A cloud is sitting at the foot of the mountains like a ghostly river flowing through the valley. I watch it evaporate in the sun gradually as I go about my chores. It's the exact shape of Will-o'-the-wisp, which makes me remember the cartoon so brilliantly narrated by Kenneth Williams with the witch called Edna that was also a TV and that weird caterpillar thing with the big red top knot.
Now that come to think of it, that was a bit fucking odd really, that cartoon, wasn't it? I used to love it though. I think we had a tape of it in the car that Mum used to play me on the way to school. Funny the things that you accept as completely normal when you're a kid. Like not cleaning your skid marks off the u-bend. Not naming any names.
I stop to rub some hand cream into the ends of my fingers. I already have chalet hands. Cuts, burns and general chapped dryness. Lemon juice is a real bitch. What's more, it appears this is not my only ailment. No. I'll cut right to the chase. I, Belle de Neige, have sprung what can only be described as an arse grape.
I was first made aware of it when I tried to wipe my backside a few evenings ago after a particularly satisfying sitting. The action was met with a shooting pain in one quarter of the sphincterial area followed by a yelp of pain by yours truly and shortly thereafter a frenzied, horrified self examination. I was mystified. According to the magnifying mirror everything down there looked perfectly normal even though it felt as if some one had attacked me with a lube-free rubber butt plug. At the very least I was expecting it to be an anal fissure.
I couldn't understand it.
"What the fuck?" I asked The Foxy Chef, mystified, in the pub later on.
"Sounds like a hemorrhoid to me," she said sagely.
"Fuck!! Like what old ladies get?"
"Yeah... have you been straining lately?"
"No! ....Well, not that I particularly recall."
"You must've sprung it when you stacked it the other day. Muscular spasm. Happened to me once..."
"What did you do?"
"I just pushed it back up inside"
Now that she came to mention it I had been through one or two butt-clenching experiences in the last 48 hours to which I could attribute this ailment. There was the unsolicited and completely un-prepared for 2 metre drop half way down a little gully the day before, where my ski tips hit the approaching lip of snow like a fork lift truck driving headlong into a polystyrene wall and dug in resulting in a double-eject face plant and then lots of scrabbling around trying to relocate said skis in 2 feet of powder. And then there was the slightly alarming torchless trudge home from the pub in the dark at midnight along the windy deserted road to our chalet. I was alone. The mountains to the north were backlit hauntingly by a sunken moon, tinged with red as if from a furnace within, like something out of Mordor. There was utter and complete silence of the sort you can find nowhere else but the mountains. The only sound is the tinnitus you didn't realise you had. Usually I would have appreciated the magnificence of it but four or five gins had given me the fear. All I could hear in the silence was my own heart thudding inside my chest, my blood entering my head like a sponge being squeezed from the uphill effort and I spent the entire 15 minute walk peering suspiciously over my shoulder in the hope of definitely not seeing a sinister dark figure tailing me with murder in mind. Then, ten yards from the safety of the front door, I paused to appreciate the view without fear, slipped on a patch of ice and fell smack, fully onto my back, winding myself.
...I reckon that's when it happened. The hemorrhoid, I mean...
"I wouldn't worry you can just push them back in with your finger after you've had a shit..." The Foxy Chef was saying, leaning on the bar. "It's quite soothing actually. Just push it back up inside and forget about it."
This I suppose, is not all that surprising, coming from the girl who nicknamed the cyst on her vagina 'Mini-me' last season. Hey. Sometimes it's just best to wear these things as a badge of honour, I guess.