|Just a jokey picture Mary sent to cheer me :)|
This is how I learned to write. In the receipt of, and the replies to, Mary Haybittle of Shelford. When Mary reads this, and sees her picture, she will phone and say, "Oh Shaista!!"
Mary has seen much of history, much of life. There is very little she does not know, in the deepest sense of that word. And knowing translates into understanding. At every crossroads of my life, at every heartache, one word, one line from Mary, soothes me. When I was younger, in hospital, at 9pm one night, I demanded, "I want Mary!" in a peremptory way. Mum was so embarrassed, but she obediently rang, and Mary arrived. As she always does, one way or another.
I was supposed to be in France today. I booked a little holiday months ago, a tour of the Chateaux and Gardens of Normandy. It would have been nice, on the trail of Guy de Maupassant and Monet, but my heart wasn't in it. Not just because of the General's passing, but because our friend Dawn rang from hospital to say farewell, she was moving on, and what a privilege it had been to know us. Couldn't leave. Am sitting beside her as I write. She fell asleep after eating a mango Mum sent for her. The whole mango! Funny how pleased you can be when a mango trumps cancer. I told Dawn that I have just been interviewed by Sherry Blue Sky at Poets United for their Life of A Poet series. She was chuffed. Click on the link to read the interview if you like. I had fun doing it :)
Mary would say I can always run off to France another time. And anyway, it's bucketing down in Normandy, I might have been rained away.