Monday, July 19, 2010

Growing old

Visited Liz's old German teacher, Grace Rickard (no-one's called Grace now), with whom Liz has kept in touch ever since leaving school. She was a fairly fit and intrepid soul until a stroke a few years ago. Mind still active but she's on a zimmer frame, chair-lift up the stairs and red button permanently round the neck now. Her house is full of clutter and dust. Turned out to be her birthday today so Liz played Happy Birthday on the piano and the girls and I sang along. Glad that we were able to be there to... celebrate?

Liz's mum has started writing her memoires. She dug out some old birth/death/marriage etc certificates and an interesting 19th century invoice from a Bristol undertakers. It came to £4 15s which covered "brass-trimmed coffin, carriage, bearers, and collecting the corpse from Fishponds". My vision of a distant relative floating Ophelia-like amongst the reeds and weeds was misplaced; Fishponds is a suburb of Bristol.

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