I’ve Turned Into My Mother

Drip, drop, drip, drop. The sound of the leaky faucet continues unceasingly. “Right then” I mutter to myself, grudgingly getting up from my rocking chair. Getting up has been becoming increasingly difficult. I never thought I was terribly old, but it’s creeping up on me. I walk into the kitchen. “Why did I just walk into the kitchen”? I ask myself out loud. Drip, drop, drip, drop. Oh yes, that. At least this one was easy. See? I am getting old. Much of the time, I don’t remember why I entered a room. There. It’s done. The water’s stopped dripping.

Honey bush! Yes, I think I’ll have some of that. I fill the kettle and switch it on. A disposable filter, a teaspoon of honey bush and an egg spoon full of sugar. There is something very satisfying about the sound of boiling water filling a cup. In the sitting room, the fire is crackling. I can’t wait to get back to that. Warm, cosy and comfortable. Fifteen years ago, I was eager to move into my own flat. After a couple years with flatmates in Camden, I finally made it. I found a 550-square-foot flat in Golders Green. That was also the year I first voted for the Tories. I never thought I would, well, I convinced myself that I would never vote for those parasites. Labour forever! Out with Rule Britannia, Cool Britannia, Cool Britannia rules the Airwaves! “Oh bother” – I mutter, realising that I’m losing the plot again. Yes, the honey bush. I remove the filter and toss it into the bin. A splash of milk. That’ll do nicely.

Drip, drop, drip, drop. “Oh sugar”, there, sorted. I see something out of the corner of my eye. As the year winds down, the days are getting shorter and shorter. Outside, Leslie and Julie are walking their dog, a pug named Boris. Julie sees me standing at the window and waves. I wave back. Salisbury Fields aren’t Hyde Park, but somehow, I don’t mind that anymore. I don’t know exactly when I had had enough of London, I don’t even know exactly why, but one day, I’d had enough of it. In time, everything runs together and becomes indistinguishable. Trends changed so quickly that I could no longer recognise them. Suddenly, I wasn’t a member of a marketer’s target demographic any more. I was too old. I think… Wait, yes, it was the day I signed up for a MyWaitrose card that I started to think differently.

The Dorset winds are howling outside again. But in here, in my Victorian terrace, it’s warm. Time to throw in another piece of wood, a piece of aged oak from a farmer in the Piddle Valley. “Too quiet”. I turn on my Samsung and open the Spotify App. “Dark Dorset Mix” – ah, yes, perfect. Very Lynn, Frank Sinatra, Joan London, Noël Coward, Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald. “Ugh”! I see my reflexion. My co-workers say I’m well-preserved, but… I’m getting my mother’s chin and I’ve been catching myself sounding exactly like her. All that is done in the dark will be brought to the light, all that is obscured will be made clear. I am turning into my mother.


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