Do you ever have that fantasy, you know, the one about being offered one wish by the good fairy? I’ve spent many happy daydreams working out how to get health, wealth and the body of a model in one wish and picturing the looks on people’s faces when I met them with my new, svelte figure. Of course the fairy never came neither did the wealth or the Twiggy shape. The truth of my life is a whacking mortgage and a figure which owes much to an enthusiasm for extravagant cooking and a gregarious nature.
But as I contemplate the disappearing navel of my middle years the thing I would wish for from that elusive fairy, above anything else, is a good memory. Any memory actually but preferably my husband’s memory. To find in your declining years that your already woolly brain is getting woollier and your new, younger husband can simultaneously watch the telly, read a book, surf the internet and remember everything he’s read and watched, is not only demeaning, it’s also guaranteed to reduce your confidence to the size of a new 5 pence piece, a dull one.
My mental ebb started as soon as I had my first daughter. I ran a delicatessen at the time with shelves full of exotic foodstuffs. Indian pickles rubbed shoulders with Italian sun dried tomatoes, a truly multi-racial assembly. If you were to ask me the location of any item I would go to it without wavering. I would identify missing items instantaneously.
I got through my pregnancy without too much trouble, apart from a weekend in hospital when my blood pressure rose after heaving sacks of potatoes up stairs to the stock room all morning. Then I had the baby. Continue reading On Memory