Yesterday I was down in Sussex, finally clearing the last of Mum's possessions from her old flat.
On the mantelpiece I found a list Mum had drawn up of all her fellow residents and their flat numbers, perhaps when her memory for names was faltering. Looking down the 27 names, I saw 'Joyce', 'Dori', 'Vanda', 'Barbara'........and 'Bastard Lady'.
I was highly amused. Growing up in this family I certainly never heard my parents use such a word, so it's comical to find my prim Mother even thinking of it. I wonder what the lady in flat 2 ever did to Mum?
Anyway, I spent hours moving heavy trolley-loads out of the flat and taking them either to the charity shop or the local 'household recycling point'. The corridor from Mum's flat is long and twisty and there are double doors at the exit that were hard to navigate on my own with a trolley. Directly by these doors is a communal lounge, where a group of about 15 residents were sitting and passing the day together. I recognised Mum's neighbour and several other faces. I got a nod in return for my 'hello'.
No-one asked about Mum.
No-one stirred to help me with the doors.