Monday, May 26, 2008

The Book Club Ladies and a Lesson in Life.

This could be a long post. Mrs T hasn’t written anything for a while which means she could go on for a long time; best get a coffee and chocolate bar out now. (Or open the window ready to take a leap; whichever is your preference.)

Well first Mrs T is going to give an update on the antics at The Book Club. Now, the Ladies gathered together at Mrs P’s comfortable abode last Friday to discuss The No1 Ladies Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith which if you are familiar with is set in Botswana.

Now The Book Club has a tradition of serving food and playing accompanying music in the style of book that is being discussed. So for example when we read
Miss Garnet’s Angel which is set in Italy we had Italian music, wine and suitably tasty nibbles. Stylish don’t you think? This usually works out well as we get to sample a variety of fine wines from all over the world. However, the ladies were not so impressed with Mrs T’s choice for Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks on a previous outing. (Just in case you have been very naughty and not read this fantastic book it is principally about the First World War and I highly recommend it.) Anyhow, Mrs T thought her choice of an accompanying recording of howitzers and artillery fire was entirely suitable; the ladies, however, did not feel so inclined (Possibly this was because Mrs T kept diving under the sofas with a colander on her head, barbecue tongs in her hand shouting “Once more unto the trenches dear friends, once more!”)

The accompanying
fried rat didn’t go down well either. Still can’t win every time can you?

Anyway Mrs P, (who, please remember is the Housewife Extraordinaire in Training) and highly accomplished, managed to come up with some suitable African music and some
Biltong which is a dried salty beef. (Dental floss required.) Fortunately, she also came up with a takeaway from the local Indian takeaway. (Excellent, excellent; takeaways are first class and highly approved by Mrs T in her best selling book; “How to cheat at cooking in one easy polystyrene tub.”)

Anyhow, the takeaway was vastly preferential to the suggested delicacies recommended by Mrs S. If you can click on this link you will see an array of truly horrendous “delicacies.” Now you know Mrs T is partial to chocolate but even she cannot stomach the thought of chocolate covered ants and scorpions. Mrs T felt her stomach could also pass on the Green Crocodile Curry.


There was, however, one particular delicacy that sounded just up Mrs T’s street….Chocolate Pearl Aphrodisiac Paste…which comes in a TUBE! What could be better than to lie upon one’s chaise longue like an ancient Roman Empress whilst having a man slave squeeze it gently into your mouth?! (Hmm…Mrs T’s imagination is playing havoc with her at the moment...)

Anyway back to the book; we discussed The No 1 Ladies detective Agency with complete thoroughness (as usual) and just to encourage you to read it here’s my in depth analysis;

It was good; read it.

Also the cover is particularly colourful; cut it up and make labels for your Christmas presents. (I’m still into recycling.)

I’m just joking there folks… Mrs T hoards all her books and deposits them in secret places so Mr T cannot discover she has purchased yet more without his knowledge. It would be sacrilege to cut up a book. (Well, except cookery books obviously.) Mrs T loves books. She loves the crisp, clean smell of a new book but also the mustiness of an old book that teases the nostrils like a fine wine. Mrs T still has children’s books from when she was a child and history books from college. Books, she feels, represent part of her makeup, her past and to that extent there are some books that will never ever make it to the school fair….

And now on to other Book Club matters….

The Book Club required a new name; let’s face it The Book Club isn’t a very original title is it? And in order to join the local library book lending scheme Mrs M suggested we needed a more distinctive title. Now Mrs T has great reservations about getting yet more from the library as she is extraordinarily bad at remembering to take books back to the library - to the extent that she has just racked up a £27.00 fine. (Don’t tell Mr T; he’ll kill me) Mrs T is not sure just how she does it but regrettably she does. However, this does mean that Mrs T is hugely popular at the library because she funds the purchase of new books for the entire county. Mrs T always gets first class treatment in her request for obscure books because they know it’s a dead cert she won’t return them for at least 6 months. However, the good natured Mrs M has now offered to be in charge of Mrs T’s books in order that she stops getting enormous fines. Mrs T gratefully accepts as she has pathetic organizational skills (other than the alphabetical system she uses in her chocolate drawer which is then also subdivided into percentage of cocoa, flavour, colour of wrapper and weight.)

