Magpies. Nice looking black and white birds who have a genuine love of all things shiny or birds with magical powers that can predict the future and warn of sinister happenings?
Being a superstitious type I'm going for the latter. You see I have just had a shocker of a last 24 hours. It's been coming for a while now according to my Magpie friends. We have 2 that frequent our garden and very nice to see the two of them it is as we all know seeing 2 signifies good luck according to the rhyme...one for sorrow, two for joy, three for a girl, four for a boy. This week however one of my two Magpies was on a bit of a mad mission to attract my attention, possibly with a view to warning me of my impending bad luck, and decided to fly straight into my (closed) patio door which resulted in him leaving a big yucky mark on the glass and more bizarrely falling back onto the grass in a complete daze! I wonder if he saw wee birds spinning round his head like in cartoons? Anyway there was no sign of the other one...one for sorrow then, and that was the start of my Magpie warnings.
Saturday saw me out in the garden hanging my washing. It was a lovely day remarkably warm and I spotted one of my Magpies flying about overhead. Despite my best efforts I didn't manage to find the other...one for sorrow again then and another omen from my Magpie friends! So later on Saturday evening I find myself with an itchy ear and grab a cotton bud to give it a wee scratch...only for the end of the cotton bud to come off in my ear! So there I am grabbing the tweezers and telling Better Half to get it out when he informs he he can't because he can't see it! It is well and truly stuck inside! So after exhausting all my options which included stamping my feet and pacing about saying "what the hell will I do now?" I realise I'm left with little option but to go and have the bloody thing removed with medical assistance. Saturday night, accident and emergency not what you want to be having to do. I am seen by the nurse who informs me she can't see it either and that I'll need to have an x ray to locate it but that it's best to come back in the morning for that. So it's home again to return the following morning.
Sunday arrives and I get the kids up and we head back up to A&E.On the way I spot a Magpie sitting in the middle of the road, and it sits there until I nearly run the bloody thing over. I look round wildly for another one but don't see any...one for sorrow yet again. It's 7.30 am when we arrive and I pull into where I am going to park the car and realise that I am stuck because some idiot has gone off and left their car in the middle of the road and there's no way to get round it. My only option is to reverse back round the bend and go in another route. Sounded alright at the time. However despite this being a manouvre I could most likely do with my eyes shut I hear the delicate sound of bang and realise I have managed to hit a van to the side of me. A man appears and smiles. I am swearing loudly to myself. The man is the driver of the van I've hit and as I get out of my car he says to me "Dinnie worry aboot it. You're alright there's nae damage tae the van. I'll get it shifted up on the pavement so you can get away past this eejits car that's in the road" so I'm thinking Phew. Then I hear the guys mate pipe up "Aye but ye might want tae tell her tae come roon and look at her ain car like...it's no looking so good". So I do and I am no longer thinking Phew. I am thinking Oh my fucking God, what the fuck???. One look has told me it's a whole new bumper...partly because it falling off at one side and partly because there is a lovely big scratch down one side of it. Ouch! The guy agrees there's no need to swap details. His van's fine (note to self...Ford Focus St's always come of worse when you hit a Transit van, you are not driving a Landcruiser anymore and therefore do not have big bumpers!) and he tells me that if we do swap details his work will try and blame every dent and scratch on his van on me...to be fair the van was in a bit of a nick anyway...and we leave it at that.
I finally get the car parked (it's making a noise like a helicopter now instead of it's usual plane engine noise!) in a space miles away from any other vehicles and head into A&E. I sit for the next hour and a half with a woman who got her leg plastered last night after breaking her ankle and has now noticed her toes are going black, a man who was best man at a wedding and got into a fight with one of the guests and has damaged his hand, 2 men who managed to do themselves a mischief the previous night while full of drink...one with a sore ankle and one with a sore arm and a young girl who has fallen off the skateboard as well as a couple of others. I finally get my x ray and the offending cotton bud end is located only for the Doc to tell me that she can't reach it because and I quote "you have ears like a child's, they are tiny and very narrow inside". I do have quite wee ears as it happens. Anyway turns out that the adult size thingy they use to look into you ears doesn't fit in mine so she needs to get a childs one. She can now see in a bit better but still can't reach it. The only way this little bugger is being shifted is by wetting it with the hope it will expand enough to let her grab it! So now I'm getting a syringe full of saline shoved in my ear. My mood is not a good one after my car fiasco so I'm not exactly chuffed at having freezing cold liquid squirted in my lugs! However it seems to do the trick and a few pokes and prods later the little cotton wool piece is gone from my ear. Some words of caution about looking for discharge and how my ear is a bit red and sore inside and I'm sent on my way.
We head back to the car and drive home (sounding like a helicopter again) and fuck me what do I see as I pull into the driveway? One fucking Magpie sitting on my fence. I'm not having it and politely tell it to piss off. Of course I am well aware of what impending sorrow it is forewarning me of this time...Geoff coming home from work and his inevitable reaction to my car's good looks being destoyed. I inform the kids that Daddy is likely to be in a very bad mood when he gets in but they have an idea to combat the problem...they decide we should glue the bumper back in place and then fill in the scratch mark with a blue felt tip pen, Chloe even tells me she has a blue glittery one just like the colour of my car...aren't kids cute? So they go off out to play and I spend the next 2 hours pacing about like a women waiting to go to the gallows.
Eventually Geoff's car appears and I begin silently praying that he walks up the drive on the drivers side and so will not see the damage before he gets inside. It all goes to plan. However he takes one look at me and says "What's wrong? What's happened?" Fucking Man Radar again. I tell him I love him and need to speak to him about something. He asks "What have you done? How much has it cost or is it going to cost me?" I smile weakly and say "It's bad. It's very, very bad" to which he replies in an instant "What have you done to the car?" He opens the front door and looks at the car but you can't really see the damage from the front so he closes it again and looks at me. I am being very silent. "Have you knocked the TV over?" (because obviously with the world cup starting in a week this would be very serious because one needs a 42 inch TV on which to watch it!). I shake my head and tell him he might want to look at the car again...
Fast forward an hour or so. Surprisingly there is no shouting. There is no big argument. There are a few sighs which obviously mean "fucking women" and as he is on his knees inspecting the damage there is a wee statement of "fucking hell, you don't do things by halves". I seem to be unable to control myself from smiling and bizarrely Geoff decides to smile as well. So it's all good. I'm an arse and he knows it so we're both happy-ish. So maybe the Magpie on the fence wasn't warning me of sorrow when he got in at all. It must have been something else. Which means I have more bad luck to come. Right fuck this, those Magpies need to go...anyone know where I can get an air rifle??