Please don't mollycoddle me.

20 Jun 2018

I was shopping in LIDL this morning. The lady from the second-hand shop opposite our first house was also shopping. She said, accusingly "I saw you wheeling a wheel-barrow down the road". "Yes, so?" I said. The implication - hard work, too old, man's work? So, realising I would continue, she added a 'bon courage' for good measure, and a 'doucement' (take it quietly). I could not do what is in the picture now - I do not climb ladders when on my own in the house, and get giddy on scaffolding.

But most of the town, the nuns in particular, seem to disapprove of anything I do of a physical nature, except walking. There are several in their late 80's, (one 96), who firmly do their 'constitutional', particularly getting out on market mornings. Happily, it is common enough now not to get stared at as some sort of phenomenon. If only my husband had continued walking he would not be in a care home now, but regrets are useless.

I am asked if I could not get help? I've moaned enough on Moodscope, how all the offers of help never came to fruition. There are plenty of professionals but that needs money: so many jobs would not be touched by a professional, fiddly, not in their line; the 'little man' round the corner does not exist. Family do what they can when here, but Mr Sod has my name high on his list, and for the last year torrential rain has scuppered family work in the garden.

The nuns, bless them, are darlings, but so hyper-careful they remind me of my Mum. She got it into her head that being aged 70 was a sort of water-shed (she lived to 2 months off 100). She must not climb stairs, so got herself moved to a downstairs flat. She would not open letters, she might be stressed – so I got everything on standing order, and a daughter took over when we moved to France. She must not bend. She had a little bit of ground in front of her window – she made a good job of it, and got awards, I took over that, as well.

A friend, male, Formula 3 driver, underwater diving, DIY of a 'cowboy' standard, said you should not climb ladders over 70. The nuns are also always fussing that I do not wear enough clothes, or go out in the rain without a hat or umbrella (high-speed dash 50 metres to the bread-shop).

I am wheeling the barrow in preparation for a major event, moving my collection of old stone sinks (already moved from the UK) by the chemist's sons, who are lovely, but don't realise I have to organise things. They will rush in, smiles, kisses, and enthusiasm, and I have to clear a path and empty the sinks. Nil desperandum I think, what about you?

The Gardener

A Moodscope member.

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