The Youngest of the Darling Daughters arrives like a Ministering Angel. She has plenty of other pleasurable activities with which to fill her day off work but she has chosen to make the 150 mile round journey to check
out for herself my protestations that I am feeling “a bit better.”
She takes one look at me and pronounces her withering verdict - I am looking, she
tells me, “fragile.” It’s quite a good word to describe how I feel; I’m definitely not as poorly as I was a few days earlier but I do feel as if I have been broken into fragments and then somehow pieced together again. Not repaired
in the loving, expert fashion of the professional craftspeople on The Repair Shop (one of our favourite TV programmes) but in the manner of a well-meaning, but untrained, wielder of super glue. Should somebody pick me up and drop me, I would doubtless shatter
into a million pieces. This obviously will not happen as nobody would even attempt to pick me up, let alone drop me.
The Youngest of the Darling Daughters
declares that I need feeding up. Have I been eating properly? she wants to know. I tell her I haven’t been feeling hungry - I have been cooking for Mr B (can’t let a man starve, whatever else’s afoot) but I just haven’t felt like eating
the fruits (or even the meat and vegetables) of my labours. My daughter says she is taking me out to lunch…
We head down to Sea Lane Café which opened
up only the previous day, after a COVID-related closure. How fortunate for us! We find a table overlooking the beach and my daughter places a menu in front of me - choose something you really, really fancy she says and don’t even think about a healthy
option. I think back to past meals in the café with the grandchildren over the years and opt for sausage, egg and chips. “Don’t worry if you can’t eat it all,” advises my daughter, solicitously, “Just eat what you can…”
I admit I am not feeling very hungry but promise to do my best.
Our plates arrive. My meal is simply enormous, two fat sausages, a deliciously runny fried egg,
a generous helping of chips and a side salad of respectable proportions. “It doesn’t matter how much you eat, just please eat something,” pleads my Ministering Angel.
Quarter of an hour later and she is staring at my plate incredulously. It is empty bar two slices of tomato - and she knows they are only still there because I don’t like tomato. “How on earth did you do that?!” she
wants to know. Considering I wasn’t feeling in the least hungry, I have managed to polish off the entire meal. This, we both agree, can only do me good…
I feel so much stronger, so much less fragile, after Sausage-Gate. Back home, I am encouraged to sleep off my lunch while the Youngest of the Darling Daughters dances attendance on Mr B’s every whim. By the time she takes her departure (“I
can’t believe I’m saying this but I’d like to get back in time to watch the football…” she explains) I feel sure I am finally on the mend.
It’s not simply the sausages, to be fair. Mostly it’s the company, the support, the ready sympathy, the hugs. I can’t help thinking of all the people who’ve been Proper Poorly over the last eighteen months and not had anyone
to give them a hug. I’m not even thinking here of the seriously ill, the dying, the sufferers of Coronavirus; I can’t even begin to imagine their pain. No, I’m thinking of those of us who’ve fallen ill with some minor, but unpleasant
ailment and been told to rest up, drink plenty of water and wait to feel better, without so much as the benefit of a healing hug.
You can’t get a healing
hug on prescription. You need a Darling Daughter…