A Day Off

It was a late late lunch. My friends had initially planned to be here for half past eleven, but it was a good two hours later when they arrived. I had vacuumed das Boot and was catching up on yesterday’s Guardian. Giles Fraser’s Loose Canon column hit a particular chord. I have been thinking about Mother’s last months and days, the way she has had to accept care. She was a very independent woman and the helplessness she experienced would have been the opposite of everything she would have desired. Yet in a strange way, I believe it healed something in her. As I mentioned before, her own mother died when Mother was just seven. It was a tough, insecure childhood. She and her siblings were a close gang, but their trust in adults was small. Experience taught them young that adults were unreliable. They looked after themselves and each other. So finding herself cared for by people who were kind to her, who looked after her when she could not care for herself, who wanted her comfort and happiness, may have done something to help the damaged child inside. I hope so.
The boat battery was flat. My fault. I should have been running the engine regularly this last week and I haven’t. But I am not going to beat myself up about that and neither did my friends. We left it on charge, went to the pub and toasted our three deceased mothers. We talked about the afterlife and our belief and lack or it. The pub had stopped serving food, so we headed off to another by the river where we ate well in the sunshine and boat spotted. Someone behaving boorishly, revving the engine and leaving a terrible wash, incurred the disapproval of the entire pub. He remained happily impervious of the tutting and moored full of smiles. My friends’ Jack Russell, now a ripe old seven, fell for a spaniel aged just nine months. I fell for a beautiful German Shepherd called Joseph. There will be pictures at some point.
We came back to the marina where the battery had charged sufficiently to start. It wasn’t a long trip, just round to the tap to fill the water tank. It took ages, so we made coffee which my friends drank. In theory this means I should now have hot water on das Boot, but I seem to have an airlock, so I shall be boiling kettles for a while yet.
My friends left as the sun set. MasterB emerged and I took him ashore. We only came back on board half an hour ago. He wants my attention so I shall stop now. He is the best of cats.


23 thoughts on “A Day Off

  1. Why is it there always has to be someBODY behaving badly and leaving a wake that leaves people lurching for something to hold fast to. AND they always are totally clueless to the havoc they rock and roll. I will be looking forward to pictures.. 🙂 And yes, I believe MasterB knew that something was serious and he was the best of ginger boys. Your Ginger Ninja knew you needed him. Hugs Isobel.

  2. I’m glad you had a day with friends…it sounds like it was relaxing after such a hectic, disconcerting week. Our fur-babies always know when we need attention….How lonely Das Boot would have been without MasterB to comfort you!

  3. This has hit a real chord with me Isobel. As you know I am currently in Suffolk looking after my own sick mother. She also lost her own mother as a child, and it has occurred to me many times in this last week that her current helplessness and my looking after her – doing everything for her – has reawakened the damaged child in her and hopefully helped to heal it. It is so strange to read your post while I am in the middle of experiencing this.
    I have been thinking of you very much this week.
    With lots of love

    • Oh Lorely. I do hope she is accepting your help. Did you read Giles Fraser’s piece? It was such an echo of what I had been saying to Nephew’s Wife I was gobstruck. It is a challenge and a blessing to nurse our mothers. Not easy. My thoughts are with you.

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