Cardboard

Wednesday 17th March 2021

I’ve been at the Gay Mother’s for two weeks. The main thing is the cardboard boxes – all the deliveries. One every hour or so, either what she’s ordered, or I’ve ordered for her or tributes sent by devotees.

We had her Birthday. People queued at the gate as she took 97 years.  We had one and half porch coffee mornings and one porch tea with our man who manages. The Gay Mother and I were crouched at the drawing room border, while the visitor was lodged in the porch. It seemed good form as an arrangement. But no doubt holes could be picked in it by those minded to do so.

I made a lemon and elderflower drizzle cake from a mad recipe by Nigella. A visitor then conveyed her own lemon drizzle and Cousin Cornella sent a good but shop lemon and elderflower cake. So all the cakes were the same, except they weren’t when it came to it and we ate them all.

Then there was a vaccine fest and we were buoyant. I took an Astra and the Gay Mother had her second Pfizer – at the hospital. This is a terrifying place, being a vast, looming Stalinist block on a vertical site. The vaccination home was amidst a maze of crumby outbuildings. The 15 minute waiting, in case of collapse, was in a cafe, where drinks and buns were on sale and being consumed in the room. Doctors present in scrubs having just been injected themselves. So it must have been all right. But all other cafes and restaurants in the land are strictly takeaway only, eat-in absolutely not. When we made to leave through the marked exit, a volunteer leapt up and said the steps were too steep and we must go back the way we’d come. So one-way system out of the window as well.

After that, it was TV and menus with gardening. The Gay Mother wanted to know what ‘woke’ means. Copies of The Tablet and the Church Times were piling up everywhere. Hard to get rid of them and even harder the cardboard boxes. The recycling system of the authorities in the Far West is labyrinthine – only a certain size taken, otherwise must be self-transported to the dump. Besides the Gay Mother envisages a bonfire, for which cardboard will be vital to get it going. But a bonfire of the actual cardboard, of course, out of the question.

Eventually the house will fill up with cardboard entirely, in some Gormenghast kind of way.

The Gay Mother was furious about ‘Terror’ and it had to be switched off. ‘It’s all made up. Nobody knew what happened to them. Only some Eskimos made a few comments.’ I said, ‘But it’s a TV drama.’ ‘No, no,’ she said, ‘It must be true or not at all.’ Her choice of viewing was Line of Duty for the prime Saturday 9pm slot. The plot’s a nightmare, she said, but was tuning in with alacrity all the same. We were bored to death by the Harry and Meghan interview. I inflicted The Crown on her because you can always re-view that when there’s nothing else on and it will cheer you up. ‘Who’s that supposed to be?’ she kept saying. In the end she conceded it was ‘quite entertaining’ although plainly she didn’t believe a word of it.

The Gay Mother is 97. It’s not right that she should be left alone for months on end.

Birthday Tulips Sent to the Gay Mother

Birthday Tulips Sent to the Gay Mother

Visitor's Lemon Drizzle Competing with Nigella and a Shop One in Lemon and Elderflower

Visitor’s Lemon Drizzle Competing with Nigella and a Shop One in Lemon and Elderflower

A Selection of the Gay Mother's Birthday Cards for 97 Years

A Selection of the Gay Mother’s Birthday Cards for 97 Years

 

Posted Wednesday, March 17, 2021 under Adrian Edge day by day.

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