Friday 28 September 2012


Imagine how happy you would be - if your lost everything you owned, and then got it all back again?

Think about it for a minute.  I've always found that phrase kind of put things into perspective.   Especially if you are prone to doing really daft of things, like going to your GP and remembering to mention your dodgy eyesight, unaware that you are wearing the 3D dark glasses, and not your own designer prescription ones.  Or walked away from the cash point leaving £100 in the machine for the next honest customer to chase after you with the banknotes (yeh, right), two weeks before Christmas when you are seriously eyeing up the mutt and wondering what he would taste like alongside a few roast potatoes and brussel sprouts?  Being me, little diva, me, me, me, that I am, I had to actually put the whole destitute bit to the test. More of which to come.

I mean, when you lose something precious, that you will never get back again.  Anything from a precious loved one, to a great knife you once had for peeling spuds.   Material things don't seem to matter quite so much.  After much hunting (mostly online these days) I have been able to track down the same butter  knife .  However, I will have to live with the fact that I will never got back that packet of sausage rolls that I put underneath the baby's buggy way back in '88, ditto the singular garlic that fell out of the trolley on my way back to the supermarket car park in  the 70's.  Even, the last £100 I had in the world is beginning to stop hurting and is now stored  in the memory bank alongside the sausage rolls and the garlic.

The one thing we cannot replace is our loved ones.  Our confidants.  I have had the joy of shopping these days to refurbish the next home that I am going to.  My new home is very small and very humble, should any of my enemies be gloating, but I cannot stop tossing and turning for thinking of colour schemes, and 'what would Lynn choose?'

Its at times like these that I miss my loved ones the most.  Those lovely long gossips, those secrets that you would not share with anyone else in the world.  Outside of that miniscule circle of friends close to you.and your family.   And within each tiny group an assigned 'partner, relative,  friend' - there are those you can swear like a trouper with, and feel at ease about it, and then others with different qualities that you admire and you have the good manners to behave yourself accordingly.  Sort of horses for courses.  For most there is one special one, one who understands every aspect of you, even if that someone is just a special friend.  Someone you imagined growing old with, someone who remembers where they were when Elvis died.  Someone you had shared memories with.

I have never fully understood widowhood, if I am honest.  The agony of losing someone that close.  Your life partner, the person you planned all of your lives with.  The person who knew you were an arrogant moo, terrible lazy at times, a forgetful old thing, and often talked a load of old nonsense, but loved you anyway.  They would simply say yes dear, when you insist there is only one way in which to fold and stack flannels, for example, and woe betide anyone (as if?) putting the loo roll on the wrong way!  Incidentally, does anyone else change all loo rolls, even those in strangers houses, to the RIGHT way, ie, taken from the top, not underneath, hmm, or again is that just me?  Don't me started on tea bags.  Unfortunately, I am one of those angels who does take a walk, where others fear to tread.  And then I wonder why I remain among the Uninvited.

But I digress, like many readers of a similar age, I have had way too many bereavements these past few years and I can see now, how people can go from looking young, to looking old, sometimes, almost overnight.  Even in my own case., would you believe.  It is becoming a hard job these days to convince security people that the almost ten year old passport photo is my goodself.  I actually deny reality.  In my head I still see a svelte, Audrey Hepburn wannabe, but in photos I look like someone's granny.  It is most disconcerting.

Right now, I am missing my mum, its anniversary time.  I'm missing Big Lynn too.  I want to know their home decorating ideas, point out the bleeding obvious, and silly girly things, like getting exited by lampshades, and trading all sorts of ideas.  I miss my Dad too of course, but not on the decor side so much, he only found out in his fifties that he was in fact colour blind.

 Lynn too had her 'funny' little ways, and was well on her way to becoming a hoarder.  She once jokingly told me hadn't hoovered for a year.  Which was ironic really, because she used to be a germophobe.  To be fair, there wasn't much carpet to be seen, as she seemed to have filled virtually every spare bit of space.  I didn't bat an eyelid, I had my own huge spider that had taken up residence in the corner of the ceiling above my bed.  I didn't have the heart to destroy all his wonderful hard work, and I even named him.  I think I was a Buddhist at the time.  I am still in moral conflict on the whole spider issue. but I draw the line at maggots, and have still not forgiven sons for leaving live maggots in the fridge during their fishing days, nor, they me, for taking them to the pictures to see Little Buddha - not one of Keanue Reeves, better films.   But, I am a changed woman, for reasons I will get to eventually.  I digress, I intend on getting shipshape and going back to my inner 'Mrs Bouquet', so does anyone know where I can get hold of some tiny sugar lump tongs, silver, of course.

