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I realise that when I don't want to write, it's often because I'm angry with a member of my family, like LIVID, but don't want to spread that shit all over the internet and can't think of anything else because I'm LIVID.

So, there's that.

Moving on...

The visit to the care home was probably the hardest yet. Grandson closed down, didn't engage most of the time, but sat tapping his feet and sighing. Bloke, we later sussed, was coming down with manflu, and also just sat there. Elder Daughter was silent, virtually all the time, though still smiling and laughing and her vision seemed to be better than for a while - I thought she recognised me as I approached her which she hasn't done in ages. I sent Bloke and GS into the village to get food for our dinner, as they weren't helping any, and while they were gone H, one of the activities people, came over. "Are you having a chatty day, ED?" she asked. Daughter nodded her head vigorously, and I called her a lying toerag, which made her laugh. "We've been learning new rhymes," H told me. "Come on, ED, I am..." and the bloody girl said the whole pheasant plucker tongue twister (I am not the pheasant plucker/I'm the pheasant plucker's mate/I am only plucking pheasants/Because the pheasant plucker's late) slowly, but without hesitation or mistake. And that was it. She said no more till Bloke and GS returned and I told them all this and asked her to repeat it. "I'm a pleasant fucker!" she said, loud and proud, followed by a roar of laughter.

As we didn't have the van we took her for a walk across the fields

and I neighed at the horses, which sometimes brings them right to us, though not this time, but always makes ED laugh

and we pissed about taking photos in a derelict barn

I read her some poetry as well, when we got back and the silence was becoming oppressive. She snorted at the line "I shall learn how to spit" from Jenny Joseph's 'Warning' (the one about growing old and wearing purple), liked one about the sea, which I forget the title and author of - she watched my face carefully while I read that. I finished with 'The Highwayman' for old times sake - I used to have to teach that and she did it at her school too - and all the other residents who were within earshot gradually stopped talking and listened, making me wish I'd chosen something a bit more bleeding cheerful, but there you go.

So altogether it was hard. I miss her so much I want to scream, though she is still there, still herself, still aggravating and bloody-minded, like all my kids.

And now Bloke has taken to his bed with the flu and I'm on chicken soup duty. Sigh. I don't have much left in the way of tending to the sick. The sick could fuck off and make their own chicken soup.

I am grateful for: paracetamol (my legs are killing me); a text from Son apropos of nothing, saying 'I love you, Ma'; not having to get up in the morning; sunny days; the return of Strictly (aka Dancing with the Stars), which is very easy and soothing

Sweet dreams xxx

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