only four days to go . . .
It's Thursday when Richard and Howard come over from Cottungham ~ so long since I've seen either of them ~ Howard some 25 years ago at Will and Agi's wedding in Zseged (Hungary) ~ Richard when he stormed off all of 40 years ago ~ after all this time who'd have thought there would be a chance to bury our hatchets !
Later : had a fright on Wednesday night ~ Will and Agi had gone back to number 4 and I was just tidying round before going to bed when I suddenly found myself in a heap on the sittin room floor ~ and try as I might, I could not get back on my feet ~ eventually shuffling on my bum I got alongside the sofa and with great difficulty managed to drag myself up onto it ~ by then it was well past mid night ~ I had my alarm round my neck and the phone to hand but stupidly I'd put the latch down on the door so that even if help arrived, they would have had to bash the door down ! Oh dear . . . ! It was the thought of this that finally gave me the strength to haul myself onto my knees and then onto the sofa ~ I MUST NOT PUT THE CATCH DOWN ON THE DOOR AGAIN otherwise all my safety measures are quite useless ~ it seemed particularly ridiculous with Will two doors down though he could not have rescued me without breaking the door down ~ they scolded me fiercely when they heard what had happened and of course they are right ~ the effort to get off the floor was so exhausting, I half expected to have a heart attack and Richard would have turned up after all these years in time for my funeral ~ I was so worried about this that I left a note on the table explaining what had happened in case they found me dead in bed next morning ~ crikey ~ I must never put the bloody latch down again
Monday afternoon ~ April showers all day ~ every afternoon I fill a hot water bottle to cuddlewhile I flop ~ with it on my tum I fall asleep almost immediately ~ on Thursday after Will and Agi had gone I discovered the sofa cushions were all wet ~ he must have sat on it or lent against it the previous evening ~ testing it, it wasn't that the screw top had worked loose ~ the darned thing had sprung a leak ~ ordered a new one from Amazon which arrived this morning ~ £4+ ~ I was really missing my hotty ! It is amazing how quickly Amazon stuff arrives ~ remember when any mail order advised '28 days for delivery' ~ mind you, we hear that they treat their work force like slaves ~ even a trip to the loo is timed and deducted from hours ! Being housebound I rely on Amazon for all shopping apart from the Sainsbury's grocery delivery ~ between them enabling to be independent
Sue came for coffee and chat and we have arranged that she will come every-other Mondayt to change my shhets ~ Diana was quite happy to do this but this way it gives Sue a reason to keep in touch which we both want ~ as the laundry goes on Tuesdays that will be more convenient too ~ so many friendly helpers : Richard in the garden, Diana in the house and Sue to do the bed ~ not to mention friends and neighbours ! I am very lucky! I have this lively disk of sea shanties and hymns sung by Ely Cathedral Choir ~ really rousing stuff to which I have to sing along merrily ~ I got it several years ago mainly because on the cover is HENRY FREEMAN ~ my Henry Freeman ~ who lived in this house around the 1880s ~ he certainly appears in the 1881 census not as the owner but the occupant ~ with his family AND an elderly lodger !! And look at me now, living here alone and filling it with my clutter !
We do knowfor sure that in the 1920s there were a cool thirteen living here ~ THIRTEEN ~ a very old woman came up the yard once in my early days here and told me how as children they would come over from Middlesbrough ~ FIVE OF THEM ~ she was the youngest ~ to stay with their Auntie ~ Auntie ran it as a lodging house ~ Uncle was a fisherman ~ normally they took in six lodgers (fishermen and jet workers) but every school holiday this family of five kids turned up ~ I can imagine their distraught mother saying, "Get off to Whitby, to your Aunty's ~ I can't stand you all under my feet till school starts again !" I have to admit I recofgnise the feeling from when our lot were young. "We all had to help Auntie," she told me ~ fetching water from the pump, scrubbing the stairs, collecting greenery for the rabbits ~ that's nice, darling bunnies ~ but NO ~ Auntie was known as the Rabbit Woman ~ these rabbits lived in hutches piled up outside the sitting room window ~ when Mrs Brown had a mind to make a rabbit pie for supper little Johnny would be sent round to Auntie's with 4p or 6p skinned and cleaned ready for the pot in which case the children could keep the rabbit skin and take it round to Mrs Smith who made rabbit skin mittens and hats and she in turn would give them a penny or two ~ quite an enterprise all round.
I wish I'd asked her name ~ she was with her son who looked nearly as old as I am now ~ she told me how the only furniture in the sitting room was a long trestle table (which had to be scrubbed every day (where the lodgers ate) and benches ~ the first job she had was going round in the morning to collect all the chamber pots and carry them down the steep twisty stairs and empty them in the privy ~ she thought she was probably seven or eight at the time. I have probably already told you this but I can't believe anybody out there is actually ploughing through all my waffle.
Tuesday morning : off to optician after lunch but I've lost the scrap of paper on which the Eye Man at Bridlington wrote down the particular detail he wanted ~ I've trid to ring Brid this morning but was fifth in the queue and abandoned attempt after hanging on for twenty minutes ~ no Good Neighbours transport available today but have booked a taxi across to Wellington Road and Mary says she will walk down the yard with me ~ because I'm on benefits I don't have to pay for eye test but unless I choose NHS glasses I will have to pay for them ~ taking selection of old ones wuth me as I belueve Vision Express sends them out to Third World Counties ~ I must check that they do ~ early lunch and quick flop before setting off at 2.20