Anyway, here are some of Mrs T suggestions for a title with the voting outcomes (unanimous decision required)

1. Hot Chicks Go Reading. Out voted 5:1(Conclusion; Mrs T is the only hot chick! Although to be fair Mrs A was absent so as we know she also delusional so it could have been 5:2)

2. Not the Tom Cruise Appreciation Society. Failed 1: 6 This was very popular but sadly Mrs S protested as she is in love with Mr Cruise. (Mrs S is still awaiting her cataract operation.) (Please not there was no voting misdeamours here..Mrs A placed hers by telephone as this was a matter of utmost importance.)

3. A Page at a Time (is bloody slow) Failed 5:1. Mrs T is partial to the occasional skim reading, especially if it’s a Tom Cruise autobiography. Please note that Mrs T also recommends that if you just can’t reach to the top of the kitchen cabinets Mr Cruise’ autobiographies make a useful step. Mrs T feels this in an honourable way to pay tribute to Mr Cruise’s somewhat shorter frame.

(NB; Mr Cruises’ autobiographies also make effective door stoppers.)

4. If only I had glasses. Failed 5:1… none of the other ladies could read the nomination.

5. We’ve got all the Books and You haven’t Society. Failed 5:1; it was suggested that this was a particularly stupid title. Mrs T has no idea why; it seemed pretty accurate to her.

6. Book Babes. Almost made it 3:3… very popular with Mrs T, Mrs S and Mrs P. However, as some members of The Book Club are over 45 they sadly did not qualify as “Babes.”

And finally… the winner… Novel Ladies… Suggested by Mrs T in rarer moment of sanity.


Anyway I thought you might also be interested in a few stories of recent happenings to the ladies…so here we go…

Mrs P’s last pregnant sheep produced triplets which Mrs P delivered by herself with the aid of some rubber gloves and a large bottle of Scotch. Mrs P also pointed out she has 2 cats and will Mrs T kindly get her facts right. (Position of Housewife Extraordinaire in Training now in serious jeopardy.)

Mrs Midwife rang Mrs T to ask her to come and collect cat food and accessories; Mr Fred, her feline friend, had been run over. Mrs T promptly went down to Mrs Midwife’s where they embraced and spoke highly of the gorgeous Mr Fred who some callous person had left to die upon the road until some kindly neighbour found him and released him from his anguish. Mrs T remembered Mr Fred’s thick fur, as plush as any luxurious velvet, and how he always greeted her and occasionally sat upon her lap when she babysat. Mrs T was sad but not as sad as poor Mrs Midwife, Mr Midwife, Miss Lucy and Miss Katy.

Mrs W
reported that she has received her insurance payout for the fire in her kitchen. Mrs T had not heard of the incident in the kitchen before and so her heart soared…at last there was someone whose cooking skills matched her own! Mrs T was anxious to find out the finer details of the dish Mrs W was burning at the time. Sausages or Burgers? Mrs T finds sausages burn uncommonly well. But alas, and to Mrs T’s absolute horror she found out that Mrs W had NOT been cooking…she had left a candle on the windowsill that had set the curtains alight….. Mrs T’s heart sank….

Mrs S has had a most interesting time of late. Firstly, she reported that she had found a mole
in Mrs S’ Wellington boot in the downstairs cloakroom. Mrs T suggested Mrs S increased her building’s insurance cover as it was possible her house was in danger of imminent collapse which would be disastrous as her lovely house on the hill has finally gone up for sale. In fact Mrs S’ property is so unique she reported that a BBC film crew had spent two days filming it for a property show which will be on the TV next year. Mrs T enquired what was the nature of the handsome presenter? To which Mrs S said he spent most of time playing with his stylus. (You know one of those pen type things used with mobile phones for texting.) Mrs T laughed because she knows Mr S also plays with his stylus far too often and much to Mrs S’ annoyance. In fact Mr S lost his stylus recently and forced Mrs S to search the house with minute precision… Mrs S could not find it and politely enquires to Mr S

“When actually WAS the last time that you saw it?????”

Unpleasantly, Mr S admitted it was when he was on the john with his pants around his ankles….

Mrs S goes to the bathroom but still CANNOT find it.

And so the evening passes and Mr and Mrs S retire to bed and as Mr S removes his underwear… and out falls his stylus….

(No double entendre intended.)…….

