Dave runs in chased by a cat

Art by Katherine

As Mary got ready to go out,she realised she had not combed her hair.Where were the 24 combs she had bought from Amazon?Not in her delightful red and purple shoulder bag.She pondered over what to d0
1 Use the clothes brush
2.Try a nailbrush
3 Use her toothbrush
4.Look on the floor
5.Look in all the drawers in the house
In the end she decided to pour some water over her head, put on some oil , then push her hair into the direction she wanted
She put on her red dress with a pattern of little books all over, a favourite of Stan, her late husband.Her shoes were peach coloured in homage to some artist who liked clashing colours.He was not good as an artist except for this ability to find the worst possible colours to put together.So he is known as Ned the Red and Purple
Suddenly the doorbell rang like a burglar alarm on heat.She opened the door and Dave the paramedic ran in
What’s wrong,Dave, she asked
I am being chased by a  big Siamese cat,he replied.
I can’t see  any cats, she said in  a kindly tone.Never mind,let me make you some coffee
Before she could close the door a big and lovely  cat ran in
Who are you,Mary asked him?
I am called Jeb, he told her.I like that man in the dress  so I want to ask him to adopt me.
OK said Dave.My cat died and I’ve  been too sad to  get another one.Are you  able to sleep  by me in bed
Definitely, said Jeb.It hs been my life time desire
All three sat down in the small but delightful  orange and lime kitchen watching Emile climb a tree.
I haven’t seen you lately,Dave said gently to Mary
No,I went to the hairdresser and my hair is so short it looks as if I am having chemotherapy.Still it was nice to be cossetted and it won’t need  much arranging  or blow-drying.
I suppose you could let the back grow before the winter,Dave told her
Yes, at least my head is cooler for the summer.It was hot when I went there so I assumed that would  carry on.But now it is colder.
How about wearing a hat?
Yes,I’ll ask Annie about that as she knows more about clothes than I ever shall
The phone rang startling Jeb who had been living in a field
Hello, this is Sister Mayflower from the bereavement group.
Hello,Sister.How are you?
I am worried because the other women were so unwelcoming.I have taken it over recently and recognise they are a closed group and it is 20 years since most of them were bereaved so they don’t want anyone to distress them by actually feeling sad.
Don’t worry about me.I only came because Annie my neighbour saw an advert for it and I did it to please her.
I see ,said Sr Mayflower.You can come to the Convent if you like.Just say Mayflower.
Thank you very much.Bye , bye, said Mary
Who was that, a nun? said Dave.Don’t tell me.I can guess,Several patients we’ve had have been there and were disappointed.They should call it tea and chat  except they don’t want any one new to join even in that.Odd as it is a Church based on the teachings of Jesus.Love one another.
Loving others may be harder than it sound,Mary mused dreamily
i feel much better , she said.I am playing the piano every day.I met 3 friends  for coffee and then went to the bookshop.I love sitting there looking at new books.And it’s nice not to have to cook every night
Mary got up ;oh dear, her trousers fell down
Good grief,Dave cried.You  have lost weight  and you are wearing red knickers!What next?
Yes, said Mary.Don’t you like them?
I am unsure.Shall I get some?
Just get 1 pair and see how you feel.I got mine in the Market.Otherwise Marks do purple and green ones,Mary murmured
Imagine all the old folk wondering around the  town might be wearing purple and green knickers. said Dave.It must make  washing hard as you can’t put them in the 60 degree wash.
I never thought of that, cried Mary, her blue mascara running down her face.
I’ve  read some women wear a  pair once and then throw them out
Well, they could cut them up and use them as dusters,Dave  mused.
Why not just buy dusters and wear white or beige knickers? Life is hard enought without worrying about such trivia
My mascara is melting because my eyes keep watering.
Go and sit by the potted plants and let it fall on them,Dave said scientifically
Don’t be ridiculous, she said unknowingly.

