Blog? What’s a blog? The piece in the magazine caught my attention. I wondered if I could do one. I’m on Facebook, so I’ve mastered that. Although the truth is I’m only on because my son set me up on it. Strange place Facebook, still I’ve found it very useful. I’m able to follow my family and friends lives. I even know what they are having for breakfast sometimes. Now I have no idea why anyone would want to know about my two ryvitas and a banana. Still we are all so busy doing our own thing that we don’t meet for weeks. Sometimes I’m glad of that!
OK I haven’t blogged before, so decided the best thing to do is to check the other blogs. After reading them, I’m still no wiser. So I decide to do what I always do, just ramble on and hope for the best. I know I can talk for England at time.
A little about myself- obviously I’m an older woman. How old you may ask? Old enough to say my first perm was a Gina Lollobrigida. She was a very beautiful film star in the early fifties. (I think she might be dead. I’m quite surprised I’m not) When I had my perm then, I was hooked up to an electrical machine. Imagine an Octopus with metal clamps on the end of each leg. My hair was soaked in a foul smelling solution, then, wrapped around thin rubber rollers. Each one of them was attached to the now red hot clamps, which shot steam up into the air and the smell was horrendous. (Health and safety was very lax in those days) When it was finished I thought I was the bee’s knees until it rained.
It stank to high heaven which is not what you want at fourteen. Especially if you are taking a walk with your first boyfriend. And we had a slight shower of rain.
Not only that Id’ pinched a bit of my Mam’s Californian Poppy and was followed down the road by a huge black cloud of hungry gnats. I was so shy then that I never mentioned it was happening and just hoped he didn’t notice. I dropped back every so often to look at the lovely hedgerow flowers and hoped he didn’t see me manically slapping my face and shaking them out of my hair. But yes, I didn’t see him again!
One of the things I love about my fellow Barrovians is their wicked sense of humour. I was on the bus on Monday. Oh I do go on, it’s time to stop I think.
and if you sit quietly it’s surprising what you hear. I sat behind two ladies who were discussing the merits of strong cheddar cheese; they decided it was the best.
One lady asked the other, “Do you like that cheese with green in it?”
The other one shuddered and said quite seriously, “Ugh, no. I’d rather kiss my husband than eat a piece of that.”
On Tuesday I rang my friend, the conversation went like this. “Hi, I said, it’s a nice day, should we meet?”
“Sorry she said, I can’t I’m busy today.”
“Are you writing?”
“No,” she answered, “I’m lagging the outside pipe before it freezes.”
My friend is seventy eight. I said, “What are you doing tomorrow laying concrete.”
“No” she said “I’m doing that in the spring.”
I replied “You should be so lucky.”
She laughed, “If I live that long.”
“Did you get the evening mail on Wednesday,” I asked my friend?
“No,” she replied
I was reading the E-mail letters in the Evening Mail, about ‘Why do you love Barrow?’
It reminded me of a recent holiday when I was in the Casino in Jersey and a complete stranger heard me say I was from Barrow. He came over and told me he was from Liverpool and about 25 odd years ago had worked in Barrow, which was the friendliest town he’d ever stayed in.
“I thought I recognised you,” he said. I saw you a few times at the Conservative club. I would have loved to have asked you out.”
“You can ask me out now if you like,” I said jokingly. His face dropped a bit and he left rather quickly.”
Then another Memory was walking down a busy street in Kemmer, Turkey. A young man tried to get us to eat in his restaurant. He was speaking in German. Excuse me, I said haughtily. We are British. He became quite excited and asked us where we were from and said he had been to England.
We said, “We come from Cumbria.”
“I’ve been to Cumbria.” He replied in a perfect Northern accent. We asked where he’d visited. Barrow he said. It turned out he had worked at The Marmaris Grill, in Duke Street for several years.
He was quite excited and so wanted to come back. Said it was the best and friendliest place he had ever been. We’d already eaten so we went to his restaurant the next night. Where I definitely thought he was getting a bit too familiar which was odd considering I was old enough to be his mother. I could see British passport floating across his eyeballs.