The moral of this tale is…

Never play with your stylus in the john; you may end up looking a prize prick.
(Take note Mr I.)

Now Mrs X, who shall remain anonymous, had a more stressful week than most…

As Mrs X was going about her daily business and requiring the bathroom unexpectantly finds she is bleeding heavily from her bladder. She is concerned as being of a healthy disposition (never having broken a bone or suffered from womanly troubles) and being well read in medical matters knows that bleeding without pain is not good and so she fast tracks to the Doctors that same afternoon.

The Doctor is worried; Mrs X is very perceptive and can read faces uncommonly well. He asks Mrs X leading questions which she knows are related to the big “C”. He examines the urine samples twice and then phones the hospital and an appointment is made for Mrs X in a few days time. Mrs X is impressed with the efficiency but fearful; she knows this is not a good sign and unable to get the Doctor to enlighten her she goes home and Googles the symptoms.

Mrs X finds here are many possible causes but without pain the lesser possible causes like infection and kidney stones leaves others causes which are possibly very serious, perhaps even life threatening. Mrs X sits back in her chair and looks at the screen again and again.

Mrs X realises that she could be in very serious trouble indeed.

The days pass and Mrs X’s appointment arrives. She is feeling nervous about the procedures and the outcome. Worse, she has been instructed to drink as much as possible before the ultrasound and so her bladder is bursting; it would have been wise to have brought some spare knickers she muses as she waits. The ultrasound is done twice, first by the junior radiologist and then by the consultant. The consultant, a woman in her late fifties is thorough. She takes a long time examining Mrs X’s left kidney and Mrs X wonders if she has a duplex kidney like her father. Mrs X studies The Consultant’s face; she is a handsome woman who was most probably a beauty in her youth but who has competed in a man’s world for too long and disregarded her femininity. But Mrs X feels reassured; this is a woman Mrs X can trust, who is professional, experienced.

Finally, The Consultant tells Mrs X to sit up and says;

“Mrs X… I can find nothing wrong with your kidneys. That is good news.”

Mrs X is relieved but must still endure more intimate examinations of her bladder about which she is not happy; it is not like childbirth which is a natural process. She is feeling uncommonly shy.

Now, Mrs X whilst not being fashionable, but perhaps stylish in her own way is not keen on wearing the hospital gown she has been given without her knickers on; she does not want people seeing her (hugely attractive) butt as she walks down the corridor and so feigns ignorance about how she should wear it so that the nurse gives her another which she wears like a housecoat. Not so bad, thinks Mrs X, feeling a little more relieved as exits the changing room and sits in the waiting room, (noting the elderly gentleman also waiting has been looking a little perkier since her arrival.) There is also an elderly lady waiting, also in her 70s like the gentleman, and Mrs X wonders if they feel the same way as her. Do they also fear for their own mortality or have they resigned themselves to whatever awaits them?

Mrs X sees there are numerous magazines to read but alas they are all OK and Hello in which she is not interested so she tosses then to one side. (But not before she has added a pair of platform shoes and rocket boots to those pictures of Mr Cruise and revels in the fact that Mrs T would be immensely proud at using her initiative in such trying circumstances.)

Mrs X is called and trying to boost her confidence which is rapidly diminishing she sways nonchantly along the corridor in her peep toe wedges. (No way was she wearing furry slippers; a woman’s got to have some dignity.) The consultant comes out to the reception area; he is a man in his fifties and (reassuringly?) says he will not be using any knives. Now Mrs X, who hadn’t even envisioned the concept of knives is now NOT reassured. Perhaps, she thinks, The Consultant needs a little help in the diplomacy area. Anyhow Mrs X, who like Mrs T, has an uncommonly good sense of humour quips in reply;

”I hope you’ve bought you’re sewing kit though. I don’t suppose you could do me a favour……”

The consultant laughs; at least he has a sense of humour thinks Mrs X as she follows him into the examination room.

OH LORD!! NO!! NO!! NO!!

Mrs X is gob smacked; it is just like the set of ER! There are people EVERYWHERE. Just how many people do they need to do this procedure??? There is the clinking of trays, murmuring...in fact all that is missing is the guy selling raffle tickets. Any moment now Mrs X expects the arrival of the student doctors, clip boards in hand, ready to examine Mrs X’s more intimate parts. Mrs X is mortified at the thought. With the help of 3 nurses she lies upon the examining table, a film of sweat developing over her body…

There is no choice.
Mrs X, who like Mrs T, also has a vivid imagination…must take her mind elsewhere……………………….

