I am, quite frankly, depressed, let down and wondering why I am doing this blog. It is a solitary pursuit, this blogging. Friends follow or do not follow, Nameless, faceless people follow it or do not follow it. It is a strange form of communication, most imperfect. Ash of Dolphin Square comments that there are no worries about your readership, you are not subject to critiques or reviews and that is true. There is a certain immunity. With FaceBook posts one is prone to count their likes. or if really lucky, read the comments made by ‘friends’, I know nothing of the appeal of twittering or instagramming, The very best use of my blog, I suppose, is to share my thoughts with friends who email me in response. This is the most helpful, necessary form of sharing. I have shared my lifelong friend Bruce’s comments before but reiterating them to myself is important. Bruce said: “You have a very long history of quite deliberate and planful acts of life destabilization. This very much keeps you alive and energized. You will have a constant need to figure things out. You could keep this blog going for years because the next life change is just around the corner. I think the Uncle Dave book and the blog share in this same identity finding purpose for you…the meaning of your past will be re-interpreted in the context of your newly defined identity. Quite fascinating, really.” So Bruce’s comments ground me and help me go on. A recent conversation at the Ottolenghi had the opposite effect. But, of course, Bruce has known me longer. One accomplishment yesterday, a major one, was to plan and get tickets for my cross Canada train journey. It is done, it feels good. So cousins and Canadian friends I shall share the details by email later. Speaking of Canadians, I have permission to use their names. Regan and Nick are the newest stars in my firmament. They shine in yesterday’s blog.
In keeping with Bruce’s comments I quote from a story I previously penned, It is called: Grandparent Day, December 19th, 2016.
“This is how it began. I was in the steam room with about five women from the water aerobics class. One woman is the most miserable prune you can imagine, incredibly rude although every once in a while she smiles at me in a yearning way or emulates me in some way. So she is having a miserable conversation with the only person in the water aerobics class that will dane to speak to her. They are discussing Christmas plans with families (of course). The miserable prune, (whose mother was actually a psychiatrist no less) said: “I never wanted to be a grandmother.” I looked at her and said: “Well there was a sure way of avoiding that, not to have children in the first place.” Then I said: “Well.not exactly I never had children and once I had eight grandchildren. I was good at it, actually. I was excellent” I then flounced out of the steam room in a fit of pique. That took some doing.
Then I was having lunch at the Dolphin Square Bar and Grill and a woman and a boy of about eight arrived and sat down next to me. It was clear that she was his grandmother (for one thing he called her Gram). But there were other wondrous ways to tell, She was attentive, focused all of her energies and attention on him. She was necessarily strict when needed and made sure that he was eating his fish as well as the chips for example. She gave him a short history lesson, at this moment I cannot remember what it was but it was impressive. At some point I joined in their conversation. I think I told them how big the piece of fish was that came with the fish and chips. I also asked for the pudding menu from the waitress because they were not paying attention to Gram and little boy. The little boy was directed to go to the loo as Gram ascertained it could be a problem later on if not attended to. It was at this point I leaned over to Gram and told her what a great grandmother she was – well not great grandmother, you know what I mean. She was gracious. Then the little boy came back and I told them both – telling the little boy how lucky he was. They listened. I told them that even a little attention can make a difference and I told them the story of Nimmo and I. In that same restaurant Nimmo and I connected, he was not quite two. We laughed and talked and played. He went outside with his father and returned with a stone and said “Here Nana.” I was gob smacked. I wrote of this event to a man. He said: “Nimmo will remember you his whole life.” I only hope that the man does, he who I dumped under much provocation three days ago. The little boy has swimming lessons on Saturdays and I will see him again.
At this moment I began crying and sitting in Dolphin Square near the Help desk. Giuseppe, the Great came over and said with real alarm: “Alexis, what happened?” “Why are you crying?” i “I was writing and I got sad”. “OK good, I was afraid something happened.” He later said: “It is good that you having these feelings, that you can feel your sadness.” Of course, he is right. But look how cared for I am, here in London on my own.
The next incident happened right here and actually in front of Giuseppe. A woman was making her way to Dolphin Square apartments. She was accompanied by a little boy and a little girl in a stroller. Somehow the little boy connected to me and we were having such fun together. We were giggling and laughing and he was playing very shy and teasing me. I asked him what his name was and he refused to tell me in a cute, withholding way. His mother insisted but he was adamant that he was not going to tell me. They left to go on their way and I gave him a blow kiss. He started to blow kiss back and Giuseppe said that he must have thrown ten blow kisses at me. But then next he decided to hug me and he kept running over and hugging me and hugging me. His mother was a bit gob smacked as I was. So was Giuseppe, who found it darling. This little boy lives in Dolphin Square, I can see and play with him at random.”
THIS STORY TO BE CONTINUED IN A LATER BLOG. THE ACCOMPANYING PICTURE IS ACTUALLY HAMISH, NOT MENTIONED IN ABOVE. HE IS BLOWING ME KISSES. HE IS OBVIOUSLY SCOTTISH. (the name)