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I can bend space-time… 20, December 2007

Posted by babychaos in General Wittering, Light Fluff, Play, Small Scale Disasters.
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Not a lot you understand, just a little. But I can do it.

Surely you are not sceptical?

Ok peps, if you are, I’m going to let you into a little secret called, how to find things which are lost by bending space and time and I’m going to illustrate exactly how it’s done with a true story.

As you know because I’ve told you a thousand times, one of the most obvious symptoms of being pregnant is the complete absence of short term memory.

So, not only am I prone to forget my own name without cue cards and well… anything I’m meant to be doing without setting my iPAQ to beep and remind me however long before I need to be where I have to be to cover changing if necessary, journey time et al… yes not only am I prone to those but woe betide me if the phone rings or I am interrupted in the middle of a task because chances are, by the time I have dealt with the interruption, any recollection of the activity I was previously engaged in will have been completely erased from my memory.

If my subsequent wanderings don’t take me past the spot where the tools are out, the cupboard door wide open or the abandoned half poured cake mix left forlorn then I am likely to completely forget about it until either a) I happen to saunter past an hour or two later or b) I remember it, suddenly, in the middle of the night several days afterwards.

Four weeks ago, it was recycling day. Among other things, this means we stick all our biodegradable kitchen waste, hedge clippings, weeds from the garden etc into a brown paper sack and the dustmen take it away to be turned into compost which the Council then sells back to us… for a fee… if we’re interested.

I noticed Mr BC had half filled one sack and not wishing to waste precious bag room – they give us one of these things for free each week but we have to pay 50p a pop for the rest of them – I decided to prune the house plants and stick that in there, too.

Moments later find me, house plants duly trimmed, jemmying all the clippings down into the bag and reaching in with the best of our secateurs to cut up the big bits so they compact better. Finally, I finish and wander to the gate with the bag. I have put the secateurs in, too, on top of the rubbish, so I don’t have to do a second trip. I make a mental note that they are expensive, that they are the only ones we have which work, despite their pushing 12 years old, that they were a gift and that I must remember not to leave them in the bag.

Indeed, I put them on top of the brick gate post while I struggle with our vile metal gate (which I would melt down TOMORROW if I had my way) and put the bag on the street for collection.

Spool forward two weeks, recycling day is looming again and the garden is a tip so Saturday sees Mr BC and I preparing to conduct a hasty tidy up – complete with brown bags. Where are the secateurs? He asks me as he prepares to prune a wayward shrub. I shrug as his question ignites a tiny pilot light of guilt in my brain… Aren’t they in the usual place? I ask him, hopefully.

No. They’re not.

Oh dear.

Together we work briefly backwards to determine who used them last. We do this, even though we both know the answer.



I remember as far back as the gate post but subsequently all is blank. Did I bring them in after I’d put the bag out or was the tussle with the gate such a distraction that it wiped their very existence and the need for their retrieval from my memory? Hmm… tricky.

Police style, I retrace my movements, as reported by eye witness evidence or in this case, my dodgy memory. I get to the gate post but they aren’t there. I have to accept that I have either imagined the bit about putting them on there, in which case, they’ve gone to be recycled, or somebody passing who knew they were £50 pukka tools has swiped them.

Well, there’s a lady who sells veg round the corner for 10p a bag, they nick those without paying so deducing the answer to the question, “did they nick my ritzy snippers?” Is easy.


Hmm… what to do? Husband needs to prune things and we don’t have anything else that actually prunes… well… not properly. There’s nothing for it, I’ll have to go and buy a new pair. The old ones were 12 years old but if the new ones aren’t too blindingly obviously mint I may be able to get away with pretending I found them down behind the 5ft (even post pruning) mastedon of a house plant lurking in the bathroom.

I creep out while he is busy and saunter the demanding 100 yards up hill to our local hardware store which can usually produce pretty much any item you care to name, on demand. At the door I hesitate, suddenly thrifty and so I trudge on up the hill to visit Woolies and Wilkinsons first to check they don’t sell ritzy clippers in their gardening sections.

