It has been a funny old week in the nation’s capital, Itchy Ankle and everywhere downwind of Iceland.
Let’s start with events in Washington DC:
Please don’t be alarmed to learn that last Sunday night the Crone woke up to find two armed policemen in her bedroom, there to check on the Crone’s safety after a concerned neighbor placed a panicked call. The full story goes like this:
The Crone arrived back at her city center pied a terre last Sunday afternoon about 6. Hansel accompanied her, helping with bags of groceries, laundry and bits and pieces that seem to spend their days moving backwards and forwards between the big city and the bay. Hansel left and the Crone spent a delightful evening watching TV, cooking dinner and sorting out her stuff for the week to come. She went to bed about 10pm. While snoozing, she dimly heard a knock at the door. She has a couple of restive neighbors who often want to discuss plumbing problems at odd hours of the day and night and so the knock was of course ignored. The Crone fell deep in slumber, only to be woken by footsteps in her hallway and the sound of her bedroom door opening. She lay very still in bed…
“Body in here” came a male voice. The Crone sat up in shock, to see two armed policemen at the foot of her bed, one of them carrying a large black rifle in addition to his regulation pistol. “You Ok Ma’am?” said the white policeman in the doorway. The Crone really felt she couldn’t be sure.
“Guess you don’t often wake up to men with guns in your bedroom?” said the second one who looked like a mix between Haile Selassie and Bob Marley in a blue DC police department uniform. The Crone was still goldfishing helplessly but did manage to nod her assent to this.
“Your door was wide open Ma’am and your neighbor was concerned” said Haile.
” You here by yourself Ma’am? You had an intruder?” asked the policeman by the door who, the Crone had noticed, bore a comforting resemblance to one of her colleagues, a man called Kurt. The Crone recovered herself enough to get up, get dressed and check. When she got to the living room, it became clear that nothing was out of the ordinary: Her purse was still on the sofa with the wallet and its contents intact.
Hansel must not have closed the door properly when he left, the Crone forgot to check it was locked, and air displaced when the building’s front door opened and closed must have blown the Crone’s door wide open.
Then the neighbor who had called the police–a young man the Crone has never seen before—came to the door. “Sorry if I frightened you” he said ” Just wanted to check you were ok”
“You did the right thing” said the Crone, and thanked him ” I like your lights” said the neighbor, poking his head into the apartment “Thank you” said the Crone again, discovering she didn’t really feel up to a whole conversation about interior design.
Haile and Kurt took their weapons and left, the neighbor disappeared too and the Crone went back to bed and straight to sleep, curiously comforted to know that the city was concerned for her safety.
An exaggeration about Itchy Ankle:
As Gretel will always tell you, nothing ever happens in Itchy Ankle and so it was (again/still) for much of this week: Captain Kirk vacuumed the cat a couple of times, the lovely Ms Monroe continued to paint her pergola, the Chesapeake Boys came to haul away the remains of the Crone’s old garden shed, ruined by the winter’s heavy snow. In other words, people did what they do best, pretty much as they do it every week of the year.
Everyone downwind of Iceland:
Igneous activity in Iceland has grounded the Crone’s friend Spud Hughes who was meant to be in the US this week making a film with some Northern Ireland people whose families gave America two Presidents: Buchanan and Wilson. Unfortunately clouds of volcanic ash seem to dictate that most of the western world will stay home, at least for the time being. Via Facebook, the Crone has received anguished updates from television colleagues stranded at a sales convention in the South of France and from Brits who spent the Easter break in the Bahamas and now can’t get back to London, school and work. Hell being them.
The Crone is sure there must be some metaphorical lesson to be learned from the dark cloud and is certainly glad that most of the customers on whom her business relies can still fly in and out of her meetings on the Eastern seaboard from other parts of the states. To Spud and the sundered she wishes safe travels in the not too distant future.