May 19th

Mook is able to get around reasonably well on the crutches, now. He’s still in pain and can’t put weight on his leg, but he’s getting around with more ease now. He’s become the cat sofa. As soon as he sits down, the cats all sit on him. Whether it’s because they know he is not well and comforting him, or whether it’s because they know that when he sits down, it’s likely to be for several hours so they won’t be disturbed, I don’t know.

They enjoy the fuss he makes of them and vice versa. I’m surrounded by happy people and it freaks me out. In a good way, but it still weirds me out. I still find myself faltering, not quite knowing how to deal with them. I think they get that it’s as difficult for me as it is for them so as soon as we see each other showing signs of flipping out, we back off. There’s plenty of places to hide, even when it’s dark. We have space and we camaraderie. Life is good.

Spig and I went out to lay some eel traps. We dropped them in the river at about 10am, fished until about 3pm and then shot a few rabbits. Well, I shot them. Spig couldn’t even look at them. I’m going to have to give him some sharp lessons in skinning and gutting them soon. We weren’t worried about Mook, he was doing fine, self medicating and beginning to do things around the place. We left him no instructions, but he usually found something to do. Today was no exception. We got back around 6:00pm, with two dozen trout, a couple of carp and eight rabbits. It had been a good day. When we opened the main doors. It was X-Ray Spex. I could hear X-Ray Spex!

“Surprise!” Mook shouted and I screamed with excitement and joy and a thousand thousand other emotions. Mook had fixed the record player. He and Spiggy had been planning this for ages.

He’d heard me talk about X-Ray Spex, and a dozen other bands. We’d looked through the vinyl I found one evening and I’d talked in passionate and reverent tones about most of it – obviously there were a couple of duff albums in there – where I first heard it, what it meant to me, trivia and so on. He had noted the sadness I expressed when we first plugged the record player in and found that it didn’t work.

And he fixed it.

“It was actually quite simple,” he said, but simple or not, it didn’t diminish my joy,

“Just a problem with a slipped belt, one of wires needed fixing back in place and a fuse needed replacing. Spiggy found me the bits. Well, the bits that I didn’t have in my bag.”

I laughed like a loon. I spent the rest of the night bouncing around the living room much to the amusement of everybody. I played X-Ray Spex, The Rezillos (and the Revillos!), The Cure’s Pornography album, Systems of Romance by Ultravox! – the real one with a “!” – Siouxsie and the Banshees Juju, dear God how I’ve missed that album. When it got towards bedtime, I calmed everything down with Talk Talk’s “Spirit of Eden”. Three People, Four Cats, one pile of blissed out bodies on a sofa. Best reunion ever.

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