My Mojo and Other Animals

I think I’ve found my mojo again, which is nice, isn’t it? It’s always a worry when you lose it, in case you can’t find it again, like a hamster disappearing under the floorboards. I remember cleaning out my hamster once (and it could only have been the once because normally I’d plead insanity or a year’s supply of homework when the cage got a bit whiffy until Dad caved in and did it), anyway, I thought I’d put the hamster in its playpod thingy, but when I turned round it was crouched next to me, watching me and I had to risk several fingers trying to catch it again.

My friend, Susan’s, hamster staged a much more spectacular escape (but then it would because Susan led the technicolour, soundaround version of my life). Whereas my hamster was so dull I can’t even remember what it was called, Susan had a gorgeous, creamy-orange bundle of fluffy loveliness called Peachy. Because Peachy was so cute, Susan couldn’t bear to parted from her and when the family went to Longleat, Peachy went too, which was all fine and dandy until half-way round the lion enclosure when they realised Peachy’s cage was empty. Fortunately Peachy wasn’t snarfed up by a lion, although Susan’s family nearly got eaten when Susan tried to make them get out the car to look for her.

Susan and I were friends mainly because we walked to school together. I lived in a then deeply unfashionable Victorian semi and Susan’s family had a swanky new house on the swish estate up the road, leaving me with a nagging suspicion that Susan was leading a far more glamorous life than me. One day, when I had only just stopped drawing pictures of myself on horseback, winning rosettes at gymkhanas, Susan and I were crossing the road on the way to school and, as she turned her head, I saw the biggest lovebite I have ever seen on Susan's butter-wouldn't-melt neck – confirmation of Susan’s secret, sophisticated life. Mind you, I did get my own back a few weeks later when Susan developed a massive cold sore and I told her it was probably the first sign of syphilis from her lovebite, causing the poor girl many sleepless nights.

Anyway, the mojo’s returned because my training for the Llanelli half-marathon is going really well at the moment (famous last words). After a slow start it’s all fallen into place. Last Sunday I had one of those magic long runs when the weather was perfect, I felt good, switched off and flew round. That’ll probably mean that I’ll be utterly crap in a couple of week’s time. Hotel H is busy this week so not a huge amount to report on the writing front except that I’ve now got 22 lines of poetry for my next TMA. Only another 18 to go.

Painting is ‘Craig Cau and the Lake’ (where we are heading tomorrow) by Tom Tomos


elizabethm said…
great to have your flow back! I loved the hamster story. I had the far more glamourous friend too but I have often wondered since what she thought since the world seems full of those who had glamourous friends with very few to play the part of the glamourous one. Perhaps she thought you were glamourous back?
JJ said…
The first sign of syphilis! Ha. What a fantastic story.
Suffolkmum said…
I think we all have to live through the glamorous best friends stage - one of life's cruel rites of passage! Loved the fact that she even had a more glam hamster. Glad you're back 'on track' - I am just about to go our for a run, but am procrastinating, as ever.
Preseli Mags said…
I loved the hamster story! My cat used to love sitting on my hamsters' cage, dangling his paw in and dreaming of catching them. That was until the hamsters do what hamsters do best and bit him on the paw. The poor cat ended up on his back on the floor, the cage on top of him with a hamster attached to his paw by its teeth. All were uninjured (except in the pride and paw department.) The cat never went near the hamsters again (and they never stopped laughing at him!)

I'm glad to hear the training is going well. I have finally killed all thoughts of the Llanelli half by catching yet another bug and haven't been for a run since Friday. I should be out today, but can't even get up the stairs, let alone up the Preselis. I will be cheering you on gustily from the comfort of my sofa!
Exmoorjane said…
A big welcome back to your mojo! Mine has emigrated, never to return I fear.
Heck, you've made me remember Iused to draw those pictures too....ponies with tons of rosettes on their bridles and me grinning wildly at the judge. Never had the pony sadly.
Poor Susan indeed.
Fabulous to see you've started a new novel. jx
Crystal Jigsaw said…
I so wish I could run like that. Up and down stairs leaves me knackered and in desperate need of a massage. Dread to think what I'd be like after a half marathon.

Your friend sounds like the posh bird out of Shirley Valentine, the one played by Joanna Lumley. I'm sure you're nothing like Shirley however!!

