Limping forwards

Sunday, November 12th, 2006

When I fell on Friday I didn't hear the heavy, muffled sound, like a thick bar of chocolate being snapped in its wrapper, that heralded my broken foot of a few years ago. That was some small consolation as I floundered on the ground in the dark, sick with shock and unable to stand, wondering whether I'd have to crawl back to the office on hands and knees. I'd fallen victim to a lack of street lighting and a pothole big enough to relocate the Eden Project to, wrenching my left foot to what must have been the limit of its endurance. And believe me, it hurt.

In the end I pulled myself upright, hopped back to the office, and sat unseen on some garden furniture while I took stock. No chocolate-bar noise = nothing broken. Grazed knee = painful irritant at most. No torn clothing, though one boot was badly gouged. Result: drive home and count yourself lucky. So I did, and found that I couldn't bring myself to top 50mph on any of the motorways, much to the irritation of a Polish trucker who had greater ambitions. Now, a day later, the foot has swelled up like a balloon and gifted me a limp that might politely be called a conversation piece.

Plenty of opportunity for conversation, too, as we continued our house hunting and then dropped in on my parents. We looked at two houses today, but neither turned out to be goers: one was large but bland and the other was wonderfully individualistic but impractically small. Ah well.

Of course, we want the impossible – space, privacy, lots of rooms, parking for two cars, a garden big enough to let tortoises roam while still allowing plenty of space for a vegetable plot, with a good rail link to London (my home town in North Hertfordshire is where we are mainly looking) and of course within our budget. Oh – and one more important criterion: the vendor must be prepared to actually sell it. We had, in fact, found somewhere that met every single one of our requirements, at the price of needing a lot of work, but our making an offer so unnerved the owner that she promptly took it off the market. Nothing we've visited since has quite hit the spot – though we were tempted by another place that looked good until we inspected the alley at the foot of the garden and found it ankle-deep in empty beer cans.

Life, in fact, has thrown a succession of huge things at us in a quite overwhelming manner. I can't even begin to list them, but the weight of the world on our shoulders has been such that writing about it has seemed trivial and impossible. Hence the silence in this blog, which celebrated its fourth birthday (in its DeadJournal form) a few days ago with no fanfare and without pomp and ceremony – or even jelly and ice cream. I don't want to stop writing, but I'm going through a patch where actually sitting down and doing it seems nearly impossible. I have taken one positive step, though – removed myself from Lib Dem Blogs. I realised, in the end, that being on it was a cause of my creative block – I was feeling a responsibility to be serious and sonorous, and to think great thoughts, and that prevented me from just posting as I used to. So now that's gone, at least for the time being. When I've finished migrating all my posts and comments since November 2002 to the newest version of this journal then I'll put back a feed that just includes any political posts I make. Until then, the Lib Dems will just have to manage without me.

It's not like I could deliver leaflets anyway, with this foot…

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I'm Andy Darley. Sometimes I want to say things. This is where I do it.