Teapot land Photo by Kim
I’m lying on my bed at St Ann’s hospital, Poole waiting to make a confession about what I did with my previous client’s car.
In a panic I come up with quite a few cover up versions – I was on my way to say goodbye to my client in hospital and see a royal mail box. Park his car in the university car park opposite. Post my daughter’s birthday card and accidentally drop the keys and bank card into the box too. Which could have been valid except I realise I couldn’t explain my rucksack away.
When Jesus interrupts my panic and tells me, ‘My darling you are more valuable than the entire earth’.
I burst into tears and realise for the first time – I’m so flipping worthy.
The truth is I woke up at my live-in housekeeping job in panic mode – after a few nights interrupted sleep due to emotional days spent visiting an abusive old man in hospital and – perimenopause.
I have the flight effect which gives me enough time to pack my rucksack with two swimming costumes – a towel – slops – basic toiletries – a scented candle – my makeup bag with a K on it – speaker – PicoPix projector – bible – my strictly private and confidential envelope of hospital detentions and Becoming the Beloved book. I write out my invoice and a note to say that I am taking a break and will be back to collect my case and leave the house just after 08h00.
I drive to an open field with a stream and horses grazing on the other side. I park to plan. I walk over to the stream and see a beautiful beetle on a reed – shiny green and gold. I step onto the muddy bank and lean over to grab him and place him in my cigar tin. I go across the road to buy a bottle of coke from the pub and come back to sit on the bench table and smoke a cigar.
I decide to drop the car at Winchester hospital and say goodbye to my client who was in there after a stroke. I would give him the car keys and invoice with my note for his daughter and leave. But instead just before the hospital I can’t cope with seeing him again and park at the university just before and drop the keys with my rolled up invoice and note attached, into the royal mail box across the road.
I have just blown Plan A but at least the car is safe with free parking and the keys would go to the Royal Mail to be collected once I contact the daughter. I felt empowered. I catch a bus into Winchester and realise I left my iPhone in the car which hugely effects what should have been a simple recovery process.
Plan B is to go on a break. I had been planning Israel and in the process of getting my visa but I could go to Mauritius instead. I catch a taxi to Bournemouth Airport and on the way I realise I still have my client’s bank card in my purse as I had put fuel in the car before I left. I’m in so much trouble already I quickly open the window and slip it out onto the busy intersection in the hope that it would get destroyed and he could just get a new one – it’s just a piece of plastic.
Bournemouth Airport is small with not much happening and I’m lost. I sit on a grassy bank to catch a breath and study my beetle. I’m so annoyed – I’ve paid £90 for my taxi – my rucksack is too heavy – I don’t have my phone and I have just lost my new pair of sunglasses. I stop a guy in a van and ask if he could call a taxi to take me to Heathrow Airport which costs another £160. I arrive late and exhausted and just want a bed.
I hop in a taxi van and before he closes the door – he asks me if I have money for the taxi. I huff and stomp off – lately I have zero tolerance for silly questions. And there are so many. I catch a bus to the Premier Inn and spend £90 to regroup. I get to bed too late and sleep too little and wake to re pack my rucksack and discover my new pink travel plan book is missing and my beetle is lost.
I take out my bible and Becoming the Beloved book and leave them on the couch. By this time I am determined that if Jesus doesn’t pick me as His bride for the Wedding Feast – I’m gate crashing. I tie my Converse onto my bag – hang my towel over my shoulders and leave.
I’m frustrated trying to get help from staff to book a flight and confronted by two policemen for being emotional and under suspicion booking a flight at the airport. I tell them I’m trying to get to Mauritius – I’ve lost my phone – I have my passport – US$433 travel money – I just need a ticket to fly away – flip.
There’s a joke – what’s the difference between a terrorist and a woman with PMS – you can negotiate with a terrorist.
I think a woman with menopause is – respect her. And just maybe she has a story.
