Jaqui's Daily Blog

An Afternoon With Friends

The Nomination Whist Gang say I have thought of everything. They are laughing at me, I can tell.

The reason for their giggling is that there in one corner of the room is the travel cot, invitingly spread with a snug-looking green cover decorated with a cute dog. If the afternoon's card games prove too taxing, says Racing Jo (so called because she does love the "gee-gees") then she can always have a lie down. She might, she concedes, have to stick her legs over the side but she feels sure that, among friends, an undignified repose can be excused.

The travel cot, I should explain, is not there for Racing Jo or any of the other members of the Whist Gang. I put it up when the Twinkles (aka Tala and Lillia) came for the day a couple of Sundays ago and, rather than struggle with taking it down and putting it up again on their next visit, I decided to leave it in situ. This is either clever advance planning on my part or sheer laziness. Take your pick.

Curious Pat is more interested in my latest knitting project and wants to see the pattern and my efforts so far. I can't tell you what I am knitting because it is to be a surprise for Young Faris's second birthday. I have a couple of weeks to complete it, which should be plenty. Pat looks doubtful when I tell her this. She doesn't want to shake my confidence but she rather thinks I have a lot still to do. It is true that my knitted character does look a bit strange at the moment - Mr B calls it something unmentionable which I will not share with my gentle readers - but, believe me, he will look a whole lot better when I have sewn his hat on. As in, my knitted person, not Mr B. I tell Pat that next time she comes round she will be able to see the Finished Character. As in my knitted person not...

Pat is just nearing the end of a Beginners Computing Course. She tells us that one of the men on the course appears to be somewhat enamoured of the course tutor. Apparently he has bought her a rather expensive Parker pen. We discussed thank you gifts and agreed that anything more than a bottle of wine, a box of chocolates or a pot plant might be an embarrassment of Thank You Overload. Oh, how enjoyable to have a good gossip about people we don't know from Adam. Or Eve.

Racing Jo is going into hospital on Friday to have a pacemaker fitted. I tell her she will be like the Duracell Bunny next time we see her. We have a satisfying chat about Hospital Experiences We Have Known. When people get to our Great Age,almost everyone has at least one experience to share.

When you invite people into your house, as we do once a fortnight, it is inevitable that they learn a lot about your life. Fortunately our life is An Open Book, shared every day on the World Wide Web, via The Daily Blog, so who are we to be shy? Mind you, it does mean I have to tidy up before everyone arrives. I have it down to a fine art now; the sofa must be pushed back against the wall in order to hide a Multitude of Sins stashed behind it, likewise my armchair. The card table and four spare chairs must be carried in from the cold of the garage. A baize cloth must be spread over the dining room table to lend an air of professionalism. In the kitchen, two tea trays are set out with mugs for the ten of us, together with two large plates awaiting a selection of biscuits - shortbread for Delia and Twix fingers for everyone else. Mr B, for his part, likes to buy me roses for display on the windowsill so that everyone will comment on what a romantic he is. I'm not grumbling, by the way.


Our oldest member has had to leave our group. She is now in a nursing home in Milton Keynes and how we miss her! We send her cards and messages and tell her it's just not the same without her. Over time, we have become very fond of each other and the loss of Our May is a bit like losing a member of the family.

There is, after all, nothing like an Afternoon With Friends, especially with a couple of card games thrown in for good measure. Oh, the laughter! The companionship! The gossip!

Every fortnight, thanks to our Gang of Ten, we come up Trumps...


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Latest comments

23.04 | 20:15

lovely and heartwarming - an inspiration to us all x

09.03 | 12:07

Love this story told as ever beautifully.x

10.11 | 21:31

What a super account of a special event. I loved meeting you last night and seeing your creation come together. I’m so pleased you got so much from the activity

07.09 | 13:17

I have broad shoulders x

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