Wednesday, April 21, 2010


It was my mother's birthday yesterday and she is eighty-six. I felt sad as the Communist never reached that age - he died age eighty-five.

A new pharmacist's shop has opened in Oakwood, Leeds. The Communist, when a very young apprentice pharmacist, used to work at Timothy Whites and Taylor's, the pharmacist's on the other side of the road, which closed some years ago.

Since then, there hasn't been one at Oakwood. When I drove past the new one today, my first thought was "Oh, I must tell the Communist, he'll be interested." And then I remembered he's dead - it was a real shock and, not for the first time, I found myself having to stop the car because I couldn't see for the tears.

I was working yesterday, of course, but took Mum swimming first. She comes with me most days when I go, which is several days a week. I suppose not many people are in the swimming pool at eight o'clock on their eighty-sixth birthday.

Then I took her to have her hair cut, which pleased her - - but after that I was back to work. Still, she had several visitors, so that was good, and I know she enjoyed her day.

Since she fell and broke her shoulder - and, more to the point, I suspect, banged her head - she's been increasingly forgetful and it worries me. And sometimes she just can't seem to understand things that once she would have found simple.

We were at the garden centre the other day. There were tomato plants for sale. £3.49 for six or 99p each.

"£3.49 for a tomato plant? That's really expensive!" said my mother.

"No, it's £3.49 for six," I said.

"But I don't want six. I only want one."

"Yes, well you can just buy one. For 99p."

"But it says £3.49."

"Yes, but that's for six."

"But I don't want six. I only want one."

"Yes, well, look, it says 99p each. 99p for just one. £3.49 for six."

"But I don't want six - - "

It took a while to sort out. Of course, growing the plant now she's got it will be no problem at all. She still spends almost all of the day in the garden, and her fitness level puts many people half her age to shame.

She's endlessly kind, and endlessly wanting to help. She didn't like the limitations of being eighty-five. She won't like being eighty-six. But it's better than the alternative. I hope that she will have more, happy, birthdays.


Anonymous Jen @ Suburban Mum said...

Many happy returns to your mother. I hope she has many many more.

9:01 pm  
Blogger Jennyta said...

Please wish your mum happy birthday from Keith and myself, Daphne.

10:17 pm  
Blogger Silverback said...

I sent her an email and msgs on Twitter and Facebook and never got so much as a thank you from her. I'm sorry but even if she is 86, that's just rude.

Older generation. No manners at all.

(Big hugs Joan and off to the Wellington next week, eh ? Dutch of course !!)

11:59 pm  
Blogger Yorkshire Pudding said...

Regarding the tomato plants, we are currently growing twenty from seed. Each plant is now a good five inches tall. The packet cost 19p from Netto. That's less than 1p a plant though adding compost might push it up to 1.5p a plant. If you had only said I would have sent your mum a birthday tomato plant by motorcycle courier.

1:25 am  
Blogger WendyCarole said...

belated happy birthday greetings to your mum.

My mum is 83 next week. I speak to her on the phone as she lives 200 miles away. But as the weeks go on she seems more and more forgetful and muddled about quite easy things. :(

10:38 am  

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