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Posts tagged ‘springs 2’

Bizarrely random and inexplicable emotional response

It is so good to be home. As we drove up Taranaki Road, Husband said, “Isn’t it funny how this house feels more like home than our place in The Springs ever did?” The sentiment did not make me spontaneously chortle aloud, but I gave him a sympathy laugh. Personally, I would be more inclined to call it ‘weird’ or ‘a bizarrely random and inexplicable emotional response’.

Perhaps ‘funny’ has that covered.

In Dubai, we performed a drive-by on our house. We had attempted to make physical contact with our tenants, but they quite actively didn’t want to see us. Maybe they were nervous about what comprised physical contact. I was referring to a handshake; maybe fingertips brushing around a cup of tea. Certainly not full coitus. I don’t know, maybe they were confused.

As we drove in the security gate of Springs 2, I braced myself for a bitter tide of nostalgia, with eddies of longing and perhaps a vicious crosscurrent of regret.

We had trouble finding the house. Husband couldn’t remember the street number, although he knew how to get there. We used to recognize our villa by the neighbour’s full-size Indian flag hanging over his garage, mounted on an iron brace to deter thieves armed with industrial impact wrenches and a jackhammer. Said neighbour must have suffered a crisis of patriotism in the meantime, because the flag was gone.

The only other thing distinguishing our house from the rest used to be our cars parked in the drive: my GMC Yukon and/or Husband’s Chevy Lumina. Number 66 currently features a Nissan Patrol and a blue car.

I felt nothing. Although this is mainly a relief, it also makes me feel a bit sad

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Gym bunny

For a long time, I hadn’t the energy to heave myself off to the gym: the effort of programming the running machine was enough to wipe me out for the rest of the day. About three weeks ago, a persuasive layer of lard in the posterior region talked me into paying a visit.

Since I hadn’t been for a while, I took it easy. In other words, I worked out at 99.9% maximum heart rate instead of 100%.

Staggering into the car park after enough reps to make up for the previous three months, I was not in the mood for cycling home. What form of rogue pre-gym energy had induced me to take the bike in this heat? I considered calling Husband to ask him to collect me – but then I realised how much more guilty I could make him feel if I cycled home myself.

Now, as I wobbled out of the car park, a jogger passed me in the same direction. It was obviously a challenge. I considered it a rather feeble challenge since he was only jogging, while I was equipped with a top of the range mountain bike and reflector jacket with go faster stripes. I was confident of triumphing in a battle of wills – or speed, for that matter.

However, I had been cycling a good minute when I realised Running Man was pulling away. I speeded up, but the bastard must have been operating on a different gravity system. Pretty soon I was pedalling flat out, top speed, sweat exploding off me. I was gaining on Running Man inch by painful, sweaty inch. Finally, legs going like pistons, I nudged past him.

We came to a roundabout and Running Man totally cheated, weaving in and out between cars. My bicycle is not that manoeuvrable – or maybe I haven’t totally figured out how to operate it yet (I’m a while off cycling across ceilings and balancing it on artichoke hearts and doing somersaults over railings and suchlike).

By the time I got off the roundabout, Running Man was at least six cacti and a desert rose ahead of me. He thought he had me; I could sense it like a fresh dog turd on his mouldy trainer.

Well, I wasn’t having that at all. I got up on the pedals and kicked them into a blur. My legs were on fire, thighs screaming. Metaphorically, please. Again, I gained on him, we drew level; we were neck and neck, charging down the pavement, the foliage flattened in our wake.

I turned my head to see the whites of his eyes and tried to work up the energy for a victory cackle, but I didn’t have the puff. We shared a slo-mo moment of psychic understanding. I tried to knobble him with a lethal sweat slick – hey, he cheated at the roundabout – and then Running Man speeded up AGAIN.

Up ahead, the entrance to Springs 2 loomed; all I had to do was maintain my advantage until I reached it. I could feel Running Man’s breath blistering the back of my neck. As I swept around the bend to Springs 2, left knee scraping off the ground, I nearly wept with relief.

I would have given a victory salute, but I still need at least two hands on the bike or I end up in a pot plant. I turned around to stick my tongue out at him, and saw that Running Man had turned into Springs 2 as well!

I was getting to the point where I was going to have to run the bugger over, when I managed to shake him off with a feint left. Then I really did weep with relief.

It was at least another week before I could feel my legs again

Modern Cain and Abel parable

Husband’s brother, The Bro, started as he meant to go on, eating his way through the house like a giant locust (there are no walls left, and only a portion of the roof). His 24 year old metabolism, at the peak of its processing powers, is an awesome thing to behold.


Two days after he arrived, Husbandoffered to take The Bro dirt biking. Cue great excitement and lots of manly flexing of muscles using bungee cords. Since The Bro had never been astride a motorbike before, I thought I might tag along for the entertainment.


We drove out to the desert and parked at the lip of an oval of hard-packed sand. After unloading the bikes, Husband commenced the tutorial with a brief demonstration. Clenching his buttocks for effect, he was still strapping on his helmet as he roared off on one wheel in a spray of sand.


Husband is not normally the flashiest of characters, but he turns into something of a showman on a bike. He performed a few aerial somersaults before careering back to us, braking at the last moment so that the front tyre nudged my shin as the bike skidded to a stop. I was only disappointed he didn’t produce two doves from the petrol tank.


