Showing posts from April, 2013

Not you AGAIN................

It had been a long shift.  On nights, there are no visitors but the same amount of nursing gets done, tablets are administered, people are checked and turned, reports are written, a presence is needed in a room where a tiny woman is making the lonely crossing to the other side.  On the night when I had been listening to the radio interview, with Siobhan curled in the corner of a chair that resemb les a giant pram, and while my sister lying silently on the airbed , contemplated the flickering candle on the sill, we all listened to my husky voice saying words, a resident was hovering in the blue space between here and there. M and I had many conversations. Readers may remember she made me the hand knit patchwork quilt that spurred and re-kindled my interest in a hobby I did not know I loved. (It was in this vein that I rocked up to meet friends last week in a jumper I had knit for a "Man" but which I was now sporting. The sleeves touching the ground. ) On one fine

Country Girl

Siobhan always knew when I was up to mischief. Even as a small child my absence was noted, primarily due to the cessation of constant chatter  and/or hysteria. The silence would have drawn comment and she would put down whatever was in her hands and stand at the bottom of the 3 flights of stairs with her ear cocked. “That little lady is up to no good” she would think and call up the stairs…… “Sheee eeelll, are you rooting up there?” I would almost fall into the press where I WAS rooting and caught in the act shout back down “NOOOOO, I’m just playing” and leg it. When she would have negotiated the very top of the stairs I would be sitting blithely and nonchalantly reading a book on my bed. She knew well enough I was a consummate actress and feigning unconcern she would walk across to straighten the curtains and peep out the small windows into the square. “Well, whatever you’re at you may come down now, it’s teatime.” It was from rooting that I found everything. I had my f

Send in the Clown

It may be because I live alone that I engage like someone on speed, then race home to the controlled madness that is my house, where I slump in a corner like a deflating, softening balloon the morning after a party. Cherrypicking multiple and various topics simultaneously,getting distracted by someone on the path who looks weird, forgetting what I am twittering about, wandering from story to sto ry, like a child playing hopscotch, breathlessly trotting out the punchline to an audience, that the more ornery I get the funnier they find me. "You should sell tickets" they say. "You should do Stand-Up" they say. And the truth shall set you free. This is how my drives to Siobhan are. When I walk in the door I am still smiling from leaving the driver alternately amused and aghast. The grin is wiped off my puss when I open the door. Siobhan looks tiny tonight. Her hair - fading from her natural blonde into silver - is flopping across one eye, and she is slumped sideways


It has always fascinated me what we leave behind. The lingering smell of baking in a warm kitchen at evening time that tickles every hopeful nose, the smell of gel and toothpaste from a steamy bathroom, the indentation of a head on a pillow, sleep rumpled sheets.  These memories of a life. The things that hold the energy of the owner. I never find it morbid, in fact the total opposite is true.  The flotsam and jetsam of a life. I love unearthing treasures in the most unlikely places. The remnants of a day, a napkin pressed between the folded pages of a diary, a train ticket creased neatly into a purse. All of these tiny things tell the story of Us. In the rooms that house the people of no memory the very bricks hold the imprint of their story. The slates above them witness their confusion and tears, the agitation, the frustration. The halls ring with their calls and taps, a hand knocking, knocking softly on a closed kitchen door. The handbags open and gaping and the sticks tap tap tap