As I’ve said I can talk, ‘Oh’ you say, can’t all old people talk, that’s all they’ve got to do. But we know different, don’t we? On Thursday morning I tried to talk to my friend again about this blog. Then remembered she was at her art class and it was no good ringing her later as she would then have been at her French lesson. So with another friend I went off to Newby Bridge Bistro for lunch! But today we found time to get together, so if there’s any spelling mistakes in this it’s her fault.
I visited my friend the next day. “I’ve just renewed my donor card,” I said. “Left all my bits.”
“What bits,” she said, “Your body bits? Have you got anything left that isn’t worn out?”
“Yes,” I said, “Though some parts have had more wear than others.”
She laughed, “Oh you are awful.”
“I was referring” I said to my tongue.
“Oh yes she said I’ll go with that. You’re an Olympic talker.”
“On the way home I met my neighbour’s son on the bus. I’ve known him since he was a baby. He’s sixteen now.”
I asked him if he’d got a girlfriend yet.
“Yes,” he said.
“Have you taken her home yet?” I asked.
“No” he said, “I don’t think mi mam would like her. She’s got dyed hair.”
“So what,” I said, “I’ve got dyed hair.”
“Yes,” he said, “But hers is orange, (there was a short pause) and green and blue and she’s got a couple of studs as well.”
“Well, so have you.”
“She’s got more than me though,” he said “She’s got them all up her ears, in her eyebrows, in her nose and on on her tongue. He went quiet (Pause) “She got some more as well that you can’t see.”
All that metal I thought to myself. “How did you get together,” I said. “Have you got a big Magnet?”
He looked quite blank at that, I expect he thinks I’m going funny in my old age.
What a busy day I’ve had. A little while ago a small boy knocked at my door. He was very upset and I asked him what, is the matter?
He said he’d found a hedgehog in the gutter and it was dead.
I went out and looked at it- It was dead alright.
I said, “What do you want to do about it love.”
He said, “Can we bury it in your garden.”
“Yes,” I said, “Of course we can.” I went back into the house to get my rubber gloves and the phone rang, it was my friend.” I was puffing a bit.
“Are you busy,” she said “What are you doing.”
“I’m just burying a hedgehog.”
There was a short silence. “Oh well, she said, I suppose it makes a change. I hope its dead.”
“Oh it is, slightly flat actually. I had thought I’d try to give it the kiss of life. But all those prickles reminded me of my ex husband and I wouldn’t give him the kiss of life whatever.”
“Why don’t you include that dead toad of the top of your fridge and the dogs ashes while your at it.” she said and rang off.
My darling dog Mitzi died a few years ago and her ashes are still on my Television. In a lovely china pot! She’s going when I go.
And I found the mummified Natterjack Toad in the garden a few weeks ago and it’s sitting on top of my fridge. I think it’s interesting and I like it, but my friend thinks I’m peculiar. She says, ‘you’re not opening a Chapple of Rest for animals are you.’ Maybe I will bury my toad as well. It’ll be company for the hedgehog.
The little boy didn’t seem to mind when I showed him it. In fact he was quite thrilled with my dead toad. I don’t know how excited he would have been if I’d thrown in the dog’s ashes as well.
So we had a little ceremony and we said a little prayer and I made a little cross out of two pieces of wood. The little boy insisted on names on the cross, so he named the hedgehog Joan (I’ll never know why?) and the toad was Fred. He wants to come back tomorrow with some flowers, he seemed to be very thrilled with the whole thing. (I hope it isn’t going to become a habit, I don’t want my garden full of little crosses.) Maybe he’s going to be an undertaker when he grows up and it’ll be all my fault. His Mum’ll be pleased.
Now it’s made me think about what happens to your body when you pass on. Ashes to ashes or something and where you would like your ashes to go to go.
It is something you talk about at our age isn’t it?
My friend loves flying. She says she would like to be thrown out of an old Biplane at three thousand feet. Says with any luck though they’ll wait until she’s dead.
I said I’d like to be scattered around a tree that’s been planted for me. Thenn I’d become part of the tree.
“Well you know what happens to trees” she laughed.
“But then you’ve always loved dogs.”
They say age is a number and I can assure you most of my friends don’t know or care how old they are. My blogging friend and I have decided we don’t feel old, we just feel like young women who just don’t feel very well.