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Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Old and New

It's a long time since I've been to an old folks' home. 1986, to be precise, when my year 10 history class went to interview the local oldies about their experiences of the depression. The woman I talked to was lovely. A bit lonely, but with happy stories to tell because she'd lived on a self sufficient farm and they'd had it alright.

On the other hand, my history teacher, a Mrs Smith, was an utter bitch. She came up to me as we were preparing to leave and said "Butter wouldn't melt in your mouth, would it, Zoe?" Unfortunately for the mean spirited Mrs Smith, this provided me with the opportunity to say "No it wouldn't, Mrs Smith, and you've got lipstick on your teeth." Just for your own future reference, there are not many sights more satisfying than a nasty teacher licking her teeth in fury while thirty fifteen year olds laugh at her.

No such shenanigans on my recent visit, which was to take Sage to visit his paternal great grandfather, Syd. Sage is two and Syd is 87 so they don't have that much in common (for example, Sage has never told me he is unlikely to last a fortnight, which Syd tells me everytime I see him). But Syd was just delighted to see that beautiful little face that is connected to his.

Sage's Nan had taken a few books so that Sage could show off by saying his colours and the like. Syd's hearing is not so tops, but Nan enunciated clearly and loudly, and Syd got every one of his colours right.

I was expecting it to be a little depressing, but it wasn't. It was beautiful. Syd asked us to walk him up to the meal room, and we made about ten old people's day on the way - well, Sage did, marching up and saying "Hullo!" I looked around the room and saw - a room full of people. Hope I don't die before I get old.