What Would You Think if I Sang out of Tune?

Well my dear, I’m sure that if it were me singing at the time you’d rush out of the room screaming.  However, the most important part is actually the title of the song and one which is instantly recognisable by many people.  “I get by with a little help from my friends!”  Don’t you think that’s a wonderfully iconic title which means so much in different ways and is probably relevant to us all.  It’s often said that we are not an island – we all need people!

I’m sorry my dear, I’m sure you’re wondering how, and why on earth I started this conversation.  I can explain – honestly I can.  Over the past few days since I arrived home from my little holiday in Scotland, I have been wondering why my mood has changed and why I feel so much happier here.  I must say that I thoroughly enjoyed the majority of my unexpected trip over the border and would be delighted to return.  However, there is one major point of difference between the gorgeous log cabin we stayed in and my tiny flat (I’m sure it shrank while I was away).   Here I have a wonderful group of friends and acquaintances who I can call on at very short notice, and not only to ask for their assistance.  

When I was in Scotland Mrs. M was with me for the majority of the time although I’m sure you recall that she spent a night in the local hospital after her mishap.  She is good company, but spending over two weeks in a small cabin and only talking to one person who was rather distracted for part of the time, meant that at times it appeared to be that I was alone.  Now, I’m happy spending time by myself – in fact I’m very comfortable talking to myself and listening to the radio when I choose.  However, I wasn’t in my own home and therefore I didn’t have everything close at hand as is usual when I’m here.  That wasn’t anyone’s fault – and in fact, it wasn’t a big deal in the scheme of things.

When I start to analyse things – and perhaps I shouldn’t – I’m trying to understand why things felt so different.  I think that, for me, the major difference was in having to consider the needs of someone else.  For instance, at about 1pm it’s time for me to have a snack.  I go into my wee kitchen, and decide whether to have an egg, or perhaps some cheese and crackers.  I make myself a mug of tea and “Bob’s your uncle” – lunch is ready in about five minutes – well, in a maximum of ten minutes!

When we were away, I used to ask Mrs. M what she would like for lunch and she would always ask me what we had available?  Originally I asked her if she would prefer an egg or some cheese for lunch, but she always answered with a question.   Something along the lines of “do we have any ham?”  That was why I decided to change the question and ask her what she would like – but every time she responded by asking what was available and it started to irritate me slightly.   I was getting to the point of suggesting she had a look in the fridge and decide what she fancied, but unfortunately she then had her little accident and I didn’t want to cause her another problem in trying to struggle to the kitchen.

Now my dear, I know I am moaning, and I really don’t mean to.  I’m not suggesting for one minute that Mrs. M was to blame for my irritability – no, Mrs. M probably felt exactly the same.  When it comes down to it, we are used to our own little routines, and particularly when you live alone you have your own way of doing things for yourself.  You don’t need to consider the opinions of others.  In that respect perhaps I am rather selfish.  It’s not deliberate; it’s a combination of getting older and being left to my own devices to get on with things in my own way.

Going back to the beginning of my rambling conversation today, I’m trying to say that although I like doing things how and when I want – I also love having the company of my friends who live near to me.  They pop in for thirty minutes for a quick cup of tea, or been to the newsagent and have bought me a copy of “The People’s Friend”, a weekly magazine.  You know I’ve been reading it – not continuously, but from time to time for nearly sixty years, and I still enjoy it.

I love receiving a phone call from one of my friends asking if I’d like to go for a coffee to The Roasted Bean.  Another friend is quite likely to ask if I’m going to the library and if so, shall we meet for a snack there at lunchtime.  Of course, I have my Knit and Natter group at the library, where about fifteen of us enjoy coffee and cake and ostensibly get on with our knitting or crochet, while in actual fact, the knitting usually sits in our project bags while we all catch up with the news and gossip.

It would be lovely if someone could help me regarding the various crimes which have yet to be solved – but that’s for another post when I’ve managed to glean more information. 

