This morning the puppy Beatrice found a pill on the floor of the bedroom, of course according to The Sainted One this was my fault. I pointed out at once that there have been eighty tenants in this house this summer God bless them (not all at the same time of course) AND MANY THINGS ARE FOUND UNDER THE BED AND ON THE FLOOR ….. EVEN MOI WITH MY WELL KNOWN ATTENTION TO DETAIL WILL NOT DISCLOSE EXACTLY WHAT, I pointed this out but it did not wash. The Sainted One hates waste of any kind, it has something to do with the war, well he was most insistent that it was mine and even that I should take it.
Now I have not had time to send it to forensics and any way that would incur cost which is greatly disapproved of here. So I threw it away and that caused a long argument about the rubbish. But the whole point of it is that I then went for the most glorious walk on the beach where very often I have time to fester paranoid feelings. So it suddenly occurred to me that under the simmering layer of disapproval something darker looms on the domestic front …is this some sort of sinister murder plot? I mean you never know do you…. But then I thought the dog is universally admired so that could not be the case so I went back to the house and made my own coffee.
But actually that is not the only story about pills this week. Two nights ago we went to the opera with some musical A list and the woman one down from me had a most annoying dry cough. Poor thing it was awful for her and she was busy stuffing handkerchiefs down her throat and quietly choking. Now I always cough at the opera it is a matter of principle I am also well known for the arsenal of medication I have in my handbag ,I know longer have the condom one of my children gave me fifteen years ago “just in case” . So I nudged the bloke on my right and gave him my one of my delicious black currant cough pastilles to give to her and guess what he ate it ! The dog looks all right by the way. But dog number two just ate a sack of sea weed but she will eat anything, more about that tomorrow.
Actually I may tell you later about the pretentious programme notes at the opera which say more about the person who wrote them that the opera. I wish people would not do that, music was written for ordinary people like me to enjoy and most do not have an encyclopaedic knowledge of the Grove Musical Dictionary . The young singers and musicians were however inspirational Judith Weir must be a genius I was not looking forward to A Night At The Chinese Opera but it was a delight.
You may ask what the connection is ? Well I think there is and this is the first time I have confided this to anyone! You have seen a picture of Anna now but I have not put one of the Queen because you all know what she looks like and you know a lot about her. So now I will tell you about this little girl. Anna is thirteen she had a catastrophic epileptic fit when she was fourteen months old shortly after she had her MMR vaccine. Six months later she had another fit. After many years she is able to walk well and can do a lot of things but her mental age is that of a five year old. She is currently funded at a special school where her needs cannot be addressed. She has to spend over two hours a day travelling and is in constant pain. Her mum, shall we call her the tigress saved up for her to have a four day assessment at a wonderful residential facility Called St Mary’s in Bexhill on Sea. She adored it and they loved her and are confident that they could change her life for her … they found out that she had Scoliosis and Kyphosis of the spine and that without expert care physiotherapy daily she will probably be unable to walk and be wheel chair bound . Now here is the problem the local authority will not fund Anna for this move and effectively they have denied Anna a decent life . Now that’s where the tigress and the Queen come in Ali because that’s her name will do absolutely anything for her child and she is determined to make a sponsored Parachute Jump to pay for a brilliant firm of solicitors to fight Anna’s case with the council. We are all begging her not to do this … there must be another way … the thought of Ali ending up injured with two other children and sods law she probably would. Now here’s the thing The Queen did it at the opening of the Olympics .. only the thing was she didn’t it was a substitute and very fetching he look in frilly knickers . Watch this Space
Lucie came to stay the night before her three weekly Chemotherapy which is her life saver. She looked her usual elegant self . Where on earth does she get it from? Not from me that is certain. A “well meaning” friend said to me recently (you know the ones, they say “there is something I would like to tell you, we have known each other long enough for me to tell you this and it’s because I love you”) . This is always a bad start and one should never encourage them to do it . But I didn’t stop her so the drift was that I always wear clothes that look as if I can wash up in them. Now this of course is perfectly true and on the rare occasions that I do not the worst always happens . Take for example Lunch in the Posh Place at Wimbledon where the Sainted One cuts a bit of a dash and I wouldn’t want to let the side down Now would I? So it’s the new white Zara Jacket and bang elbow in the summer pudding. More where that came from but it can wait.
