My Mother’s Voice

Alzheimer’s being the conniving thieving bitch that  it is, my mother wasn’t herself in the final years of her life. The  woman I visited in the Alzheimer’s special care unit was a stranger wearing my mother’s skin but not much else, like the invasion of the body snatchers had taken place, month after month beneath the surface, until one day we looked and the woman we knew was gone, replaced by some alien being. An imposter. Intruder alert. Intruder alert. She died back in 2012. Don’t worry; I won’t be getting maudlin on you.  My real mother–not that stranger in a wheel chair, head nodding on her shoulder–is who I want to think about today.  My real mother —Enid Maude Good nee Hayden, a prim, old-fashioned name, perhaps the only thing about her I didn’t love— was British-born and had a lovely London lilt to her voice her whole life even though she left England in the mid-1950’s. I suppose at thirty, her vocal patterns were already frozen in place.  Sounding like a cross between

Search This Blog


powered by TinyLetter

Carry On London: Sending Love and Support

If it's Friday we must be back in London. Every Friday I take a virtual walking tour ‘above ground’ on the London Underground. Using my Tube guide & my fitbit® device, my goal is to walk 10,000 steps a day roughly following along the Underground route, reporting back here on Fridays with my findings We've just finished following the Central Line, took a detour to the Tate Britain. This week we're following the  District Line. Here are the previous days

I can’t really carry on exactly as usual today, not after the terror attack that struck London this week, killing five (including the attacker) and wounding another forty people when he crashed his automobile into a gate at the Palace of Westminster. Among the dead is unarmed policeman Keith Palmer who was stabbed by the attacker, Khalid Masood. Masood was then shot dead by armed British policemen. Yes, in the sensitive area near the House of Parliament, the policemen do carry guns.

The attack is the worst since the 2005 London bombing attacks which killed 52 people and injured another 700. 

While I can’t really carry on exactly as usual, of course London can. And does. It’s in the blood.  The Keep Calm & Carry On message has become very popular lately, popping up on pillows and trays and all kinds of home decor items but for Britishers the words are more than a pithy phrase. The poster atop this page dates back to 1939, designed to boost the country’s morale while in the midst of the blitz.  As one of three children to British parents, it was normal while growing up to have our parents say Carry on London and Chin Up! whenever we were feeling down. The stiff upper lip? It’s practically a physical attribute.

In that spirit I was delighted to learn from Joy, our host for British Isles Friday, that in the wake of the attack, London tube stations have been posting encouraging words meant to comfort grieving passengers.

This is the sign posted at Tower Hill Station, site of our last London walk.

And on the Northern Line

And at Tottenham Court Station 

The attack won’t impact my plans to visit London in May. My husband and I are getting more and more excited as we plot our rough itineraries. How about you? Is a trip to the UK in your future? Does the attack have you rethinking your plans?

Connect with Joy’s British Isles Friday meme.


  1. Very nicely put, Sim. Glad you're dropping in on us in May too.

  2. I'm glad you were able to share these -- seems just right for today's post!


Post a Comment

Thanks for stopping by and sharing your comments. Insecure writer at work.