Wednesday, 17 August 2011
While looking after my dad, I pursue a daily habit I had when mum was alive: we used to walk up the road to her friend, Heather, for morning coffee. Heather is a salt of the earth type, who believes that man/woman cannot live without a permanently full tummy. To this end, she cooks daily, huge meals for her adult children, who understandably have been in a hurry neither to marry nor to leave home, two of them still not having fled the nest, although pushing forty. The trouble is this family is very largely overweight, I hesitate to say obese, but that is the truth, and it is impossible for any visitor to leave the house without some or other delicious comestible to take home, usually in quantities that could fill one's freezer for months. I made the mistake of casually mentioning that I would be in my brother's house by myself next week which instantly caused Heather to go on the alert and cross-question me deeply as to how I would be able to sustain myself in a house in which she suspects there will be marginal levels of food. In vain do I assert that I have mountains of stuff in the freezer and shall be far from starving. This is met with snorts of disbelief and I see I shall have to come up with a plan to avoid being force-fed by Heather in the near future. Heather herself, lives on a liquid diet and cigarettes, having Crohn's disease and various other nasty digestive ailments. She is also on morphine for chronic pain in her knees. She is 78 - but soldiers on regardless fortified by her need to care for others.