I think I have a blood clot in my right leg, I told the woman who answered the phone at the doctors’ surgery, and explained my symptoms. She panicked, I can’t see a way of fitting you in, and I could feel her alarm.

Right, she said, let me see what I can do and phone you back.


I’d barely blinked when she phoned back: someone will call you within half an hour.

I had just sat on the loo when my watch rang, hello.

Turns out I have a trapped sciatic root nerve. And now two lots of pain killers and something to protect my stomach from the effects of them! I already feel better and am hoping that being able to walk again will help release the nerve and solve my problem. Gads, I hate being old!

Last week I whinged about my thumb joint (still sore), this week it’s my whole right leg from my lower back right down to my toes, and yesterday it was so bad I googled. Hence my wholly wrong self diagnosis! God knows what next week has in store for me, leprosy?

Meanwhile, on Monday I was browsing Facebook marketplace and saw a chair that looked perfect for the sitting room. I’d moved the slumpy futon away from the window because it was too much in the way for opening and closing the blind, and this left a visually uncomfortable gap. The chair was twenty quid.

I hadn’t actually considered an armchair before, I always think they take up more space than they have a right to: not much less than a two seater sofa, but they only seat one person. But in every other way this chair seemed destined for this room. I messaged the seller, it was still available, and arranged to pick it up on Wednesday. It was in Kirkconnel, about an hour’s drive away.

On Tuesday we went to the Everyman cinema in Glasgow to see The Fablemans. I cried so much I emerged looking like a baby rat, all pinched and pink faced. If you haven’t seen it, go, Michelle Williams is utterly brilliant as a mother who loves her children so much she tries to deny her own, conflicting, needs. The relationship between her and Sam, the main character and her oldest child, is about as complex and touching as any screen relationship I’ve seen. We loved it, and I loved her. If she doesn’t win best actress I’ll weep.

Wednesday was chair day. We set off into the wilds between here and the A76, passing the Spango Burn and a farm called Spong, up to a very windy high bit, and down into the Nith valley.

Malcolm, owner of the chair, had sent me detailed instructions on how to find his house: ignore your satnav if it tells you to turn right at the church, and instead, turn right onto the old stone railway bridge. We did that and still got lost. I phoned him, do you have a blue car, he asked, we do. You got it right the first time, but you’d gone by the time I came out. We went back.

He was very concerned that I really did want the chair once I’d seen it, as though he couldn’t imagine anyone wanting it. But I did, it’s not a beautiful chair and it’s a little grubby about the arms, but I like the shape of it and it’s not too big. Though we had to unscrew the legs to get it in the car and, for a moment I feared we wouldn’t get it in at all.

But here it is, and it’s now my seat of choice. I haven’t sat on either of the other options since we brought it home.

And look how well it goes with the rug!

10 thoughts on “Spong

  1. Well that was a dramatic opening line! I’m glad you didn’t have a blood clot, but sciatica is painful. Yep, I hate getting old, too. It’s not all about how it looks now, it’s about how it feels – every morning is a revelation. I bought a mattress topper – I think it helps. I also lowered my desk. I have a jumper doubling up as a lumber cushion. Never sit uncomfortably or you’ll pay for it in lingering pain!!
    Michelle Williams is a top actress! And your chair was a very good find, especially if it’s comfortable.


    1. I no longer sit at my desk, which is really a Georgian dining table so can’t be lowered. I now sit on the armchair with my feet curled up under me, I’ll look into lumber cushions. X


  2. Your watch rings? I’m getting out of touch.

    The chair looks lovely, and well worth the meandering journey to get it.

    Everyone is raving about the Spielberg film, and I’ve got Thursday off, so I reckon that’s a plan.


    1. My watch is like something out of Star Trek, but it can be a bit of a bully.
      The film isn’t Cinema Paradiso, but it is good, we didn’t notice the time going by. I hope you like it.
      Have you seen Everything Everywhere all at Once, it’s tremendous?!


  3. To give it the final touch, maybe putting a book on that chair is a possibility ? Fits right in as is, so the book is not necessary.
    Decay is our fate, inescapable


    1. Mago, you’re a genius, I’ve been looking for something yellow for that corner (to give a little link between this room and the hallway) and a yellow book (I have one called Butter on the table beside me) would be perfect!
      Yes indeed it is, I probably need to get over my anxiety about painkillers and just take them.


      1. Of course I am a genius, but you may still call me Mago !
        Painkiller anxiety ? All I can say is that these things are magic. I was given the industrial strength in hospital, something with my leg, may be similar to what you have. They made an x-ray of my back and found some nice anomalies around some vertebrae & disks, it was an interesting experience.
        They gave me paynekillers and within twenty minutes the whimpering stopped, and I could even move again ! Use them things (and they gave you something to protect your stomach’s inner lining – use it as well !) – there is absolutely no need in harming yourself, enduring etcetc. This may be heroic, but witless, heldisch, aber sinnlos.


      2. My worry is that I’ll do myself long term damage because I won’t feel the pain. But I’m probably old enough not to not have to worry about long term stuff!
        I am taking the painkillers the doctor prescribed and they are helping, somewhat. I’ve resisted looking up the side effects 🙃


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