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

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British Isles Friday: Counting Down to Our Trip to London and Beyond

That’s me cringing behind my big brother at Trafalgar Square. 

Eek! What’s happening to me? Every Friday for the past year and a bit I’ve writing a series of posts under the Above Ground on the London Underground heading. Week in, week out. I’ve written over sixty posts, long, extensive, thoroughly-researched posts that take ages to put together, in an effort to deliver a virtual travel series in which I cover sights and sounds at the stops along the tracks of the London Underground. But this week I forgot. I just forgot. It skipped my mind. Friday came and went and it never occurred to me that I should be writing a post to contribute to Joy Weese Moll’s British Isles Friday meme.

Is it a sign of the Alzheimer’s that took my mother marking its hold on me, letting me know what lies in my own future? Or is it simply the case of an over-worked mind, a mind so happily preoccupied with all the planning and decision-making that comes with taking a real trip to London that there’s just no room for anything else at the moment?
In less than two weeks my husband and I are actually going to Europe and there are a thousand and one things to think about.
Will I even recognize the land of my birth? I hope to get a picture of the house where I was born.

What I thought about instead of writing my usual blogpost:

  • How many pairs of pants should I pack?
  • Is one little black dress enough?
  • The Ripper Tour or the Ripper Tour w RipperVision?
  • Should I buy some Dr. Scholl's inserts to put in my walking shoes?
  • Take an umbrella or buy one there? Union Jack or Fleurs de lis?
  • Do these pants make my butt look fat?
  • Should we try to visit Parliament? 
  • I don’t need to actually ride the London Eye, do I?
  • I’ve been to Hampton Court Palace and Windsor Castle already and he doesn’t care. How guilty do I need to feel for not going?
  • Do I have time to get my hair done before we leave?
  • Should we rent a car on the continent or take trains?
  • Be sure to get to Triple A for an International Drivers License just in case. 
  • Oh, I definitely need a new white bra. Or maybe beige. 
  • Hey, neato! The Cannes Film Festival is running while we’re over there. Let’s go!
  • Hey, have you seen the prices for rooms in Cannes during Cannes Film Festival? Time to reorder our itinerary.
  • Oops! The Picasso & Rivera exhibit at LACMA will be gone by the time we get back. I need to get over there now.
  • Where shall we have tea? £50 for tea? Are you kidding me?
  • Will I still be afraid of the pigeons in Trafalgar Square?
  • The latest act of terrorism in Paris? Yes, I know all about it. No, it doesn’t change my plans or my excitement. 662 people were killed in LA County in the last year, four were shot dead within the past week. 
  • Are there still pigeons at Trafalgar Square?

I’m late with my post but it’s not too late for you to see what fellow bloggers are up to on this British Isles Friday


  1. Sim, I love hearing the questions that are filling your head. We are similarly planning all the details of our trip. I probably won't need to bring as many warm clothes as you will since we are limited to the South of France and Paris. I'll go mostly casual dresses and sandals with sweaters and scarves to throw over them. A few pairs of jeans in case we go hiking.
    Earl and I were looking at the price for dinner on the Eiffel Tower. The Jules Verne, the top one, has seatings for 190 Euros or 215 Euros -- per person. Maybe we'll do it someday, but it feels so decadent to spend that kind of money on one meal.

    1. I can't see spending that kind of money on a meal either but I think my husband is almost convinced to go to the top of the tower since it doesn't move. He won't get on the London Eye, that's for certain.

  2. I didn't ride the London Eye and, I have to say, it turns out that I regret that choice. I would have liked the experience and the view -- especially at sunset.

    I missed both Hampton Court and Windsor even though I haven't seen them before, so I can say for sure that you have a good excuse for skipping them.

    If you spot a pigeon in Trafalgar Square, take a photo because no one will believe you, otherwise.

    1. So they really did clean up the pigeons! The view at Sunset sounds great but I'd have to do it alone so I'll skip it. Maybe try for one of those rooftop bars with some overpriced cocktail instead.


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