Our visit to the nursing home where my mother resides is a bit hard. It’s hard because you remember the person as she used to be and realise that person is no longer. The carer who tends to her is very patient and I remark on that. “You have to be patient to work here,” she replies.
The next morning, I receive a text message from M2: “Happy birthday!” I phone her back. “Thanks for reminding me!” Later, we set off for the Jewish Museum, where we meet another cousin. We see three exhibitions – Judaism: a living faith, History: A British Story and a changing exhibition: “Illuminations”. I find the history one the most interesting. Afterwards, we have lunch in the café. I choose a salt-beef sandwich in rye bread (what else?). In the evening, I’m delighted to see all the birthday wishes on Facebook and reply, “Just for that, it’s worth having a Facebook account.”
The following morning, I take the train to my childhood. I look at the house where I grew up. The stone wall is now painted white and the front garden has become a parking area. I take a once-familiar walk up to my old school, which I haven’t set eyes on for 39 years. As far as I remember, the outside of the building looks just the same.
The school is closed for the summer holidays. That’s probably just as well. I’ve seen enough. I visit a nearby well-equipped leisure centre. Why wasn’t that there when I lived here?
In the afternoon, I meet up with my cousins for a play at the Churchill Theatre – Alan Ayckbourn’s “Bedroom Farce”. I have a lovely time, but … well, I’ve seen better farces.
Looking at my school’s website, I see that today is the start of anti-bullying week, and that the school has an anti-bullying policy. Progress has been made. I wonder if it would have made a difference in my case. I hope so.