Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The Sea Air Will Do Us Good

Looking at the Jack Vettriano poster on the wall of the hospital corridor, just around the corner from the curled-up photographs of nurses, haphazardly arranged in a large smeared frame, I'm waiting for my mum to be made more comfortable three weeks after her life-prolonging operation.

I never used to tell my mum I love her. Now I say it every time we speak. It's not really a thing a boy of my generation and class does easily. It took me years to kiss her goodbye.

What the fuck are you singing? Are you a human vox-box of tricks, a servile Bobby McFerrin? Listeners can't help but dance? Don't worry, be happy?

Why are these beautiful young posh people dancing on the beach in the rain, in formal party clothes? Has the maid brought their medication? Or their booze? Is one of them ill and this is their last dance before amputation? What have you always really wanted to do? Dance in the rain by the sea, with a gruff-voiced butler and a silly fussing maid. One last dance before the hospital bed. Splash and move, more free than we've ever been. Darling, I love you and your unpredictable movement, the wet-dog animality of you. I'll miss your drunken larks when you've got no legs.


  1. I rushed over here as directed!
    As one who has also just had a life prolonging operation I would love to dance in the rain by the sea - could probably manage without the brolly toting minions but if it makes them happy ...
    Hope your Mum is progressing well x

  2. Heck, just realised it said DON'T all rush here, ooops sorry!

  3. Thanks, Zig. Thankfully my mum's got the same picture at home though it wasn't supplied by the NHS.

  4. Well, there has been little chance of dancing in the sun of late, so the rain will have to do.
    All the very best to you and your Mum, Geoff.

  5. I always thought that Vettriano was simply David Cameron's model for an ideal society. All the best to your mum.

  6. Scarlet - Thank you. We'll have to bring out our wellies.

    Tim - Thank you. The dancer does look a bit Bullingdon, doesn't he?