I’m penning this chronicle at a White Rose Shopping Centre (WRSC) coffee house, taking advantage of three hours respite from caring for my mum.

My sojourn partly born from knowledge if I remain within chez Strachan’s hallowed walls when afforded this break, I’ll still end up making cuppas and lunches for my mum, Maggie…… Not to mention her sitter, who’s supposed to be providing me with a 180 minute hiatus!

Don’t get me wrong, mater’s sitter is a lovely lady who spares me from my mother’s small talk for a trinity of hours on a weekly basis – An undertaking for which I’m extremely grateful. She a consummate chatterbox who stands as the only person I’ve ever met who can stop Maggie from getting a word in edgeways….. An impressive fete by anyone’s standards.

That being said, regardless how amiable the sitter (Jeanette) is, it completely defeats the object of attaining respite if I utilise the time she spends with Maggie undertaking my usual daily chores. Not to mention adding to my workload by also making her brews.

As an aside, yesterday evening, during an episode of extreme fatigue, I fell asleep while a friend was in mid-conversation with me. This buddy thankfully laughing off my unintended discourtesy. This morning giggling while questioning whether the calls abrupt end was consequential of overly tedious conversation on her part – I re-assured her it wasn’t but, just to be on the safe side, I’ve resolved that forthwith I’m not going to ring her when I’m driving!

This morning Facebook’s memories facility felt moved to furnish my timeline with the following post I’d written during a Spanish holiday five years ago:- “Nice hotel. Asked for a room with a pool view and they gave us a room overlooking the pool table at an adjacent bar……. Perhaps I need to be more specific next time!”

I’m pretty sure the hotel in Cala n’ Bosch on the Balearic Island of Menorca didn’t give us a view of the pool table following a communication mix-up of what constitutes a pool view. Consequently, I’d venture the vignette I wrote sixty months ago to the day was fictional.

However, even if they did, it was lovely to be reminded of times holidaying on the Mediterranean. Halcyon days before COVID and my heart attack, when my holiday travel insurance premiums weren’t equitable to the whole vacations cost.

Yesterday evening I watched the movie Mrs Lowry & Son. A tale of the early 20th century relationship between Mancunian artist LS Lowry and his controlling, ungrateful mother who he cared for in her old age. As I’m my mum’s full-time carer post-stroke, a tale which struck a chord with how my prevailing existence plays out.

Similar to my matriarch’s profferings about my creative output, Mrs Lowry decrying her son’s artistic odyssey as a waste of time. An opinion which proved misguided when the painter’s work became much sought after by London’s art movement.

Let me point out at this juncture, I’m not vain glorious or deluded enough to think my work with pen or pencil bears any chance of attaining widespread acclaim – Or in a shape or form mirrors the late Manchester based artist, whose brush bestowed matchstick folk, cats and dogs with northern industrial landscapes.

Anyhow, my mum mightn’t appreciate my writing or caricatures, however, I’m told Mrs Marjorie Archdeacon of 79 Crowe Street, Tipton, in Warwickshire loves my creative output…… Or at least the hate mail’s stopped!……. I wonder if Marjorie wants to adopt me!

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