A Real Life Crime by Barbara Nadel

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I’m late with my blog this week and this isn’t just because I’ve just got back from İstanbul. That was a fantastic trip which I will tell all about at a later date, but at the moment all you need to know is that it ended badly.

As usual when I go to Turkey I take a load of stuff out for people there and bring a load of stuff home for people here. By ‘stuff’ I mean I take out UK newspapers, Christmas and birthday presents and I come home laden down with Turkish tea, olive oil soap and Turkish textiles.

When I fly back to my local airport, Manchester, I have to get the airport train into the city, then the tram across town from Piccadilly Station to Victoria Station where I catch the train home to the middle of nowhere. It’s no big deal but I arrived home during the rush hour and so the trams were packed. As a consequence I had to keep on lumping my really heavy suitcase around so that people could get on and off. I did it so often I put my back out. Oh joy.

So now I’m in pain and am walking around the house bent over like a gibbon. It bloody hurts but I can’t take bucket loads of medication because I have to work. So I’m not happy. However worse than the pain is the reason behind why I have the injury in the first place.

As a woman of a ‘certain age’ I have absolutely no ‘victim value’ in British society. I am neither a young and pretty blonde (who may well ‘put out’ or at least smile sweetly for a knight in shining armour) or a frail old lady who everyone will ‘aahh’ over. I fall into that category known as ‘tough, middle aged old bag’ and it is a category that no-one wants to look at, least of all tough, middle aged old men. I put my back out because, in spite of the fact that it was obvious I was struggling, no bastard deigned to help me, mainly because of my age.

However before the people of Manchester rise up against me and cry that my accusations are unfair, I do have to say that this phenomenon has nothing to do with Manchester per se. It is a general phenomenon that infects the whole country. The invisible middle aged woman. And if you ask me it’s a damn crime!

Now I have to stop this typing as my back is bloody murder.

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