If a professional policemen came up to me – acknowledged I was no threat – took me calmly into a quite office and asked me why I was so emotional – I could tell him that that my adrenal gland can’t produce enough stress hormones to help me cope during my menopausal cycle because it was damaged by prednisolone. And then he’d probably give me a cup of coffee and help me sort out the car story and I could leave with my head held high and get my life back on track.
The handcuffs are as tight as the Premier Inn in Bournemouth (Psst article) and I scream in pain across Terminal 3. And wait for the ambulance.
I spend the day at the Riverside Centre near Heathrow in a room with nothing but two plastic seats which fit together to make a couch where I’m told to sit and stay by the bed manager. I can see through the glass in the door to the office and my katunda is on the floor. I entertain myself with singing songs like Because we’re all Rhodesians and we’ll fight through thick and thin – And my new song – I just love you. And do the chassé across the floor for exercise.
It’s late evening and I’m taken by ambulance – they never tell me where I am going. I know how dogs feel when they are taken off the streets and impounded. It’s the exact same treatment. I’m locked in the back for hours without anything to drink and sing childhood songs we used to sing in the back of a land rover on the way to YP – Well, be-bop-a-lula, she’s my baby.
The doors open at St Anne’s Hospital and and I’m met by nine staff who lead me into the ward where I’m jabbed and before I fall asleep – I notice my US$433 has been stolen out my purse.
I’m so irritated – Plan B has clearly failed too. And I have nothing to entertain myself – my camera and laptop are in Stockbridge – my iPhone is in the car. I have one pair of clothes. I later discover that £170 has been deducted off my account for a pre booking I made for a hotel in Tel Aviv.
The doctors have confirmed that this is hormonal and my haematologist has requested them to send me for a CT scan to check my brain. I’m let out on a Tuesday after 17 days of assessing the transformation Jesus is doing in me and booked to stay in the Brooklands Hotel, Bournemouth for a week where the Crisis Team will come and visit me once a day. I can get another job and make a fresh start. I watch movies – go to the beach – eat out.
I made plans with my client’s daughter to collect my case on the Saturday. She has asked me to bring the bank card and car keys. I tell her I dropped them in the Royal mailbox – and she says come anyway. I catch the train to Grateley Station and an Alpha taxi to the house and ask him to wait – this will be quick. I dash from the gate to the house and don’t see the little red car.
I’m met at the door by a tall police officer. My client’s son and daughter are standing in the kitchen. My collection of memorabilia (my story) and personal documents are spread out on the table. He tells me I’m under arrest for car theft and other. I ask if they found my phone and dash out to let the taxi go. My case is in the dining room – open. There is a kitchen knife sharpener in my case which came from Cardiff (that’s another story) which the daughter accuses me of stealing from her father’s house. Until she searches in the drawers and finds his.
I can understand being accused of car theft – if the car has been stolen. But petty thief – give me a break – I leave and tell them I dropped the bank card out the taxi window and give her my invoice.
I’m taken to the Basingstoke police station as a potential criminal – no handcuffs. The officer is firm with me since I’m the baddie but he isn’t abusive. He communicates to me with direct intelligent sentences. I know where I’m going and I know why I’m going.
I’m also calm after watching Oceans 8 the night before. In the waiting room – I re pack my case. Meet the charge officer – photographed – fingerprinted and DNA’d. Have my property listed and sealed in plastic bags. I’ve told them to contact the Crisis Team as they will be looking for me. And led to my cell. I have to give him my converse – not allowed laces. I’m given coffee and sammies through the hatch.
As well as the September 2017 issue of woman&home with an article on pg 123 Your feel good guide to the menopause by Maryon Stewart which I earmark when reading it to my criminal solicitor from Taylor-Street. Mental/emotional symptoms – Anxiety and panic attacks. Ironically the first time I had this experience was in September 2017.
I’m interviewed by two police officers and told the car was spotted on camera a few days earlier in Wales. I’m fascinated and want to be on the outside solving the case. My story is recorded for the court. And again I wait for hours in the cell singing on my back or lying on my tummy on the hard bench making African drum rhythms with my feet. Drinking coffee. Or trying to sleep using my magazine as a pillow. Until a doctor plus two come and assess me around midnight. He tells me the car was found that night in Poole and isn’t that where I was in hospital.
