• Kate Clarke

Old Ladies At Bus Stops

I am being haunted by the old ladies at bus stops again.

I'm sure these women are going about their business perfectly happily, but I spot them and the tidal wave of dread follows.

How many years do I have left of being the me that I recognise?

How many years of health do I have, how many years of reasonably unfettered choices?


I have talked, since I was a teenager, about moving to France. I have never done it.

My mother was the last to know about my new romance, because I feared she would panic about the possibility of me moving to the US to be with him.

I said to her, when I broke the news: "Don't worry. I rely upon the NHS, I couldn't move to the US. And I have Sunny and Vera to think about.

Mum: "Have you tried to get a GP appointment recently? The NHS doesn't exist any more. If you want to go, you should go."


We will end up somewhere. (He's a sweetheart by the way, you'd like him.)

Would Wales be too cold and quiet for him?

It gets dark at 4.30pm in the winter.

Could we make Portugal , or Spain, or Greece work?

What would I do for a living?

Would he feel marooned in a foreign country? Would I?

I doubt it. I live like Greta Garbo wherever I make my home.

I have known my neighbours for almost 20 years and a smile and a wave every morning is the ideal amount of interaction as far as I am concerned.


I get a friend request on Facebook from someone who treated Terry roughly and I think - "Jesus. What does he want, and why can't he leave me alone, and why is he delivering me this complication to deal with after all these years?" (I accepted the request, took the dogs for a walk and then rescinded it when I got home. I feel relieved.)

Don't get me wrong, I like people, but I like a simple life more.


"I am not going near their shitty planet." - James Grissom




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