Best wishes,
CJ xx
muddyboots said…
glad that you have recovered your mojo and as to glamorous friends seem to remember telling a not so glam chum that you got pregnant by french kissing......... slap wrists!
Pondside said…
Ah, life is good again - return of the Mojo, house full of kids, lines of poetry written - keep it up!!!
Cait O'Connor said…
So pleased you have found your Mojo Chris. This warmer weather is making is all feel better I think.
Flowerpot said…
so glad mojo is back - what a relief! And so sorry about your filling - hope the dental trip isnt too dire...
Debs said…
Poor Susan. Did she ever forgive you for frightening her with those tales?

Lovely picture, I wish I was going there, it looks so calm and beautiful.

Best of luck with the running. The only running I do, is in my dreams, and then it's because I'm late or something.
Lane said…
Poor Susan:-) You had a writer's imagination even then!

And yay to the returning mojo:-)
lampworkbeader said…
You've brought back happy memories of hamsters and other peoples's love bites. I wish I'd thought of the syphilis line.
LittleBrownDog said…
Glad to hear your mojo's back (which reminds me of a classic quote from my father in law on the occasion of H's 40th birthday, when the band at the restaurant we were at struck up with the famous Muddy Waters number. "What d'you suppose a mojo is?" asked MIL. "I think it must be his penis," intoned FIL in his loudest and most embarrassing medical consultants tone, much to the amusement of the adjacent table).

I also had a best friend called Susan who was also much more glamorous and worldly wise than me. She ended up marrying a milkman and living in a spotlessly clean house somewhere in suburbia. She didn't have a hamster, though. Or a lovebite, as far as I remember...
KittyB said…
Hang on a moment - is that MY mojo you've just found? Because I'm certainly missing some too. Tell you what, let me know where to look, where you found yours. Maybe mine's just crept under the floorboards while I wasn't looking. It will no doubt be tangled up with the underfloor heating pipes, that'll be why it can't seem to get back out again.
ChrisH said…
Elizabethm, I wish I could say she did, but sadly she 'chucked' me for a more suitably glam friend, but in doing so did me a huge favour because then I met my dear, dear friend, Jill.
JJ, mean of me though!
Suffolkmum, hope you got out for your run, you'll have felt better for it!
Mags, that's brilliant hamster story, respect to the hamster! So sorry to hear you are poorly again.. hope you are getting lots of tlc.
Jane, I'm glad I wasn't the only horsey fantastsist! In reality I was clomping around on series of hired grumpy old ponies!
Crystal, I bet you do a marathon's worth of running around during your day anyway!
ChrisH said…
Muddyboots.. so glad it wasn't just me!
Pondside, yes, I think it's time to just make the most of it!
Cait, a touch of Spring is working wonders; new life, snowdrops and - amazing - a little sunshine!
Fp, the dentist didn't agree that I had lost a filling... guess that hole must be my imagination then!!
Debs, see comment one! I did feel guilty about being so mean when I saw her face but it was just beautiful timing as we had just 'done' VD (as we called it then) at school!
Lane, an imagination that needs a little restraint at times! Thank you, all hail to the mojo!
Lampie, I'm glad it did and that you are not cyber-tutting at me!
LBD, er the last time I looked I didn't seem to have that kind of mojo! Brilliant line though! I did see my Susan again about 15 years ago and, probably as karma for my lovebite quip, she continued to have a lovely, fluffy, highly successful life/husband/career/child etc. We haven't kept the contact going!
Kitty, well I'm assuming it's mine now it's turned up but I do know it isn't Muddy Water's mojo which, according to LBD's FIL, is quite a different beast! And you wouldn't want one of those to peep out the pipework at you!
BT said…
So glad your Mojo's returned intact, Chris. Awful when it goes AWOL. Mine's been awol for quite some time, I'm hoping when I get my new studio built it'll be in there waiting for me!

Great hampster story.
Expat mum said…
What on earth is "one of those magic long runs when the weather was perfect, I felt good, switched off and flew round". Never had that happen. Mine usually goes something like - "After mile three I was bartering my first born with the Devil himself to let me stop and have a rest".
Edward said…
Great news about the mojo; ran a 10k yesterday and would have been alright had not the hydration overburdened the system (you don't want to know). You should get together with Milla's mother and compare hamster stories....
my flow has fled - howz your poem???
Lovely picture again.
ChrisH said…
BT, new studio sounds good, look forwards to hearing about it.
Expatmum -!!
Edward... I DO know, unfortunately!
SBS, life writing next so you'll have plenty to write about!

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