Are You My Friend or My Enemy?

I’ve never particularly suffered from a weak bladder or stress incontinence but lately my bladder seems to have stopped being my friend and become my enemy. Have I done something to offend it? Taken it for granted, perhaps? Not shown it sufficient appreciation? Perhaps I should have brought it flowers and chocolates – wait, no, that’s a bit tokenistic; I should have talked to it more instead of getting annoyed every time it gives me a nudge in the middle of a dramatic TV programme or worse, in the middle of the night.

Actually it’s not the bladder per se which alerts you to the need to pass urine but a nerve which begins to tingle. Everyone knows the increasing urgency with which this can make itself felt, and how awkward that can be in the wrong social setting. It ought not to be taboo to need to pee in the middle of something yet it so often is; one of my nightmares is needing to pee in the middle of a live TV show and ending up wetting myself.

But lately my bladder has taken to being perverse and contrary: I only have to drink one extra cup of chamomile and it’s on the war-path: This is unacceptable. You’ve really crossed a line now, and you’re going to pay. Viz: last night I had one – just one – extra mug before bed and it woke me up three times. Three. That’s three periods of struggle where I try to ignore it and go back to sleep, realise I can’t, force myself to crawl out of bed and pee, then go back to bed and try to recover dormancy. Three.

Right, that’s probably more than enough about my bladder. Yesterday we watched another episode of the AIDS drama It’s a Sin, which continues to be tragic and feelgood in about equal measure; it’s hard now to remember the fear and disgust directed at those dying from the disease and the sense that they’d brought it all on themselves. In last night’s episode Stephen Fry pops up as a Conservative MP who’s in the closet; I suspect he’ll turn out to be a total hypocrite, one of those who campaigned against homosexual ‘lifestyles’ while pursuing one in secret. It’s astonishing how things have changed; in the ’80’s most Christians were homophobic, including my mother; two years ago I attended a Pride service in the parish church. We’re rationing ourselves to one episode a night so after that, and purely in the spirit of research, I watched Sherlock yet again. I’m writing a fan-fiction short story in the Holmes canon so I thought it might give me some ideas but in any case I never tire of watching these. They’re so clever and each episode is so dense with action and meaning that they bear watching again and again. Besides, I’m a little bit in love with Benedict Cumberbatch, even if he is gay.

Isn’t he? I’d better check. Nope, apparently not – he’s married to director Sophie Hunter. I have no idea what he’s like in real life but as Sherlock he’s utterly irresistible. I always have these little flings with actors; over the years I’ve been madly in love with John Hurt, Jeremy Irons and Kevin Costner (yes, I know) not to mention Colin Firth. I also had a thing for Paul McGann in his youth.

I’d better get on now; I have a short story to finish editing and send off, about a pair of sunglasses which turn out to be possessed…

Kirk out