Tomorrow morning, I shall have to make a cake or scones or something on those lines for Dave's tea, because he will arrive after lunch. I have a funeral to play for at noon. The mother of the old man who has died was born here, in this house - it was originally one, then divided and there were two large families living here 100 years ago. When we first lived here, there were still several elderly ladies who told me that this was their first home. I used to deliver meals on wheels to his mother and his aunt. They were quite different, his mother was very neat and extremely clean, always had plates warming and the table laid and the right money ready. His aunt's house, in the same road, was always rather dark. She was a smoker and there were two or three ashtrays full of butts lying around. She was much vaguer and didn't always have everything ready - though I was so sorry for her, because she used to tell me anxiously that she knew she was losing her memory. Indeed, eventually she had to go into a home because she couldn't manage on her own. Her sister lived alone for a long time, but eventually she started to forget to expect us - I knew that she wasn't going to cope at home for much longer after that.
I've known so many people through delivering meals on wheels - which I've done almost all my life because, in the school holidays, I used to go around with my mother. I became very fond of some of them. It's funny, isn't it, how you're drawn to some people? Just a few minutes - three or four - once or twice a month and you find yourself firm friends, while others remain on politely amicable but fairly impersonal terms.
Any particular sort of cake you'd care for, Dave? I am here at your service.