Where Emma writes a memoir...
Good Morning, lovelies.
As my regular readers are aware I am in the process of writing a Parkinson’s rom-com. Because, as you know, Parky is both romantic and hilarious. Ahem.
During the first covid lockdown I undertook a brilliant memoir writing course. I had no intention of writing one, it was simply an opportunity to schmooze with an author I adore. Anyway, fast forward and, you guessed it, I am writing a memoir. (Well, technically I’m writing two - stop showing off, Emma)
I started with the absolute conviction that in no way was I going to write about Parkinson’s. Ever. Nope. Not. A. Word. Here we are several thousand words on and this newsletter. (Wonder if the same will work if I say I don’t want to move to Italy? 🙃)
The funny thing is I have so many other far more exciting things to fill a memoir with than Mr. P: my travel adventures, my creativity, my unique upbringing. But the little bastard has infiltrated. The result? A little glimpse of how an ordinary moment in a life can be tipped headlong into madness. ☟
‘Oh, mummy! What’s happened?! Are you ok?’ my daughter screams as she charges towards me full pelt, leaping into my embrace. I wince as she lands squarely on my newly broken right arm.
‘It’s ok darling, mummy is fine.’
When I left her at the school gates this morning, I had been in one piece. The last 5 hours had been - eventful.
Walking back from the school I relished, as I did most days, in the peace which descended once the child of a million questions had found other sources of information. Sleet whipped around me, coating my glasses, getting down my neck and sending shivers through my bones.
‘Damn climate’, I muttered as I dashed inside to lashings of coffee, something delicious and decidedly waist expanding. Sadly I was gearing myself up to face the weather again and even worse I had to embark on the most loathed of tasks - shopping. Not any shopping but Christmas shopping. I prevaricated leaving on the premise I could soothe the awfulness by alternating each shop with a trip to the mulled wine stand in the Christmas market. Untypically for my gender, I hate shopping and only undertake it when every other possibility has been exhausted. Pub-shop-pub-shop is my tried and tested method, never fails.
Deluded in the belief I could make the trip better, I struck out in the weather and grey. Aberdeen city centre is a Victorian vision of grey granite and social aspirations. It’s common for the visitor to note the greyness and in the drizzle, the light seems dead as withered bone. But there is a secret. Sudden sun brings slashes of silver, lighting the grey with stars of mica this is why it is known as the Silver City. No sun today, though.
I marched towards my destination, determined to fulfil the task as hastily as possible. That may have been how disaster struck. That despot Mr P hates to be rushed.
The Green was once an outdoor market area, used by my Grandmother to buy scrawny chickens for soup. You can cut through from the main street to the shopping centre at the station, saving distance and avoiding heavy traffic. To access the Green you have to descend an alarmingly high set of granite steps, split into three levels. I stopped at the top assessing the wisdom of tackling this vertiginous stair. They looked ok, with a touch of sleet and a big puddle at the bottom. I stepped out.
I’m not sure if I broke the sound barrier but the puddle was enveloping me before I had time to say sonic boom. Then the pain hit. My right arm was very broken. I am a veteran of broken bones and I knew this one was a big one. Gingerly I checked nothing else was snapped; I’d have some spectacular bruising but everything seemed fine. Then the cold started to affect me as the wet seeped into my clothes. Shivering I took in the small crowd I had attracted. My flying dive caused some alarm it seemed.
After plenty of ‘Oh my god’s & are you ok’s’ I managed to stand upright and use my jacket as a makeshift sling. Someone was calling an ambulance but given the traffic in the centre of town and the largely inaccessible Green, I decided to get the bus to the hospital. The bus stop was at the top of the stairs which had undone me, but from there it would take 10 minutes to get treatment. The well-wishers were appalled. And I would have been too. A wildly dishevelled woman with a clearly broken arm who was also dripping wet and shivering in freezing conditions was perhaps not of a sane mind.
However, I reasoned I would likely die of hyperthermia before the ambulance got here. With some assistance, I got to the bus. Paying my fair the driver took one look at me,
‘To the hospital then?’
Oh lord, a humorist. As it turned out his lively chat kept me from keeling over from the pain of my now throbbing arm. He and his warm bus delivered me to the accident and emergency in record time.
The sign-in desk staff shook their heads when they heard the story, sent to the waiting area and I was seen very quickly. I suspect in case I did any other damage to myself or worse, someone else. The wonderful doctors and nurses plastered me up, both bones broken but good clean breaks so no surgery needed.
Now I was conscious of a time issue. I needed to be back at those school gates to pick up my youngest daughter. As soon as I could, I was back on that bus and racing, well jogging with many stops involving strong language. But I made it. Every year since I shop online and I still think I’m owed the mulled wine I missed out on!
Now that bit about Mr P not enjoying being rushed and I was stressed about the prospect of shopping. He played his nasty little trick of making you bend to his way. Looking back I think I did a little freeze at the top of those stairs and when I clicked back into motion…well, weeeee.
I didn’t know Parkinson’s as I do now.
P.S. If you are interested in the course I took, pop over to Kamin’s website.