Thursday, October 04, 2007

Dame M at 83

Dame M's sight has become very poor. On her kitchen table are an array of reading lamps. She has had an operation for cataracts and has been diagnosed with macular degeneration. As well as making it hard for her to read and see close up, she is terribly affected by bright light and glare.

As well as the glasses she had on, she had a pair next to her. There was a pair on her kitchen table and another on a bench. On her hall table there was a stack of eleven pairs. I'd reckon there were a few more pair around. She has clearly tried many many glasses.

Smoking is a significant factor causing macular degeneration. The disease has affected her confidence and her ability to go out on her own. She has decided to address her wanton ways. She has cut her smoking to a couple of cigarettes a day and has cut her drinking down a lot too.

When we first met her maybe ten years ago, she drank straight white wine from a cask. She is allergic to bottled wine, as I am a bit. One or two glasses are ok for me, but more than that and I get an allergic skin reaction. Dame M sneezes. It doesn't happen to me with wine from a cask. Who knows why?

Then Dame M started to put a decent dash of soda water in her wine. Now she has half and half.

And her hearing is going too. But is she feeling any better for her lifestyle changes? No. She coughed so badly last night and was not exactly the life of her party.

It is good that she addressing her health problems, but gee, she is not the same Dame M she used to be.

After a couple of drinks she could hold twenty people in thrall with her tales and her life. She is a bit flatter now. Some people are just meant to drink and entertain. But there comes a point where they have to slow down.

It is sad to watch someone decline. Fortunately I don't sit so high, so not too far to decline.


  1. Hi Andrew

    Dame M sounds marvellous and of course she's not going to be the same as she was. Cherish the time you have with her. I once knew a woman who took up smoking at 70. She said she had nothing to lose at that age.



  2. I love that Pants, taking up smoking at 70.

  3. Old age sux. Let her enjoy what's left of it and enjoy a smoke and a drink. You're a long time dead.

  4. I dun ever wanna be old :(


  5. She's sounds like a lovely old girl. I bet she had a good time anyway.

  6. Agree Jo. At her age, why bother giving up the vices.

    But you will be Keshi, you will be.

    Could never describe her as a sweet old lady though Steph.

  7. I'm better if I don't drink, I can still talk without falling over and I'm not getting old. It's a state of mind and in my mind I'm 30 and staying there.

  8. "I'm not getting old. It's a state of mind and in my mind I'm 30 and staying there."

    So that's your real age! Little did I realise that when you had your wicked way with me you had taken advantage of a minor! In my mind I'm 15 and staying there.

    Mainly because there's a conga line of allegedly 30 y.o's unable to resist my slightly wrinkling and greying boyish charms.

    A word from the wise. Grecian 2000 is the elixir of life in the fast and horizontal lane. (Slip a shot of it into your nightly cup of warm Milo.)

  9. It is sad to watch someone decline and their body just wear out. She sounds like real character.

    It is strange about the wine allergy you mention. I've heard of people being allergic to the extra preservative in the cask wine, but not to bottled wine?

    Know what you mean about the better quality casks. Used to partake myself until I started hanging about with the yacht club folk and then I became snobby about it ;)

    Off to see my brother and his wife next week and my sister in law is happy with the 5 litre Berri variety! Only problem is she drinks it like softdrink and when I take a few decent bottles to share, she knocks 'em over too quick!

    Happy Birthday to Dame M!....and may she enjoy her twilight years with whatever vices she chooses!!

  10. Perhaps I should begin to think about changing my wicked ways.

  11. Good that it is in your mind that you are 30 Jahteh. You would be terrifying if you really were.

    Is your brother so bad Who Me that your sis in law needs to knock off a five litre cast in one sitting? Bit harsh I know.

    No no Daisy Jo. I like wicked women. They are always amusing and interesting.

  12. It is with sadness that I read this. My nanna was just the same, coming from the baqckground of an orphanage upbringing, and of course living through ther depression...often people seem to then indulge in lifes luxuries. Resultant affect for my nanna, diabetes, cataracts...later loss of hearing, the whole works. Would she have lived the same life again if she could choose..her answer was yes. So, I am also going to say, I am not so sad for Dame M..she has lived the life she chose to live, and even if it means she has a way to fall...I hope it is with graqce and dignity..what else would a Dame deserve :)

    Andrew, you are such a caring soul... and I do hold you high up there you know.. I love the things you write about, you have such feeling for people, even if you would be the last to admit it, it is just so evident :)

  13. hehehe....perhaps it's just that my brother brews his own beer which he keeps in a keg in an old customised fridge with a tap on the she's just trying to keep up!

    Ditto what cazzie says in her last paragraph.

  14. Thanks Cazzie and Who Me. I am a bitch in real life. I love the tap in the fridge idea Who Me. Only an Australian.......