Are you a man or a woman? Excuse me!

Di Wade
Di Wade
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Columnist Di Wade writes about how singularity defines her life

A recent survey asked me whether I were a man or a woman, and then what I had been at birth.

To which my first reaction was “Excuse me!”, before I reflected that, having just given my ethnicity as probably white but then who knew with my sight deficiencies, I might have room to talk.

Singularity arguably defines my everyday life.

I began today by snatching up an empty cup that wasn’t, causing a river of tea all over my bedside table and slippers.

Fortunately, this seemed to extend no further, but not entirely trusting my powers of detection in this area, I was still imagining ugly brown stains on my new carpet as I reached for my white stick, which wasn’t there.

Assisted by my visiting mum, I had yesterday been discovering if I could, unaided, find key points in my new neighbourhood – Bargain Booze and the chippy, say –she kindly overseeing from the rear to ensure I did not end up in downtown Timbuktu: and chortling with merriment as my stick found more telegraph poles than I should have thought possible – and I expressed myself accordingly.

It later took our combined efforts to fold my jolted stick back up again, which must have distracted me into putting it back in the wrong place.

To no avail now, so it was a relief to stumble on it, improbably protruding from a pink welly, as I hurried from the house: straight into my taxi-driver, who was diligently removing my dustbin from my doorstep. Rather handily since, never expecting to find it there, I should otherwise undoubtedly have gone flying over it into the middle of next Thursday.

I am incredibly fortunate in my taxi-drivers.

True, some persist in cheerfulness at an hour rated by me like Chinese water torture, but mostly they are worth their weight in gold, often, through such improbable conversation topics as Facebook coffee-sharing and the missed opportunity of World Championship Fireworks lit by a bloke with a box of matches, providing the highlight of the day.

So, I duly thanked this particular driver, stick held like a talisman.

It was only when I unfolded this on arrival at work, and bits started flying off the end, that I realised I in fact held its clapped-out predecessor: It was Rochdale V Blackpool all over again, game over which clearly wasn’t.

Moreover, my stick –the right one – being my least losable commodity after my hearing aids, the question as to where I could have put it recurred throughout the day.

And remained unanswered even after an increasingly wild search of my house, incorporating the fridge and piano, later.

I had given up in disgust, and was taking solace in the Apprentice, (I DO love that programme), when there was an unlikely bump in the night, and my stick simply landed beside me.

Great, so, as though life were not already complicated enough, I now had a poltergeist?

I just hoped it was a season-inspired phenomenon. Happy Halloween.