Again, I’m in this space where the public written word is sparse.

I’ve written in my diary – the paper one that I type up – I type it up for a sort of convenience – I always think I will save paper by typing it up – and I’m always surprised at how much there is, at the end of the day – I am thinking in terms of my descendants wondering what to do with it all.  At least I have started talking about it – saying that I would like it kept for future generations in the family.

At least that.  I would like a wider audience, but I need to think more about that.

It has been a troubled time – is May, also (like March and April) a difficult time for me?  (I know it’s June now, but that crept up on me.)

Or has it just been this May that – I’ve met that awful woman again (with her two dogs this time) and my mouth went off again – saying all sorts that was not tactful – and I’ve had a guilt trip about it all – though, working it out on paper (my most familiar medium) (have you noticed how it is beginning to get spooky in here?) – but, having written all that down – oh, here – this is it (in [. . .] brackets), from my paper diary:

[I’ve been feeling guilty – I saw that woman (with the two dogs) again – and this time – she did have the dogs with her – it was her, not her twin.  The dogs seemed to be slightly larger, and darker, than I’d remembered them – I don’t know the breed.  I don’t hate dogs but I’m not that bothered about them – there’s a ‘Dogs’ League’ fella in the Centre sometimes – “Do you like dogs?” – “Yes, but I couldn’t eat a whole one” – but that’s an old joke – I wouldn’t actually cheapen myself by saying it – ‘cheapen’ . . .

Just watching my language here, and there is more than one context coming in – ‘context’ seems all-important – it is important, but there can be more than one at play.


Woman, tall, blonde, two dogs – one jumps up at me (they are of the variety of ‘small dog’) – “Oh, I have chicken in my bag,” I say.

I mean ready-cooked chicken, which I’d got for an easy lunch.

“Oh, they get plenty, don’t worry,” she says.

I’m not going to explain this any further.

I shall avoid that woman, where I can.


I’ve got to get more – ? – somehow (forgotten what I was going to say).  Get more specific, anyway.  This is despite what I’ve said above.



But it’s as much as I can do just now.

. . . I know that rationally.

But I suspect . . . if I overstep bounds before I know what I am doing.

This is so important, what I’ve just said.


Oh, that woman and her dogs – I didn’t want the dog that jumped up to get my cooked chicken.

But she turned the whole thing around (with no hesitation, no thinking about it) to be about her and her dogs – “Lovely, aren’t they?” she murmured – and it was ‘murmured’ as though she was in some cheap – melodrama.

She thought I’d be worried about whether her dogs got enough to eat or not!

I’m explaining here, which I said I wouldn’t – but the cheek of that woman.

And I was feeling guilty because my mouth had shot off again – she was being ‘so brave’ (her words) over her hip – and I told her much (not all) about people I’d known (including Mam) who’d had hips done.

I didn’t say Mam’s operation hadn’t been initially successful – but I did say she’d fallen and broken it – and that she couldn’t see (partially sighted) and so hadn’t gone on to the two sticks from the walking frame.

I think that woman had no idea what happened after the operation.


As though I would invite her dog to eat my food!

You can see where I’m coming from, can’t you, when you consider . . .

I like some dogs.

It’s as though it’s a duty, actually, to like dogs – if I’m truthful.

No.  Stay away from that woman with her two small dogs, and who thinks the entire world revolves around her, and who is a basic bully – avoid her, anyway.


Oh – got to say – she began the story of her hip as though it hadn’t been decided she would get it done – she’d been to the doctor and –

She was sent to the hospital for a check and –

I can’t remember what she said, but she made it seem that they hadn’t yet decided whether she was getting it done or not.

I asked, “So, are you getting it done?” – there was confusion in what she’d said and it was a question you would ask, given those circumstances.

“Oh yes!” she said, as though I’d been stupid for not realising.  “I’m getting it done!”

That was probably why I’d gone off into all the horror stories (they weren’t all horror stories) about hip replacements, and what I knew of them – doesn’t everyone know what I know?

Apparently not.

She had asked me to feel her hip – how hot it was – I’ve got to avoid that woman – it’s too much ‘touch-touch’ – and it was hot, her hip – very.

I’d immediately thought she shouldn’t be out walking on it much – if she could avoid it – “I’m out every day, walking the dogs!”

I hadn’t seen her the entire winter!  Only her twin with the bra strap.

“And then I was on my way home,” she said, “and I realised the tears were running down my face with the pain – so brave – keep on going – you have to, don’t you?”

No – she’s got a bad hip, enough to have an operation – but she is playing for sympathy – I can’t explain that any further.

But I’m well over my sense of guilt – run a mile from that woman where I can.  I don’t know how she was out with a hip that hot.

She’d had an ‘ex’, and he had been the most helpful, and even ‘she’ had – kept to the side.

Sorry, Missus – can’t be talking to you like this -]


I know this seems obvious, but if I don’t get something written down, I won’t.