Alexander Averin

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

On privilege and old age.

Leaning to curtsey (something I would never ever do!)

A Getty photo of debutantes at Queen Charlotte's Ball in the 1950's

Dear Diary,

I am sorry I have been absent without leave again. Plenty of excuses though I guess a sick note will suffice. Only twenty-two days till my operation and hopefully then I will recover quickly and get my energy back. If I was a private patient I would have been done and dusted months ago (don't get me started).

It is very cold today here in Wales, the sun is shining and the air is very dry but I have never felt so cold a wind.

I have more energy today but I am trying not to overdo things because that has always been my downfall, using up all my energy just because it is there. I have never learned to pace myself but I think it is my ruler Aries who is to blame.

The countryside looks very beautiful, there is snow on the hilltops; I wish I had taken my camera out in the field when I took the dogs for our wee constitutional this morning so I could show you the views. I have a dental appointment this afternoon and that is a fairly long drive so I won't be able to take photos later.

I watched a very interesting programme about debutantes on BBC4 (or maybe BBC2?) the other night. Not that I approve of such goings on and the photos above make me cringe and might get me started again (please don't get me started because bitterness is so bad for one's gall-bladder don't you know!). There were a lot of  oldish ladies of privilege on the programme talking about their younger days. One said she was nervous in her youth but used whisky to calm her and she said the whisky bottle became her friend. That one line stuck in my head and from it a poem grew. Nothing to do with debs. though I suppose it could be and a story about aged debs. could even develop from there. Anyway here is my effort, not great I know but I am a little brain dead of late (hence the lack of blog postings, writers' block has been my companion).

A friend sent me an email recently and the subject matter has also inspired a poem in my head, it is still lurking there but I will post it as soon as it looks something like a poem.

Where have you found inspiration lately? What gets you going and how do ideas for poems and stories come to you?

I must go, my cooker is calling frantically.

Before I forget, here is the poem.


Perhaps she could cope in age with company;
but the whisky bottle has become her
only friend.  Medicinal in the morning,
it brings both peace and strength, it moves the blood,
warms her weakened heart, reinstalls again
her long lost confidence in daily life.
Nightly it helps to soothe her off to sleep,
a passage to euphoria in dreams.
Glasses, when she can find them, help her see,
tight behind one ear her hearing aid sits,
it cannot be discreet , its sounds betray.
Her fading memory wanes and waxes at its will,
notebook always close, her only aide-memoire.
Her walking stick and frame are always there,
a plethora of pills to keep her well,
the side effects ignored as best she can.
Euthanasia is often on her mind
when pain’s so bad she wants to fade away
and loneliness is more than she can bear.

Cait O’Connor


Vee said...

Beautifully written, Cait, I felt myself growing increasingly distressed, which proves that it is well written. Good heavens! I can't believe how long you have had to wait for your surgery. I have heard, though, that some people's situation resolves and they don't require surgery. It happened that way for one of my friends who asked for the opportunity to allow things to calm down when the doctors all wanted to do surgery immediately. It's been over a decade now and she has had no further troubles, though she is careful with her diet.

Frances said...

Cait, I do hope that you'll soon have that surgery and that its results will be worth the wait.

Once reason that I keep on working as I do over here in the States is to still qualify for my employer's excellent health insurance. I'm old enough now to qualify for our national old folks health insurance, but it doesn't cover everything.

Your poem is a lovely one, and had my mind engaged from the start.

I saw that beautiful moon shining brightly tonight in a clear sky. Brilliant.


TF said...

Great poem. Keep warm and recovery real soon m'dear TFx

Foxglove Lane said...

Dearest Cait, i hope you get the op sorted soon. As always you inspire me, and very much so today. Your wonderful view of life and the world will sustain you, many thanks for all your support. X

e said...

I hope you stay warm and recover quickly. Your poem took me back to the times in my childhood that I had crutches and would recuperate from surgeries. Best to you,


Dave King said...

Impressive post, a thoroughly enjoyable read.

Every blessing for a speedy recovery.

Nan said...

That is beautiful and oh, so sad.