CW – 5Min: Does Anyone Have a Safety Pin?

No, really!  Has anyone got a safety pin?  I could really use one right now.  Three and a half weeks into lockdown, I saw a post on Facebook suggesting local people could make wash-bags for NHS staff and other uniformed workers to put their uniforms in at the end of a shift where they have been exposed to the virus – thus enabling them to put the bag complete with contents into the wash and eliminating the risk of contaminated carrier bags.  This seems a good idea to me so I get started.  I raid my stash of vintage bedding and start running up draw string bags out of old sheets and pillow cases.  I even manage home-made draw strings.  I know I’ve got a gadget somewhere for pulling the strings through the channels in the top of the bags, but I can’t find it.  Here I am with six bags and six drawstrings and no way of uniting them.  Does anyone have a safety pin?            

Image showing  a safety pin        

Oh God not again.  Every time I have somewhere to go, I just know it will happen.  My bra strap has snapped again.

I only have one bra as living on the streets doesn’t really allow for a wardrobe, but I do like to try and make an effort – after all I’m always on the lookout for some work.

Last night the pastor told me that Costa were looking for someone to do table clearing and washing up.  He said he would recommend me to them, and to turn up at 10am.

I desperately ask everyone around me if anyone has a safety pin, but get a load of shaking heads.

Then I see a glint on the floor and bend down to pick up – yes, a safety pin!  This has to be my lucky day.

Image showing  a safety pin

My wedding dress was white spotted net.   A simple design with a wide, wide skirt supported by a stiff petticoat.  All was well till we came to the reception line in which I stood with my two sets of parents and new husband.   Suddenly, I realised that the petticoat had come adrift and any minute was going to appear below my dress in a heap.  The bridesmaids were summoned.  “Anyone got a safety pin?”

Image showing  a safety pin

It’s Sunday evening, curtains closed, so it must be winter.  Grandad is sitting in his favourite chair – bathed, shaved, clean shirt, and Dad is helping in the kitchen.

Dad often helps, but this is a particular task for him … winkles.  My seven-year-old self wrinkles her nose and pulls a face – partly because of the slightly risqué nature of the word, partly because I know what’s coming.  Those tiny shells, boiling their wriggling insides – at least I think boiled, although I don’t actually remember seeing the cooking process.  A dishful for Dad and another for Grandad – with brown bread and butter possibly – but I may have got that wrong. 

They’re both sitting there now, keen to start on their seafood treat – but no way of hooking the little creatures from their shells.

Mum rustles through her needlework basket but comes back empty-handed.  The cry goes out around the house –

“Has anyone got a safety pin?”           

Image showing  a safety pin          

We were all so young, and nervous and excited.  There’d never been a Miss Little Wittering Beauty contest ever before.  The new vicar who professed to be up with the times had still taken some persuading to allow it in the Church Hall even if it WAS for charity.

Somehow Mandy had persuaded him.  She could charm the dog collar off a Bishop, that one.

Luckily, the accident happened in rehearsal and not on the actual night.  My entrance nearly didn’t happen: Just as I was about to step into my ridiculously high heeled shoes, I tripped over a chair and the big hoop that held my bikini top together in the middle snapped in half and the top flew off.  It was a plastic hoop and totally useless.  Amid the shrieks and some laughter- it wasn’t at all funny – fortunately out of sight of the stage – I was shouting and swearing: Christ! Oh for God’s sake, does anyone have a safety pin?

Good job the vicar was bell-ringing next door and out of earshot, and not witnessing my very unholy language.