I was wondering what to write as I ‘ve been feeling like a bit of a misery so this made me smile.
My neighbour who lives 2 floors above me has been in my life ever since I bought my studio.
She is over 80 and has been ever since I met her….which might mean she could be 90 or more now.
When I first knew her she could get about and sometimes I would see her uptown very upright and elegant. I used to see quite a lot of her then and she would drop by for various reasons. I learned quite a lot about her life and she would give me gifts to take to my grandchildren. I would bring photos of them back with me from Scotland.
And she cooked for me for years. Lovely traditional food which she would put in dishes in a carrier bag and lower down from her balcony on a long string. In the summer she often sent down ice cream in a little metal dish. In the winter it was coffee in a little pot. Sometimes I would say ” you don’t need to do this ” and she would answer.” I like cooking.”
I painted her once . I liked it but she didn’t she thought I had made her look too old. I might have . I have a lovely pencil drawing of her.
It only really stopped when I moved to my other little house and she became housebound. Then James was ill and I was away . Then he died and I had no energy to go and see her.
Gradually since I have moved back here we have talked ( no, she talks and I listen) . She shouts down from her balcony and I get a crick in my neck looking up. There are only the two of us at this end of the street.
Yesterday we swapped a plastic bottle and some cake and oranges. Today it was some dropped laundry and clothes pegs for some cooked potatoes and a pear. I will have to return the dishes so may need to go round to her house. I think she might be ” reeling ” me in again, but it makes me smile .
The other chink of light in this weird period of not working is starting to read MISS READ books again. I spent at least ten years of my life reading and then rereading all her books. I could almost quote parts of them. They are stories of a head mistress in a village school and another series set in another village. With lots of interesting characters and no murders . Reading them ( for me).was being transported into a lovely gentle mildly humorous world where nothing very much happened , but it was all interesting.
I started reading one again when I couldn’t sleep…and too many murders in my kindle book. I think that rereading them all might be a very nice way to pass December…..
And now it’s wine time and less people tested positive in Basilicata today. Also non essential travel between areas has been banned over Christmas. Maybe things are looking up all round.