Z’s anecdotage

I went to visit my friend Jan today – she’s been in a local nursing home for some weeks, having broken her upper arm in a fall.  She couldn’t manage at home, being in her mid-eighties, living alone and none too steady on her feet and, though her arm is mending, she hasn’t been able to walk yet as she needs a frame and can’t yet use one.  The home is in Yagnub, so I call on her quite often.  She’s feeling despondent as she hardly can think she’s got a chance of being home for Christmas and isn’t at all sure if she’ll be able to manage at all.  Since she’s always been very fit and well, it’s a depressing thought.  She’s still interested in the outside world (which is not always the case when someone is in hospital long-term) and has lots of visitors, which is one good thing.

My good blog friend Pat were talking on Facebook recently about the need to not fall over as one gets old.  It’s the most vital thing for keeping ones independence.  It reminded me of a marvellous interview I listened to on the radio a few months ago, between Alistair Cooke, the Letter from America chap and I can’t remember who, from quite some years ago.  He was quite old at the time, though his manner never seemed to age – anyway, he was being asked about being recognised.  “When I get the ‘should I know who you are?’ line, I always say I’m Bob Hope,’ he chuckled.  And told a story about one day in New York, when he saw an elegant, elderly lady walking out of (I think) the Plaza Hotel, walking in that careful way that meant she knew how imperative it was that she kept her balance.  And she looked at him and recognised his face, and asked who he was.  “I’m Bob Hope,” he said helpfully.  “What a coincidence,’ she said.  “I’m Mrs Bob Hope.”  And she was!

Alistair Cooke never reached his anecdotage, I don’t think, but maybe I have, and it’s not even my anecdote.

I’ve booked my car in for a service, bought sensible slippers (good for the Factory Shop, better at half the price – in this instance – than the other places I tried) and dealt with some vital paperwork by passing it on to someone else.  I know!  And he offered, so I don’t feel at all guilty about it.

6 comments on “Z’s anecdotage

  1. Rog

    I used to love “Letter from America” on Radio 4. Cooke was knocking out these beautifully constructed weekly essays unti his nineties.
    Let’s hope Z continues to emulate him 🙂

  2. chairwoman ros

    I love the Bob Hope anecdote.

    It reminds me of something that happened to my mother, or perhaps it’s something my mother happened to. Most Saturday mornings in the 60s and 70s, my parents had breakfast at the Tottenham Court Road Corner House, in the Restful Tray self service cafe. Most times there were the same people in there, generally people on their own, enjoying a quiet pre-work quiet moment with a newspaper. Except for one gentleman who, although alone, watched everything going on around him. After a while, he and my mother took to nodding to each other.

    One morning my father, heeding a call of nature, yet having noted that the Restful Tray was somewhat un-restful that day, suggested that my mother sat down, and he would bring their breakfasts on his return. When he came back with the food, he was, at first a little surprised not to see my mother, and then, perhaps, a little alarmed to see her seated, in earnest conversation with the handsome (did I forget to mention that?) mystery nodder. My father sat down, they all chatted amicably, then the mystery man sighed regretfully, looked at his watch, rose, shook hands with my father, said how lovely it was to see them, and left.

    “what on earth was going on there?” asked my father “Well I’m not sure” said my mother “But there were no empty tables, and he indicated that we should sit with him, and I’d always assumed he was one of your colleagues, but it turns out you don’t seem to know who he is either”. “Not quite true,” said my father, “I haven’t actually mentioned it, because I was enjoying your puzzlement, and wanted to see how long it would take you to actually ask, but it now seems appropriate to mention that he is Peter Butterworth, the actor, but I am sure he is still wondering who on earth Edward and Polly are, and where he knows them from”.

    From that morning on, my parents rested their tray at the Corner House, Marble Arch.

  3. savannah

    Great post, as my children seem to think I have, in fact, reached anecdotage! Thank you chairwoman ros for your lovely story! The last party I was at someone greeted me and I immediately said my name, in case he only recognized my face! LOL

  4. Z Post author

    Great story, Ros, reminds me of how much I miss your blog!
    Savannah, I never know why people seem so reluctant to say their name – the number of guessing games I’ve played on the phone! I say mine when I meet people, but they don’t always take the hint.

    1. chairwoman ros

      Thank you Savannah and Zoe (mimes curtsy), this forces me to do two things. Firstly I must admit that for quite a long time I was so glum that I couldn’t bring myself to write anything, and secondly, I have completely forgotten how to get back to my blog.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.