Having just come out the other end of a bout with this year’s flu I am just happy to be feeling well again. Next year Dr. N I promise I WILL get the flu shot. I rarely get colds or flu because I rarely venture out into the world but this was a doozie!  Alan had it first and then me. On the plus side I did lose 18 pounds in 10 days but that’s probably not the way to do it.

So what is the title of this blog entry all about? As some of you know, my family generally consider me to be mad as a box of frogs and from time to time, I rather suspect I am. But for the most part I am still doing OK and holding the grass together.

When I was 14 we were living in Guadeloupe in the French West Indies. Beautiful place, two islands shaped like a butterfly. One volcanic, lush and green and the other coral, dry. Each lovely in their own way. Really expensive place though. I had experienced tornadoes, hurricanes, even the odd civil war in Nigeria, but never an earthquake until I went to Guadeloupe. The first time was a Christmas Day. I had just got there from boarding school in the UK and was having a hard time adjusting to the heat and humidity so I slept out on the veranda on Christmas Eve. The house was built into the side of a hill, the veranda on very high stilts with a swimming pool underneath, then the grounds sloped down to the beach. Lots of banana trees, it’s amazing how much you really don’t want to eat another banana when there are hundreds of them right there….. but as usual I am digressing. Anyway Christmas Eve our dog Prince was really restless too. Constantly pacing up and down. This was unusual because Prince’s usual attempt at exercise amounted to a slow wag of his docked tail at the most.

Christmas day arrived and my parents were hosting a party. There were about 30 or 40 people in the house and on the veranda. I was in the bedroom climbing into an evening dress, putting my hair up and generally titivating. I felt a low kind of rumble, like being on an Underground railway station when the train is still in the tunnel but coming your way. We had a really heavy wooden front door, I  came out of the bedroom and staggered a bit and put my hand on the door and it jerked my arm back. There was a kind of whoomph of soft warm air, just like you feel on the tube station as the train comes out of the tunnel. Then the shaking really increased. Dad said ‘Everyone outside.’ but for some daft reason my tiny brain registered ‘outside’ as the veranda. Fortunately I was swimming upstream by this time and so got swept out the front door by the other guests. Once outside we kind of stood about looking a bit lost, then there was another big shake and everyone sat down on the lawn. I remember kneeling and looking down at my turquoise evening gown and thinking how very silly this all seemed. I grabbed hold of the grass on either side of my knees and thought ‘As long as I can hold this bit together everything will be alright’. Then it was over though the after shocks continued for several days and the volcano on the other island had a bit of a burp.

Now I just think of it as a metaphor for my life, I’m still here, holding the grass together and everything is alright.

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