“It’s Mrs Jellywoman, isn’t it?”
I am at the gym (thanks for all the helpful hints – so far, so good), face to face with a jolly woman, probably in her mid-sixties. Though she might be ninety-eight but really, really benefiting from regular work-outs. She does look familiar but I can’t quite place her. I’m vaguely thinking Jacob’s nan; Jacob, whose suggestion for a word containing the ‘ee’ sound was “weed – like what you smoke.” Maybe, maybe not…
Life can turn on a sixpence.
Ann from next door and I were chatting yesterday whilst sweeping leaves off the pavement. Ann has an uncle – we’ll call him Pat – in his mid-nineties. He’s been married for forty-seven years to his second wife. Let’s call her Jess. She’s about ten years younger than Uncle Pat, so mid-eighties. There are two sons, both abroad.
Talking of which, this response has flooded in following my last blog. What a genius way to deal with cold callers!
“My brother … would greet them with the message ‘we are experiencing a very high volume of enquiries today but your call is important to us. Please hold the line’ and then follow up by playing Wagner until they lost the will to live.”
It’s two in the morning when the phone starts to ring. I stumble onto the landing; this being the early 80s and cordless phones the stuff of science fiction.
“Hello!” A voice bellows in my ear. Very loud; very Irish. “Is Mary there?”
“It’s two o’clock in the morning,” I answer. “She’ll be in bed.”
“Is Mary there?” comes back the yell. “It’s her brother in New York.”
“It’s still two o’clock in the morning – she’ll still be in bed,” I repeat.
“Can you get Mary for me?” I give up, go downstairs and bang on the bedroom door.
“Your brother’s on the phone again.” Eventually Mary appears, dressing-gowned and curlered. I make my way back to bed while my landlady and Seamus yell across the Atlantic at each other.
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Probably, my own fault, to begin with. Shouldn’t have had the tea. Shouldn’t have gone online.
Last night to our local flea-pit to see ‘Carmen’, streamed live from the ENO. Brilliant: sultry, sensuous and edgy. Matched the weather, which has been hotter than Spain.
“Well she’s no better than she should be,” was ActorLaddie’s verdict. How true.
As I remember her telling it, LovelyColleague thought she’d take the chance to pick up some bits for their new home. In particular, she fancied getting a few scented candles. So it was that she and hubby found themselves queuing for the midnight opening of the new IKEA.
I called into the nursery on my way home from work, full of end of term good-will. I’d get a Christmas tree up and ready for when ActorLaddie got back and we could start the holidays in piney perfection. The chosen tree had a lovely shape; plenty of needles, smelt of Christmas.
The kids helped me lug it up the stairs to the living room – this being when we had GrannyBorders installed on the ground floor. Decorations ready, festive ginger wine poured. We just needed to put the tree in its stand, take off the netting – and that’s when I found that it was too big for the bay.