The nursing Sister who has arrived to check on Mr B’s progress tells us she is always on the lookout for potential problems in terms of social isolation.
Mr B and I look at each other. We are both, I reckon, thinking the same thing. Sometimes, just sometimes, it would be good not to find ourselves living in the equivalent of the middle of Piccadilly Circus.
Time was when it was only Wednesdays that I termed our “Piccadilly Circus Day.” Nowadays, I kid you not, almost every day sees a stream of visitors along our garden path.
Every morning Mr B will enquire of me what exactly is happening; on the (extremely) rare occasions when I am able to respond that nothing at all is occurring, his face lights up with pure pleasure. “Good!” he will say, well-satisfied at the idea
of a day spent in social isolation. Apart from my presence, that is, but as far as Mr B is concerned, I am like wallpaper. I cover a great deal but mostly pass unnoticed.
Now don’t get me wrong. There are few things Mr B enjoys more than our fortnightly Nomination Whist session when ten good friends descend upon us, in fair weather or foul, to play two games of cards, broken up by an interval in which I (playing
at being the Hostess with the Mostest) serve up coffee, tea, sparkling water and plates of biscuits. Everyone who has fared badly in their first game will assert, with often misplaced confidence, that “everything will change after tea!” Sometimes
it does, sometimes it doesn’t - but whatever happens, there will be plenty of chatter, gales of laughter and much sharing of news and opinions.
there are those highly convivial Footie Evenings (with or without a delivery from Dominos Pizza - other Food Related businesses, it goes without saying, will also welcome your custom) where I turn into a Proper Pundit and drive all my companions crazy with
the waywardness of my punditry. Plus the thoroughly pleasant meetings over lunch of the Meals and Wheels Club, an august and exclusive gathering of just four of us - or the trips to the Golden Lion just down the road where the meals are as cheap as chips.
Not forgetting, of course, the frequent visits from the family - I’m thinking, especially, of the Trio of Rampaging Rascals who simply would’t allow anyone
they loved to feel lonely, not when they are around. I think it is safe to say that, even within the limitations imposed on him by poor health, Mr B is far from being socially isolated.
Honestly, we shouldn’t grumble about all our daily visitors, given that every one of them is coming to help us in one way or another. We are not, in any case, passive recipients of their attentions - we do like to chat about
their lives, their work, their families, their hobbies, where they are going on their holidays. We even, on one occasion, found ourselves exploring a bit of match-making between a particular nurse’s daughter and our eldest grandson - it won’t come
to anything, of course, the two of them will never meet - but it was enormous fun working out what a Perfect Couple they would make.
Social isolation is
defined as the absence of relationships with family and friends on an individual level and with society on a broader level. It is one of the problems of our age.
Fortunately for us - and how grateful we are for this - we live right in the middle of Piccadilly Circus...