Monthly Archives: February 2014

Life in the Retirement Home Involves Tough Decision Making

Before we moved in some 2 years ago I thought that life in a retirement home would be smooth and seamless. No major speed bumps and few potholes to contend with. It’s not like that at all. Each day comes along with its own problems.

Take last Thursday, for instance. I woke with a feeling of guilt – I hadn’t posted a blog for a couple of weeks, the editor was probably sitting with her hand on the phone, about to call and fire me. I rushed through the shower, by-passed the shave but lingered over the coffee while I wrote a new blog article in my mind.

In the study, I cranked up the computer and leaned back while it coughed and gagged its way through its start-up routine. At that moment my eye caught sight of the painting I am working on and I noticed that the main character’s eyes are too close together, giving him a village-idiot look. Decision required – fix it or not? I reached for a brush – there are about 30 lying all over the study table – dabbed it in a glob of yesterday’s paint and started. Moving eyes is no small matter. They are followed closely by eyebrows, wrinkles, shadows and other accessories.

As I threw the brush back into the bottle of grey-brown-green water that stands permanently on the desk, I sneaked a look at his face again. Darn, look at that long upper lip. It’s going to mean a huge shadow under his nose. Decision required – fix it or not? I picked up another brush and carefully began to move his mouth up a fraction. Halfway through the exercise I felt I needed a cup of tea to steady my hand. That’s the whisky we drank the evening before when we celebrated the birthday of the lady on the 5th floor, I reasoned. No more drinking if I’m painting the next morning. I finally repaired the lips, added back the two lines dropping from the corners of his mouth – this is a retirement home so we all have those – fixed the shadow and dropped the brush into the water.

Back to my blog. It is now 12:30. I think I have to add more grey hairs around the temples. The blog? It’s too late now, I’ve missed the early morning edition, the midday has just hit the streets and no one reads papers in the afternoon. I’ll attend to that blog tomorrow. Promise.


The Union of Bloggers and the Terrible Truth

My motive in attending the inaugural meeting of the Bloggers Union was completely ulterior. To my digestive system’s great relief, I am no longer a beer and pizza man – but I went along to the rendezvous for more tangible reasons. It brought back memories of a trip to Paris some years ago.
We were strolling along a street when I spotted a bar.
“That’s Harry’s bar!” I yelled in excitement. “I have to go in there and have a beer!” I checked the address – “5, Rue Daunou. Yep, this is it!”
“What’s going on?” asked my wife. “You hardly ever touch a beer and we don’t know anyone in Paris, especially in a bar!”
“There was this writer, Ernest Hemingway and he used to do his drinking and his writing in this bar!”
“So?”
“So if I do some drinking in the same bar perhaps some of his writing skills will rub off on me…”
“That’s sheer nonsense!”
“Maybe, but it may work. Let’s go in!”

Of course she was correct. My scheme didn’t work and I ended up as a second-rate blogger banging away at my keyboard into the late hours. But that doesn’t mean I should give up trying, I reason. I mean if I’m 80.9 years old there’s still a chance, right? So what it boils down to is, if I hear that some real writers are about to go drinking and then on top of it all I get an invitation, I don’t hesitate. This particular bar happened to be the only one in the village of Even Yehuda, but writing isn’t a case of Location, Location, Location.

So I drank the beer in a watered down form of Shandy, ate the pizza which was topped with oversalted indigestible anchovies and listened intently to the other writers yakking away about every topic under the sun except writing. Not an idea for my next novel, not a single scrap of help…