IHAD a letter from a kind and alert reader who, as do I, reads death notices, mainly to see how many of those who have fallen off their proverbial perches have gone fishing; an alarming number, apparently. She enclosed a notice from the hatched, matched and dispatched columns of the newspaper this month, regarding a woman named Ethel Guy. ‘‘ She will be sadly missed now that she has gone to a better place where she can argue with He who must be obeyed. From her children and grandchildren.’’
‘‘ Excellent!’’ said my daughter, who had recently told me that not only does my oneyear- old grandson look exactly like me ( the old, young me, not the me of now) but he has also inherited my temper. If thwarted, he goes purple in the face and makes a noise like a crow squawking. Such was my surprise, I had to lie down with my head in the pillow for five minutes; I would like to have thought I had disguised my inner witch more successfully.
So this is possibly something to focus on in the new year, turning into a dear little old lady who smiles benignly at roller bladers and those who shriek into mobile telephones at the drop of a hat.
Actually, I have already mellowed towards these blithering idiots; there’s a new kid on the block in terms of who is and who isn’t behaving in a terminally irritating manner.
You will have noticed them thronging around the CBD. They have eschewed the briefcase for suitcases the size of houses that they wheel with life- threatening speed along the footpath. No, they are not on their way to the airport with enough luggage to last them a year abroad; they’re on the way to the office or returning home from work. It’s the new status symbol; letting everyone and their aunt know how much work they have up their sleeves. I don’t care how onerous their darg is; that trundling noise behind you, the way in which at any moment they will crash into your ankles, is what makes you want to bite their heads off.
I’m certain there are pills you can take to calm you down, but I’m not very good at drugs. Yes, I did inhale at an early age. The 1960s were not a pretty sight; sitting in a circle on the floor in flowing frocks embellished with tiny mirrors, passing around funny cigarettes with fag- ends the texture of a soggy wet towel didn’t do much to enhance the decade.
It has been suggested I take up yoga to vanquish the hidden virago; well, forget it, the last time I did downward dog, I fell flat on my face, which didn’t improve my mood one iota. I’m knitting my brows in search of temper therapy, and it’s no good my joining a choir and merrily thumping out community tunes; I am about as tuneful as the squawking crow. So until I find the magic elixir that will turn me into instant sunshine and bonhomie, I’ll just put a sock in it.