Sunny side up

I spent yesterday mostly sat in a train. If I wasn’t on the train I was heaving suitcases and sploshing through the rain that teems down in Bristol at this time of year.  I forgot my brolly. I wore blue suede shoes that acted as slow release sponges for the rest of the day and now sport rather unfetching tide marks.

I had a perfectly splendid day.

That’s because:

1. On the train I wrote uninterrupted for three guilt free hours.

2. I spent the whole day with the Textiliste and part of it with the Vet and FoV (No. 1) (Friend of Vet).

3. I spent time in a city I love, where I first fell in love and where I feel love is always in the air. Even when it’s absolutely hosing down.

So clouds and silver linings. Mostly silver linings shining through a slightly grubby kapok covering.

It’s how you see it, isn’t it? Perspective.

2014-12-11 15.49.28

Maybe this caused it?

When I came back for my recent travels I found I have an inguinal hernia. Not life threatening, not even painful – at least not yet. But it will necessitate me having an operation and a general anaesthetic (apparently the keyhole procedure requires me to keep still, so a sedative and local won’t do – I think I’m quite pleased actually).

One in four men will acquire one of these dandy little bulges, like a cute little purse just inside the hip. This happens because we decided it was a neat idea to walk upright back in the day. If ever there was a case for showing the  unintelligent design of evolution it’s the delivery method of the male testes and its subsequent tendency to let your stomach try and follow after. Too much information? Soz.

Anyway, I am now the proud (sic? sick?) possessor of another example of the fallibility of the human body as the years wither and condemn. And the silver lining? Well, it’s ripe for a good old giggle, isn’t it? Anything involving the testes is, after all.  If you don’t believe me, here is the late great Robin Williams explaining why.

You see, my inner thirteen year old and those of my family and friends are not about to pass up a snigger fest. Which is healthy and good. After all who gets to wear a truss these days? It’s permitted lycra. Magic pants for the Homme D’un Certain Age. At least it isn’t some bland malfunction, like atrophying cartilages or arthritic fingers, which are noteworthy for being without note – just commonplace.

I’m lucky like that. Take my one chronic problem – proctalgia fugax – which manifests itself in a sharp uncomfortable pain that can wake me up with a start when it strikes in the night and thereafter continues with the sort of deep background throbbing that denies further sleep, at least until it eases off or some decent painkillers kick in. So what is this complaint? Well, to help me understand the specialist described it to me as a spasming anus. I ask you. It’s not an ailment it’s a bloody comedy routine. The muscles that once controlled the same scent glands that cause the canines of this world to plug into each other in their less than appealing version of the Summer of ’69 can spasm as a protective measure; well like anything that grips hard and won’t let go, especially if there’s nothing there to grip on, it can be bloody painful.

Perspective. I get to laugh at it, to laugh as I tell people why I feel a bit washed out. Why I can sit here, typing and wincing in a multi-layered sequence. There’s no cure, but equally nothing that will knock me off this mortal treadmill quicker than that planned by whatever bizarre and capricious deity who controls my destiny.

I suppose when Mum became pregnant with me her eggs were sunny side up because, whatever the world throws out, I believe there’s not a lot you can do about it except try and keep laughing. As my old gran might have malaprop’d: ‘Don’t let the paint dry under your feet, dears’.

The world can be grim; whether Nous Sommes Charlie or not, whether you believe in the rehabilitation of offenders or that convicted rapists should not be allowed back into  high profile sport like Football, you can’t keep staring at your shoes but you have to look back up sometime; you have to seek some sun on your face and take in the horizon. There’s a reason why the smile is when the mouth turns up at the edges. There little points to the future. Look up, that’s where forward is. That’s where we are going and let’s make it as bright as we can.


About TanGental

My name is Geoff Le Pard. Once I was a lawyer; now I am a writer. I've published several books: a four book series following Harry Spittle as he grows from hapless student to hapless partner in a London law firm; four others in different genres; a book of poetry; four anthologies of short fiction; and a memoir of my mother. I have several more in the pipeline. I have been blogging regularly since 2014, on topic as diverse as: poetry based on famous poems; memories from my life; my garden; my dog; a whole variety of short fiction; my attempts at baking and food; travel and the consequent disasters; theatre, film and book reviews; and the occasional thought piece. Mostly it is whatever takes my fancy. I avoid politics, mostly, and religion, always. I don't mean to upset anyone but if I do, well, sorry and I suggest you go elsewhere. These are my thoughts and no one else is to blame. If you want to nab anything I post, please acknowledge where it came from.
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28 Responses to Sunny side up

  1. Jenni Le pard says:

    That’s my papa!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. proctalgia fugax…I’m pretty sure I’ve got one of those in my garden? 🙂 Geoff that sounds painful and a hernia too? I promise I will NOT call you ‘Lumpy’ should you care to visit this year.


