Saturday, 14 September 2013
From light to darkness - how soon things change. Before you know it black clouds roll in and overwhelm you.
Up until a few days ago I felt quite happy. It seemed that several longstanding problems melted away with the judicious application of tact and a small handful of folding money. I had found a man with a van to collect and dispose of heaps of garden debris; I tried out a new helper in the garden and Gardener seemed to be pleased that the hardest tasks had been done in his absence. There was a spell of warm sunny weather to aid the passing of summer. My son and his wife came and mended a wardrobe whose door had not shut for a twelve month. An electrician fixed lamps and light switches and promised to return and repair the outdoor lights on the drive. My daughter-in-law asked me for family recipes, writing them down there and then. “These shouldn’t be lost”, she said. I had never known that she considered my cooking memorable, so I was highly flattered. I was quite overcome and gave her my mum’s dough kneading machine, which I had never used.
It felt good, things were falling into place; I don’t find happiness easy, bubbly is not the word I’d use to describe me; for me quiet optimism and contentment are very desirable mental attributes.
But now the rains have come and a dark cloud has settled on my mind too. For several days the AGA has refused to stay alight, which means the kitchen is cold and I cannot cook anything at all. We live off microwaveable ready meals and pub lunches. I have yet to find a ready meal we actually enjoy and the allure of pub food palls when you depend on it. Two supper guests programmed for tonight had to be uninvited. The repairman called twice: "short of a miracle the burner unit in the AGA has had it, it’s old age,” he said,” there’s nothing I can do.” A new one will be £700 incl. of labour. Ah well, if all the ailments that come with old age could be fixed with pennies and pounds we’d all save up and dance a merry dance instead of rubbing our creaking joints with arnica massage oils, hoping for relief from nasty arthritic twinges.
You may say why does this depress her so. After all, it can, and will be, fixed. Well chaps, there is something else, something that cannot be fixed. I found out this week that somebody whom I have known for over forty years, somebody very dear to me, actually deeply dislikes and resents me. True, we have seen little of each other for several years, and the relationship has cooled. But to learn that she has been keeping a careful tally of grievances and grudges, not only against me but a number of other people, with me as the main culprit, was a body blow, wholly unexpected, leaving me gasping for air.
The dark clouds have opened and shed their load; it’s raining outside and inside too.