Cronealogically speaking I should know better.
When you get to my age -over the hill, under the weather and round the bend – events should be taken in ones arthritic stride.
As an old crone – the definition of which is ‘Middle English, from Old North French carogne, carrion, cantankerous woman, from Vulgar Latin *car nia, carrion, from Latin car carn-, flesh’ – I should know better.
‘Some traditions, organizations, and individuals variously define the crone as a woman who is either 50, 52, or 56, post-menopausal, consciously aging…..’ – so in my capacity as an old crone I should know better than to repeat damaging behaviour, but I don’t.
I find myself drinking coffee, eating chocolate, sitting too close to the television, shouting about nothing, weeping without a cause, and generally making a tit of myself? I berate myself for falling off the wagon, falling from grace or just falling over, but cronealogically speaking it is undignified. I really should know better.
As an old crone I should relax into a state of non-reaction and know that all will always be for the best and that the best is yet to come and endless other cliches that have ‘best’ in the sentence. And yet, cronealogically speaking, I am about as relaxed as a mussel clinging to a rock in Orkney with an 80 mile an hour wind blowing through my beard.
So what had caused all this recrimination, you may ask….
Well last week we moved the dawter out of the family home into a tiny flat in East London.
This time it felt for real. We both had heavy hearts.
The following day she had her birthday. Which neither the ‘oosbind or I attended, we were knackered whilst she was bouncing around in Bow.
Yesterday she had her ‘first’ proper gig.
Her other ‘first proper gig’ was cancelled last week owing to misunderstandings.
Last nights gig was cancelled because of a fatal stabbing in the venue.
Gods gift and I had organised our day so that we could eat Caribbean food in THE MANGO ROOMS in Camden ( extra specially delicious ) with a very old friend and then join the rest of our party at the venue..
Thirty minutes from the restaurant we got the phone call telling us the bad news.
My daughters deflation seeped through the air waves.
I ate my food and tried to keep calm and carry on. Cronealogically speaking I knew what I had to do. This was her life, her story, her gig, and yet my jerk chicken tasted of disappointment and my rum punch of recriminations.
We had booked to stay in ‘Grouchos’ a fitting end for what was meant to be a great evening.
After four flights of stairs and the unpacking of the overnight bag – my red case from 1963 which drew much attention from the hip young things at the reception desk – the realisation of the evenings events sunk in. A family, somewhere in North London was mourning the loss of their child whilst I was kvetching over the loss of my daughters first gig – hardly comparable. Bad luck for her, worse luck for the poor deceased boy.
Telephone calls bounced back and forth, texts, messages, emails swung round North London as fifty odd people cancelled train tickets, baby sitters, taxis and had to come to terms with shattered expectations.
How to live a childs pain? Not appropriate. How to make things good? Not appropriate. If they are to have their own story then they have to live through their own disappointments. Cronealogially speaking I know that. Why I can even spend hours on the telephone discussing such things with my friends who are the parents of growing adults. But the part of me that is neither wise nor dispassionate felt rotten on my offsprings behalf.
Staying in town in a bijou hotel felt wrong and indulgent. I couldn’t enjoy the walk-in shower or the lavish towels, the bathrobes, the big bed, crisp linen sheets or the old git, who was having a lovely time cracking open the house wine and being everything that I aspired to be. Detached and non-reactive. I know he cares about his daughters welfare too but he didn’t let it ruin his evening. He didn’t turn to the jar of chocolate covered raisins, or the the bag of oyster and champagne over inflated crisps.
I wanted to take away my childs pain. But I knew that it really was not appropriate.
I did not sleep very well last night and woke before the alarm, I left the spouse snoring off his red wine.
I walked out of Dean Street at 7.30 with my little red, retro case to the Beeb in the cold, spiteful rain.
Richard Johnson, a foodie journo and brilliant writer, was on the show today, as was Virginia Ironside, Joanna Trollope, Dame Monica Mason and Simon Callow. They were all terrific in their own way.
Talking to writers is always a treat for me and eating whatever the Johnson brings in is always a delicious surprise. Today though, he surpassed himself, apart from two exceptional sausages one with marmalade in and one without, he indulged me with a sliver of pink ice-cream.
‘Don’t eat too much of it.’ he instructed me.
I should have known, but I wasn’t on the ball.
It tasted alright although I could detect oil in it.
It turned out I was right, it did have oil in it, lots of it as a matter of fact, flax oil to be precise. Mr. Johnson had given me a tasting of ice-cream for dogs.
The flax seed oil would make my coat glossy and bright.
Cronealogocally speaking Richard was bang on, after giving me Heston Blumenthals remarkable chocolates LOCAVORE sausages ( a new word: meaning from the local community) and strawberry and apple ice-cream for pooches, he had tapped into my very own zeitgeist, for he really was trying to teach an old dog new tricks.
Speaking as an old crone though, the question is, will I ever learn?