“Mrs X, I’m afraid there is a sudden nurses’ strike. You can come back another time or have the examination by yourself with The Consultant.”

Now Mrs X who is (obviously) a black belt and always carries such vicious instruments with her such sharpening steel and a barbecue fork is not afraid. She is perfectly capable of defending herself from predators and realises the urgency of the situation, so decides to continue…..

“Oh, I’ll go ahead,” says Mrs X and the last of the nurses leaves the room.

Mrs X li
es back and awaits the arrival of The Consultant. She feels a breeze drift across the room as the doors swing open. She cannot see the Consultant’s face and peers around the screen as he washes his hands at the sink. Hmm… Mrs X notes he is tall and athletic looking from behind with a nice firm buttocks… rather Bond like. She wonders if he carries a gun. Perhaps if he does, she wonders whether he will show it to her. However, she muses, he is taller than 007…perhaps more like Mr Callahan. Perhaps the tough Mr Callahan will make her day with some... uplifting news. She is feeling lucky. Does he have 5 bullets or 6? Either way the prospect is tantalising…..

And then The Consultant turns around…Oh no, Mrs X eyes are popping out of her head. It is n
ot Mr Bond or Mr Callaghan …it is Mr Ross. THE Mr Ross of the dark, seductive eyes and extremely handsome face…………

Mrs X is flabbergasted! And hastily throws away her barbecue fork and poses as seductively as possible on the table (Well as seductively as one can in two old faded cotton robes and a pair of earrings.)

“Mrs X, Would you mind if I removed my jacket? iIt is extremely hot in here for some inexplicable reason,” says Mr Ross in his mellow voice like chocolate that melts in the mouth.

Mrs X knows why it is hot…because her blood pressure has rocketed into space and there is more heat emanating from her body than a flame thrower. She nods in agreement, unable to speak in the excitement. Mr Ross is wearing a crisp white shirt, open at the neck. Oh Lord, this is too much for a woman to endure…

“Mrs X, I’m afraid I can find no surgical gloves…would you mind? I will be extremely gentle.”

Mrs X nods in agreement again; she is going to pass out with excitement… but fortunately realises that would not actually be good timing and revives herself with some handy surgical disinfectant….

“Mrs X… I’m afraid I can’t find any surgical masks…are you happy for me to continue?” Mr Ross flickers his long dark eyelashes.....

Mrs X categorically does NOT mind. She is very, very happy indeed. Mrs X only wishes she had some Green and Blacks (Organic) chocolate to accompany the occasion.

“Of course Mrs X, you realise I must perform an entire physical examination? Shall I listen to your chest first?”

Mrs X nodds furiously… but she cannot speak as she is soooo excited….Mr Ross leans down over her. His eyes are like a pool of molten chocolate……he pulls out his stethoscope….


MRS X, MRS X WAKE UP!!! YOU LOOK INCREDIABLY HOT, ARE YOU ALRIGHT??

No, no no!!….Not now!............. Mrs X is distraught, it was just getting interesting……

Fantasy over. Back to reality. Bugger.

“Good news Mrs X. It was an infection after all. Sometimes these things happen for no obvious reason.”

So Mrs X is safe and well.
Thank God.
( A tad bit annoyed her fantasy didn’t come to fruition but in the circumstances she is one happy woman.)

Well that about wraps it up for now. More waffle later in the week.

But Ah... I hear you say... what about Mrs T?

Well... Mrs T has been in uncommonly reflective mood of late. She has reached the age where beauty and health begin to fail. Where her elders and indeed sometimes her contemporaries pass from this life to the next. She has pondered on many subjects including mortality, relationships, spirituality and love.

Life. Death.

She still doesn’t know the answer to all of her questions and maybe never will but she reflects that it is the only beauty that truly matters is the one that comes from within.

Mrs T thanks her friends who read this blog and who shared her journey with her, who have lifted her spirits with words of wit and wisdom. She thanks them from the bottom of her heart.

