On arrival at Peakville I found that the tree in the front garden of the Old Man’s house had been damaged by the recent high winds.
A long time ago, I worked out that my rôles included those of gardener, washerwoman, chauffeur, cleaner, financial adviser, nag, dishwasher, sous-chef, scheduler, mechanic, telephone answering service, reprogrammer of TV remote controls… — but that I could not be an authority-figure to the Old Man. That rôle I had to leave in the capable hands of Dr F and of other medical and non-medical professionals.
Now I have a new rôle: tree-surgeon.
By the side of the Old Man’s driveway, the daffodils are springing up again.
At Bert’s, the grey saloon car and the little silver hatchback were parked on the forecourt. All four people were behind the counter. As always, Bert looked serious and intense. Short Woman served me with fish and chips straight from the pan — she shook the fish to rid it of cooking-oil. When I got my fish and chips back to the Old Man’s house, they were still almost too hot to eat — but as they had had no time to drain properly, they were slightly oily. Excellent nonetheless. The crispness of the batter revealed the master at work.
After lunch I walked to the Cheesepare supermarket. There was debris on the pavements and in the gutters — the Old Man’s tree was not the only one to have been damaged.
I filled another suitcase with clothes; then put some more in a small suitcase I had brought with me.
[Original posting 12 February 2012]