Conversations, December 2009

One Tuesday evening I phoned the Old Man. “I must tell you this,” he chuckled.
Earlier that day, he told me, one of the District Nurses had knocked on his living-room window [at the rear of the house] and he had indicated that she should go round to the front door. But she had never presented herself at the front door.
His explanation for this was that the nurse had been the one who had failed to give him his flu jab.
“She scarpered when she knew who it was. I think they were playing a joke on her.”
[That is to say, the Old Man thought that the other District Nurses had sent that nurse to him, so as to play a joke on her, and when she had recognised the Old Man through the window, she had decided to flee.]
Wednesday, not Tuesday, is the usual day for the Old Man to receive a visit from a District Nurse.


The Old Man and I were dealing with his morning medication.
“I’ve got two lots of tablets here,” he said.
[In fact, he had taken four items of medication out of the sandwich-box.]


“Mrs CJ is collecting your prescription on Monday,” I told the Old Man.
“What prescription?” he asked.
[The urgent item on the prescription was lansoprazole, which he had run out of.]


I phoned the Old Man on the evening of Monday 21 December, and told him, “I’m going to bed, Dad.”
“So you’re not coming to see me?”
[Did he think I would be driving to Peakville that night?]
“I’m coming to see you Wednesday, weather permitting. I was never coming to see you tomorrow.”


I told the Old Man that he ought to phone Mrs CJ and ask her to do him some shopping, in case I could not get to Peakville for Christmas [owing to bad weather].
“Let’s leave it till the last minute,” he replied.


The Old Man looked tired, and I urged him to have a nap in his armchair. He responded:
“Trouble is, if I have a nap here, I don’t have a nap when I go to bed.”


On Boxing Day, the Old Man and I were watching the second Test Match of the series between South Africa and England, from Durban.
The Old Man remarked that a caption on the screen showed that fourteen overs had been bowled.
“No, Dad, that’s 14 for 2, not 14.2 overs.”

[Original postings 2 January 2010]

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