I’m so intrigued with this Herbie car that now follows me. To be honest – I was embarrassed driving the car – it’s small and red – and slow. Why anyone would want to steal it? Why not expensive cars parked on the road at night? And what do people do with stolen cars in the UK – don’t you have to – register the car – get insurance – MOT’s? How can you with a stolen car? And how did they steal it without the keys? Hotwire with CCTV?
Around 01h30 I’m sent back to the hotel by taxi and a Notice of No Further Action Decision paper in my hand. I land on the steps of my hotel at 03h00 stuck outside as the code of the door has been changed. The taxi driver from Romania sends me off with – have a nice life. I’m shy about my big plastic bag with orange sealed police tape. And let in.
I’m so excited to get my clothes back from Stockbridge but my paper + stitch jeans which I love and my black jacket are missing. Who’s robbing who? I lie in bed wandering about the case and what if the person who ‘stole’ the car – wore my clothes as well. And what if I’ve been framed?
A few days later I have a brandy and coke on the terrace of the Real Greek Restaurant in Bournemouth. It’s strong but soon becomes delicious and I order another – which never arrives. I’m slightly annoyed because it was fun until then. And ask for my bill. The cheek of it is that I’ve been charged for the very thing I’m annoyed about. And just say that’s not my bill. I try to bring up an argument with the manager with black rimmed glasses perched in the middle of his nose and a lump protruding from the middle of his forehead. But he refuses and furiously writes it off.
I don’t sleep that night – covered in chickenpox and itching all night. And it’s that time of the month again. But I go out anyway and just happen to pop into the Real Greek to do the correct thing – argue my case. But before I can open my mouth – the manager has ordered me to leave. And he chooses my exit to take. So I sit – and ask for the owner. He calls the police who handcuff me – and don’t ask my side of the story. I kick off my slops (which I loved) and stomp barefoot to the police car.
I really do need a bracelet – Do not arrest – respect her and ask her calm intelligent – direct questions. Like what’s your story?
I’m taken back to the naughty corner to Haven Ward – the dungeon of St Ann’s Hospital. Where I sit with my hands cuffed behind my back for hours – the only part of my body I can itch is my forehead on my knees. Singing comfort songs. The handcuffs are removed and I sit on the plastic couch with two support workers at a time – who sit and stare. I kid you not – that’s their job.
I have a fever – I’m covered in chickenpox and itching like mad. And they sit and stare – Like what is this moody – emotional creature? If I were in a general hospital – I would be given medical attention – have my temperature taken – and put to bed.
By this time I’m ready to start swearing but I sing. And don’t sleep the entire night again. The next evening I’m allowed out into the communal area. I’m so feverish and ill and physically exhausted from being without sleep for two days. I want to breakdown and cry. But I sing again.
At around 01h00 the following morning I’m transported by ambulance to a private hospital in Manchester. That’s three days – no sleep.
I have a flat laptop and no charger. A camera but nothing to photograph. My old iPhone. One pair of clothes and I’m barefoot. I’m broke too. The daughter from my previous job has refused to pay me my outstanding invoice. I’m rationing my cigars. My suitcase is at the Brooklands Hotel. The only entertainment is sitting on the edge of the next door golf course wishing I could play.
My chickenpox lasts ten full days and after 12 days I’m transported back to St Ann’s Hosptial arriving at 03h00 and go back into the dungeon. Only to be let out that afternoon back to Sea View – where they are waiting to hear from my haematologist if I can have HRT treatment. I’ve asked for 5-Htp.
And for Jesus to whisk me away into the clouds and further.
Because I’m His – He has paid the price for me.
I just love you
I adore you
I’m reckless for you
I fall down at your feet
And I just love you
I adore you
You are my King
My tears fall upon your feet
And I just love you
I adore you
You’ve stolen my heart
I kiss your feet
And I just love you
I adore you
I’ve ravished your heart
Elohim I’m forever yours
My heart flips upon your gaze