29 February 2020
27 February 2020
(open all hours)
25 February 2020
1. Comes to something when I apologise to the cat!
2. Now the workmen have gone the house seems very quiet.
3. Winder cleaner came today. He reminded me that he’s been cleaning my windows for over 20 years.
4. Ready prepared dinners delivered, so much better than starving!
5. The war with bin men seems to be over. At last they collect, empty and return the bins. Mind you it took a few months to get Council management to achieve it, all due to my neighbour’s determination to succeed.
6. Our weather is playing tricks, bright sunshine in the morning and heavy snow in the afternoon.
7. I needed paper clips, but all mine had disappeared. Ordered more from Amazon … delivered same day. What would we do with them?
8. New radiators are working well.
9. Valuables locked in drawer, I thought I knew where I’d put the key!
10. Must go, it’s feeding time.
20 February 2020
The engineer is still here, finishing off. I bet he will be glad to get out of the way of my continual questions. Actually, I don’t know why I ask when I don’t even understand the answers!
Well, I guess I will get used to it, and the girls/ladies next door are expert at answering queries.
Catch you later!
18 February 2020
PLEASE, wish me luck and send lots of patience. The whole house is going to suffer a mighty upheaval. Why? Because I am having a new whole house heating system and today is the day. Wish me luck. Actually, the guy who came first painted a dire picture but the working man just told me there would be little upheaval.
Brrr! It's cold.
See you when I see you.
See you when I see you.
13 February 2020
Honestly, my brain is only worth throwing away. Forgetfulness is just a nice name for it. A few swear words are much better, they seem to relieve the inner feelings much faster. It isn’t just the forgetfulness, though, its interpreting what all the little notes mean. You might guess that once written forgetfulness takes over and the mind has to decipher what the hell I was thinking about when writing the note. It’s a reminder! Yes, but what was it reminding me about?
One instance is a note found by the laptop with the words TOILET PAPER ALTERNATIVE. What the hell was that, I wonder. I spent a good hour trying to fathom it out. I mean, why would I want an alternative to toilet paper? It wasn’t as if I needed to buy more, there’s a fair stack of toilet rolls in my supply cupboard.
Whilst typing this I noticed a delivery man park his van opposite my house. He was loaded with parcels for three of the neighbours and guess what … not one for me.
Oh well, this was/is my attempt at writing a proper blog and testing the typing skills. The skills need sorting. Gone are the days when I could do hundreds of words per minute and get praised for achieving top marks. I can still type blindfolded but if I dare to look at my fingers everything goes haywire. Answer: keep eyes on screen at all times.
08 February 2020
1. Got fed-up with having to go in an ‘outside’ room (conservatory) to get stuff from the fridge so my helper helped me move it to an inside room. Much better.
2. A letter telling me my car insurance was due….my response made them laugh when I told them I hadn’t driven or owned a car for four years.
3. Accepted invitation to join group that helps people living alone. What a shock to find out I had to pay highly for the privilege especially as it all happens in own home.
4. Wish I could find an easy way to make a double bed without having to walk miles round and round.
5. Colourful cats in my garden, black, white, ginger, grey, black and white, not all at once but all friendly. How unusual would it be to have them all at once?
6. A good friend wasn’t well but I didn’t know she had gone into a home. She doesn’t know people anymore, including her husband. So very sad.
7. Cottage pie for lunch today…. Oh I do love it.
8. More problems with central heating. Guy says he will come out to sort it but doesn’t show.
9. Ladies next door are the helpful kind. Not sure what I would do without them so I hope they never move.
10. It’s awful quiet on line, where is everybody?
03 February 2020
All my nights are spent in this chair because a recurring dream dictates that I do not go to bed. Did I say recurring? The word should be used loosely because each one has a difference.
Have you ever had a nightmare, one so scary you dare not shut your eyes again? Did you experience the cold sweat of relief when you realised it was just a dream? That’s how it used to be with me but now… now there is no reprieve. I am doomed to spend my days and nights in fear.
It started a year ago, after the office dinner-dance. I had been dancing with the handsomest man in the party, presumed to be an invited guest from another branch of the firm. Yes, I fancied him. And why not? We were free agents. Newly freed, both divorced from our partners, both childless and living alone.
His name was Nick. Friends laughingly referred to him as Old Nick because he was older than most of us by about twenty years. With his dark looks, age didn’t matter.
That evening I fell for the smouldering eyes and the way he held his head to one side when he spoke. You may think there was nothing remarkable about that, but you can’t see what I did. The gesture seemed inviting and I was determined to find out to what I was being invited.
I wore black that night, a strappy, slinky number that suggested more than it showed. I know he liked it by the way he fingered the straps as we danced. I’d only ever danced inches away from a partner but with Nick I was held close to his body, the way I’ve seen in films. We moved in unison, swaying, his body moulded to mine. I didn’t know I was that lithe, to be honest.
It was like that all the way through the evening. I had the greatest time and as the night wore on I began to think about what might happen at the end. Would he want to take me home? Would I invite him in? Of course, I would. He’d got me rearing to go and I was determined to see it through.
You can imagine my frustration when he left me after the last waltz. ‘Catch you later,’ was all he said before disappearing through the double doors to face the moonlit night alone.
It’s a man thing, I realised, as I lay in bed and went over the evening events. Even so, ‘catch you later’ was very off-putting. A girl didn’t know whether he meant it or if it was merely an opt-out. Later on that night I was to find out.
