September 16th, 2014



Mary came round with a pot of damson jam and the village gossip. She hasn't seen my mother in several months and was talking to her as if she could still hear/recognise the personalities involved/follow a conversation. I found it painful to watch.

My mother is quite good at pretending to understand what's going on around her. People who only see her briefly don't realise just how far out to sea she is.

This morning she insisted on putting her watch on before going downstairs. She never does that. It's a a tiny thing- but put it with all the other tiny things and it becomes evidence of how she's losing her grip on her own routines and rituals.

She still spends the morning with her newspaper. Increasingly she'll hand it across the table to me to have me explain a story or a picture. I'll say my piece, hand the paper back- and a minute later she'll repeat the request. We take her correspondence off her after she's looked at it once or she'd go over it again and again.

Retail Therapy

Every other Tuesday we take my mother to the hairdresser's. She'd rather not go- because she hates leaving the house- but if she insists on maintaining a hairstyle that's been out of fashion for half a century it's the price she has to pay.

We're rather in favour of the arrangement because it gives us three quarters of an hour to visit the charity shops in Paddock Wood. Today we made the best haul ever. To wit:

An electric juicer

A pottery bowl

A CD of music by the Kinks

2 CDs of 20th century English music- Gurney, Bridge, Finzi, Taverner.

And- best of all- a very fine 19th century print of St Michael's Mount with boats in the foreground, after Clarkson Stansfield.