Friday, May 16, 2008

falls diorama

Three rows of dog design plates on the wall, four to a row. Newfoundland, Alsatian, Labrador, others.

A partially collapsed bookcase, a precarious herring-bone of spines: David Attenborough’s Life on Earth; A History of the Second World War; The RHS Horticultural Encyclopaedia; tatty romantic novels; three bronze darts trophies.

A watercolour – country scene – slipped askew in a chipped, cheap gold-leaf frame of flowers and leaves.

A slate mantelpiece where, amongst the piles of papers and letters, two bronze horses, one grazing, one rearing up, either side of a four-by-six colour photo where the tones have all leached away over the years. A man and a woman? Sitting at a table, looking up into the lens with their heads together, smiling. One of them may be wearing black glasses; the rest is lost.

A series of six plaster of Paris heads at an angle either side of the mantelpiece, three US Cavalry on the left, three Indians on the right. The Indian Chief is snarling; the Cavalry Captain is shouting.

A TV stacked-about with videos and cases. A stubby bronze candle holder, doubling as an ashtray, resting on the top.

Black bin liners splitting open with books and magazines.

A flowery sofa, partially buried beneath a drift of letters, calendars, free newspapers, shopping lists, prescription sheets, boxes of old electricals, two more bronze horses with their legs sticking in the air, a slipper.

Behind the sofa, a three feet long toy panda lying on its back, staring up beneath the dust with a glassily over-stuffed expression.

A pale pine sideboard. On the surface, amongst more anonymous clutter, a bronze tyrannosaurus rex rearing up behind a bronze man on a motorbike, souvenir of the TT 1962.

An elderly woman lying on her back, gradually waking up at the foot of the stairs where she exhausted herself trying to make the hallway phone.


loveinvienna said...

You have an utterly remarkable eye for detail. I always see what you see and that is a sign of a good writer, in my eyes anyway. Enough with the compliments already? :o) I hope she was ok, the poor thing. Must have been terrifying for her.

Look after yourself Spence - continue turning the girls upside down :D (my Dad used to do that with me :D )
Liv xxx

Spence Kennedy said...

Thanks, LiV.
She was ok - a little bruised where she fell but nothing serious. Getting to the stage where she really needed to move into a residential home. I think she knew that, but had been hanging on for as long as possible in her own home (as we all would). I didn't mention the fantastic neighbour, which was a shame. She'd climbed over the back wall to get access in through the unlocked kitchen door. And then felt guilty that she hadn't heard her calling out sooner.
Thanks for all your encouragement

loveinvienna said...

You're welcome :o) I'm pleased the lady had someone nearby who cares. It's a crying shame when people lose their ability to look after themselves merely because the body can't keep up with the brain. We have a lot of people like that at the care home - completely compos mentis but the old hips and knees have given in. They're always fun to talk to :D Some great stories.

Liv xxx

Anonymous said...

Really enjoyed your description! Beautiful.

cogidubnus said...

Love that writing style ... particularly the kick in the pants at the end, (very effective as long as it's not overdone)...

But you really do have the knack of picking out the best and most effective parts to build up a description...

Spence Kennedy said...

Thx v much DS & Cogi!
I know what you mean about overdoing the dramatic ending. I think I need to get some kind of alerter on the laptop. Every time I'm tempted to tack on a sting, an alarm could sound (something like a raspberry).