Having been sent on my way by Charlie – did I mention I’ve got a spoon that’s been to the…
I struck on towards Aberdeen – from my map it was impossible to see where the outlying towns and villages ended and Aberdeen started..my calculations of where I needed to be (not for the first time, I hasten to add) were out by about 5 miles.
I left a few apologetic phone calls to Noel – my host for the night – about how I was going to be a bit later than expected.
I was met after trundling into what was really Aberdeen and not my fantasy of it by a smiling face and a no fuss attitude.
I had understood that she lived locally. Kemny, where the good doctor lived, I found was miles away – we drove further and further inland as we exchanged stories of mental health problems and what we understood them to be.
I wasn’t terribly surprised to find out that medical training on my particular flavour of lunacy was thin on the ground.
Noel told me her mum was staying with her – and that she was 90 – and that she was flight of foot and sound of mind for her years.
Nothing had prepared me for this alert, vibrant lady who met me with great warmth and a firmer handshake than most.
Noel, as is the way of the local gp, was called out to work. A long term patient of hers had died and she chose to do her doctorly thing even though it was really the remit of the out of hours service. She explained that she felt it was better for the family to have a known face at such a time.
There she was, going out if her way again. She apologised for having to leave me to fend for myself…which meant having a bath and eating the mince and tatties she’d kept warm for me.
I wasn’t even allowed to do that for myself. 90 year old mum steps up to the mark and looks after me, getting my tea and pudding whilst chatting to me – interested and interesting throughout.
I did notice that her mobility appeared to be significantly better than mine!
It was a lovely experience once again – invited into a family home – having my needs catered for – feeling cared for by folk who’d really gone out of their way to help.
The next day – the day of the royal wedding – I was dropped off at exactly the same point to continue on my travels with clean me, clean clothes and a packed lunch and a big hug.
There was no song and dance about this help – it was kind, it was generous and so understated.
It’s amazing how such experiences put a jaunty step in ones walk. If I’d had a cane I would have twirled it, if I’d had a cap I’d have doffed with a happy “Good day ” to everyone I met.
Go on – walk a jaunty mile
I’ll tell you about the Aberdeen express tomorrow.