July 25: a week with my olde dad part one

I am spending a week with my olde dad (90). It is a very hot day. Must be 26 degrees. I am sitting in our little square of garden on a deck chair. Half the garden disappeared when the extension was put in. Now there’s just this bit. What time is it? I ask my dad. He is inside wearing a vest and thick shirt and thick socks, long johns and a pair of thick trousers and heavy duty slippers. It is about three o’clock. I’d dropped off in the deck chair after lunch. Dad says Ah. I repeat the question. The clock is in the house. What time is it? Dad says Ah. I can’t see the clock from where I am on the deck chair. What time is it? This time he says What type of what? I repeat: What time is it? and point impatiently at an imaginary wristwatch on my wrist. This is not for anyone’s benefit. He can’t see me. Ah! he says after a minute (really. A minute!) He emerges into the garden. It’s a quarter to twelve. I know it’s not a quarter to twelve. It’s not a quarter to twelve, I say. How can it be a quarter to twelve. It was half past one when we had that salad. Ah! My dad goes back into the house. He comes out after about five minutes (really. five minutes!). It’s a quarter past three, he says. Right. I’ve got the time now. That took about fifteen minutes. I get up and go in the house. Time to go out. I glance at the clock as I pas by. It’s not a quarter past three. It’s a quarter to three. Let that be a lesson to me. Next time just get up from the deck chair and go and look at the clock myself.

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