21 February 2013


I used to keep a list of pastimes pinned up for when simpering gardeners came round and acted as if my mother's hobby was something special and everything was meant to stop.

"It's just fucking hobby," I'd say - making a point of leaving the tea things in the kitchen for them to do with what they will.

"So it's a hobby that's got wayy too fucking big for its boots, but it's still a hobby. A pastime, how one passes ones time when one has the time to pass."

I'd shove the list in their faces and ask them to name the hobbies about which they themselves felt luke-warm or resented having shoved in their faces by fanatic pals.

"That," I would tell them, "is me and your gardenry hobby."

I loved leaving the tea things in the kitchen, everything cooling and staling and wasping and wilting while they swanned about and tittered and tottered and minced and made obeisance to my garden-gabbing mother.

Can you see a more selfish hobby down there? I used to ask the simperers to point out a more selfish hobby that thrust itself on strangers with no thought of asking permission first or setting a time limit on how much of a friendly cosy dinner it would spoil.

They never could come up with an worse time waster and I would sometimes point out the gaps in the book case where I risen from the kitchen table and ripped pages from the left-hand bookshelf to keep myself from snatching up a meat cleaver and ending once and for all the appalling dementia repeatia blah blah fah blucking flahr.

RIP ~ I still toss and tatter when the memory stirs. 'Recollected in tranquility', I explain to any horrified guest: Ripped In Peace.


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