I’m a bit cock-a-whoop at the moment, you’ll have to forgive me, but after 34 years (I kid you not) when I’ve not been able to smell anything, I’ve got my sense of smell back! I didn’t expect it at all and it’s quite extraordinary because it’s returned as a result of taking massive doses of steroids – and no, I’m not taking up shot-putting or kick-boxing, I’m just taking the tablets.
At the start of it, they knocked me out a bit and made me feel extremely sick, but my doctor said she could put paid to that and told me to come back to the surgery where she prescribed me something to take the sickness away. My lovely grand-daughter/amanuensis, drove me down the very next morning and as I got out of the car I realised that I could smell petrol. Not the most salubrious of smells to celebrate the return of the sense if smell but it felt miraculous. We walked in, past the old peoples’ home and I could smell stale fat. Wowee! By the time we got home clutching my packet of pills, I had become accustomed to the fact that I could smell all sorts of things and spent the rest of the day walking from one lovely smell to another! Talcum powder, perfume, clean washing, mince pies in the oven baking. It was blissful and still is. I wake up in the morning now sniffing the air, I can’t wait for Spring and the return of wallflowers, roses and lilac.
So any of you are in West Sussex and you see some crazy, old woman walking around sniffing things with an ecstatic expression on her face – it will be me!
Back in the dim and distant past, when I was a teenager, artists’ models were said to be ‘taking up an attitude’ when they posed. It sounded difficult and wearying because they obviously had to hold their position completely still for as long as they could. But the idea of turning your body into a sort of statue intrigued me and I used to try it out sometimes to see how long it would be before my arms started to ache.
Nowadays the description swims into my mind, when I’m flicking channels trying to find some TV that might interest me and unexpectedly find myself watching pretty girls with sinuous bodies and long hair writhing and putting on an act as the sexiest thing you ever saw. It makes me feel sad that lovely girls have to do this sort of thing to make a living. But then so many people are taking up attitudes and putting on an act for all manner of reasons that I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised. Most of our politicians do it blatantly all the time, child abusers are past masters at it. Actors do it advisedly of course and know exactly what they are doing so for them, it is admirable. But sometimes I yearn to see an honest, open reaction expressed on an honest, open face. Which is why I found the film ‘Suffragettes’ so moving and beautifully handled and daringly expressed.
The politicians we see in the film were oily and dishonest, the police were massively brutal, but the Suffragettes were a revelation, poor, downtrodden, under-paid, exploited, persecuted, made to suffer, but they blazed with magnificent purpose. I came out of the cinema warmed by their fire and full of admiration for them, they were brave, extraordinary women.
If you haven’t already seen this film, do treat yourself to a ticket. The story will live with you for days.