So my dear, although I may sound as if I’m moaning, in truth I’m not.  I’m so grateful for the folk who surround me and offer me support every day, whether it’s Georgie offering to open my post so I don’t need to see the words written by our anonymous coward, or Teddy and Giselle who ring me and pop in to see me a couple of times a week.  Then of course Alex and I speak nearly every day and I’m looking forward to seeing him, Chrissie and the girls at the end of the week.

I haven’t forgotten Mrs. M – I believe she is comfortable in London and Bertie has now joined her for a short time before they travel back to Edinburgh together.  I also understand that my contact at the security services will be making a visit to see me in the not too distant future.

So my dear as I started to say right at the beginning of this conversation “I get by with a little help from my friends.”  You can choose your friends but you can’t choose your relatives. I am extremely lucky to have my wonderful friends here and around Lavinia Court.  As Always –

With Love – Jan  xx

Published by Jan

I'm retired, disabled and after sudden death of wonderful husband, have moved closer to my son, daughter-in-law and baby, Charlie. I live in sheltered housing at the bottom end of the scale called Independent Living. I had been in an online Knit and Natter group for a couple of years before Ian died and the members of the group were and still are a wonderful support to me. Since moving here I have now got my own little Facebook group where the members are now my friends and extended family. It was suggested that I write a blog - so here we are!!

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12 Comments

  1. Nice to hear from you Jan, and I’m glad that you are happy to be home. I can relate to your feelings about having someone else to consider. Like you, I’m quite happy with my own company, although I do enjoy friends dropping in or going out for coffee etc. As you say, you can choose your friends, which is great.
    Good luck with your eventual meeting with the man from the security services. Stay vigilant though, won’t you. X

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    1. Thanks Frances – the strange thing is that being on my own is relatively new to me, but I think I’ve adapted fairly well. I get up and have my breakfast after my second cup of tea, and in the evenings I have a cup of tea whilst sitting on the bed and a glass of milk later. I found it difficult with Mrs. M being there all the time. I was always polite etc but she liked to talk when I was reading. No doubt I did things that bothered her. I would have been fine with a long weekend or 4-5 days, but it was quite a long time to be cooped in with a friend/neighbour. It will be interesting to hear what the guy from London has to say for himself. xx

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  2. I think those of us who live on our own hate it when our routine is upset. This is the first time I have lived on my own and I was surprised how easily I adapted. My ex has to call in whilst we are trying to sell the house and will often make a cup of tea. I can make a cuppa with no mess – need I say more – the kitchen looks as though he has prepared a banquet. I’m so pleased you have settled back into your own little flat with your friends around you. Hope your visit from the security man is positive, but be on your guard with everyone. Xx

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    1. Maggie, I know exactly what you mean. I always put things away when I’ve used them. I had a sandwich for lunch today and then immediately washed, dried and put my plate away, rather than leaving it to drain. Perhaps it’s men – and they just aren’t as concerned about these things as we are! I’m looking forward to the guy from London coming to see me, but I have no idea why he’s visiting me. xx

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  3. You must be pleased to have life on an even keel again Jan. A few days without drama will give you the opportunity to recover mentally. If, by any chance, you find yourself staying with Mrs M again I would suggest that you each make your own lunch ☺

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    1. Jane – that’s a good idea, although when you are staying together it’s automatic to offer to make something for both of you. I don’t think we are likely to be going away together for a little while! xx

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  4. So happy you are home and getting back into your routine, even though things seem calm keep your guard up, I can’t imagine this will stop until all are caught and safely away in jail!

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    1. Erika – yes it’s lovely to be back in my routine. Things don’t stay calm for very long though… I’m sure that something else will start soon. xx

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  5. So wonderful to hear you are happy to be home, it shows how settled you have become doesn’t it? The People’s Friend reminds me of my mum, she used to love reading it when she could afford it and when she moved to the home, I organised for it to be delivered. Enjoy catching up with your friends xx

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    1. Thanks Jane – yes, there’s no place like home! I know that sounds trite but it’s very true. Just having familiar things around and knowing where you keep items without having to hunt for them is lovely. xx

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