Or more accurately, with her in my hand. I have owned Hilary McKay’s World Book Day 2005 short book about Rose for an absolute age. I don’t know when or where or even why I got it. This was before I discovered and fell in love with the Casson family.
I have also been reading this 50 page book for a Very Long Time. That’s not because I’m slow, but because it’s a perfect book. Sometimes I need a very small, but reliably wonderful book to grab when I leave the house and require something to calm me down and make me feel better without lugging a huge tome of a book along. The Flying Feeling fits in a pocket, and even in my bumbag. (I know that sounds to Americans the way fanny pack does here…)
It also wants to be very very good. So basically, I don’t want to waste such a perfect book for when it’s not needed. I’ve read the first chapter several times, and this week I was ready to go further.
I mean, who would not want to be accompanied by little Rose wetting herself in class, as you are waiting to part with some blood? (Anyone squeamish; leave now!) Very little blood, but I like hanging on to it. Not my mind so much as the rest of my body. I know I have blood. But none to give nurses when they come looking for it.
So as I was enjoying the post-wetting agonies of Rose and the possibility that her darling Mum had been murdered in the shed in the dark, I was led from blood-taker to blood-taker with as little success (for them) as that day in 1992 which scarred Son for life.
It’s always best to lie down, as I have a distinct dislike for fainting off chairs. When I finally ended up in New GP’s room I discovered a berth thingy that clearly was an antique, just there for effect. It was also piled high with picture frames and countless other bits of junk. Which the receptionist and New GP hurriedly had to shift…
Bet that added to my popularity. I obviously didn’t hold Hilary while the blood reluctantly trickled out, seeing as my arm was otherwise engaged, but her spirit was present.
And to avoid fainting by the zebra crossing outside I sat in the waiting room with Rose, recovering while she dashed down the road in the thunder storm, with dead hamsters behind her, or not.
Then I went home and came to the conclusion that I deserved the blood donor’s traditional treat of tea and biscuits. The Resident IT Consultant pointed out I had not parted with enough blood for this, but I still drank my tea with enjoyment. Then I allowed myself to finish The Flying Feeling as an extra special treat. Pin cushions are entitled to treats, some of the time.
OK, you can look now.
(If anyone could see their way to writing a few more books of this type to keep me afloat in times of need, I’d be obliged.)