During our holiday, and I hope Stuart doesn’t mind me saying this, he was a little bit constipated (I’ve always said it) On one particular day around the pool he told me he was a little bit uncomfortable around the bowel area so was going up to the apartment to try and squeeze one out. (I was delighted he told me that, not) He also informed me he would stand on the balcony and put his thumbs up if he he had been successful (Carry On Up The Khyber springs to mind) and to look out for the sign!! (What the fuck!)
Then I watched him move as quickly as he could and secretly wished him luck! (I kind of felt like the doting wife who watches her soldier husband going off to war)
I remained in the pool, swam to the edge and informed Mother Hen of Stu’s predicament and his intentions. She laughed whilst I kept looking up at the balcony like an expectant father 😊 10 or 15 minutes pasted and I was beginning to wonder if he had split his bowels open trying to part with it, if he had given birth to twins or actually passed away during the big push. He appeared at the balcony like a bald headed Juliet , looked around like a man who had won the battle , spotted me and put his thumbs up in triumph. Eureka, at that precise moment he wasn’t actually full of shite (Jokeeee)
So, that’s part of the story about Stuart’s baby, the second birth happens at Antalya Airport on the journey home but I’ll leave that for the final part.
Now to reveal why we got our nicknames. I’ve already explained why Angie became mother hen, so it’s now time to explain why Stuart became Shuffle and Click, Jackie became the Grave Digger and I became the Carer.
When we were out and about, walking around the streets, going in and out of shops and pubs, we either walked alongside him or waited for Stu to catch us up because of his difficulties with mobility. No problem with that, we didn’t intend to rush about anyway. However, mother hen claimed she could gauge how far Stu was behind us by how loud the click of his walking stick was. The fainter the click of the stick, the further behind he was. On a few occasions, Hen would point out that she couldn’t hear the ‘Click’ so we would look behind us to locate him. Obviously, we used mother hens listening strategy around the holiday complex to pinpoint where he was. Also, the faint little shuffle he produced was a further indication of where he was. So, shuffle and click it was!
Jackie was christened The Grave Digger for one thing, when we were chatting around the pool at the end of the night, often fuelled by cocktails, she would inevitably dig up the past concerning her and Shuffle. It wouldn’t take much for shuffle to provoke the response of digging up a past event from Jackie. We tinkered with the idea of naming her The Archeologist but taking into account Jackie’s “Someone has just died” expression (Joke) I thought the grave digger was more appropriate.
Now we come to my nickname, The Carer. So, Shuffle has been my best friend for many years, about 26 years, I think. Over the last few years, because of a chronic back and leg problem, his mobility has become more restricted. Through no fault of his own he doesn’t move very quickly and uses a walking stick most of the time. The grave digger helps him alot, and when we’re all together (Holidays, drinking sessions etc) I tend to walk alongside him, chatting about anything, ambling along together.
Around the pool, more often than not I helped him up out of his sun lounger, occasionally getting him food in the restaurant whilst he found a table for us. Grave digger and Mother hen both did their bit to make life easier for Shuffle.
As far as I’m concerned, shuffles mobility issues (Not normally funny) developed a comical twist when myself and shuffle went to a Turkish barber, who had a shop in the complex, for a cut-throat shave.
We strolled slowly into the barbershop and shuffle sat in the chair first. I remember the barber brandishing his razor and saying to Stu, in broken English “Don’t worry, I have magic hands “. I sat directly behind the ‘slaughter chair’ half expecting one of Stu’s ears to fall on the floor because Mr Barber didn’t actually have magic hands. I tried saying a couple of appropriately funny things about the demon barber of Fleet Street to Stu, but he didn’t hear me because he’s a little deaf, so I gave up.
So, as I sat there waiting, a woman came in and sat beside me, wanting to talk to the barber about having a tattoo. I recognised her because she always laid on the same sun lounger around the same pool. She would pass by often and chat about anything, she was obviously very friendly. She recognised me and leaned closer and with a hushed tone she said “Ahhh, that’s lovely, you’ve brought him for a shave”. Before I could respond, she added “How long have you been his carer”?
Recognising the opportunity, with a devilish glint in the eye, I looked at Shuffle and told her “Quite a while, but we’ve become good friends”. She looked at Shuffle and said something to him, but he was oblivious to her, because he couldn’t hear her, so she looked at me with a sad expression and said “Bless him, he’s enjoying his shave”. I told her that we were going to have a swim after his shave and she said ” You’re doing such a good job, you’re very patient and very good with him” talking to me like Stu wasn’t actually there. It made me chuckle. She briefly spoke to the barber as he finished Stu’s shave and raising her voice quite a few octaves thinking he was deaf and asked Stu if he’d enjoyed his shave! I can’t remember what Stu said in reply but I stifled a grin as I sat down for my shave.
That night during cocktails around the pool, I told Shuffle what the woman had said to me whilst he was having his shave. Mother hen and the grave digger saw the funny side and although Shuffle called me a “Twat” I think he saw the funny side to.
That’s it for part six. Until then.