Wednesday, 11 May 2011
This is actually Titch, as often featured in Cornwall Today walks, but he is a bloke, after all....
This year has been one of constant surprises, but one of them is that I have noticed that men have a different attitude towards me now. It’s almost as if I’d been a shadow and now I’ve been fleshed out. I am a person – a woman - rather than just Pip’s wife.
I am very lucky in having made some good friends. Every Friday in Pip’s local is a group who get together to celebrate the weekend. I often join them, usually as the only woman there, and it’s fun to be with men. I like the banter and the way they include me and it does me good.
Some men like to look after me. Dear Joe upstairs took it upon himself to paint the garage and the door over Easter. He wouldn’t take any money so I bought him cans of Bass, which he loves. This week he has borrowed a pressure washer from the pub and hosed down all the outside areas, right down to my back yard, which was badly in need of doing. Again he wouldn’t take any money so I nipped down to our other local and stuck some money behind the bar for him. I feel saying thank you is so important but a gesture is always appreciated.
My dear brother in law is always at the other end of the phone and sorts out all kinds of problems, including my hoover, was there for me when I sold Pip’s boat, and is coming next week to look at one of the tenant’s windows.
One of the editors I work with asked how he could help. I said, "just carry on giving me work". But he has also written a fabulous endorsement of my work to send to agents for the memoir I'm writing.
Another friend put my new windscreen wipers on last week (something that had defeated several other people), fixed Pip’s penknife and makes me cups of tea. He’s easy company and we make each other laugh.
Richard helped me over Pip's Will, comes for walks and always sends me a text on Friday nights to say what time he will be in the aforementioned pub. He also has lent me history books that help with my CT walks and we sometimes go to gigs together.
There are other male friends, for which I’m extremely grateful, but one of the kindest things is that though everyone treats me with affection and fun – we might flirt a bit but nothing serious – they are all aware that I’m vulnerable.
Statistics show that widows who’ve been happily married tend to form relationships again relatively quickly – it makes sense that having had a happy relationship, you would want to repeat it. Many of my friends are convinced that someone special will come along before too long. (Though the man in question would, of course, have to love animals.) It’s a nice thought but at the moment it’s too soon.
If and when someone does, I know that Pip will smile and those blue eyes will twinkle. “Look after my Flowerpot," he will say.