation.

I could lay blame at the foot of all the working efforts made over the preceding months here in French France, on the many and various projects we have on the go at any particular moment in time, or more likely, at the bottom of far too many bottles of fabulous wines that simply demanded to be tasted, sampled, quaffed, slurped and swallowed. 

Apportionment of blame is surely, nay allegedly, the prerequisite or predilection for those persons looking for an excuse to render themselves whiter than the whitest shade of a tin of unsubtly white paint. To fling the dirt in anyone’s direction other than their own, in the hopes that some of it will stick somewhere, anywhere other than on one’s own doorstep, thereby deflecting the veritable ‘Gaze of Sauron’ to pastures further flung than the aforementioned muck.

Instead of sinking to such measures and in an effort to save you the trouble, I will therefore become my own judge, jury and executioner in the passing of sentence, (or sentences) upon this very page.

I have oft thought of returning to Carry On Regardless, but at those moments in time, a pressing engagement has reared its head, forcing itself to the forefront of much needed attention. Whether it be the grass needing mowing, holes drilled or dug, tip runs with the trailer piled high for disposal, or simply a book needing to be read or a game of Sudoku requiring my undivided attention, my fevered scribblings have taken a seat further back than the rear row of the local cinematic flea pit on a sweaty Saturday afternoon.

As the heat in France has risen to furnace proportions, working outside has had to take a back seat. Those internal jobs left unattended since the warmer weather commenced back in March, when the sun had had the power to drag us into its springtime warming rays, have once more become the necessary items necessitating my unqualified and undivided.

To fall upon one’s own sword, or to go down in full dress with one’s ship, as we all have to steer the bark of this life over the rough seas of whatever comes our way, is truly the time-honoured and honourable duty to perform. To walk life’s gangplank and hurl oneself into the abyss, never to be seen or heard from again, where the frenzy of feeding fish would scatter me to the four corners of the globe, could be looked upon as a suitable punishment for leaving you, lovely reader, bereft of any communication for such an interminable duration.

But, like the proverbial bad penny, I have returned to my Davenport of this existence to once more caress your mind’s eye with plethorific diatribulation. 

Ruby has developed a limp. 

Now for any of you hardy stalwarts who know us, Charlotte and I have somewhat of a record of caring for the wild beasts of the fields. No, not our children, although you could be tempted and subsequently forgiven to think such thoughts, based on the many wild exploits carried out by them and mentioned here at Carry On Regardless in previous posts or blogs. No, no, and again thrice no, the beasts to which I refer are none other than our friendly, four-legged creatures who, at many and various times, have entered our lives, communed with us, lost tails, been poorly, run away to live in houses where they are fed on wet food rather than dry biscuits and water (didn’t do me any harm), or simply chosen to live on the rat infested railway embankment rather than cross the busy bus route back to the confines of where we happened to be living at the time, all inevitably and eventually ascending to that great animal heavenly kingdom in the sky.

Returning to Ruby, we have noted recently that she is showing a certain preference to her offside-rear leg, hopping around and generally favouring it when moving slowly. Show her a cat or pigeon and she will give chase at full pelt, leading you to surmise that nothing could possibly be wrong with the little mite. However, return her to the normal pace of life and the leg is raised and her hopping recommences.

This Monday just gone, I took her to our local veterinary surgery for examination. Feeling rather good about myself, instead of calling the vets to make an appointment or rendezvous, I took the bold (and subsequently rather rash) decision to ‘book online’!

Yes, yes, and thrice yes! Feeling a little like Meg Ryan from that infamous ‘When Harry Met Sally’ restaurant scene, I made the booking using my mobile telephone. They are called ‘smartphones’ for some reason, which only leads me to feel rather inferior to this inanimate object and not in full control of something that most present day 2 year olds can master in their sleep!

I suppose I should have found a local 2 year old to do the job for me, or at least not been so vain as to think that with my advanced years and obvious infirmities, I could perform such a task without the aid of my lunettes, but, fortune favouring the brave (or downright stupid), I made the booking by squinting at the screen, feeling rather proud that I had achieved another first in my dotage. Old dog, new tricks? Ticked that box!

Imagine my dismay then, when at the vet’s reception counter, the attendant, young enough to be my granddaughter (if I had one) looking at me quizzically, asked me why I was there? A simple enough question, even when asked in French, but one that threw me into a state of chastened confusion. Grasping for the phone and retrieving the confirmatory email of the rendezvous, I successfully showed her how techno savvy I was….only to be told that I was a whole week early. Oh the shame! Mortified! Old fuddy duddy! Time for the knackers yard!

Adding to my embarrassment, Ruby then pulled the miraculous stunt of appearing totally healed, whole and well, with the limp as far from within her bag of tricks as the Hunchback of Notre Dame suddenly not suffering from curvature of the spine! Made me look (if it were possible), even more like a mad Englishman that has spent too much time out in the noonday sun!

Now back at home and chasing anything that rustles through the undergrowth, Ruby limps around on three legs as soon as the chase has ended. I will be back at the vets at the appointed time and on the appointed day, this time with photographic and video evidence (taken smugly of course by Charlotte on her ‘smartphone’) to show the surgeon…

Carry On Regardless,


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