Twice a week my caregiver walks me – I using my walker - to the shops at the end of our lane. I sit on a seat outside the grocers and watch cars, trucks and pedestrians pass by. Girls from Marsden school come down in their lunch hour.
This week as I teetered back across the pedestrian crossing I heard a girl say ‘that poor old man’. I could have turned and wheeled back to say ‘thank you’. One is not supposed to hug school girls. I didn’t. I ploughed on.
Every now and then I indulge in the grumping of the aged down the ages. There is less compassion in the young than there used to be. What that unsolicited expression of sympathy did was to restore my faith that certain human attributes are timeless. Probably the sociologist would scoff but allow me my remnants of dignity.
I hope that lass has a long and happy life. Little will she know how her casual comment gave comfort to an old fool.
Off on a completely different track. Gary Harris, artistic director of the New Zealand Ballet Company returns to Britain at the end of this year. One of my regrets is giving up going to the ballet. Harris’s choreography of ‘The Nutcracker Suite’ placing it in a hospital setting was superb. I recall seeing it with great pleasure. They are dancing it this month as his swansong. (See blog 20th November 2009) I’m pleased to have seen so many of his productions.
An afterword for yesterday’s blog. I forgot to mention the mock orange blossom hedge, which is on our north side of the house. It’s in full bloom, a burst of striking white running the length of the section.
There's a review of Antonia Fraser's memoir about her husband Harold Pinter's death 'Must You Go' in the New York Times today. About a month before Pinter died he said 'Life is beatitful but the world is hell'.
Lowlife: Short Story Collection Published
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