Lynn was a major source of knowledge on anything practical.  I would always consult her before buying any major appliance, or even phoning the doctor.  She had in-depth knowledge of  everything medical.  She had medical books by her bedside for night time read.  She knew every pill and potion from A to Z and could even tell you the side effects.  She was one of those mad lone women, that the locals used to go to, before it became more fashionable to burn them at the stake.  She was a bit of a renegade,  but she talked me out of buying Tea, Coffee, Sugar holders made of tin, and told me baby wipes were much cheaper than wet toilet tissues.  I haven't actually tried that yet, as we both intoxicated at the time, and scared they might not flush. She persuaded me, by phone, to get my lazy arse out of bed, and walk around the block a couple to time to cure the worst hangover, I had ever had in my entire life!  I had drunk scotch with a late night caller, who decided after years of dumping me, that I was the only love of his life, and always had been.  I, of course, fell for it.  In fact it became a bit of a theme.  Actually, it is a shame that technology was so barbarian at that time, because the poor sod whose company I required there and then (I was just as bad) had to pay telephone companies to block me singing 'Paper Roses' into their answering machines at 3.00am.  It is not something I am proud of.

I will sign off on my new epiphany, my new awakening.  Along with the bad, there is so much that is good out there.  When I am especially down, it is something that I try to remember.  Mind you at the really low times, I would dismember, anyone who would dare to suggest anything like that as a cure all.  Don't think anyone who suffers from manic depression could.  Friendship has actually changed things.  I don't know if I have changed, or other people have, but I have latched onto a lovely elderly Irish lady, who is much wiser and far more knowledgeable than myself and who has wonderful, mischievous ways of pointing this out.  She is a bit like a bizzarro version of my mother, one with a bit of common sense.  She is such great company, I fear I am becoming a pest!  And I have met others too, whose kindness have overwhelmed me.  For whatever reason, something has changed.  As my heroine Blanche DuBoir would say, 'I have often depended on the kindness of strangers' - and lovely to discover that they do indeed exist.  


  1. Hi Bell

    Hope you are feeling better than you are sounding. On a down day your memory seems to take you to places in your mind that hurt doesn't it?

    Think of all the funny times with Lynn like in your book and the laughs you had with your mum, especially the bit about lighting up a fag in her hospital bed.

    When we are down, we all think we are the only one feeling like this. Like only us has problems and every other persons life is a ball, not so.

    Think of all the good things in your life, like your lovely boys, the fact that you had a book published, a roof over your head, food on the table etc etc.

    Always think positive.

    Amanda xxx

    1. Hi Amandy, apologies for the delay in replying. Down days are mentally and physically crippling Amanda. The catholic part of me remains ingrained and I have to speak everything out loud, even if it is inappropriate, because God knows what you are thinking too, so no point in keeping it to yourself. The devil in me, goes for the shock value, but have grown used to people saying 'I feel like that too', so maybe I am not as barmy as I think.

      I'm not down per se, but moving on. Leaving the past behind, its another watershed. I have however kept, thus far, 3 suitcases and 4/5 cartons of photographs, birthday cards and school reports. I know, I have a problem! I think I've got a ration book in there somewhere!

      Good to see you Amanda, hope you are still enjoying your course. Younger son is now a full time student and older son is working towards his PhD. I could not be prouder.

      You are right. Other people have problems too, some I am sure, much worse than my own. I have always wondered 'what goes on indoors' a sort of peek into other peoples' worlds. Have to say, I am loving loads of the reality programmes (fav is 4 in a bed), especially slathering over the breakfasts. Would be mortally offended to be offered toast with a selection of marmalades. Some of them look great fun, would deffo go to the gay one where they chant in the afternoons, lol.

  2. I enjoyed reading this post. I am with you on the toilet paper - I cannot see one the wrong way around. I also refuse to do anything to spiders.

    I'm sorry you are missing your loved ones though. I'm glad you felt you could write about all of it, I hope it helped.

  3. The toilet paper thing is so vexing!

    I do miss my loved ones Rebecca, and have long been thinking of a way to be with them again. I have been going through old letters, not in a sad way, but laughing at the humour in them and finding renewed strength. Their characters come to life as I read them, as though they were there, just at the end of the phone. I'm definitely putting it down as a epiphany!