I have reached one of those miserable phases after a bereavement when doing anything much has little appeal. I can’t even get myself together sufficiently to send a sympathy card. I did speak at length to family members last week to express my sympathy and shock but really that doesn’t cut the mustard because I know the bereaved husband, who has Alzheimer’s, will not be able to be looked after the same way by his son as he was by his wife. The husband and wife I knew so well as regular Miniatura exhibitors were among the best and genuinely world class.
SMIL too is difficult to maintain contact with. She was dumb for many weeks. Absence of words can affect dementia sufferers in varying degrees. I think it has a lot to do with blood circulation and gravity; the more you sit around, the less inclined your blood is to make the tiresome journey, against gravity, up to your head. If you pat yourself on the top of the head, your words are situated under your hand – insufficient blood flow will affect the words first.
SMIL now is having a resurgence of words, unfortunately last conversation this was mainly in the form of shouting ‘Shut up!’ at other residents.
The OH has booked a holiday alone in September. Not that I have a valid passport anyway.
I have been working in the garden, which always cheers me up but the house at the right angle to us in the next road has a tree in full leaf which plunges my back garden into shade by early afternoon.
All in all it’s a bit depressing round here.
So, I’m clearing out the garage.
It seems amazing to think that just over a couple of years ago the garage was a space empty save for the elements raining into the builders’ cups of tea. Where did all the junk come from?
Well partly it’s the lockdown library which occupies a quarter of the garage. It isn’t just the cart to wheel in at night, there’s also the jigsaw trolley. On two boxes are the bagged-up books with bookmarks, waiting to fill spaces and a garden table with all the paraphernalia for cleaning, sorting and bagging the books. To think it all got started with one small table that got nicked.*
One entire wall is gardening stuff. It’s amazing how much stuff you need to plant seeds, which are really small, in dirt which is everywhere for free.
Opposite there’s the decorating shelves and wall. Not only am I incapable of chucking out half a pint of matching paint**, the palaver you have to go through to leave empty paint cans at the dump is mind boggling.
Then there’s all the packaging.
I spend probably an hour a week up at the post office posting things. I was quite postal to begin with. I’m a one woman backlash against the online takeover, believing nothing beats a nice letter in the post. My grandmother told me the tale of her complaining to her mother that she never got any letters. ‘How many have you sent?’ her mother asked. Just before my friend died my new computer found an old photo of her and her husband setting up at Miniatura in their heyday. How glad I am that I printed it off, made it into a sturdy card and posted it. I send SMIL photographs of the grandchildren. I make them into zigzag books which she can easily manipulate and enjoy with no words.
I send a lot of parcels to the grandchildren. Latest was packs of summer pyjamas, L was instantly sick on hers, I was informed. Fortunately they were packs of three sets each.
All this posting would cost more if I didn’t recycle packaging. This of course means you have to store a lot of it because you never know what size of item you are going to send until you pack it all up. So there is a huge box of padded postal bags. The box is going to have to move so that……..
I can put the kiln on! Yes, under all of that are the kilns smothered in combustible stuff.
A little kiln needs a clear eighteen inches around it to fire safely.
In my head new fairy dolls are waiting.
In the near corner behind the kilns, the slip. I shall have to buy new Milliput, it will have gone rock hard by now.
And that may lift my spirits. Getting on with something proper.
I was sending manuscripts off to agents for a couple of years but I am currently weighed down with rejections. Some are so inundated with lockdown novels they don’t even bother to reject you: If you haven’t heard from us in eight weeks, assume we hate you and move on.
So, garage it is.
And then I will have to book a slot at the dump, who are still in lockdown mode because they deal in rubbish and will not help you if you bring heavy things. And, of course the OH was banned from the dump, so it will have to be me.
My horoscope says I’m in a one in twenty years success phase, with everything I touch turning to gold.
Which I will turf out of the garage and take to the dump just as soon as I can book a slot.
** Last colour but two.