Friday, 12 July 2013

I can Move any Mushroom

As the more logical side of my brain gets siphoned off for the practicalities of the imminent move, I am left with a befuddled amoebic brain which struggles to put ideas together for the sake of this blog.
It has been a hectic time of late, going to Edinburgh to find a flat and dealing with the general upheaval of relocating. The desk on which my computer rests is under auction on Ebay, I walked into the bedroom after brushing my teeth, only to remember that the room is empty and the bed is now in another room.
For the kids it is harder as they don’t understand what is going on. My little one was most perturbed when the television, an oversized monster of the pre flat- screened TV days was hauled away the other day before his very eyes.
I don’t really know how someone like me, who chugs along in the quiet lane of life, and has a chronic fear of making decisions became a highly mobile person, and, by the way, I have to stress that is not upwardly mobile unfortunately, more like sideways.

I wish I could offer tips on how to relocate, but most of the time I have been muddling through and haven’t been much of a help to anyone. More often when I am supposed to be packing, I find my thoughts going off on a tangent:  Did you know, for example, that the biggest organism in the world is a mushroom? I was really knocked sideways by that fact, especially because it isn’t even a mushroom, as if you want to be pedantic about it a mushroom is just the fruit of a fungi! And here is then the most disturbing revelation: most of the year you cannot even see evidence of this organism as it grows underground! You may find yourself tripping along in the forests of Oregon delighting in the growth of delicate even pretty (but probably poisonous and really nasty) mushrooms but little do you know that below your feet is growing a fungus of biblical proportions. Now that’s scary. (But a thought easier to dwell upon than moving home).

Here’s one tip though if you, like me, are relocating to Edinburgh. Alighting from the airport bus at Waverley station you may have a pounding headache, exacerbated by the bagpipe player standing strategically behind his captive audience at the traffic lights. Your son is hungry, but instead of going into the nearest fast food joint you think you know better. You know the streets of Edinburgh like the back of your hand, after all, you have been here like for what, five minutes? But instead you drag said hungry child around on a wild goose chase, trying to find a healthy eatery. You can even picture it, slices of carrot cake and a selection of delicious soups and sandwiches. Your quest takes you round in circles and finally through an uninspiring shopping centre. Your mood lightens, a sign promising a food court conjures up visions of a smorgasbord of culinary choice egging you on and on through the endless interconnected walkways. Tired, hungry and jetlagged (come on – the hour does make a difference!) you abandon yourself to the escalator which bears you ever upwards, ever hopeful.  

It may not surprise you that the food court didn’t turn out to be the worldly eaterie I had in mind, but a canteen style restaurant, serving up school dinner fare. All these years I had been defending British cuisine whilst living in Germany against a tirade of criticism and derision. To me, it seemed to be more a case of the pot calling the kettle black: in Germany, common fare can be anything from Met (raw mince meat toppings on rolls), the Currywurst to knuckle of pork. Hardly sophisticated, actually quite disgusting. Nevertheless, I felt myself literally eating my words as I edged along the counter holding my tray on a mission of damage limitation.

In the end a good plate of chips and beans, this is what we really did eat every day for school dinners at my school, was just what the doctor ordered. Taking our seats we joined the rest of the clientele, which had also been temporarily annexed from society. In little booths, which were trying to put a cheerful face on the tawdry feel of the place with their primary colour schemes and slogans on the wall beseeching you to “Chill” and “Relax”, sat defeated looking old ladies. Sat between two automatic children's rides, conversation became quite surreal. After every question I put to my son either Postman Pat chimed in, singing about his black and white cat or Iggle Piggle from In The Night Garden wanted to tell us that his opinion was that:

Yes, my name is Igglepiggle
Iggle piggle niggle wiggle diggle
Yes my name is Igglepiggle
Igglepiggle niggle wiggle wooooooooo

What with this and the jet lag, which was really in full force now, after all, it should have been elevenses now and not lunch, we were tipped over the edge into hysteria.

So what was my advice again about relocating to Edinburgh? Well, I have already forgotten, the amoebic brain, you know. However, I can say that in hindsight it all comes down to a matter of perspective. What do I mean by ‘it’? Well, I mean, where else in the world can you have a modest lunch whilst being serenaded by a Shakespearean actor? The words adorning the wall were right: The way Sir Derek Jacobi, who narrates the popular children's program In the Night Garden, enunciates his vowel sounds on 'wiggle wooooooooo' really did send a ‘chill’ right down my spine. I was rooted to the spot and that wasn’t just the effect of the tomato ketchup I had spilt on my chair.

And no, must get packing I have got a new home to go to....just time to google about that mushroom again, really fascinating, mushrooms.

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