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The collected opinions of an august and aristocratic personage who, despite her body having succumbed to the ravages of time, yet retains the keen intellect, mordant wit and utter want of tact for which she was so universally lauded in her younger days. Being of a generation unequal to the mysterious demands of the computing device, Lady Bracknell relies on the good offices of her Editor for assistance with the technological aspects of her journal.

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Location: Bracknell Towers

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Speaking words of wisdom

It is Lady Bracknell's experience that, where persons to whom the Editor would no doubt refer - in her deplorably vulgar way - as "ouchy crips"* are gathered together, the conversation will turn to stamina. Or, rather, to lack of the same.

"It isn't the pain itself I resent", they say. "I can live with the pain. What really hacks me off is that I have no reserves of stamina at all, and I'm permanently too exhausted to do all sorts of terribly mundane things that other people take completely for granted. And, while I'm on the subject, I also resent the fact that the people who can do those things with no appreciable effort whatsoever think it's terribly amusing to point out that they wish they could get out of housework/gardening/washing the car, and mustn't it be wonderful to have a built in excuse not to?".

Now Lady Bracknell is allowing her intolerance to show: this is another symptom of severely-reduced stamina levels. It is not one which is likely to help her win friends and influence people, and it is one over which she fervently wishes that she could exert greater control.

Whilst speaking to Mr Larkin yesterday, the conversation took a turn which encouraged the Editor to bemoan her lack of stamina and general feebleness to him. Lady Bracknell suspects this may have occasioned one of Mr Larkin's now-legendary deep sighs. Rising to the challenge, however, he ventured to posit an entirely new (to the Editor and her employer, at least) point of view on the issue.

In Mr Larkin's considered opinion, the Editor's reserves of stamina are by no means low. On the contrary, he believes them to be remarkably high. The unfortunate fact with which she, and those she loves, must come to terms is that, unlike her non-disabled peers, she has very little choice** on the matter of how they are to be expended.

On those few occasions when he has himself experienced severe pain, Mr Larkin says that he has been astonished at just how much energy he has needed to devote to

a) coping with that pain; and

b) maintaining a demeanour sufficiently affable to meet even the most basic requirements of his professional position.

The whole experience, he says, is exhausting beyond belief; and he has the greatest respect for the Editor's resilience in endeavouring to remain generally cheerful whilst experiencing constant, unremitting pain. What surprises Mr Larkin, he says, is not that the Editor is sometimes irritable and intolerant, but that she is not irritable and intolerant more often.

Having believed themselves to be almost wholly devoid of stamina for many years, both the Editor (and Lady Bracknell, once the import of the conversation had been relayed to her) find themselves enormously heartened by Mr Larkin's (to them) entirely novel take on the subject. Having had time to get over the inexcusable smugness engendered by his words, Lady Bracknell felt it would be a kindness to those of her readers who are themselves in chronic pain to promulgate Mr Larkin's theory further in the pages of her humble blog.

*Speaking of ouchy crips, Lady Bracknell wishes to take the opportunity to reassure the readers of his blog that Young Master Marmite has not expired from blood poisoning following his latest "ink". Being, in his own words, particularly "sore" at the moment, he has been signed off work by his doctor for a while. His expenditure on CDs and fashionable footwear having, as usual, outstripped his purse, he has yet to invest in a functioning keyboard for his home computer. Or, indeed, a functioning home computer. Unless he can limp out to his local library, therefore, he will be unable to update his blog until such time as he is fit to return to work. He sends his best to the blogosphere.

** Dude, the chauffer, has his own view on the issue of choice. In a recent conversation with the Editor, he opined that she does have the choice to resume her regular attendance at the theatre. It is just that the consequences of that choice would be that she would no longer be able to hold down full-time employment. The Editor muttered something in response to the effect that that, then, is the choice which is no choice. But she is prepared to admit that there is something to what the Dude says.


Blogger Mary said...


I can see the logic... but I doubt my ability to make anyone else see the logic, therefore I will probably not try to expound this theory to anyone else.

5:16 pm  
Blogger Charlesdawson said...

Surely the point is, not that one necessarily has reduced stamina, but that what stamina one has is mostly occupied firstly in coping with pain, and then secondly in achieving routine activities like bathing, dressing, cooking, working, commuting, clearing litter trays, staying civil,thinking logically at all times, Captain; leaving a much reduced capacity for other more pleasurable activities of daily life, such as joyriding, teasing the cat, flirting, playing rugby, watching Big Brother, swimming the Channel and so on.

8:11 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, Yes, Yes.

A friend of a friend of a friend of mine... has done three loads of washing today because she's been too knackered to do any for a month and there is an outside chance she will be inviting a gentleman friend home tomorrow night and she didn't think he'd find it very erotic to be laid on a pile of her soiled underwear. Or at least, she hoped he wouldn't find it very erotic.

Only now she's done all her laundry and her bedroom looks immaculate, she severely doubts she'll have the energy to lay anyone at all this time tomorrow.

Possibly my friend's friend's friend has shared too much.

Thank god you allow anonymous posting.

Mars bar to whoever guesses who I am first.


8:23 pm  
Blogger The Goldfish said...

I have long felt that the word stamina isn't really the right one. Without being completely immodest - the same almost certainly applies to her Ladyship and many others - if I didn't have considerable stamina, I simply wouldn't have survived thus far. Mr Larkin's theory is... perfeck.

May I wish your anonymous commenter's friend of a friend of a friend the best of luck with her gentleman friend. ;-)

11:37 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For those interested, the gentleman cancelled.

With good reason, and very apologetically.

Which means he and my friend's friend's friend are on again for next week, by which time she anticipates her floor will once again be covered by soiled underwear.

6:45 pm  
Blogger Lady Bracknell said...

Lady Bracknell is confident she speaks for all of her readers when she assures the anonymous commenter that she is on the edge of her seat in anticipation of the next gripping instalment.

(Lady Bracknell is aware that the above may have sounded sarcastic. It was not intended to.)

8:16 pm  
Blogger Mary said...

May I suggest that Anonymous's friend of a friend of a friend attempts to obtain, by next week, a large box in which all the clutter can be chucked, and some sort of throw rug to place on the top? Maybe even a piece of board, so that if the box isn't over-filled, it can double as an impromptu table...

Alternatively, perhaps some sort of laundry service, whereby you give them a great big bag of mouldering clothes and some cash and they return to you a great big bag of clean, dry, possibly even ironed clothes. I even heard of one which goes door-to-door for disabled clients.

10:03 am  
Blogger seahorse said...

Door-to-door laundry! Never in a million years would I have thought it possible. I suggest the friend of friend etc, on account of the cold weather, simply wears all her clothes at once and indulges in a long and interesting game of strip poker. Although it is possible the donning of so much apparel could prove somewhat draining in energy reserves in itself. Lady Bracknell is to be congratulated on her ability to bear pain without herself becoming unbearable.

12:00 am  
Blogger Lady Bracknell said...

The charming Seahorse, being a recent convert to Lady Bracknell's blog, may not be aware of this post, in which the subject of laughter and pain was explored at greater length.

12:15 am  

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