It’s official, I’m eccentric. And not just in your classic, bats-in-the-belfry grandma kind of way but hobo eccentric. The dusty, unkempt ‘who let her out of her cage?’ type that walks round the village in shoes a size too large and crumpled clothes once a month and about whom nobody knows anything.
Okay, so you knew I was a bit bats already. But I didn’t, so bear with me here.
Today I ventured out of my one-mile to civilisation house, on foot, and found myself being followed around by an anxious shopkeeper after I picked up a teddy bear and went toddling towards the door with it in search of gift wrap.
‘Can I help you with anything?’
‘Help me?’ I’m thinking, as I watch her almost tumble over a stack of boxes in her haste to catch me up. There is no one in this tiny shop but me. If I needed help, I’d have said, casually and at normal volume, (given she was only two metres away), ‘can you help me?’ And it’s funny that she didn’t think I needed any help as I was browsing around for at least five minutes beforehand, until I picked up this…
Oh, wait a minute…
I look like a shoplifter. Me, who, after heading out to attend a writer workshop in Glasgow found myself stuck without any train fare home because the ATM machine said I couldn’t have any more of my overdraft today thank you. Who, while walking around Central Station wondering what on earth to do besides cry, picked up a ten pound note that a teenage girl skipping along in front of me had dropped, tapped her on the shoulder and handed it back. True. Story.
I went into my local post office-come-gift-shop to buy two birthday cards and presents, and ended up never being left alone for a second until I had paid for the goods. But here’s the stinger – I’m pretty sure this shop owner recognised me. I was in there a fortnight ago, posting ‘The New Mrs D’ manuscript off to my editor. I was in there last month, posting ten parcels of goods I had sold on eBay, holding every tut-tutty person behind me in the queue up. She raised her eyebrows at me and my held-together-with-masking-tape offerings – more than once – and then we laughed as she explained I’d have to walk all the way back home with the heaviest parcel because the edges were coming apart, right where I’d etched on the shiny tape in black marker pen, ‘PLEASE HANDLE WITH CAR’. Well, she laughed. I sort of ‘sighed a smile’ before waving my sorry to her and back to the queue of tutters. I later discovered, after staring at a weird ‘3’ for ages on the palm of my hand wondering if I’d been marked by some sort of secret society, that this act would have revealed the missing ‘E’ to the somewhat disgruntled post office crowd, further placing me in their approach with caution category.
I live in quite a small, rural village and have been going into this post-office-come-gift-shop, granted with monthly intervals, for around SIX YEARS. She knows me alright. And she thinks I’m a scruffy, ne’er-do-well.
So it has dawned on me that I am, in fact, your quintessential eccentric. I do venture out walking the dogs in fields around the house, but when it comes to tottering about in my village, where everybody knows everybody, I admit I’m a rare sight. My brother, who also lives here, once gave me a lift and within ten minutes someone had called his partner to ask her if she knew he was driving around with a mystery blonde in his car. I did enjoy being considered someone’s mystery blonde for a while though…
So I’m signing out now as this post is already too long, you’re tired and anyway, I’m weird, remember?
If you enjoy reading me, even thought I am a bit dusty and strange, I have a book out soon. It’s called ‘The New Mrs D’ and you can click here to join my mailing list . Then you will be enlisted in my secret society and branded with backward E’s.
Oh and you’ll get an email telling you when my book is out so that you can buy it and help me buy shoes that fit.
Thank you for reading 🙂
You can now and PRE-ORDER THE NEW NEW MRS D HERE