  3. Annecdotist says:

    I went on an excellent comedy writing course at the weekend (yes, I was surprised too) where we talked about how a lot of humour stems from the body and its malfunctions – I think it’s the potential for embarrassment that makes us laugh. Hope yours remains at that level.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. lucciagray says:

    Wonderful post, Geoff! Heart warming , sad and funny, wise and silly, as life is itself. So many gems here. I loved the metaphors you have a gift for, such as mortal treadmill and looking down at our shoes. The best thing about getting older is definitely getting wiser and funnier. Although I have only known you for a short time, I’m sure you, like good rioja, have experienced these positive aspects of the passing of time. Luckily we are in good hands in the medical profession At least in the western world, so I’m sure everything will work out 🙂 keep writing. I love reading your posts:)


    • TanGental says:

      Thanks Luccia. Yes aging has its compensations, especially having a wearing purple mentality. And what a lovely compliment, me and a good Rioja. The last one was half boy half Labrador. And the specialist assures me it is straightforward. So here’s hoping.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Sherri says:

    Ouch Geoff…hope you feel better soon. Gotta keep laughing, no matter what. My dad always says to me ‘keep smiling kid’. That used to annoy me when he would tell me that after having learnt of his recent ‘antics’ but somehow, it worked. Sunny side up…love that 🙂 And train rides are bliss at times like these. So happy for your perfectly splendid day just down the road from moi 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Cindi says:

    Ouch. But wonderful sunny-side up attitude!


  7. Kristen says:

    Always love way you paint the silver lining on things that would trip up most others–you use a wide brush stroke and humor. Splendid. I hope the surgery isn’t too awful (someone in my family had that surgery too, was pretty easy it seemed), and that you can back to more snigger fests shortly thereafter!


  8. kploetz says:

    Oh my word. Please forgive all the typos in my comment. More coffee needed ASAP!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. That sounds a nasty hernia, Geoff, and I wish you well when the time for it to be removed comes.
    I love your take on your rainy day and how things such as leaky shoes and having to pull a suitcase around should not matter, and to just concentrate on all the nice things the day may bring along such as all that wonderful time you had to write while making your journey.


  10. willowdot21 says:

    Right that proctalgia fugax sounds like a real bitch! You have my sympathies! Now the husband had an operation for an an inguinal hernia 10th Dec, just before he went down for his op they informed him that they had discovered that he also needed a Hydrocele repair, which necessitated not the keyhole surgery he was expecting but open surgery resulting in a 5inch scar!
    He is on the mend but it has not been a walk in the park! Re your sentence ‘One in four men will acquire one of these dandy little bulges, like a cute little purse just inside the hip.’ He says he wishes he was one of the three who did not f###ing acquire one!!
    I am with you we all need to keep looking for the fun in life or we may as well just give up now!! 🙂


    • TanGental says:

      Oh bugger! That’s grim. The specialist warned me I might have two and he’ll ‘rummage around’ while he’s in there. I think that’s meant to be a cool bedside manner but it sounds more like someone hunting for a wedding hat in the attic. And yes who gives a flying f*** when you’re the wrong end of the statistic. 6% percent unemployed but if you’re one of the six it might as well be 100%. Que sera, sera as they say in my tapas bar when the Rioja tastes like armpit juice.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Norah says:

    I like your perspective, silver lining and sunny-side up. Sorry to hear of your little inconvenience and hope that it all works out well with a speedy recovery and lots of stories to tell (no graphic surgery details for me though please!) I think 3 hours of writing, plus the company, is the best I could see in the train journey. Glad you enjoy. A little more sedate than the bungee I believe! 🙂


  12. Charli Mills says:

    Just remember when you go in to see the doc not to get a full system reset! 😉 I agree with Anne–the body and its malfunctions and embarrassments are a gold mine for humor. Good thing you didn’t want to write stuffy serious prose! Keep writing around those silver linings.


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