In its own, slow way, my dad Eric’s house is becoming a museum. As his routines become ever more restricted and reined in, his past seems to tower over his present. His memories of childhood and youth remain sharp, but his recollection of conversations held 20 seconds ago are generally non-existent. Like Dad, the house is becoming worn out. The electric appliances are outdated, the curtain rail of nearly 40 years had to be replaced by Maureen and I a couple of days ago. Yesterday, his washing machine entered a cycle which would not end.
A beautiful fox uses his garden as a toilet.
Adorning the wall of his downstairs utility room, where the Hotpoint machine wants to spin forever, are framed poems written 22 years ago by our daughters Lauren and Josie.
Lauren composed hers while watching Eric, then 70, asleep after a Sunday roast dinner.
Grandad asleep on the sofa
A silent something spread out over a burgundy sofa
Sometimes small noises come out of its mouth
Striped and motionless,
It grunts, as if dreaming of horrid things
But who knows what things are going on in that still head,
As silent as a ripple in the water
Fists clenching, and sometimes slightly stirring
And still a silent something is spread out over a burgundy sofa
But suddenly eyes open in a split second
Shuffles over on its side and falls asleep again
This time, legs scrunched up and arms outstretched
When will this silent something wake up,
And move from the burgundy sofa?
By Lauren Godier
Aged 10 years
Josie dipped into her young imagination, to produce her own version of Genesis.
A sparkly egg was floating in the darkness
It grew and grew and suddenly
The egg fell into two – a God fell out
One half of the egg formed the sun,
The other half formed the moon
Tiny bits of the egg formed stars
His hair made the trees
His teeth made the mountains
His fingers and toes made the people and the children
That is how the world was made
By Josie Godier
Aged 7 years
What a pair of poets. Creating, then preserving time in their snapshots. Very proud.