One afternoon each month a group of us play the old songs at an old folk's home in a village about fourteen miles away. The journey is a lovely one through Wensleydale, the Autumn leaves were at their very best today (especially any on trees in the Maple family). I went alone as W was busy, but G was there and also S who is good at jollying along (I am hopeless at it). G and I played ukuleles and we all sang songs like 'Side by Side',
'Daisy' and 'She'll be coming round the mountain'.
They all sing with great gusto. We stop in the middle for a cup of tea and a piece of cake. It is a lovely afternoon.
I have come to the conclusion that I am just not very sociable. I am quite happy with my own company most of the time, I like one-to-one relationships but I am never comfortable in a crowd situation. I was concerned this afternoon that when I got there I would be the only one there and would have to lead the singing alone - something I just couldn't do. Happily I didn't have to.
One of the nice things about the afternoon - and it happens every time - is how many of the residents thank us as we leave and tell us just how much they have enjoyed the singing of the old songs. Most of them know the words and the tune off by heart. I watched one old man today who I took to be asleep as he had his eyes closed but he sang every song and obviously enjoyed it.
It is a particularly nice old peoples' home and the residents seem very happy (it has a good reputation in the area) but I look at it with horror and know that I will fight tooth and nail to stay in my own home when I find life difficult. As somebody once said (was it Bette Davies?) 'old age is not for sissies.'