Tuesday 7 July 2009

Intermission and second half

The Claw languished in the safe keeping of Mr D for a long long time. This was entirely due to my poor memory. I forgot all about it for perhaps a year, then, starting up one day in alarm ("The Claw! The Claw!"), I had to ask John to re-send the old email, that I had lost, with Mr D's details on it, so that I could contact Mr D and find out if any of his contemporaries were still alive enough to have been consulted.

John duly searched for and sent me the email, and I forgot all about it again for a long time.

Eventually, memory rallied, and I rang Mr D. to ask how he was getting on with his grouse foot enquiries. A slow, creaky voice informed me in that most genteel Edinburgh-Scots accent that, alas, no one knew of foot-curers any more. But never fear, he had the Claw, safely stored in a drawer. Good, I thought, no one has been maimed or savaged in the night, with only tell-tale scrabbly scratchy marks on the doors to indicate the escape of an unknown intruder after perpetrating a hideous crime against an elderly jeweller.

That could have been the end of the saga, but I had been on eBay - I knew that such brooches did come up from time to time, under various titles, including lucky rabbit's paw. I asked Mr D if he would be able to cannibalise (horrid thought!) another brooch to restore M's, if I could obtain something similar. Yes, he creaked genteelly, he thought perhaps he could. I offered to email him a picture of any brooch I managed to obtain. Oh nooooo, we don't have those computers or anything like that heeere..... (how crass of me to have thought of such a thing; he made it sound like they might still be getting used to the new-fangled electric light).

So the hunt for a donor was on. I stalked a selection (pictured below in Enter the Claw) and sent pictures of them to M. She didn't fancy any of them, but as it had been so long since she had clapped eyes on the original, I suspected that she had forgotten the sorry state it was in, and therefore couldn't compare it with the glorious condition (ahem) that the selected replacement was in. So I went ahead anyway; my blood was up by now, and M wasn't going to throw a talon in the works now!

I employed my considerable and surprising skill at last-second bidding to obtain the one I wanted, in the teeth of some determined opponents bidding furiously against each other. I really dislike bidding on eBay, as I hate that rush of adrenalin - anyone who has ever had a panic attack will know exactly how horrible adrenalin can feel - but I'm rather good at it, having been taught by the Lovely Son, who has nerves of steel and fast reflexes. I just have to have a little walk outdoors afterwards, breathing deeply, telling myself it's only shopping and greed, so get a grip.

When the chosen donor brooch arrived, it looked rather elderly and pathetic too, but had a striking resemblance to how M's Claw may have looked 20 years ago before baldness struck and toe-amputation occurred. I duly packed it off to Mr D the jeweller, with a polite letter and my contact details. And then I forgot about it again for a long time. Mrs Short Term Memory Loss meets the Claw of Forgetfulness... anyway, this time Mr D had assured me that he would let me know how he was getting on with the job.

Several prompts later, Mr D having an inordinate number of foreign holidays for a man of his advanced years, the postman brought me a little parcel. It was perhaps the most gruesome package I have ever received, and I opened it with the fire tongs and leather gardening gloves. Then without showing the cats, I rewrapped it with a note and sent it on to patient and unquestioning M, back in her home in Toronto. It could be her next birthday present, I said.

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