How to get your own personal peacock – Susan Morrison

It all started when it slowly dawned on me that I wasn’t ­talking to my husband. It was actually a Fringe poster of someone who looked faintly like a mildly grumpy Yorkshireman with a goatee. Obviously, I won’t say who. She might get upset.

Friday, 6th September 2019, 6:00 am
Sight-challenged cartoon character Mr Magoo could get a pet for emotional support  theyre a thing in America you know

Clearly, the specs weren’t working. I couldn’t remember the last time I’d had my eyes tested, which I figure is a bad thing. Although when I look at the disgorged passengers of the clown car currently running the country I sometimes wonder.

So, off I trot round the Kirkgate. On the way, I get distracted by two women screaming at each other about their joint love rival, who was sprawled in a doorway like he was Jacob Rees-Mogg on the front benches. He even looked a bit like him, if Jacob had gone for a whole new look down the urban grime fashion route of over-sized trainers, no socks, jogging bottoms, and a t-shirt that said Judas Priest Mercenaries of Metal Tour ‘88 over a grinning skull wreathed with grey and red roses. At least I thought it was roses, until a sharp downwind breeze told me it was last night’s curry, both spilled and regurgitated.

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Still turning over how I’d dress Boris if I got the chance, I wandered into the eye shop. There was a very pleasant young woman standing at one of those reception desks with an iPad and smiley face. Good start. “Yes, how can I help you today?”

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“I need to get my eyes tested, it’s been ages. I think they might be getting worse,” I said, squinting ­desperately at her name badge. I figure if they are wearing one, we should get a bit of use out of it. Might start sporting one meself. Something along the lines of Susan Morrison. Not a Clue Who You Are, But Happy to Chat.

“Yes,” said Sinead. Or it might have been Sandra. “Your eyes are bad.”

“Gosh,” I said, “That’s amazingly perceptive of you.”

“Yes,” she smiled “You’re in the bank. The opticians are over there.”

“Right,” said I. Obviously, I had been knocked off course by the knock-off pavement Jeremy Kyle show. That’s my excuse and I am sticking to it.

I bumbled into the opticians, and during the consultation, it was widely agreed that I had been a Very Naughty Girl and that I should have been back yonks before. My eyes are mildly shot but can be fixed with something called a varifocal lens, and, no, I don’t get a dog.

Mind you, these days you don’t need to be disabled to qualify for a helpful animal by your side. God bless America, who have come up with the concept of the Emotional Support Animal. Categorising your pet monkey or small horse as an ESA means you get to take Bozo or Mini-Champion the Wonder Horse on planes, trains and buses.

One woman has an emotionally supportive peacock. I want one. ­Imagine that in the Kirkgate. ­Obviously, few, if any, of these animals are cats. They just don’t care enough. I mean, they are supportive. One of my cats has developed the habit of lying next to me when I have a spot of chemo weariness and purring loudly. It may be that she thinks this is comforting, but I am not fooled. For one thing, she sounds like a two-stroke engine, and secondly, I know darned well that it’s just because madam has found a sucker having a lie down and thought she’d join in. Nope, I want an emotionally supportive peacock.

Time to trumpet the voluntary work at the Western

The Women’s Royal Voluntary Service has been rebranded as the Royal Voluntary Service and has allowed chaps into the ranks. They trundle about the chemo ward at the Western dispensing tea, coffee and biscuits.

They are a cheery bunch and letting the guys volunteer is a great thing. It gets them out of the house and active in the community and this can only be for the good.

A lot of the blokes seem to be men on their own now, not that they would ever burden patients with that. I can’t help but notice just how comfortable these blokes are being bossed relentlessly by the Grand Dames of the old WRVS. Perhaps it brings back happy memories of long days in B&Q.

They do great, unsung work, bless ‘em.

Utterly furious

So, aside from the resurfacing, the utility companies and the plain weird holes that just appear, we now have massive road closures for a film shoot. Very odd that they should have chosen to film Fast and Furious 9 here in Edinburgh when most of our driving could be categorised as Slow and Scunnered. Perhaps we should line the streets for the filming and see if we can pick up a tips for driving through congested traffic. Or on top if it.