I’ve had a couple of lovely, sociable days. It doesn’t thrill me to say that they are pretty rare. I’ve got various things on my wishlist for the medium-term future and (not that it’s actually literally written down, because I’m not that earnest), very high up, is seeing more of my friends.
Yesterday, I went for lunch with Betty, who had her 93rd birthday last week. She is old by any definition, including her own, and yet I don’t think of her that way. I have a great love for old people and they feel it. I feel the strength pouring out of me for them, not that it weakens me – sorry, darlings, you may or not understand this, but it’s an affinity that can be felt better than described. Once, I was with someone who was very old and very ill and it was only her gutsiness keeping her alive, and I told her that it was all right to let go, she’d done her job. She died a few days later, and I’ve never known whether or not I should feel responsible. I know I feel responsible for my mother’s death, by giving the ok for her to be given a very small dose of morphine to relieve pain, which relaxed her; terminally, as it transpired.
Ahem. I digressed rather alarmingly there.
Anyway, Betty offered me coffee, which turned out to be enhanced by Bailey’s. Well, woo-hoo. I like coffee strong, unsweetened and black rather than weak, with a sweet whisky and cream liqueur, but I can’t deny that I enjoyed it. It wasn’t coffee, but it was a cheering drink. After lunch at a local pub, we had more of the same and then I drove home – the whole thing took place over nearly five hours, I was quite capable.
Not long after arriving home and drinking restorative tea, I went out to dinner with no fewer than ten friends. All at least 15 years older than I am … no, that’s not true, Jenny must be 70 at best, but you get the general picture.
Today, an occasion I’ve been looking forward to, which was meeting Sean for coffee. Sean is my retired Headteacher, much loved and respected. There’s always been a high level of trust and liking between us and I used to meet him for an hour or so weekly, yet this is the first time we’ve seen each other for nearly four months. A couple of short exchanges of emails, one on business and one to arrange to meet – one moves on. We slipped right into our friendship and exchanged news – and didn’t talk too much shop, though there was a bit of that – for an hour and a half.
I’ve redeveloped the habit of sitting in the car for a bit, after returning home. It’s a haven, for a few minutes No telephone, no distractions, nothing to clamour for attention. I sat there for a while, with the result that I skipped lunch, not that it mattered, as I had eaten Cake this morning with Sean. I like cake. It had almonds and raspberry jam, as well as butter icing. And I had two cups of coffee (black with no sugar, Bailey’s isn’t for every day until I’m at least 90, which age is distinctly unlikely, given my family background)), which is a bit of an indulgence, because I’m so dead straight and sensible nowadays, sad to say.
This morning, I put a jolly message on Facebook to say that I was seeing Sean, because some of my friends (Friends in the FB sense as well as in real life) work at the school, and mentioned the likelihood of gardening this afternoon. Roses, darling love, promptly offered to come and help. Well, darlings, I’m never one to turn down a good offer and, after all, I could reckon that I was doing her a favour, because she has had a garden but, at present, her first floor flat doesn’t have one. She worked so hard and the bed next to The Wall is now in pretty good nick. I’m pleased to find that the pale pink lily of the valley that I bought last year is still alive and well. And Roses and I put our personal worlds to right over tea.