Well yesterday started badly from the point of view of trying to be elegant…. I am often warned by the young that we live in a rough area, this is correct but such a house in poshland would be way beyond our means . It would be a bedsit where they couldn’t dump their stuff and the one hundred cousins could not sleep on the floors and in the cupboards Anyway I always defend the hinterland in which we reside because actually I love it and our neighbours are wonderful. Also they put on the 452 bus just for me didn’t they. Well Lucie’s arrival had been hailed by six enormous youths circling about on stolen bicycles one of which was probably my grandson’s (he lives here at the moment. ) I made light of this and drew attention to the lovely magnolia in the front which is showing great promise. But next morning as I went with her to her car there was what looked like a bean shoot open sandwich at the bottom of the steps , it looked so terrible that even Sandy my fox had disdained it. I kicked it into the flower bed and was it my imagination or was it something other than bean shoots?
Actually the thought of it made me feel nauseous all day. Lucie said nothing but I knew what she was thinking. But worse was to follow; beside her car was a discarded rubber mattress. I tell you the map of life upon it had a vile story to tell, even worse than the sandwich. It’s had a life of its own and was probably moving of its own volition without human intervention. The fact that it had been in use so close to our halcyon residence was depressing . We laughed but then what else can you do?
But it’s not all like that we went to dinner to a really fabulious house in Primrose Hill. The Hostess is an Irish travel writer who looks gorgeous and has never made a dull remark also she dresses like a dream and produced a superb dinner effortlessly without spillage. We talked a lot about Ireland and the other guest was delightful and well informed with an encyclopaedic memory. He was an expert on Irish History which was lovely for me as my book, which comes out next week involved intricate research about William of Orange and the Battle of the Boyne. It was then that The Sainted One revealed that he had actually finished my book I knew this because he quoted with great authority my take on this dramatic event which changed the course of Anglo Irish History. I asked him about what he thought about this latest of literary achievements on the way home at one thirty this morning. He said it was too late to discuss it but it was a good book…. “did you get the metaphor ?“ I asked … “salvation” was the curt reply ….life is full of mystery I thought sagely.
“So did they ever meet in the middle,” asked Jason the curtain man. I thought for one terrible moment he was alluding to the cardigan buttons which don’t. But no, he is a nice young man and he wasn’t . He meant the spare room curtains which had come adrift and had to be re attached to the complicated cording system. “No they never did they came from the “Curtain Exchange” as did all the window coverings in this house. We close them with a clothes peg.” I explained.
He smiled politely.
This set me to thinking that this is the story of this house, nothing meets in the middle, buttons, waist bands , zips , budgets and most of all arguments. People say you should meet half way in domestic disputes, but in this house nobody is ever wrong, least of all “The Sainted One.” I have learnt never to admit fault of any kind , if you do you get landed with it on the ever longer list of crimes … so sisters all learn from me …. Walk tall with a massive great halo on your head, smile adorably and change the subject when the inquisition about whose fault it was starts.
So one might think why me. Why my perfect good shining daughter? But Life’s a bitch it happens to anyone and once you get your head around the why not me , or my child thing then you start watching a wonderful brave girl living with stage four breast cancer. For all the other women out there who have watched the face of an oncologist as they tell you how it is do not despair, it is your spirit , hope and courage which will get you your life back. My best friend died of breast cancer twenty years ago … the fact is today she would not have died. The world of breast cancer warriors is inspiring and wondrous, things are happening which will one day render this a curable disease. My girl is vibrant and confident she has been through six major operations, six months radical chemotherapy, a triple lumpectomy, a mastectomy, six weeks radiotherapy and a liver operation. She lost all her hair but never her beauty of spirit. She has smiled and inspired her family enjoy each day as it comes … Her treatment will be on going, but the team who look after her are the soldiers at her gate. I would like to thank them from the bottom of my heart for the joy of seeing my daughters health as it is, for the her body free of this horrible thing knowing these incredible people will fight for her and keep her safe, for the joy of seeing her with her family, living her life with ever more awareness of the gift of each day.