An Elizabethan Poem in an Unexpected Place

So I am sitting next to my semi-conscious mother on the medical assessment ward and I suddenly find Thomas Wyatt’s “they flee from me that sometime did me seek” sloshing about in my head.  Until now I had always thought it the self dramatising lament of a roué in his cups having just been knocked back by a teenage waitress.  But right now it seems entirely appropriate. Most of the patients on the medical assessment unit are old.  Properly old. My mother will be 90 on Wednesday if she survives, and I am not sure she is the oldest.  Everyone is …

My Mother’s House

My mother lives in a care home. She sits in a chair with her back to the window alone watching television all day. My brother recently put one of those convex blind spot mirrors so she could see out of the window like the The Lady of Shalott. Her life is arranged on two shelves and in various draws in an area of roughly 2 square meters. She refuses to go to the communal rooms because ‘it is full of dotty old people who can’t talk sense’ and that is to some degree true as there is everything in this …

60 Minutes with my Mother

Ritual is important.  The breakfast ritual doubly so, another night survived, another morning washed and dressed, make up on and ready to eat, ready for the rest of the day.