...is the title of a self help book my mother mentions from time to time. It is what she sometimes says when I ask for advice. It annoys me because I know it's what I should do, it's just difficult! I suppose I always hope she'll come up with an easier solution, a bit like being a child again. I think most adults want this from time to time, or when you stop wanting this does it mean you're a grown up?
I'm an anxious sort of person. I'm not entirely sure where this came from because as a child I'm sure I was irritating as hell. I wanted to be the next Bonnie Langford and used to dance and sing all the time. I used make dens out of the old foam sofa and jump off the top onto the cushion from the papasan chair. In part I blame educational safety information films that I was made to watch. I could have done without most of these - as an intelligent girl I knew that train tracks, fires and farms were dangerous (especially growing up in one of the most rural counties!). I did not need to see people get electrocuted (trains), run over (trains), beheaded (head out of train window), burned (fires), suffocating (fires), maimed by machinery (farms) and drowing (in a slurry pit). My mum telling me not to do such things without graphic representation would have been enough, absolutely no need to fuel my overactive imagination.
In day to day life I probably face the fear and do it anyway without even realising it. If I do realise then I often don't give myself a pat on the back because it is something that had to be done, and everyone has to do it. But not today!
My friend Hayley-Jane had mentioned that her cat Missy had been playing in the garden and had unsuccessfully been trying to catch butterflies. I later looked out the window and saw the little black cat, that I have nicknamed Salem, chasing something in part of the closed off school playground (wall repair works due to extreme cold). From a distance I guessed it was a large bee.
About an hour later I decide it is time to do some dishes, so head downstairs to put Rammstein on so the task isn't so unbearable. There is Marwood jumping around madly chasing something. An ENORMOUS bee! I am scared of bees and wasps. Quite a normal phobia as they sting. Wasps are beasts of Satan; bees just bother me if they get too close because I know that they'll fly away once they realise I am not a flower. I wonder if it is the same bee that Salem was chasing.
I manage to call Marwood away from batting it so he doesn't get stung, and shut him out the room. I look to windowsill and bee is not dead. I climb onto sofa to open the window in the hope that it will fly out. It does not. I go into the kitchen to deal with some of the washing up, run away and hatch a plan.
Through the kitchen window I can see through the living room window to the sill. And the bee. It is wiggling its back legs over its behind, much like you see a fly doing. I wonder if Marwood has injured it, and also whether if injured they commit bee seppuku by pulling out their own stings. Bee becomes still. I go to see if bee is dead. Bee is still alive and looks as if it is having palpitations; the only bit moving is the back end moving subtly up and down. I am both happy and sad. Although I still wouldn't really want to deal with bee corpse it is preferable to live bee, but they are apparently becoming endangered and I like honey and don't want the world to end.
I go back to the kitchen to further consider plan and wash up. I decide the traditional removal of creepy crawlies of glass-over-the-top-with-cardboard-underneath will suffice. This means I will have to get closer to bee than I would like. But my only other option is to wait until my friend Jan comes round to knit at 7, which is more than seven hours away, and I might lose bee in the meantime. I would much rather know where bee is. So, I have to deal with bee myself.
At the sink I finalise the plan: glass over bee, may as well be a dirty glass as I'll want to wash it afterwards anyway. Cardboard under bee, take glass containing bee outside and release hoping it will be so pleased by freedom it will just crawl/fly away without wanting to sting me. As I have very sensitive skin I wear gloves to wash up, and couldn't help but think:
WITHNAIL: ...Keep back. Keep back. The entire sink's gone rotten. I don't know what's in here.
A space for the saucepan is cleared. MARWOOD stares at it while WITHNAIL pours water from the kettle and envelops himself in a cloud of super-heated steam. A volcanic growl comes from the fog. Bellowing loudly, WITHNAIL passes at speed with his hand in the air.
MARWOOD: I told you. You've been bitten.
WITHNAIL: Burnt. Burnt. The fucking kettles on fire.
MARWOOD: There's something floating up.
WITHNAIL paces back into the kitchen. A voice laced with revenge.
WITHNAIL: Fork it.
MARWOOD: No. No. I don't wanna touch it.
WITHNAIL: You must. You must. That shit'll bore through the glaze. We'll never be able to use the dinner service again.
He tugs at a drawer stuffed with domestic items.
Produces a tool.
Here. Get it with the pliers.
MARWOOD: No. No. Give me the gloves.
Rubber gloves are handed across. WITHNAIL stares as they go on.
WITHNAIL: That's right. Put on the gloves. Don't attempt anything without the gloves.
(Please note that my sink had not gone rotten, and that I named my cat after the 'I' character, he cannot talk. Well not English anyway).
So donned in my gloves I opened all doors between me and outside, grabbed a glass waiting to be washed and went into the living room trying to find something to slide underneath. At last I found a use for one of the many Conservative election flyers which had been put through my door. Who needs the Power of Grayskull when you have the power of Rammstein! Also quite aptly this track came on, and I had my CD player on shuffle:
Sehnsucht versteckt (longing hides)
sich wie ein Insekt (like an insect)
im Schlafe merkst du nicht (while asleep you don't notice)
dass es dich sticht (that it stings you)
Bee caught, Tory crap placed underneath, out into the yard and FREEDOM! Bee just flew right away so obviously hadn't been too injured by Marwood's paws and claws. And just to prove that I am not overexaggerating, I was brave enough to take some photos once bee was captive.
Sehnsucht lyrics copyright Rammstein, English translation copyright Jeremy Williams, from Herzeleid.
Withnail & I script copywright Bruce Robinson.