Friday, 11 April 2008

Dentophobia and white vans

At last I know the word! Jacula, my favourite reader, supplied it. Now I'd like to know the word for fear of ants. Formicaphobia? If anyone can be bothered trekking right back to the start of this blog, I told the scary story of how my ant phobia began. I don't want to go into it now. It will keep me awake all night.
Mind you, I need to keep awake. My brother-in-law from Cumbria is staying the night but he rang from Bermondsey at 11.30 pm, so it's going to be at least 1 am before he stumbles, or tumbles, through the door. Poor old Mr Grumpy usually goes to bed at ten, and is currently propping his eyelids open with matchsticks, or the cat's claws, or something, as I don't drive and he is the one who will have to pick him up at the station, as we live 3 miles away from it, which is too far for even an experienced mountaineer and trekker like my bro-in-law to walk at 1 am after a 5 am start from Cumbria and all day spent in meetings, followed by a blowout dinner.
Had a bit of an synchronistic moment this morning. A man has called round a couple of times, asking to buy the rotting van in Mr G's front garden. Now, this van happens to belong to me because, way back somewhere in my last house move, Mr G thought it would work out cheaper to buy a van, move my stuff into storage in several goes, then sell it afterwards, rather than fork out hundreds of £s on removal men. £1300 later, I was the proud owner of a white transit.
Now, transits used to mean travelling to gigs and lying in the back on a mattress with the bass player, or the drummer, or, if I was really lucky, the lead guitarist (this is the 1960s I'm talking about!). And it was my band, too, most of the time.
But shortly after the purchase of the van it stopped working. Then Mr G had his strokes and since then, it has collected moss and rust. But this man really wants to buy it and today, while Mr G was out, he called again and we had a chat on the doorstep and it turns out that he has had a stroke too, same side as Mr G (right side) and all the same symptoms. It was an eyeopener. It gave me an insight, I can tell you, as he explained it in ways Mr G never could, about how bad-tempered and frustrated he gets, about how he can only concentrate on one thing at a time and goes crazy if he is interrupted, and gets words mixed up, and can't write, and gets cramps in his hand and sciatica-like pains, just like Mr G. But he is two years past his stroke, as opposed to 9 months for Mr G, and he is working again, having started a courier business which is why he needs a van.
Mr G says the van is his project for this summer. I can see the other guy helping him restore it. He says he'll call again in the hope of having a stroke chat with Mr G. I think it would be great for the two of them to compare symptoms like a couple of old women. And it would set my mind at rest, too, as I wouldn't have to worry that some common post-stroke symptom was a sign of something new and ghastly. So... let's hear it for a stroke recovery buddy system in the front garden. Sic Transit... Or sickTransit... ?


Jacula said...

Good guess, Hydra, but wrong. Myrmecophobia = fear of ants.

Now, what's this about you lying in the backs of vans on mattresses with sundry musicians?? It wasn't you who wrote 'Groupie' as Jenny Fabian, was it? :-)

I hope the man who wants to buy the van does return and is able to strike up a friendship with Mr. G. because it sounds like the van project could be good for both of them.

Incidentally, I've put a link to your blog on the sidebar on mine. Hope that's okay?

Jacula said...

I wouldn't be surprised if Formicaphobia is a fear of kitchen worktops.:-))

hydra said...

Thanks for putting a link to my blog into yours. If you tell me how to do links, I'll do the same! I used to e a music journalist and have my own folk rock band and we did a few gigs. My ex hubby was a singer and keyboard player in a band nobody's ever heard of. He suffered from chronic stage fright and used to hide behind the amplifiers to sing.
Your formica comment made me giggle!

hydra said...

What a weird word myrmecophobia is. What linguistic connection can that possibly have with my unfavourite insects?
No, it wasn't me who wrote Groupie. I only had, erm, sprees with two famous musos. One was a songwriter with many chart hits to his name and the other... no, anything I say may identify him, and both are married, so... shtum!