Another illustrated metaphor for my life. This time involving a jigsaw with missing bits.

I requested, and duly received, a jigsaw for Christmas. (And a colouring book – but the stress of trying to colour inside the lines nearly gave me a coronary). I thought a jigsaw might help calm my mind and stop me monkey braining all over the bloody shop. And it’s a spacey themed one so double the fun. Truth is it’s sent me a bit doolally.  I started it last weekend and now I’m hyperfocusing on the bastard thing and it’s become another metaphor for my life.

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See the top left there? (Ignore the cute dog – I’ll come to that later – I don’t know how to crop pictures in WordPress). Well fuck me if there aren’t bits missing.

I waited for just the right conditions to start the jigsaw. I can’t remember what they were but there was something in the air and I thought “this is a good day for a jigsaw. It’s a jigsaw kinda day” as I lay on the bed, legs akimbo, waiting for the Immac to work its magic on my winter plumage. So I wiped all the crumbs and other detritus off the kitchen table onto the floor with my arm with a Dettol antibacterial kitchen wipe and out came the jigsaw. Re the table; purchased from the British Heart Foundation for forty quid, it’s the kinda table you’d have laid out the deceased on in days gone by (I’d imagine, although it’s a Seventies design so I’ve clearly gotten a bit confused there with my imaginings) and invited the neighbours in to gawp at them to say goodbye over a scone and a sherry. It’s a massive table. It’s got extra panels that slot in with a satisfying click. It had a lovely patina when I bought it but the cleaner (don’t you cocking well judge me) sprayed bleach on it to clean it and that was that. Patina = fucked. But it remains a marvellous piece of engineering and very jigsaw worthy, as it turns out.

So much for hoping the jigsaw would calm my mind. I’m scared the world ends before I finish it. I wake up thinking about it. So far I’ve only managed to do the outline with the exception of the missing bits. I’m obsessed with the missing bits. I’ve done three full sweeps of the box. THREE. Every single piece has been in my hands and examined closely for edges. I know I’m stressed because I’m humming. I hum when I’m stressed. I’ve been humming a lot during this icy weather. The stress of walking and staying upright on slippery pavements makes me hum. I walk past the jigsaw humming and sometimes look back quickly to see if I can catch it out. I’m even eyeing up Tucker. I’m convinced he’s eaten the missing bits. I might shake him upside down and see if they fall out, but if his response to the new brush I attempted to brush him with earlier is anything to go by I won’t bother. Crabbit little shit. I’ve checked his bed too, to no avail, but I did find my purple bra with the bow chewed off it.

The other worrying thing about the jigsaw is that I’m not really a completer. I’m more yer ideas wummin and get bored with longer term implementation. So the jigsaw, whilst it remains unfinished, is just something else for me to beat myself over the head with, figuratively speaking. I can’t see it ever finished, and it’s no good if somebody else does it. If somebody so much as touches it, I whimper, especially if they finish a bit I was enjoying, like for example the rings round Saturn. A visiting child touched it earlier today. I glared at it.

My life is a lot like the jigsaw of doom. I’ve got missing bits and I’ll be lovely when I’m complete. I don’t know what the missing bits of my life are though. A relationship? It’s safe to say I’m crap at them so I’m not in a hurry to shake Tucker upside down and see if one of them falls out. A Valentine’s card would be nice though. Not a sympathy one though – a real one, from a real admirer HINT HINT. So if you’re reading this and thinking I mean you, just assume I do. And I still haven’t been to the fucking Kelpies.

I forgot to mention cute dog in picture above. It’s Yoda. I think it might be a French bulldog. Can’t remember. I was too busy guarding the jigsaw.

An illustrated metaphor for my life involving a bandana. Not a banana. Although that also works. 

See this pic?

Well if you look closely – if you’re not blinded by my teeth that look like they could eat a tomato through a tennis racquet – you’ll see that Rachael (the child lying horizontally) is wearing a red bandana. This bandana was purchased on the day this picture was taken which was oh about twenty five years ago. (The other two people are my sister in law Brenda and my brother William if you must know – but they’re peripheral to the story, although interestingly now live in Holland, land of the Dutch, which reminds me of the day William and I went to visit the mother in the care home or “Grantanamo” as Brenda wrly observed, and we were trying to jog mother’s memory as to who William was by singing a song she used to sing when William and Brenda first departed for Holland – the last line being:

she’s down in the meadow, milking a cow” 

but mother joined in instead with:

“she’s down in the meadow, fisting a cow”). 


The bandana was purchased in a shop in Oban and was an expensive wee purchase at the time, as I recall. It’s an OshKosh B’Gosh (that was an arsehole of a thing to type) bandana. I know it was purchased twenty five years ago because the horizontal child is now 28 and, for the most part, vertical. The bandana has survived the years and been worn on various body parts, but mostly on my own head, to either conceal manky hair or to complement a particular hairdo. (It’s also been worn tied round my neck at a jaunty angle, air hostess style, to annoy Kate Cameron, but she wears cropped trousers on holiday so quid pro quo, Clarice, as Hannibal would say).

Today, ye olde bandana was tied round my head as a headbandy thing to conceal my manky hair which had assembled itself into two “horns” atop my head, resembling a Valkyrie, thus:

(Manky keeps autocorrecting to manly which makes me lol…mmmmm manly hair…). I’d forgotten I was wearing it when I took Tucker for his evening lamppost sniffing outing. The wind took my breath away (the actual wind, not Tucker’s bum toots although they’d strip paint off walls the day after he’s been eating buried treasure he’s dug up from the garden) and with it, at some stage in our half hour parish inspection, the bandana, apparently, I realised as I arrived home sans bandana.

I had my tea on the go so was rightly concerned about the timing of my baked potato, which left me conflicted: a) should I climb back in to the hottest coat in the world and its accompanying dodgy zip which gets stuck at inopportune moments eg airport security which then leaves me sweating like drug mule Billy Hayes in Midnight Express and go search for the bandana or

b) oh what the blow it’s only a thing. The universe giveth and the universe taketh away. The universe is a shit.

Settling on option b above, I climbed back in to the drug mule coat, ensured I was appropriately shod for the skating rink pavements once again (you can’t be too careful at my age, osteoporis is just around the bloody corner), and skittered back down the icy drive (without dog – I was too crabbit by this point) to begin the search for the fucking bandana.

Against the howling, biting wind, I skittered back up Glasgow Street to the Goldie Park (I vary my route, so any weirdo stalkers reading this who think they’ll find me doon the Goldie Park of a dark evening can piss off – you’ll find me down the boathouse, where it’s even darker and scarier, with rapists round every corner, if you’re interested) encountering only a woman with two big dogs in a leopard print dressing gown, possibly from Primark, who eyed me suspiciously – the cheek of it! – as I wandered back over Tucker’s pawprints in the snow in the middle of a dark field;

“You awright doll?” she enquired…

“Aye fine thanks!” I replied, needlessly further explaining “my bandana flew off my head earlier, I’m just looking for it. I’ve had it a long time, it’s been all over the world with me” I doubt she needed my life story, but at best it’ll have given her something to tell the weans on her return from her walk in a dressing gown.

Guess what? I found the bandana. I bloody kissed it, which on reflection was stupid because the two big dogs belonging to the be-dressing gowned woman had probably pissed on it. Well, I’ve never died a winter yet.

I like to think that all of this is potentially a metaphor for my life, surely? Something about having things for years, loving them but taking them for granted, losing them, being sad, looking for them, finding them and probably taking them for granted again?  Oh I don’t know. It felt like a good metaphor when I started writing it.