Dear Philip December 15, 2009
December 15th, 2009
I can't tell you much I miss our first half hour in bed with coffee (and tea for you) talking about anything and everything. Nowadays, I get up, and take my coffee to the computer, where, after checking my emails (unlikely to be more than one) I play hearts and spades and euchre until my coffee is gone.
So I had a thought in the night. I decided maybe I could still have my coffee with you - so to speak - but with you in listening mode only. Somehow typing it into the computer is less embarrassing than saying it to your empty pillow.
I expect you would have started by asking me about how I got on last night. You probably would have been asleep by the time I got home (11.30) and you would really only asked to be polite, rather than really caring how I got on with my bridge friends.
We had a good time, but really, I think I am getting to the stage where bridge is becoming too much of a good thing. I am playing again in an hour or so, and tomorrow afternoon, and that will make six times this week (not counting the twice daily sessions on the computer). But the reason for the bridge party last night was that one of my friends (Mike - you remember him - he's the one who has a brain tumour - but they seemed to have kept it in remission for a couple of years - although his skull area did look rather puffy last night, as if he were retaining fluid. It sort of looked like someone had put a thumb on his forehead, and made a lasting impression. ) Anyway, Mike's wife is learning to play bridge and it was thought a good experience for her would be a social session among friends who would encourage rather than criticise her play.
Brenda drove. Betty and Tom live in Hyde, and in fact, I could have driven it without difficulty if I had needed to - but I drove when Brenda and I went to bridge in Disley on Tuesday night. That was a fun occasion for me. I used to belong to that club about eight years ago, and some of them remembered me. I saw (but didn't talk to) Derek, a man who used to come to my bridge class maybe 20 years ago. (I wonder if he is single. I am starting to get used to this being single again concept, and must admit that it does add a certain extra interest to life.) There were a couple of men there (they didn't wear rings, but that doesn't mean anything, because you never did either) and they both were friendly and fun to talk to. Golfers - and one said that he felt playing bridge in the daytime was decadent.
Anyway, I seem to be getting away from the story I began. Brenda partly drove because she got a bit freaked out when I drove the night before. Upon leaving Disley at 10.15 or so, I put my lights on - and unbeknownst to me, they were on full beam. I must have driven for three miles or so like that and suddenly she screamed "Your lights are on full!" I was so scared by her scream that I nearly crashed the car. I flipped the switch and the blue light went off.
"Were cars flashing at me?" I asked her?
"No - but there hasn't been much traffic so far."
When we turned off the main road, I thought my lights looked very sparse indeed, and it turned out that I had on only sidelights now. How can I have been driving for 40 years or more and not got used to the concept of how to turn car lights off and on? Just to make conversation, I told her I thought Gwen (I am picking her up for bridge in a few minutes) was rather frightened by my driving too, as she was in the car when I backed into a railing.
And although that was only a scratch, and hardly noticeable, it was on that same spot that I made the scratch into a dent the other day. I was coming back from Keep Fit and as I had put the recycling bin in the driveway before I left, I had to give it a wide berth while I backed into the drive. But I must have misjudged the distance and rammed that bit of the fender into the gatepost (thick brick) and it took quite an effort to get the car where it should be. And to make it worse, I had done the same thing a few weeks earlier - so I knew that I was hopeless at judging the distance. (Really, how can one little bin take up so much space in
what is really quite a wide driveway?) So what with the scratches and dents and such, I am quite relieved that I didn't have to go in and confess it all to you. And there was another dent in the car that I always thought you made - and didn't tell me about. Now I am beginning to think maybe that was done by me too. I promise, I will move the bin the next time. I really will.
So we got to bridge okay, and although Jackie was nervous, she did well, and she and Mike would have won except for us getting a grand slam on the last hand. Betty (the hostess) asked about my writing, and whether I was doing another book. I had to admit that I had lost all my writing when my hard disk burned out. You used to do all the maintenance on my computer, and I don't know how to do it. That is my excuse. Anyway, I paid a big price for it. I had 180 pages of a new book which I very much now doubt that I will ever bother with recreating. Andrew says he will try to rescue some of my files, but he didn't hold out a lot of hope. And he doesn't have time anyway, with his father having had a broken hip and a stroke lately.
Well, I must rush - my coffee cup is empty and I have to
pick up Gwen for bridge.
Lots of love,