FRESH from hearing the words every mother dreads when her children are away on holiday – “We’re going skydiving tomorrow” – I’m gazing at stars from my first-floor bedroom window, wondering how high the boys will be when they jump.
The phone rings and Aunty Janet kicks off with her customary opener: “Where’ve you been? We’ve been phoning. Uncle Robert’s not good. He’s broken his back. Three vertebrae. He had a bug and fainted and landed on a door knob.”
Oh God. My entire life he’s been making, fixing, sorting something/someone. Now he’s flat on his back. A man who still gets up at 4am every day, despite having retired from one job, to make the best steak pies in Yorkshire.
“Aw no,” I say. “He must be climbing the walls.”
“He’s reet. Listen.”
I hear peals of laughter.
“Tell her I’ve lost a stone,” he bellows. “Can’t drink.”
Aunty Janet comes back on. “Streams of visitors. And whenever I reach the top of the stairs with a snack he’ll say, ‘Could I have a glass of blackcurrant too?’ Sigh. Last week he was up a ladder putting in windows, laking about, giddy fool, shouting ‘I’m Superman!’ Well he’s not bloody Superman now.”
I’m crushed. Skydiving, broken backs, what next? I walk into my room and see Biggie Smalls flinging himself through the open window in pursuit of a moth.
Search for a job
Search for a car
Search for a house
Weather for Edinburgh
Thursday 23 May 2013
Temperature: 5 C to 10 C
Wind Speed: 24 mph
Wind direction: North
Temperature: 5 C to 13 C
Wind Speed: 16 mph
Wind direction: North east