Nick came to me as I slept. In a dreamy state I welcomed him in my arms. It was him, yet he looked different, older. The handsome face was, well, odd. If I told you it was distorted you’d think, yeah, that’s how dreams are. I tried to recall how he looked at the dance but those striking features eluded me. Now all I could see was pockmarked skin and bloodshot eyes.
Although his suggestion that we go on a train journey was met with surprise, I agreed. How we got there is a mystery but, yeah, that’s how dreams are. We were comfortably seated in a compartment, the only two people there, when he suddenly got to his feet, dragging me up as well. The next thing I remember was being hustled along the corridor. I dropped my bag and began to fret about losing the valuables, credit card and cash, but Nick wouldn’t stop. Instead he dragged me further along until we reached the door. The train was rocking with speed as he pushed it open and tried to throw me out.
I woke up screaming. My face and throat were wet with sweat. The duvet was on the floor, pillows strewn on top. It took a long time to regain my calm and grasp that it was only a dream.
Normally I forget dreams the minute I wake, but this one lingered. It haunted me through the tea and toast, it bothered me while I dressed, and worried me even more when I was ready to go and couldn’t find my bag. Had I left it at the hotel? Still somewhat taken aback by Nick’s sudden disappearance I’d walked home, trying to analyse the whole thing. There was no need for money and my house key was hidden under the pot in the garden. I never took it with me when I went dancing.
The first thing I did when I arrived at the office was to ring the hotel. No, Madam, no lost property was handed in. I went round the staff, asking questions. No, Maria, they said, they hadn’t seen anything lying around. Perhaps you didn’t take it to the dance, suggested my closest working companion. I was pretty sure I did.
So I reported the loss to the hotel, the office administrator, and the police.
It bothered me that I should lose a bag in a dream and then find it really was lost.
After doing the important things like notifying the bank, I settled down to work. In fact I worked extra hard in the hope that the awful day would end quickly.
There wasn’t much of interest on television but I carried on watching until my eyes began to blur. A hot shower and an early night would be good, I thought, and then to bed
I climbed in, hugged the comforting duvet to me, tugged the pillow into position, then went straight to sleep. For once my overactive thoughts left me in peace.
He came again that night, his presence announced by repeatedly uttering my name. Ma-reee-ya, Ma-reee-ya. It made me shiver. He was dressed in black with a white silk scarf knotted at the neck. Facial growth covered his chin, dark whiskers that made him look older than his years. His distorted features were now quite grotesque, sunken cheeks, a lopsided nose, swollen lips, one eye open, the other closed. He was friendlier than before, although his grip on my hand was vice-like as he invited me to accompany him for a walk.
Because the evening was on the cool side, I slipped a shawl round my shoulders. A gift from a friend, beige coloured, embroidered with peacocks and my initials MD in the middle. We took the path that led to the lake, pausing now and again to kiss, and for me to suffer the rising nausea each time he pressed his lips against mine. I had no choice but to surrender since his hold on me was like steel. I remember it so well. I also remember his hysterical laughter as he pushed me into the lake.
Struggling to keep my head above the murky water, I screeched and screeched that I couldn’t swim.
Then I woke, still shaking with fear, horrified to feel so drenched. My rose patterned nightdress was soaked with perspiration, the duvet wrapped so tight I sweated with the heat.
And so it goes on. Every night he tries to kill me, each attempt different to the last. His face is skeletal now and the more gruesome he gets the worse the torture. The fear is so great I am afraid to sleep lest he should succeed.
The man called Nick, whom I met at the dance, rang me not so long back. He apologised for leaving me so hurriedly and suggested we meet up for a night out. I turned him down. I could no longer be sure if he and my ‘dream’ man were one and the same.
The psychiatrist had lots of explanations about my state of mind, none of which I understood. I mean, I was normal before all this started. Wasn’t I? Anyway, the psychiatrist reckons that dreams are figments of imagination. You know, I would believe that if it wasn’t for the fact that my handbag was found beside a railway line some 90 miles from where I live. I suppose someone, somewhere, is wearing my lovely shawl since it is nowhere in the house and I am not careless enough to mislay things without knowing.
So I sit here breathing in the silence of early morning. Outside the dawn settles in. From where I sit, huddled against the cold, I can see sunlight filtering through the trees. Soon there will be bird calls. They are lucky it didn’t snow in the night. It doesn’t matter to me; I’m too tired to go out these days. Since sleep is something to dread I sit here, alone with my thoughts, and wonder how much longer I must exist in this dream, doing nothing else but link figments of imagination until they resemble life as it was.
If I could differentiate between fantasy and reality things would be different. Maybe I should turn the tables, take the lead, form a plan; a successful one. My best friend thinks I am incapable of rational thought; she may be right but it would be good to try and prove her wrong.
Elusive thoughts often flutter through my head, ideas on how to bring an end to this mental incarceration. Perhaps I should not have turned Nick down after all. Maybe a daytime rendezvous would help me see things more clearly. What’s that old adage? Do unto others as they do unto you? Ah yes, now we’re talking!
It’s quite light outside now. The birds are fighting each other for food. A woodpigeon lands on a slender bough in the cherry tree, see-saws until the branch comes to a stop. A feral cat lurks behind the hydrangea, waiting, watching. I too am watching … and waiting. A chance is all I need, I think, as I turn to gaze at the phone. ‘Hello, Nick,’ I’ll say. ‘How’re you doing?’