Jaqui's Daily Blog

A Red Cross Parcel and a Visit from a Darling Daughter

On my door-step, an orange Sainsbury’s carrier bag containing a loaf of bread, a helping of lasagne and a serving of soup - all home-made. It’s our very own, very much appreciated Red Cross parcel.


Years ago, when I was working in the Public Relations office at Kent County Council and Mr B was on a picket line, involved in a fractious industrial dispute, my dear Mum used to visit me once a week in my lunch-hour. Every week she would bring me a bag of goodies - initially, just a packet of biscuits and, perhaps, some bananas. As the weeks of strike action dragged on, she became more and more concerned, bless her, about our ability to feed our family and keep the proverbial wolves from our door. The carrier bags grew fuller and fuller, heavier and heavier, week by week. My colleagues in the Press Office were fascinated by my weekly “Red Cross Parcels” as they termed them - and I used to have to turn out the contents on my desk when I returned to the office after one of my lunches with Mum so they could see and comment on my Mum’s generosity and thoughtfulness for themselves.


There is no indication on today’s Package of Good Things as to the identity of the kind donor. Mr B and I discuss this endlessly until I happen to read a message on my IPhone from our dear friend Eleanor who apparently dropped it off on her way to play tennis but hadn’t called in, lest it not be a good time for visitors. Whatever the time, a visit from Eleanor would always be welcome, even unaccompanied by a Red Cross parcel. Everyone should have a friend like Eleanor.


The Eldest of the Darling Daughters arrives - she booked a day off work to visit us some weeks ago but today’s visit has grown in importance, giving her a chance to see for herself how her Dad is recovering and how we are coping with our “new normal” (see yesterday’s Blog.) It’s an opportunity, too, for me to show off my growing prowess with the ambiturn, using her as my fellow conspirator / passenger. I think she is impressed…


We take a trip to the Golden Lion, via the barber’s shop where Mr B’s untidy locks are shorn and he is able to engage in the general Banter of the Barber’s Shop. The idea was to try out the power pack on Mr B’s wheelchair but this time with our daughter pushing, rather than me, thus posing less danger of Mr B being accidentally steered into the path of a passing Pulse bus. Unfortunately I couldn’t have charged the battery properly beforehand because when we come to leave the barber’s we find the battery has run out. This shouldn’t happen, you know. Mr B is amazingly forgiving, probably because The Eldest of the Darling Daughters takes it all in her stride and reverts to normal pushing which she says she finds much easier than trying to tame the power-charged wheelchair. 


At the Golden Lion, we enjoy a pub meal of quite excellent value for money. Mr B looks happier and more relaxed than he has for a long time - and much tidier, given his hair cut. It has been an excellent Jolly Outing, all things considered.


At home, Mr B dozes (it must have been the glass of Merlot) while the Eldest of the Darling Daughters and I take our mugs of coffee out into the back garden and sit, chatting companionably, while all around us the daffodils dance. It’s the most Spring-like I’ve felt all year. 


What a lovely, lovely day! A Red Cross parcel from a dear friend, a visit from a Darling Daughter, a pub lunch and, for Mr B, a shearing. 


What more could anybody wish for!?

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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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