On Channel 4, whose news programme at seven in the evening is required watching chez IsobelandCat, they are starting to trail the Rio Paralympics. Can it really be four years since the blissful summer that was London 2012? Impossible. Yet maybe it’s not so bad as four years on I can still feel that thrill, that joy that marked the occasion. Seeing the footage again gives me a tingle of excitement about Rio.
Maybe this time round I’ll be able to watch the Olympics and the Paralympics from the comfort of the sofa. My postage stamp sized television is about to be supplanted by one I have inherited from Aunt. In 2012, when Jessica Ennis won gold I was up close and personal in front of the screen. It was the same when I watched David Weir, the *weirwolf*, net his three gold medals. And Hannah Cockcroft, Mo Farah and all those other amazing athletes.
It’s appropriate I have Aunt’s television as I bought her her previous one. I don’t remember ever buying shampoo for her, but that is a large part of what I have inherited too. She left all her money to the church, leaving some aside for the substantial refreshments and the cost of her funeral. While she was still alive, knowing that we would be the ones to clear her home, she said that Linda and I should take whatever we wanted or could use. Most stuff is going to a charity that works with homeless people but which also has a connection with a centre collecting things for refugees. Aunt’s clothes are going to keep women in the Calais *jungle* warm. Her fortified foods will hopefully help those suffering from malnutrition, and her stocks of gluten free food will mean some of her fellow sufferers of coeliac disease living in precarious circumstances may get the right diet.
Meanwhile I shan’t have to buy any cleaning products for several years. I may never have to buy soap again, and if you are running out of body lotion, I’m the woman to talk to. A lot of the toiletries were started so we couldn’t pass them on. I think I mentioned before that Aunt said she enjoyed opening new things. I shall be reminded of her for some time as I moisturise my hands with the contents of half used tubes of hand cream.
Linda persuaded me to take the microwave. I have never had one and never felt the lack. It’s still in the car and I don’t feel very excited about it. But maybe it’ll be like the dishwasher, and I shall wonder how I have managed to live so long without one. I do begrudge the space it’s going to take up in the kitchen though. I have a feeling it may not be a long term resident in my home. It’s pretty impersonal. Not like the soap. I love good soap, and the discovery that Aunt tucked bars of Roger Gallet among her clothes just as I do, made her feel closer. Just as the day when I realised the predominant colours in both our homes were green and blue.
I’ll be wearing a lavender coloured cardigan that belonged to her which hung in an unmothproofed cupboard and has lots of little holes in it, adding the dried herbs and spices which filled her kitchen to my food, and writing letters on part of her extensive stationery collection for a while yet. She used to talk about things “seeing her out”. I think some of them will see me out too.
I don’t know if any other family has bars of good soap as a family heirloom, but she may have started something in ours.