Mrs T realises she has been very lucky indeed. She knows not what the future holds but is grateful, that this time round, she has been given one more chance.
Copyright Jane Turley 2008
PS Mrs T would be most grateful is everyone would vote for Master Sy of The Wheel is Turning but The Hamster is Dead as the funniest guy on the net by clicking to this link. Now I'm not saying Master Sy is desperate to win but he dug deep into his wallet and offered me 50p, a snotty hankerchief, some congealed chewing gum, 3 paperclips, half an apple and a stack of French Porn. So please do me a favour and vote; I don't need anymore of that stuff Mr T already brings home enough already. Thanks!

19 comments:

  1. Dear Mrs T - sooner or later one must realise that reality's the biggest bugger and that no doctor however fevered one's imagination may be ,can ever look like Bond , in whatever avatar you may care to clothe him in ! My sympathies to the good lady.

    Good luck to the Book Club - do try the latest Salman Rushdie - an Indian takeaway would suffice and make important matters such as ambience simpler !

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  2. mmm....biltoooong. I lived on that stuff when Mr Sy first met Mrs Sy and she showed him the world of South African delights. These days I encourage Mrs Sy to get a good mouthful of beef as often as she can.

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  3. I Know, I know Mrs G ..you are absolutely right of course! Poor Mrs T has been cursed with an overactive imagination!Still..you know on those long, dark British nights it does prove useful...

    Hey, perhaps we should try a Salman Rushdie. Another curry sounds just up my street!

    Master Sy... ummm.. embarrassed cough.. now I know that Mrs T can be somewhat forthright herself but may I suggest we talk about that comment at some other time...

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  4. Gosh. Did it come out a little different to what I meant? Golly! I am sorry! *dum de dum de duuummmm*

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  5. Keeping humming Master Sy... at least till Mrs T stops laughing...

    Personally, I like my beef with some horseradish sauce..I finds it spices it up a little. What does Mrs Sy think?

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  6. Mrs Sy does like it a little spicy, but I am against any spices put on my meat. I find it ruins it and makes my eyes water as I dont enjoy it.

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  7. Blimey, I almost feel sorry for you Master Sy... may I suggest a light gravy instead?

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  8. Chocolate spread maybe. I know that sounds weird, but I like gravy sandwiches too.

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  9. Oh definately chocolate spread.. the one with the nuts.

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  10. Didnt they make a chocolate bar out of that one? The Cadburys TesteMilk. They then renamed it to Fruit and Nut a couple of years back.

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  11. Book Babes, I like it. My previous book club met in a coffee shop and made me read Stones from the River by Ursula Hegi. Tedious book. However I love the Number 1 Ladies books...I especially love the ones I read via audio.

    When do those ladies manage to read with all that befalls them.

    O.

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  12. Make the music STOOOOOP!!!!! It hurts my ears... Mrs T...make the pain go away...

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  13. Hey, the chewing gum had a good 18 minutes of chew time left in it!! Be grateful!

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  14. Onedia, Ah the ladies are very, very busy but that was part of the reason for starting the book club so that we all, as book lovers, made sure we found the time to read at least one book a month...that too is a struggle at time.

    I throughly enjoyed No 1 Detective Agency... colourful and different and a little detective work too...grreat and you really got a sense of Precious' personality.

    I will studiously avoid Stones from the River... tedious books..UGH!!

    Sy... 18 minutes? Is that all? I like it to last a lot longer!

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  15. Book babes - as I progress with The Enchantress of Florence cant help suggesting that you also need a bit of Italian cuisine . How you er - merge it with the curry - you'll have to work out . But do read the book .

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  16. Mrs T , I have tagged you its a book tag :)

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  17. Ah Mrs G...Thank you for your recommendation I will endavour to get a copy...

    A book tag? Sounds interesting! I shall pop over and have a look. You do realise if it's a serious one I might have to make some alterations.......

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  18. Oh lord Mrs G... I just picked up the nearest book... and went to the 5th line (i think it should have beenthe 5th sentence I'll have to check) and it said...

    "...the English were "naturally lazy and spend half their time taking tobacco..." "

    Oh dear, dear, dear !!!!!! Mind you it sounds pretty accurate....

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  19. Mrs T, *accusingly* my sides are still aching!
    I thoroughly enjoyed the No. 1 Ladies Detective agency series.

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I am always delighted to receive comments!