Breakfast in a b and b throws up many odd companions. I’m not at my most sociable before noon. This morning a huntin, shootin, fishin, Brexiteer Mason took the shredded wheat. I was opposed to almost every word that came out of his mouth but in a fascinated what will he say next kind of way. He was pleasant enough, just assumed everyone in the world agreed with him.
Mum is frailer since I last saw her, she’s been having trouble swallowing. But she perks up with my encouragement and eats a series of small meals. She need assistance with getting the food to her mouth, although she loves yoghurt so much, she spooned it in herself at a rate of knots.
This afternoon was an Italian food fight, also known as making pizza. Mum’s neighbour M didn’t want to share her tomato paste and cheese and even attempted to snaffle Mum’s pizza base, she got the beady eye from long years of teaching and I realised where I get it from.
Two slices of pizza cut up went down a treat, Mum’s lost a lot of weight recently, so constant snacks on the agenda.
You haven’t lived until you’ve seen half a dozen people with varying degrees of dementia covered happily in tomato paste and grated cheese.
It’s been three weeks since my last post, re-entry after a delightful holiday in France has been particularly difficult this time. I hadn’t been to France on holiday since I’ve been seriously ill and coming back to London has felt unbearably poignant.
September has always had a joyous, beginning of the year feel to it. But now I’ve had to give up my uni job and there are no new students to challenge, mentor and delight in. Mum’s health is deteriorating fast. I returned to a battery of tests, which turned out positive, but reminded me (as if I needed it) of my parlous state of health. I’ve felt like running away, back to holiday mode, unable to settle.
And then this morning I was jolted back into London life, quite literally. Getting a cab to the station, the driver was a brake abruptly, hoot, accelerate, go the long way round merchant. I got out feeling quite seasick. Went to buy a coffee for the train, having worked out that I could manage stick, suitcase and coffee if I had a bag for the coffee. The woman in the shop seemed outraged that I wanted a paper bag, “just for a coffee?” she snapped. I held my ground with the steely gaze I used on recalcitrant students. “Yes, please.”
Re-entry complete. Welcome home.