Friday, 25 February 2011

Just when I thought it was going badly

Grit has found a new friend! Yes! Truly!

This circumstance is greatly heartwarming to Grit. To know exactly how much, you simply have to consider how far the sad Grit has fallen, plucked from the happy state of her familiar chums in Bucks and dropped, lost, on a strange Chinese-speaking island while the husband legs it back to England, probably laughing in glee.

Her gritty life has shrunk thus.

She cannot follow basic conversations in the street, can't remember when the library is open, struggles to buy noodles and not fish skin, has trouble negotiating the hidden rules and regulations of her new home, divorced HSBC even before she married them, and suffers a banana tree for daily company. (Don't ask me where the kids are. Gone off to play.)

By slow turning days her happy heart has withered. Over the past few months, she has become a disagreeable old bastard with a fifteen mile exclusion sulk. With each new lip curl she has grown an invisible force field around her: a bleak and blasted area of defiance and defence guarded by frontier police waving loaded machine guns and savage wolfhounds.

But think! Would this solitary island life not turn any of you into that person burdened with resentful chips upon their shoulders? With miseries on their sleeves, and a large dollop of self-piteous injustice? The sorrow that beats like a living corpse upon the heaving troubled breast where it silently screams Howl! Howl! Howl!

And no-one has yet invited me to even a single expat cocktail party. I simply cannot understand it.

But then!

Along comes lovely, friendly Ditta! She is new, and as yet unaffected by this island life! Even better, she smiles and walks right through Grit's Hong Kong habits of bitter sulking and dour scowling! And Grit is totally won over and soaks up the friendship like a thirsty sponge.

Ditta is utterly charming and just about the best thing ever to hit the island life, and lives a mere stone's throw, or two hour trot, over some mountains. That journey would be as nothing, which is how much Grit loves her new friend Ditta, although I hasten to add, not in a creepy stalking way, and not just because she has an ipad with a GPS satellite installed on it.

No, on that score I have said nothing, but 'Ditta, if you go out exploring Hong Kong with Grit trailed by some kids, please bring the GPS, you're going to need it'. See, it's not just about ingratiating yourself with someone who owns a GPS and remarking how that can help you in tricky situations. It's because Ditta is a lovely, warm, funny person who would probably get along with anyone, and Grit has missed people she feels could understand, and talk to, and probably say just about anything to, and get away with it, and not need to leave the scene in a hurry without her coat, but feeling round her face to see whether her jaw was still intact.

Anyway, Ditta is not only Grit's new friend, she and all her lovely family rule SUPREME with all the mini grits too, on account of the fantastic birthday present given only yesterday, which prove just how brilliant and juvenile is Ditta's sense of fun. Possibly perfectly suited to Grit's. Electronic bugs shaped like cockroaches.

Shark, Squirrel and Tiger love their little cockroach buddies. I can tell, because they set them whirring and scuttling, then snuggle them fondly inside my slippers. They've made the little bugs whole playrooms out of toilet rolls and cut up cardboard, just like home, and now they are talking about making the cockroaches little nests and houses and caravan parks and swings.

And guess what? Even though Grit is jumping squealing around this house thanks to battery-operated cockroaches up her slippers, she is still smiling, and thanking Ditta to the skies, which shows just how fantastic is Ditta, and possibly how very welcome is an island friend by Grit.

Welcome, Ditta to our island fun!