No. Both have supplanted their range temporarily with this year’s flashing, vilely singing, spangly Christmas Tat displays. I pop into the hardware store on the way back and relieve them of a pair of  brand new clippers – almost an exact replica of my originals, only in very much better condition. They relieve me of £48. Ouch.

Sauntering home I present Mr BC with the new clippers which are, indeed, far too new to pass off as the originals “found” elsewhere. I explain my fears as to the fate of the old ones and he agrees that yes, he thought as much but didn’t want to press the issue (bless him).

Minutes later as I am trimming the ivy growing up our house (another thing which, like the gate, I would remove and melt down if Mr BC would let me) when our neighbour pops out.

Excuse me, are these yours? I thought they were Shirley’s (other neighbour keen gardener, far more likely to own deluxe secateurs than us) but she says they aren’t. I’ve been meaning to ask you for a day or two, they were on the gate post (we share the gate with Shirley and Mr Shirley).

Say what you like but I know that the moment I handed over my £48 in the iron mongers, I changed space and time, destiny shifted, reality warped and suddenly, Peggy had a pair of red handled secateurs in her kitchen belonging to person – or persons – unknown. Me.

This is as true and sure as the theory, propounded by Douglas Adams, that you can only find irreplaceable lost items by looking for something else. So, for example, when you lose that all important invoice, with the special number, which you need to pay TODAY – but can’t because you’ve lost it and without the SPECIAL (fucking) NUMBER there’s no point in sending payment because they won’t know what the sod it’s for – look, instead, for the £10 Marks and Spencer’s voucher you mislaid last week.

Right, having shared two of the great SECRETS OF THE UNIVERSE I’m off to wrap some presents. Enjoy your grown up, logical, organised lives people.



1. flyingrowan - 21, December 2007

i think it’ll be a while before i enjoy a grown up logical and definitely organised life, but i do do this little searching trick. i h ad to devise something to help me cope with the depths of mess i keep in my room and i have to say it works! i used to think – i still believe in faries by the way – that if you were looking for something, the thing you were looking for would know about it, and would purposefully hide under clothes or books or discarded plates, like a game.. So if you look for something else, you catch the thing you’re REALLY looking for unawares because it gets cocky and thinks its not being looked for until BAM There you are you rascal!

Thanks for sharing.. its {once again after reading your blog} opened up a little window into my own mind….

2. BB - 21, December 2007

I have thought the same in the past. Hubby lost his keys back in October and have had him look for other things … no hope for him on that one… maybe women have the brain to really do it…

3. babychaos - 21, December 2007

BB I think it may be the case… although my Dad is a past master!
Flyingrowan… as you know I believe firmly in the Chaos Fairies so I fully appreciate the idea that if it thinks you’re not looking for it it gets cocky. Or it’s like cats at play, our cat hides and you’re meant to move the little red dot of a laser pointer past his hiding place so he can leap out and catch it. If he thinks you haven’t noticed him he peeps out and then, when you look rushes back into his hiding place again… so sort of like that, I guess!



4. flyingrowan - 21, December 2007

Ohh now I want a cat. But the dogs used to do that when they were puppies.

5. Noble Savage - 21, December 2007

Stuff like that happens to me all the time. Infuriating.

6. Geldoff - 22, December 2007

Two pairs of secateurs? Oh no. They will elope and you’ll have to get a third pair! (Secateurs are bloody-minded like that.)

7. RubyShooZ - 25, December 2007

I think it’s almost always that way for me… *sigh*

Hey, here’s to a beautiful holiday season and a great new year – to you and to everyone. I wish you all the peace, love and understanding in the world. I’ve had you in my mind and in my prayers lately.

Always love, always peace.

~ RS ~

8. Bill Howdle - 28, December 2007

The forgetfulness you have me described to a tee. Ah, I must be pregnant. I hadn’t considered that possibility. Although my tummy might give that appearance. Great post.

9. Rua MacTírean - 30, December 2007

My first thoughts are always of foul play, my jeans have been missing for over a month and this house is not THAT big. I’ll try looking for elves instead and we’ll see what happens

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