Sunday, April 16, 2006


Gent was quite upset today because he discovered that he couldn’t even prune his fruit bushes. He thought that at least he could do a little of that. Last night he had me reading extracts from a gardening book on pruning red currants and blackberries; something about laterals and leaders. He drags himself about the garden, in terrible pain from arthritis in his hips and knees especially. It’s hard to watch him. Being blind is just an added irritation. He’s 94 now and is aware that every month that passes he will feel more pain and his joints will stiffen so that eventually he won’t be able to get around at all and will be forced to sit in a wheelchair for any movement outside. He just loves to be out in his shorts and sandals, feeling the sun and breeze on his legs,  which are now a nice shade of brown.

Gent did something yesterday that in some ways surprised me but, in others not at all; he is a man after all. He took Joy a walk around the garden, and down the side of the house where the fruit bushes are. I watched them, thinking that they would stay there. I was worried because there is only a narrow strip of lawn there and it slopes down into the path below. They both have walking frames, and Joy is pretty frail and unsteady. I gave them ten minutes and was about to go round and see that they were alright when they suddenly arrived at the front door, which was open. He had taken her around the house, putting her in danger. When I accosted them he laughed and said that he’d gone round with one wheel of his wheelie in the ditch. I was struck dumb at his stupidity. I’m sure he’d have berated and prostrated himself if anything had happened to her. He is usually such a gentleman, and deserves his title of Brigadier. I am, as always, amazed at the stupidity of men.

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