July 24th 2017 – home

We did a traditional early doors Friday at The New Old Local and it was, almost, like the good, old days. The same regulars showed up and we actually managed to leave the pub at a reasonable hour in time to return home for dinner which is a bit of a novelty nowadays.

Mr P had to work on Saturday so mum and I went to visit Grandad at the nursing home. It was nicer than I was expecting although the ubiquitous dozing oldies and too-loud TV were in place,.Grandad seemed okay and has even put on a bit of weight. He has diminished rapidly though, even his voice, which made it difficult to hear him over the blare of Saturday Kitchen but he’s still the same Grandad beneath it all. Despite mistaking me for The Blonde Sister at first, once I corrected him, he realised his mistake and I can’t hold it against him: the chap’s ninety-two with twelve grandchildren and about seventeen great-grandchildren to keep track of. It’s no wonder he gets us muddled at times. The carers seemed nice and thanked me taking the whippet who proved to be a big hit with some of the residents, one of whom was a lovely man who only looked to be in his seventies and seemed extremely well and very lucid. It made me wonder why he was there at the nursing home. Had his kids bundled him in there so they wouldn’t have the burden of caring for him? Maybe he didn’t have any children? Or maybe, like Grandad, he moved there out of choice because he found being at home all day so lonely.

Afterwards, I went to The Redhead Sister’s to hear all about her recent trip to Spain and to look at her, mercifully few, photographs. We then proceeded to hop from pub to pub, sitting in beer gardens and soaking up the sun until we were eventually joined by Mr P. After surviving on a solitary apple all day, and Mr P on not even that, we retired between downpours and gorged ourselves on a Chinese takeaway.

Sunday was another bright and sunny day. We went to The New Old Local and bumped into the A/G/F families who were on their way to the neighbouring village so after a quick pint, we walked over and joined them. There was a woman in the pub who I thought was probably in her late sixties. She was stick thin and had old-school, sailor-style tattoos on her forearms. She was accompanied by a grizzled, old staffy and we struck up conversation when she offered the whippet a biscuit. She told me that she was fifty this year and that her husband, who she branded a ‘boring old fart’, was seventy and that she had a son from her first marriage who was twenty-seven. The odd thing was, she insisted on spelling the numbers out, so referred to herself as four-nine without actually saying the number. She also warned me of the dangers of letting the whippet chase squirrels (I wouldn’t) saying that a cornered rodent will leap and tear out his “jagular vein”. I’m also pretty sure she originally introduced herself as Julie but then referred to herself as Carol for the rest of our conversation. I’m not sure if she was mentally ill or just eccentric but she seemed harmless enough and so I engaged her in conversation for a while before excusing myself and giving her a hug. Maybe she was just another lonely soul as well. Either way, it made me feel good that I had done a good deed for the day.

Mr P (not that one) sent me a text saying that him and his girlfriend would be down from Norfolk for a few days this week and asked whether we fancied meeting them for a few beers at the weekend. I reckon it must be three years since we last saw them when some civilised Easter Sunday beers descended into karaoke at one of the village pubs.

Mrs M is also up for a week. We’ve arranged to meet up with the other two of our school foursome for drinks on Thursday and then Mrs M is coming to mine on Saturday night. She says she has more to tell me about the Rock Star who she now refers to as her ‘virtual pen-pal’. I’m also curious to get to the bottom of the problems she’s having with Mr M.

On top of that, it’s likely that we’ll also be welcoming the B-I-L et al. The kids break up tomorrow so I wouldn’t be surprised to see their Landrover parked on the F-I-L’s drive come Friday.

As an aside, I complimented one of The New Old Local regulars on her cerise top, saying that the colour really suited her to which she replied, “yes, I know”. Charming.



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