That’s what I promised to do this weekend.

Basically, I have achieved nothing much, apart from a little blogging yesterday.

I had meant to blog here too, in fact the “Add New Post” page has been open since about yesterday lunch time, and I am now preparing lunch today.

Fish ‘n’ Chips, that wonderful English standby.

I had several ideas about what to blog yesterday, but then that great dark cloud loomed over the horizon; you know the one that prevents you from thinking clearly.

One of the ideas was prompted by an image I came across in my vast archives.

Yes, an old fashioned razor strop.

This was the most feared weapon in our house. Not the razor, my father had some tucked away in an old cigar box in his writing desk; but the strop.

You see that was what Bush would have called a WMD. With this in the middle drawer we were subdued in acquiescence. It didn’t even need to be taken out of the drawer, which was the ‘junk draw’ in the kitchen. The mere knowledge that this existed was an unwritten guarantee of exemplary behaviour. I can only remember the sting once. I was about five, and I had disturbed my father’s sleep in by waking my little brother. My pyjama pants were down, I was bent across the bed and the strop applied. The harsh slap of leather on bare flesh, once felt, never forgotten.

Today, of course, I could rat on my parents for being so brutal and probably divorce them or something.

It’s not that my parents were into brutality, but I do remember the omnipresence of that strop. I can remember one time my mother, who was a little on the plump side of thin, chasing myself and my younger brother town the yard to the orchard where like a couple of cats treed by a rabid dog we sought safety in an apple tree. Our giggling at our narrow escape only served to enrage her with threats of, “just wait till your father gets home!” I don’t remember the final act of that particular play, nor the reason that prompted her to chase us down the yard in the first place.

So it was last night that my mother called, she is now 88 and I am 60; she calls me each Saturday for a chin-wag. Last Saturday she didn’t. That has happened before, but last night her voice was frail, I could hear it. She needs heart surgery, but her body is not strong enough, but this wasn’t the problem this time; her body is just worn out. On her own admittance, she didn’t ring earlier in the week, she didn’t have the strength to manage the phone. Whereas, the week before she needed hospitalisation, she was driving her car.

If you understand cricket; no batsman was ever sneezed at for a respectable innings of 88 not out, but we know innately when we are facing our final over; and this was tacitly understood between us last night. Myself, being the eldest child, I was always my mother’s confident, she would tell me things that she never dared tell my father. As we hung up last night, we each said, “I love you,” which we haven’t said to each other for many, many years.

So with that, later. Maybe there will be a Sunday Travel Tales, maybe there won’t.

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