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Aunt Augusta wasn’t as devastated by Drusilla’s letter as her correspondent

had anticipated.

Dru had written to her so-called ‘great-aunt‘ to explain that she would be

unable to visit Snodland Nursing Home for the Debased Gentry at Whitsun,

as she was planning a trip ‘oop north‘ to visit her step-father, Murgatroyd

Syylk in his renovated pele tower.

She received a reply by return of post:

Dearest Dru,

Although naturally disappointed that you are unable to visit, I have to advise

you that things are very hectic down here at the moment.

My co-ordinator has drawn up a tailor-made activity programme, or should I

term it a regime?- for me.  She hopes to boost my cognitive skills and minimise

potential depression.  It is supposed to heighten my sense of achievement.

I informed her that I already feel a high level of satisfaction at having out-lived

most of my peers.

On Mondays I have to reminisce, using a Conversation Box.  It is a chair-based

activity and the only reason that I co-operated was that it is preferable to

playing Rummikub with a bunch of old codgers whose flies are undone.  I pulled

out a hand blender, but shocked the woman by identifying it as an electric

dildo. Well, they didn’t have these things in my day- blenders, I mean.

On Tuesdays I have a Mindfulness session where we are encouraged to live

in the moment.  Well, I don’t think I will be too present in the future, if you

see what I mean.  As for the past, who said it was another country?

On Wednesdays I am moved to the television room where most of the

aged programme presenters seem to be standing trial for their behaviour in

the Seventies.  Someone once tried to put his hand on my adolescent knee,

but that was where my grandmother’s hat-pin came in very handy.  There

was an example in the Conversation Box and I think the co-ordinator woman

was shocked when I told her where I’d put it in a darkened cinema.  I tried to

demonstrate, but she said it was a bit of a dangerous weapon and shouldn’t

have been in the box.  She found a cork and embedded its point safely.  She

wouldn’t tell me where she got the bottle.

Songs of Praise is full of goody-goodies and you can’t hear the hymns properly,

as our resident hand-bell ensemble always strike up in an accompaniment to old

favourites, such as Thine Be The Glory or Onward Christian Soldiers.  I turn off

my T-switch and then I don’t have to be bothered by the induction loop.

Wednesdays are devoted to Wear A Hat and Tell a Story.  I wound a scarf

round my head like a turban and entertained the troops with a few saucy

tales from my Land Girl days.  The spoilsports wouldn’t give me a cigarette

for verisimilitude and I got into trouble for introducing the ladies to gravy

browning faux seamed stockings.  The laundry couldn’t get the stains off

the sheets and they thought it was something else.

My packet of Bisto was confiscated from my locker.  They’ve no right to

go poking around in there and they took my gin as well.  Killjoys!

Fruity Friday isn’t what its title promises.  It isn’t exactly The Man From Del

Monte He Say ‘Yes!’  It’s just an idea of the co-ordinator to put lots of exotic

fruits in front of us, as if we don’t know what a Kiwi is.  You can be sure

that they haven’t had the wit to read my medical notes first, or they would

know that I am latex allergic and will peg it pronto if a fruit with the latex

protein comes anywhere near me.  I suppose you could sue them and make

a bit out of my demise when the time comes.  (I blame all those rubber

suspenders.)  We never had tights.

So, you can see that I have to be on my toes and on the alert constantly,

or they may inadvertently kill me.  It’s so tiring.  Like being on fire watch

during the war. You never know when an incendiary incident might break


At least things have been quieter on the nocturnal admissions, not to say

emissions, front.

That old gent who tried to get into bed with me seems to have disappeared.

Perhaps he had latex allergy too and they gave him banana custard.  I

wouldn’t put it past them.

At least I won’t be partnered with him at the next Tea Dance.  He would never

have been my choice of beverage. He looked like one of Berenice’s old flames.

If he’d come near me once more, I’d have sprayed him with the fire


Have a lovely time and do send me a postcard, so I can look popular with

those on the outside.  We have a bit of a scoreboard here.  The resident

with the least postcards in any month is called a Clegg.

Nick Clegg by the 2009 budget cropped.jpg

Just going off to my costume fitting for next week’s Dress Up as a Character

from Your Favourite Novel.  I’m going as Miss Havisham, so I need to collect

a few cobwebs.  I suggested that there might be some in the cellar, but

they won’t let me be wheeled there. They thought it was an excuse for me

to go looking for drink.  They might have been right!

Have a lovely time.  Wish you were here- instead of me!

Augusta xx