For most of the seventh form, my best friend Eva and I spent every French class in the common room playing 500 with whoever was around, bidding, winning and losing tricks. None of the other seventh formers commented. Perhaps they didn’t notice.
My mother reads out the list she’s made of her aches and ailments for the psycho-geriatrician to fix: the discomforts and infirmities of old age are not okay. She wants to be back playing golf, playing bowls and cards, physically able and mentally agile; not nearly ninety, frail and failing.
The poppies that grew in my grandfather’s quarter-acre garden were bedraggled specimens. Each individual plant sat apart, marooned in its own patch of dull brown soil. Similarly the lemon trees dotted around the grassy lawn were like respectable neighbours who preferred to keep at arm's length. The lemon trees had the attraction of glossy leaves … Continue reading Of poppies and passionfruit
Steam wafted from the chink where the serving spoon emerged from the lid of the blue-and-white willow-pattern dish. A peek within revealed the bright green of the sweet steaming fresh peas. But the matching dish on the luncheon table with its bland dish of plain boiled potatoes muted the momentary anticipation. The extending table was … Continue reading Sunday visit
‘There must’, we said, ‘be a back exit’. But a mental scan of the corridor outside revealed no discreet service lift. Just a series of hotel-like rooms and, opening up in the other direction, the bland living and dining area, then through that to the large lifts down to the ground floor and further below, … Continue reading Going out
Kahil Gibran wrote that your children are not your children. Even as a student in the 1970s I recognised the truth in what he said. And it turns out, bringing up children is a series of letting go's, from taking your hands off the back of the two-wheeler bike to walking away on the first … Continue reading Letting go of the children (or, I’ve not got Alzheimers yet)
After years in the corporate world, I was more than ready to embrace the role of earth mother. Of course, that's not quite what happened.
Two small-town girls go to stay with their Nana and Pop in the city and discover they live life in a much richer way.
I'm glad to be rid of plastic in the home for aesthetic as well as planetary reasons. And it's not so long ago that my mother and grandmothers managed without it.