Thursday, 13 December 2012


Liz has been rather under the weather with a bad case of 'cant-be-bothered'. This meant that the distance from bed to computer became rather a challenge so that the gap between posts began to feel like a challenge, too. It seems that 'cant-be-botherdism', in the elderly, very often follows a brush with severe illness. Now, most of my life I have not been elderly, nor severely ill, so this situation was merely hearsay. However, I am here to tell you that it is so. Amongst you kind followers there must be some who have suffered, equally. You know, the sort of mood where, were it not for the calls of nature, the temptation would be to stay in bed for ever. I was having difficulty to decide whether I wanted toast or bread or whether I could manage without bothering to eat at all. The bother-factor now seems to me to be just about the best yard-stick there is to measure mental health. Reflecting, as you would expect, on the state of the bother-factor now and its remembered state when the whole of me - other than just my inner world - was forty, I began to wonder how I managed. The daughter of a dear friend visited yesterday with her little girl and littler baby. There was not one nano second when her attention moved, fully, from one or both of them to her Mother, to herself or to me. That is to say, in spite of impeccable manners, there was no way this young woman could un-bother with regard to her young. I had three of them. For about nine months they were all under six. I once heard the mother of six children who had been under six years of age all at the same time, answer, when asked however she managed, that she missed a whole war: quite. To-day, the phenomenon is beginning to lift and I am devoutedly grateful. There seems to be no sure way out of it, other than time and optimism. Time one has no control over. Optimism is a poor bedfellow of depression.

Do you know, this young lady found herself making free of my kitchen because I had not had the bother- quota to organise for my visitors a cup of tea nor produce the chocolate specially-acquired biscuits. And very grateful I was thinking that she must feel very easy in her skin to be able to that. To-day, I could have  made a better fist of hospitality. What I am less good at is electronic-based gifting. Not that this is a surprise to anyone, but I feel I must confess the most recent betisse.  The Father of My Children professed an interest in a book he thought he would find on my shelves. This was not the case but I made a note of it for a Christmas gift for him. To-day, I duly found the bother to use the search engine to track it down. There were several paragraphs of entry and offers of sale and I trawled through to find what I thought would be best. I made my choice and began the interminable 'page' after 'page' of filling in, keeping an eye out for delayed delivery because of the Festive Season. There was no reference nor warning about this so I ploughed on, proffering my card details for about £20. I was so pleased with myself and waiting to tell the Guru how clever I had been, or,even plotting something rather more 'by-the-way' and casual, when the notice came up:"Your book is ready to read". Oh Dear.I have bought a book in which I have no interest, to read  on-line, which  I have not the slightest idea how to do and, in the bargain, I  lost £20 in the mists of cyberspace and was helpless to go back and cancel the transaction . A concatenation of generational botherdom if ever there were one.(At least I've kept my subjunctives) Prynhawn da

Saturday, 1 December 2012


The astute among you may have noticed two things: there has been a collection , an alliteration of  C's in recent titles/ Conmference, Chaos, Crash, coincidence, I assure you, or, anyway, as far as I know. (Yes, I did see, 'coincidence', too). The crash, howver, was real, and explains why Liz has been a day or so off schedule with posting. Dear Readers, I made the cardinal sin of the driver, I drove in to the back of another car. Given the number of years I have been driving without such an indulgence, it was a bit of a wake-up call. The vehicle two ahead of me stopped suddenly, the car behind went in to him and I in to that car. They were scarcely touched. My car, being elderly, like its owner, was not worth repairing and now I find myself carless, shameful and more familiar with local 'bus routes than I would have wanted. Interestingly, when we drivers were exchanging details, it ocurred to me that the driver of the first vehicle seemed to be taking rather more interest and care of the middle driver than he was of me. So I wasn't all that surprised when my Insurers rang to ask me if I thought they may have known one another. Apparently, there is a current scam where two people agree to stage this kind of incident in order to claim for whiplash. Whiplash is invisible and has to be taken on trust. Well, I have very little trust but totally zero proof. Nor do I  have whiplash but neither do I have a car. Due to its age, as I said, it proved uneconomic to repair so I have a forlorn cheque about the value of a nice bicycle and a worn-out 'bus pass. I have waited a few weeks to confess to you in which time I have walked miles and bussed miles and lost many hours doing the above. Time more or less completely wasted. What do you think. Should I replace the car or should I continue to endure motion sickness doing the crossword on the 'bus? On top of this, I have to go to the shops three times for every one car load because this old lady finds it hard to carry much.

And there's the rub: did I fail to stop in time because there really wasn't time on the busy crowded road I was driving along, because I was dealing with a sneeze or because my driving has deteriorated? I love writing this blog. I really do find it endlessly interesting to accommodate the sprightly young woman inside this doddery old lady but it is decidedly different when the doddery old lady takes control of the srightly young lady and behaves like cliched elderly people are reputed to do. Liz has always found the fun in the dichotomy and tried to pass it on to you. This is not only lacking in fun, it is also potentially expensive. I know, I know. No one was hurt and, as the Father of my children put it, it's just a lump of metal to replace when all's said and done. It's more the crash of my secret way of being in the world, secret even from me, that the inner forty-year old will always win the day. Somewhere, it seems I actually believe that, if I chose so to do, I could run for that 'bus and, what's more, catch it. The 'going on forty' watches the play that is my life and is sure to intervene? I don't think so. Nos da