Wednesday, May 02, 2018

I sat with the ladies

(Ongoing healthy eating: A quinoa salad I had today for lunch, one of my favourites, extremely adaptable and delicious)

I love my building. It is full of little corners with plants and chairs and a gorgeous gallery overlooking the community room.

The gallery has tables and sofas and comfy chairs and plants and a large coffee table which holds giveaways/freebies - fresh baking, girl guide cookies, magazines and recently a whole bag full of hair products which I helped myself to. I never give up on trying to thicken my aging hair. Why? I don't know.

Gillian is old school, rigidly Anglican, snobby, talks of WW2 in almost affectionate terms when her veteran husband lived in the building with her (he's deceased 14 years now) and the riff-raff (my term) were not welcome. Exclusively war-brides and veterans and their wives in the good old days.

When I am being viewed down through the nose - as my people say - by anyone, I make it a kind of project to charm them. Gillian, who is pushing 90 I'd say, ramrod straight and tall, works out in one of the gyms in the building every day, was a hard nut to crack.

I'd run into her a few times in the halls, and she was stiff and unfriendly. An Irish Catholic like myself, even tho long since exed, would have been rubble under her expensive black leather shoes. Gillian reads Hello and any magazine featuring the Royals - as many do here. The claws of England and Queen and Empire pierce deeply into the veins of these loyalists.

At 3 o'clock every day, the ladies gather in the gallery and chat softly and genteelly.

I was coming in yesterday afternoon with groceries in my wee trolley and decided now or never and sat down with them. In a sweatshirt and jeans. I'd say these ladies have only been wearing trousers (tailored, knife creased) in the last few years but most wear skirts and cardigans. I wish there was a photo, I must have looked like I was from Planet 9 or a leftover hippy from the sixties.

They had done their homework on me. They knew I'd been mayor in my town and that I'd "run an inn" (who was I to explain the concept of AirBnB to them?). I can clean up my language when I have to so in my most dulcet tones responded to their inquiries as to the guests from around the world I'd met.

Gillian threw a few delicate inquiries at me about schooling (she was expensively educated in England) and I was rewarded with an absolutely blinding beam of a smile when I mentioned I was a passionate fan of Gilbert & Sullivan and had, in fact, been in many productions of their operettas.

As I got to my feet to tow my groceries down to my apartment I could sense the approval of the ladies.

I was in.



19 comments:

  1. Sounds like you live in a wonderful place. Hoping to find something like that myself. In my building, there are no chairs in the lobby. Yes, there are plants. And for awhile I was putting out magazines and books I had read for others to enjoy...until the super's wife told me I couldn't do that anymore. Not very nice.

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    1. I feel I've landed in a very unusual and delightful spot, Mxt. We have our own library. And also an area for huge jigsaw puzzles and are regularly treated to fully catered dinners with wine. Free. Residents take care of the lovely gardens outside and we have BBQs available for all to use.

      XO
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  2. You mean you're not an old hippie? I struggle to contain my disappointment, LOL!
    Good for you.

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    1. Ha-ha, always was, always will be, but don't tell the ladies.

      XO
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  3. Gilbert and Sullivan save the day! I guess the others will warm to you in due course as they realise you're just another vulnerable human being like themselves.

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    1. Ha! Vulnerable - not at all. Tough old broads the lots of us!
      Hardass too......

      XO
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  4. Congratulations Madam Mayor and Inn Keeper!

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    1. I've been admitted to the club, actually played some piano for them yesterday :)

      XO
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  5. Now that you're "In", I look forward to many lurid tales of the goings-on at your wonderful establishment!

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    1. I'd say, like most such small "villages" it's a hotbed of intrigue and derring-do. I've heard some stories already!!

      XO
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  6. How lovely that you enjoy G & S!
    I was raised on that music. My Grandma was a fabulous contralto and I can know those lovely but fearsome alto parts well. Katisha, Dame Carruthers - I shall be singing them all day now! Tra la

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    1. Oh Sally, we're thin on the ground now. Did you ever see Topsy Turvey? It reminds me so much of my G&S days. I must have seen it over 20 times.

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  7. How lovely that you enjoy G & S!
    I was raised on that music. My Grandma was a fabulous contralto and I can know those lovely but fearsome alto parts well. Katisha, Dame Carruthers - I shall be singing them all day now! Tra la

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  8. Topsy-turvy was an excellent film. I've sung G&S with our local a mature operatic society but not so popular now. Modern audiences don't get the biting satire of the libretto!
    I particularly enjoy Patience, but who would understand the jibes at the 'asthetic' movement of the 1890's! Hey ho.
    Best wishes from England. SALLY

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  9. Topsy-turvy was an excellent film. I've sung G&S with our local a mature operatic society but not so popular now. Modern audiences don't get the biting satire of the libretto!
    I particularly enjoy Patience, but who would understand the jibes at the 'asthetic' movement of the 1890's! Hey ho.
    Best wishes from England. SALLY

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    1. I adored Iolanthe - didn't that have the "Nightmare" song?

      I keep hoping for a major revival. Particularly in light of the politics of today.

      XO
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  10. oh my, love your post
    and where I stayed for 2 months during Winter
    was beautiful, but no interaction as I was independent and the
    not so If like your place might haved stayed but love being
    home

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    1. I positively love my new quarters Ernestine, everyone is independent here and you can have as much or no interaction if you wish.

      Glad you're home and feeling better.

      XO
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  11. Ew ew ew, WWW! I wouldn't go "in" to that group without a hazmat suit - a well-cut designer one, of course. ;-)

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