I've had one of those weeks. It doesn't matter that when I turn on the news everything is falling apart, it's me falling apart that I care about. When I was young, well, about thirty four or five, married with a small child and feeling like the world belonged to me I had this friend called Marian and her mother lived just up the street from her as people very often do around here and sometimes I would go with Marian to see her mother.
Marian's mother was quite old - or was she? she seemed old to me at the time. Marian's mother never went out, hardly ever moved from her chair and sat in front of the television with the kind of devotion which I would accord a C.J.Sansom book ( have you read the latest - brilliant. Five hundred glorious pages which I woofed down as other people do expensive chocolates ). The poor man writes a book a year and I just wish he would work faster so that I could gobble up the stories about the brilliant lawyer and his sidekick, Jack. When are they going to put it on the telly??
Anyway, Marian's mother. I thought it was pathetic, there she was probably with several years in front of her lapping up daytime television. Now as things get harder as I get older I'm beginning to understand it. I think what I will probably do is to buy lots of computer games and spend the last ten years of my life zapping people into kingdom come. In fact I might start doing it now.
An old lady in Workington died overnight this week, apparently going to her outside toilet. AN OUTSIDE TOILET ARE THEY SURE ? Are there still such things? And nobody found her. She lay in the back garden and died.
There they are on the news telling old people to stay indoors. That's probably why Marian's mother lasted so long. She held the boredom at bay with cookery programmes and those dreadful celebrities talking about themselves and their projects, gardening programmes and other dross. I love to read gardening books and cookery books. I don't garden and I don't cook, perhaps it's just me gloating inside that I don't have to do yet another bloody thing. When you live on your own you get to do everything unless you pay for somebody else to do it. Howard looks after the garden and Marks and Spencer look after the food.
This week my world is falling apart. The libraries aren't buying my books, the librarians are losing their jobs, my kids are fighting and I'm in danger of turning into Marian's Mother.
It won't do. I have to turn into Auntie Mabel. I go out with a friend on Friday nights sometimes to have a meal and discuss life and like everybody else we have good times and awful times and when we are having awful times we think of Auntie Mabel. Auntie Mabel when through more bad times than anybody else I know and lived to be ninety and always looked on the bright side.
Auntie Mabel was a vegetarian, didn't drink and was kind to everybody and my sister says If she had to give up beef and red wine she wouldn't want to live to be ninety so there you go. Auntie Mabel was quite happy with it but for the rest of us it has to be steak and shiraz and dark chocolate and watching Laurence Fox every night this week as the coolest man on television in Lewis.