Thursday, 9 February 2012
Since the death of her husband James, Judith’s life revolves around routine. Each morning starts with breakfast followed by a cup of tea. After this Judith starts every day with a ‘sherry shandy’; it’s approximately fifty millilitres of sherry in a pint glass topped with lemonade. A day hasn’t truly begun until Judith’s had her sherry shandy.
Today is Sunday so the routine is simple; Saturday was spent cleaning the carpets and appliances that adorn her small bungalow, Sunday is spent cleaning and polishing shelf upon shelf of trinkets and souvenirs gathered by her and her late husband from around the world. At twelve o’clock there will be a break for Sunday lunch; consisting of one chicken breast, a medium sized potato quartered and roasted, one carrot, a small leek, a portion of broccoli and a frozen Yorkshire pudding; all of which will be covered in instant gravy. After lunch it will be back to dusting and polishing the various ornaments until six o’clock when there will be a short break for a cup of tea and some cheese on toast before settling down to listen to her favourite radio programme. This may not sound like the best way to spend one’s Sunday but for Judith it is a time of reflection and a chance to revel in her memories. Each ornament has its own memory of how her and her husband lived and the adventures they had together. There’s windmills from Holland, porcelain cottages from Devon even wicker donkeys from Spain. Each one is special in its own way.
Before the death of her husband Judith lived, though content with her life now, she isn’t really living she merely exists. She busies herself with daily chores and routines because she doesn’t want to think of tomorrow, she no longer dreams of the future. Judith keeps her head in the past because that’s where her life is, or at least it was. The Sunday night radio show is her favourite because it is where people in a similar situation phone in and dedicate a song to their lost loved ones. Judith has never actually called in herself due to nerves but tonight as Thursday would have been James’s birthday she felt compelled to request his favourite song. For this Judith would have to pluck up some courage so after her supper she decided another sherry shandy was in order; a little stronger this time and then she picked up the phone.
‘Hello David Allen show’ said a kind voice at the other end.
This startled Judith, she wasn’t expecting them to answer so quickly and she wasn’t expecting a woman’s voice either.
‘Hello I’m Judith’ she said nervously ’and’
‘Hi Judith ‘ the woman butted in
‘I was wondering if you could play a song for my late husband James, whose birthday it would have been on Thursday?’ Judith asked in a nervous but slightly rehearsed manner.
The woman kindly accepted Judith[‘s request and thanked her for listening. About an hour later Judith’s ears pricked up as she heard her name called from the speaker. For the next three minutes she sat with a smile on her face as the rest of Sussex listened to James’s favourite song ‘Karma Chameleon’ by Boy George.