Friday, September 01, 2006

Some Friendships Go the Way of the Bottle, I guess

Flippin' 'enry, but that was a nutty visit. Maggie is loaded and chain-smoking all the time, from what I can tell. Her new husband is very nice and I liked him, but he’s a pussy. Almost effeminate in a way that annoys me when women are like that, but not gay, you know what I mean. She wears the boxers and they muddle along together. House not clean, food not offered because she weighs NOTHING now and never eats. She ate one sardine in the 24 hours I was there, but drank the following, starting at 10:30 AM yesterday and 10 AM today.

yesterday: two pint glasses of cider before 11, between them two bottles of wine (she drank about one and a bit bottles on her own), a pint beer, a couple of whiskies, two glasses of wine at the restaurant and a stiff shot of something in her hot chocolate before bed. she weighs approximately 85 lbs and I’m not kidding. this morning, cuppa tea and her first beer at 9:30 AM. Then I fucking left.

yesterday she'd said what do you want to do tomorrow. Since we'd been looking at a map and since her husband used to teach in Salisbury, and since it's only 10 miles away, I said I’d like to go to Salisbury cathedral. This morning, Maggie said to me you don’t really want to go to Salisbury do you? I said um, yeah, and made up excuses for her not to have to go with me and I left there at 10:30. I went to Salisbury, which is still AMAZING, then Sarum, also amazing and then STONEHENGE! YAY! Great day, out of the fucking smoke of that house. thought I was gonna pass out and I'm not exaggerating. fucking gross.

we can chatter tomorrow

now I’m back at mums. YAY!

Lin xoxoxoxox

So that’s the email I wrote to my husband, minutes after I arrived back at my Mother’s house in Eastbourne last night. Here’s the background.

An old friend of mine, Maggie, who knows nothing about computers and even less than that about blogs (so I feel fairly safe writing this), got married a few years ago to this fellow, David. She was living in Majorca at the time and they met in a bar over there. His wife had recently died after a five-year war with colon cancer and a friend of his had persuaded him to get away and have some fun. He met Maggie and she is/was fun. I’ve known Maggie from our years in Newcastle-upon-Tyne where she impressed me mightily as an extremely uber-capable woman. She could watch her own three kids, I could drop my two off and she could cook a seven course meal for a dinner party that evening, tidy the house, amuse the children AND reupholster a chair. She was one hell of a multi-tasker and good fun, to boot.

She and her then-husband, Frazer (2nd husband who is now married to a Spanish Opus Dei(er) and lives in Madrid and has two small children [haha]), moved to Minorca (the smaller Balearic Island), opened a bar and a restaurant, finished raising her two kids from her first marriage (at 16) and their one child from their holy union and then he left…for the Spanish mainland. Maggie sold the restaurant, finished raising the kids and did it pretty damned well. She entertained my daughter and her girlfriend when they were doing their round-Europe summer and then I didn’t hear from her for a while. The odd beautifully written letter would arrive, alluding to too much partying and too much booze, but she was still in control. After I finished my chemo treatment, she and her daughter visited from Spain for a couple of weeks. She was still industrious, still a heavy smoker and on her way to being a mighty heavy drinker. She cooked and cleaned and repaired curtains and did her smoking either outside or in front of a roaring fire and except for the drinking, which didn’t happen until dinnertime, we mucked along fine together.

And so I looked forward to seeing her in her new home at the edge of the New Forest and to meeting her new husband, David.

To be continued…


Blogger junebee said...

Wow, quite the heavyweight drinker for 85 pounds! She could easily outdrink me and I weigh a whole lot more!

3:28 PM  
Blogger Andrew said...

Drinking on an empty stomach like that has GOT to be hard on the system!

To Love, Honor and Dismay

3:47 PM  
Blogger gwendomama said...

Wow - I thought you were sending ME an email at first! yikes, lin - sorry to hear it - nasty being trapped in the smoke, eh?
and though i enjoy drinking, the list of beverages made me a bit ill...

9:43 PM  

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