This morning was stunning. I don’t care where you live, what you do, who you are, all of you would have wanted to be me at breakfast time. Blue skies, warm sunshine, gentle rocking of the water, birdsong, swans, geese, leaping fish and Cat. Also, a perfectly soft-boiled egg, lovely buttered toast and filtered coffee. And no one else about.  I enjoyed.

It didn’t feel so good when I woke up. Or rather when I was woken up. Cat, who likes to sleep as close to me as possible when we are afloat, usually on my head, which he never does at home, decided to have a wash. So I was kicked repeatedly in the face as he carried out his ablutions. When I objected I got a very steely stare. Then he continued. I got up.

Breakfast over, I needed to get over to Mother’s. Cat recognised the routine. He curled up in a tight lonely ball in the sunniest spot in the fore cabin and let me get on with it.

Mother was looking lovely. Co-ordinated outfit, hair uncombed but nicely styled. Unmatching shoes. Very pleased to see me. ‘Do you know Isobel?’ ‘I am Isobel!’ It was one of those days when relationships were fluid for her. I kept calling her Mum but it didn’t always work. ‘You’re my mother?’ ‘No, I’m your daughter. You’re my mother’ ‘How did that happen?’. Slightly at a loss, I showed her pictures of my father. ‘Did you know him?’

Lunch was safer ground. I was also defrosting two inches of ice from the freezer. The river Cam is probably slightly higher tonight. Lots of cups of tea for mother, and glasses of water for me, later, I had cleaned the bathroom,  all traces of faeces removed from everywhere; done four loads of washing; got her out of unmatching shoes into matching raspberry slippers; washed the kitchen cupboards; reclaimed two of her mugs from the staffroom; rehung a picture; kissed and cuddled her to the nth degree; washed out the cutlery drawer and all the cutlery; discovered the broken egg in a cup in a cupboard, disposed of it; soaked and then washed the cup; found the clothes stuffed into the medicine cabinet and washed them too; filed and cleaned her nails, read her a story, ‘The Cow who laid an egg’; and had a bath.

The drive back to das Boot made me think of Pseu’s poem about playing Billy Joel at motorway loudness. I had Cyndi Lauper. Girls Just Wanna Have Fun.

Cat was soooo pleased to see me. Lots of headrubbing and purring, climbing all over me and telling me he’d missed me. I would have been happy for him to have shore leave but he wanted to sit on me instead.

I had a delicious supper, cooking as I watched a magical sunset. Tomorrow I’ll see Aunt and do Mother’s shopping. Then I hope to spend more time afloat, do some work and give Cat his fair share of attention.

Not a bad life.

Author: Isobel

I like animals, colour, the Thames, reading, cooking, writing, eating, walking. I don't like bullies, butchers' shops, crowded public transport, Nigel Farage.

24 thoughts on “Thursday”

  1. This could be an historic moment. The first post I put here and on my page too. The only thing is, I don’t know how to copy it from here to there… Don’t watch this space.

  2. Isobel,

    You reminded me a story of a saint (not the exact word, don’t know in English equvilanet). God bless you and your mother, (and it seems He already did)

  3. Copy and Paste – simple as that. I write all my posts on my own site first and then copy them across here. Some formatting gets lost, but that’s probably because I still haven’t got it right!

    Blue skies, water, boats … and a perfectly boiled egg, what more could you ask!

  4. It is difficult Levent. It’s a history of …., but an historic moment. Don’t ask me why, it just is!

  5. Done it! I think.
    A saint? Dunno about that Levent. They all have such sticky ends!
    Boadicea. Exactly. I’ll get some local free range and v fresh eggs tomorrow and veg as well as doing the supermarket thing.
    Cross my palm with silver the next time you are over!

  6. Yes Isobel, you are a sweetie and a saint. No question. Though it was very mean of you to include that idyllic description of your lovely morning environment (i love a good egg too) because it’s made me quite jealous. It should have been work-work-work for me this morning but I did sneak out for just a 30 minute blast on my bike because the sky was blue and, well, it hasn’t been blue very often for me lately. So I saw a bit of it but I didn’t get an egg. 😀

  7. Ooh, yes you make me jealous with your idyllic breakfast! Spare a thought for me, won’t you, wiping up traces of slodged weetabix while I slurp on tea and nag at everyone to hurry up! 😉

  8. Ah Jan sorry about that. There is something wonderful about the perfect soft-boiled egg isn’t there. I am wondering about reposting my stuff from MyT about my boat acquistition.
    If my friennds are reading this they will happily take issue with you about my candidature for sainthood! I’ve had the camomile and am now on the prebed glass of naval rum. Cat snoring… I forsee a broken night.

  9. Waking up on the water is something quite magical, Isobel and yes, I’m horribly jealous and having Cat around is just a bonus, well most of the time.

    You are very good at describing these moments and you have my admiration for your acceptance of your mother’s condition and your determination to make sure you do the best you can for her. Best wishes to her, although she won’t know me from Eve, and of course to you and Cat. Sweet dreams. xx

  10. Araminta thank-you. I shall. But she doesn’t always know me from Eve either! Jan, Ididn’t say, sorry your skies have not been blue recently. My bike is all rusty. what’s the best way to claen up chrome? Then as I blow the blues away u’ll think of you too. We’re like a very spreadout daisy cahin aren’t we.
    Claire, Weetabix should never be at anyone’s breakfast table! Shreddies are the way to go. I didn’t like tea either. Get a boat!!! Or plan a holiday on one.

  11. Isobel; for them, not me the weetabix! I have my huge pile of fruit and sunflower seeds to grapple with. Don’t ask! 😉

  12. Claire: I love sunflower seeds. Organic I trust?
    Tomorrow, when I have my breakfast afloat, maybe scrambled egg, I’ll think of you. Does that count?
    Must get to bed soon. So if I don’t read you again tonight, sweet dreams.

  13. No, not organic, alas! Scattered on fruit and yoghurt and sometimes toast, if I want to push boat out!
    Night night hon

  14. Who said ‘Life is a game of two halves’? Perhaps I did but you describe the two halves to perfection. The idillic morning that could not better for you and then, to me, the entry into the darker portal, the other half, where you have to deal with the reality of Mum and holding the remnants of the life you have lived together as it goes into another place, in the literal and physical sense. The departure from the happy morning to the visit was quite startling but not in a sense that I felt for you in a shocking way, this IS your life and YOU are just plain getting on with it because mum is mum and you are you and that will never change. Keep blogging Isobel, you sound a nice person and nice people need a lift sometimes, so stick out your thumb on this site and be taken to, who knows where, have fun.

  15. Ooh, a glow has come all over me Isabel, what a lovely read this is. Where are the photos? We want photos please;-)

  16. Hi Isobel. A tube of chrome cleaner will do it, from Halfords or a garage shop. I like cleaning my bike more than any other kind of cleaning. Very satisfying. Doesn’t last long but that’s always a good thing. 😀

    Btw, do re-post your boat acquisition blogs. I only remember one, I think. I missed too much. Thanks!

  17. Halfords it’ll be then Jan. Thank-you. I may repost some of my boating stuff on WordPress. Dunno. Not sure about repeating the old ones.
    I’ve just come here to say i was trying to add pix to a follow up post on my page to this but it’s been a bad evening for technology here, so they’ll have to wait. I tried to post the post pictureless and that wouldn’t work either. I’ll give the pictureless version one more try, but I want an early night. So sweet dreams everyone.

  18. Lovely post, Isobel. You appear to be a ‘count your blessings’ sort of person who makes the most of life in a practical way. Your love for your mother has always shone through on your posts; she must be a very special lady.

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