Me and My Shadow

That’s the longest gap in my posts. I was overtaken my events and now I am a grandmother again. Baby Archie is here, the size of a doll and just as adorable. I am giving Mimi support. Margery phoned just as I was leaving the Warren to tell me to make lots of chicken soup and keep my mouth zipped, so I’m moving on castors, making reassuring noises and lots of tea. I love being a grandmother and have to say its a lot easier than being a mother.

I’ve had a great time being Grallie to Laverne, who is off to the States for six weeks sofa surfing. I will miss our chats, our cuddles, our laughter and our shared interest in fashion, film and soul searching but I let her go with love. She’s had the best of me and is ready to fly solo. She’ll always have a Laverne-shaped space in my heart. Bon voyage, sweetheart.

And so to new beginnings. What with the anticipation, the drama of the birth and the fact that Archie is the first boy in generations it is time for a shift.  The flood in the Warren and the ensuing painting etc. has heralded a new phase. I feel different. I have to say that this involves some acceptance that I am growing older. Yesterday, walking up the street, I noticed my shadow moving ahead of me on the pavement and it moved not as the shadow of youth but of age; in that slightly hunched, held way of someone who is slowly and inevitably seizing up. I was shocked to see this, as young students bounced down the street past me, showing their bellies in that proud way of youth. I am the physical manifestation of my life’s experiences and when I reflect on these I realise that so much time has passed and so many things have happened, that it is inevitable that my body should be increasingly weighed down, even if my spirit soars.

But it’s not all about you Allie. For I notice that old people are totally self- absorbed, as they struggle to meet daily challenges with ever narrowing viewpoints. That is why I vow to live my days open to the new and totally engaged with the bigger picture.

Nothing in the world is as wonderful as the cry that delivers a mother to her baby. I wasn’t there when it happened to Mimi but I have been privileged to witness the  bonding between Archie and his parents. I have held a new life in my arms for hours and felt the warmth of the mystery in his precious breath. His soul chose well and I wish for him a rich, long and fulfilling life. Like mine in fact.


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