It was fortunate that I was able to come East yesterday afternoon, as minutes before I left I had a conversation with someone that made me want to modern one of my neighbours. Celia and Octavia can probably guess which one. I may still want to murder her when I get home on Sunday, as my feelings have remained pretty unchanged for over twenty-four hours, but at least there are some miles between us for a while.
If MasterB had not gone back to bed and delayed me, I shouldn’t have had the conversation at all. I am not sure if that is a good or bad thing.
Anyway. I played Van Morrison in an almost endless stream, and got out beyond the slow London traffic to the slow traffic beyond, and practised breathing calmly, and made myself concentrate. In my head I wrote a paean to gardens and how good they are for us. I don’t remember it now, but it comforted me and included the word lyrical, which is one of my highest words of praise.
So maybe there is karma, because when I stopped a mile or so short if the marina at the new egg place, all the dogs came out to greet me, which brought the Egg Lady herself, who explained the eggs were sold, then suddenly remembered she had just collected a few, and if half a dozen would be all right? Which they would. And we chatted, and I gave her my collection of egg boxes from the boot of the car. And drove the last part of the road to das Boot admiring the poppies by the leek fields, the evening sun on the grass, and telling MasterB he was A Good Boy.
Today has been Aunt Day. she sounds so chipper on the ‘phone I am never sure what to expect. She is thinner, but still bright-eyed and needed no persuasion to get in the car and drive through the poppied roads to our favourite pub at Reach. Summer being an event we are still waiting for, we opted for an inside table. She wouldn’t eat as she is increasingly sick are food, but loved her pot of tea while I munched my way through a cheese sandwich with salad. We talked about her work with children. Or rather I asked questions, she talked animatedly. Should we really be anticipating her death this year, even this summer? She seems more alive than many people years her junior. At the farm shop they had cornflowers, so I bought her a bunch and we marvelled at their deep blue.
She insisted on accompanying me and refused to use the wheelchair we’d brought when I went to Halford’s and Homebase for boat DIY stuff. At Homebase, an assistant took her to a comfortable garden chair while I paid. It was so good, we may just take a flask next time and sit there.
I think it gave her confidence, because on the way back to her flat she said she would like to go to Sainsbury’s and do her own shopping for the first time in weeks. She didn’t buy much, but you could see she was pleased. She went around with a trolley, while I grabbed a few bits and pieces and put them in the car, then took her prescription to the chemist’s. I found her in a chair close to the checkouts.
Uncle Bill will be ‘phoning her about now. She says she’ll have a lot to tell him.