I think it is hayfever or the pollution in town.The traffic was like a plague of giant  houseflies on wheels.All stuck still.
Well flies don’t keep still,Dave said.If they did we would kill them
I guess   there’s an accident ” on the motorway so they send  the cars down here.I wish they had kept the railways open as the roads are frightening with those big lorries with cars on the back.I used to be afraid one might fall off on us,Mary remininisced, when Stan drove me to the coast
The door opened and in dashed Annie from next door.She wore a dark wine track suit with a pale pink T shirt matching her lipstick from Yves de Beauvoir  McMorris of Paris and Wigan.
Hi Dave she said.I love that dress,Is it from Marks?
Yes, he answered.I like these cotton maxi dresses  in hot weather.
I can understand that ,she whispered.Trousers  are hot and if you wash  them they need ironing.People forget we sweat more in the heat
That’s fortunate,Mary said.Otherwise we would die
And so cry all of us except Jeb.Jeb never cries

Stan is neglected and ill treated


Art by Katherine      

After church on Sunday Mary decided to visit Stan , her elderly ,gentle and  frail  husband in the Rehabilitation Unit where he had been sent recently by a strange physiotherapist instead of to a hospice.
He was unhappy as the diuretics made him pee even mo e often than he used to do and  he got very worried about it because his bad heart made it extremely hard for him to walk.
When she went into the bed ward she saw Stan sitting on his chair without any pyjama trousers on even though it was visiting time from 3 to 8 pm.
Why has he no trousers on? Mary asked a nurse angrily, her blue eyes full of unshed  glistening tears which almost washed off her turquoise mascara and made runnels in her honey beige foundation by Rimmel of London and Paris and Munich
He keeps wanting  to  go to the toilet so it’s easier for us   all  if he has no pants on,the nurse told her haughtily.He’s on diuretics,you see as he has water in his lungs and other inner organs and the water has to be removed from his body,Sheila ,the nurse announced ina cold voice
I know that.What about the lack of dignity in baring him to the world,Mary enquired softly yet piercingly her eyes dripping tears again.
Dignity,what’s that? the nurse said insolently.
He is just a pest. And old men don’t deserve any attention.We are tired of them.They should all die now.Thats’s government policy it appears
Emile who had hidden in Mary’s old,but good olive green Radley leather handbag let out a sound like a banshee in Cork or a demon in a nightmare.
The nurse looked  quite frightened
What’s that? she whispered to Mary behind her hand.
It’s probably Satan coming to say ” hello” to you as you seem very wicked to me.Mary informed her politely yet honestly in her Northern way.
Oh my,what shall I do? the nurse asked in a trembling voice.I am so upset now.
You could try reading the Ten Commandments,Mary riposted jocosely… if it’s not too late.
Or recalling the Golden Rule………
I’ve never heard of the golden rule,said the nurse.Is it a measuring instrument of some unusual type?
Yes,in a sense it is,Mary said.It measures us by our compassion towards others.And you seem to have none for Stan.Can you not imagine what it’s like being a man sitting half naked in a public room with no recourse?
What’s a recourse,Sheila, the nurse, asked her thoughtfully,Is it a garment like a dressing gown?
No,it’s a a source of help in a difficult situation.It’s a remedy or an  option
I have a higher degree in nursing,Sheila boasted stupidly.
I don’t care if you have ten doctorates in nursing and philosophy,Mary cried.It’s what you do and say to the patients that counts.And going to an evening class in English would do you no harm.Your vocabulary is limited,to say the least.Words are useful  whatever job you do.Or even if you are unemployed it helps you deal with bureaucrats
Oh,dear,said the nurse,I am sorry for being so thoughtless.I am always thinking about sex,love and clothes instead of the patients.I see now I have fallen into evil ways and hope I can improve a little.
You have been cruel, said Mary.And seeing my aged husband like this is breaking my heart.
She went over to Stan whose face was almost black, [when he was normally white] and sat by him.He fell against her bosom hungrily.Alas it was not for erotic reasons.His blood sugar was only 2 and his BP was 60/40.He was dying there with no trousers on and with no-one but Mary to help him… and Emile, their small  intelligent black cat ,of course.Unfortunately Emile’s trousers were too small for Stan

.Mary wrapped a bath towel around Stan and held him in her arms.
Stan tried to speak but Mary could not make out what he was saying.Tears ran down her  beautiful lined and wrinkled face and dripped onto Stan’s head.I suppose one might say it was a kind of baptism by love.Now Stan will be entering a new dimension and will be given a new and better name by One who cannot be named here.But you catch my drift?

Judgment is mine says the Lord