Write a post that includes dialogue between two people — other than you. (For more of a challenge, try three or more people.)
Back to my younger days when I was 10 years younger. It was the only photo I found with me and a telephone when I was doing a simultaneous German to English translation for visitors from England. Ok, doesn’t have much to do with the subject of the blog.
Today is Sunday and the day when I call my 99+ dad in England (100 in September).
Mr. Swiss and I just returned from a marathon walk.
“I should call my dad.”
“Ok, give him my best wishes.”
I used the normal telephone because Skype does not work when the telephone partner no longer hears so well and the connection is dodgy and my iPhone costs me money. Using the normal connection always works and Mr. Swiss pays the telephone bill, so I dialled the number and the telephone was ringing at the other end. After about ten rings the phone was picked up.
“Hello dad, hello dad, HELLO dad, HELLO DAD” and then the telephone seemed to make a plonking noise and there was nothing. Dad had picked up the phone and dropped it again. No worry, at least you knew he was there and so I tried again. The telephone was picked up again.
“Hello dad, dad, dad, it’s me Pat.”
“Oh hello Pat, is that you. I was having a little sleep.”
“How are you dad.”
“OK, fine except for the usual aches and pains.”
“How did your trip go to the hospital this week about your pacemaker.”
“Not good at all.”
Now a worried daughter of course.
“What happened? Nothing happened. They were supposed to pick me up at 11.0 a.m. and only turned up at 3.00 p.m” he was still annoyed with them.
“Typical National Health Service” was my answer, but dad was not finished.
“When the ambulance bus came it had about 6 other people in it and they were all being taken to other hospitals, so I didn’t arrive at the hospital until about 5.00 p.m and so when they were finished I only arrived home at 8.00 in the evening. My carer was waiting for me outside to see how I was.” The lady who is responsible for my dad is a wonderful person as I am sure she did not have to stay so long until he arrived. She also has her own family to look after.
I then spent the next few minutes telling him how good our health system is in Switzerland despite the fact that we have to pay. It might be free in England, but it has its price in nerves and lack of information.
“Can I complain dad, is there somewhere I can write.”
“Forget it, no chance.”
“How are things otherwise.”
“Well sometimes when I sit here and think, it don’t seem possible that I will be 100 years old in a couple of months.”
“Dad I always told you we would celebrate that birthday together and we will when I arrive in September. Make the most of it and enjoy it. There might even be a telegramme from the Queen.”
I had already checked on this and it seems that I can organise the telegramme online if I send a copy of his birth certificate and all the information. My friend told me I could do it, but I was not sure if dad really wanted it.
“No, no, don’t bother. I don't want anything from the queen, I couldn’t care less.” was the answer.
As I am an anti monarchist myself, and dad is not far behind, I decided to drop the whole thing. Why bother her majesty with dad’s birthday, she definitely has other things to do more important. Perhaps one of her Corgi dogs also has a birthday.
And so our weekly conversation continued with checking on the weather in England and whether he was OK with his food.
I am now a little more settled that things are OK on the other side of the channel with dad. It’s a weekly conversation, I live too far away to do more, but it puts my mind at rest. I often think for someone that will soon be 100 years old the conversation is important to both of us, even if my voice is in the highest decibel volume possible to make sure he hears me.