Bisto, Clegg, Conversation box, Del Monte, dildo, Dress up as favourite Character, fire extinguisher, fire watch, Fruity Friday, hand blender, hand-bell, induction loop, Land Girl, latex allergic, Mindfulness, Miss Havisham, Onward Christian Soldiers, Pele Tower, Rummikub, Songs of Praise, T-switch, Tea dance, Thine Be the Glory, Wear a Hat and Tell a Story
Aunt Augusta wasn’t as devastated by Drusilla’s letter as her correspondent
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:
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
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.
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!