Attics and Christian Science

I was thinking about my grand aunt.

We called her ‘Nell’, my grand uncle called her ‘Helen’. Only by doing research for the family tree did I discover her official name was ‘Nellie’. It was not a name that had the lofty tone of gravitas she assumed in her conversations with people the status of a lowly nephew.

Anyway, Aunt Nell would have had something to say on the matter.

Having a third floor apartment in a three floor block brings the benefit of having an attic, somewhere to put all the stuff luckier people put in their garage or garden shed. It means that there is a slight semblance of order in the living space, although I cannot imagine what it would be like if someone else were living with me.

Of course, having an attic is only useful if there is a regular gathering of the detritus of ordinary existence and a climbing of the loft ladder.

On the last such elevation of random items, the light bulb in the attic blew. I am not sure why this is such a frequent phenomenon, it is not as though the light is used that much. Perhaps attics are subject to greater variations in heat.

Anyway, I decided that the lack of  light in the roof space made it a dangerous place to be without light as the space is interrupted by beams at various angles. To make it safer, I needed to go up and find what sort of bulb was required.

Taking the bayonet fitting bulb out of its socket, I turned for the hatchway and cracked my head on a beam I couldn’t see. Slightly discombobulated, I missed a step at the bottom of the loft ladder and skinned my shin. I knew I had skinned my shin because I could feel the blood trickling down my leg.

Now, Aunt Nell.

Aunt Nell was a Christian Scientist, or claimed to be anyway. Her chief religious activity was watching Songs of Praise on television and complaining if she didn’t like the hymns.

Christian Science seemed to have little by way of Christianity, and nothing by way of science, but for Aunt Nell it meant that illness was caused by attitude. So my asthma, she told me, was caused by me thinking in the wrong way.

‘It’s got nothing to do with the brochii in my lungs not working properly, then?’ I once asked her.

‘What are bronchii?’ she asked.

Aunt Nell would have seen all illnesses in terms of my attic experience. Wrong decisions leading to painful consequences.

I can’t find a bayonet bulb anywhere.

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