Then it was The Bro’s turn. Husband’s instruction was – let’s call it spare:


“Right, here’s the brake. Here’s the clutch. Anything else? Oh yes. Here’s a push.”


Throwing his shoulder into it, he launched The Bro over a dune. The Bro gave the bike maximum throttle, released the clutch, and careered off in a wild yawing effect. For a couple of seconds I was sure it was all going to end in tears – or, more accurately: spurting blood, broken bones and ruptured spleens – but somehow The Bro managed to gain control of the bike. He completed a wobbly circuit of the desert bowl in first gear.


“Right,” said Husband briskly upon his return. By his tone, I could tell he was proud of his protégé’s progress. “To change gear, you tip this lever with your toe. Up to change up. Down to change down. Am I missing anything? Oh yes . . .”


*PUSH!*


Watching The Bro’s erratic takeoff, this time with an inadvertent wheelie thrown in, I thought perhaps Husband should spend a bit more time on the basics – like stopping, starting, staying upright; stuff like that. I was taking him to task when The Bro disappeared behind a sand-dune.


“Where’s he gone?” I fretted.


“He’s fine.”


“That terrain is pretty choppy.”


“No worries! Woman.”


Off in the far distance, we could hear the bike engine shrieking at maximum rev.


“Has he got it out of first yet?” I asked.


“No. Oh hang on, yes, he has now.”


Suddenly there was a sharp blast of rev and then . . . silence.


Husband and I looked at each other.


Find him!” I squawked, doing a little panic shuffle. This, in case you were wondering, is where I trot back and forth on the spot, bumping into as many proximate objects as possible.


Husband slewed off on the second bike while I prepared my speech to his parents in the event that The Bro had broken a leg. I didn’t want to consider what else he might have broken (Husband always scoffs at the notion that he might break a neck or a cranium. “It’s only sand!” he says whenever I raise the issue, as if hurtling head-first into a dune at 60kph is equivalent to settling gently into a mass of goose-down).


Husband returned ten minutes later without his t-shirt. No doubt he had proffered it to stanch the blood – but from where? Nicked finger? Broken nose?


Severed arm?


“Is he ok?”


“I’m not sure.”


We unhitched the bike trailer and drove the Yukon to The Bro. Although he looked all right – well, no spurting blood – he was making sound effects like a punctured accordion. I was encouraged when he correctly identified how many fingers I held up – although I’ve never been sure what the purpose of the test is, apart from confirming the subject is roughly sober.


We got The Bro home and stuffed him full of Brufen. Thereafter there was more moaning than pain (admittedly The Bro might not agree with that diagnosis). (In fairness, I was only able to accurately measure the moaning.) (But surely he couldn’t have been in THAT much pain?) Over time, The Bro perfected a gorgeous, breathy little gasp which somehow managed to simultaneously convey his stoic agony, his ongoing despair over starving children in the third world, and all the wasted opportunity squandered in his young life.

In between complaining about the lack of sympathy and how the hunger was killing him, The Bro maintained he had broken his tailbone.


“Which is worse: the hunger or the pain?” I’d ask.


“That is such an unfair question.”


Looking on the bright side, his injury gave him the perfect excuse not to get spanked at squash. He also managed to bravely stuff his broken tailbone into a rubber ring and fire himself up a water chute at Wild Wadi.


Apart from the lack of clucking and my ongoing refusal to dress up in a nurses’ uniform, The Bro would find it hard to deny the fact that I was an unwavering source of practical support. I sang to him to take his mind off the pain and regularly dosed him with Margharita, which he claimed was more effective than Brufen. And at least I didn’t try to make it worse – UNLIKE SOME.


The Tuesday after the biking incident (‘accident’ implies nobody is to blame), The Bro being relatively confident that his broken tailbone had limited impact on his ability to pose, he and Husband were set for a Lad’s Night Out. They swept out the door on an exuberant tsunami of aftershave.


Five minutes later Husband called. He’d had a car crash up the Springs Drive; yes, he and The Bro were ok; no, he wasn’t sure what the damage to the Lumina was; no, the other guy’s car was totalled; oh and could I come and collect The Bro while he waited for the police? He’d also be grateful if I brought the insurance papers, thanks.


When Husband had slowed for a speed bump, an Aramex car had driven right up the Lumina’s arse. The Aramex driver admitted that he had dropped his electronic orders device on the floor . . . and bent down to pick it up. The bonnet of Aramex Guy’s Toyota was a crumpled mess and his airbags had deployed.


From a distance the Lumina looked sound, but the boot wouldn’t close properly, and the frame was shunted in under the back doors. (For the next couple of days, whenever Husband drove the Lumina, drivers on the Sheikh Zayed road would slow to 120kph in the next lane, knock on the passenger window and shout at him that the back door was open while helpfully pointing at it.)


Poor The Bro had recommenced moaning with renewed vigour, so I got him installed on the sofa with 600mg of Brufen and a bucket of margharita. I went back to the scene with a cup of coffee for Husband, but the police had arrived so I drove on and pretended I didn’t know him. Hey, I love the guy, but there is nothing on earth that will induce me to spend time with the UAE Fuzz.


Apparently the Lumina’s chassis is bent. Although it can be repaired, it is expensive and is unlikely to pass its next registration. Therefore, we’re going to have to try and persuade Aramex Guy’s insurance company to write the car off

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