Virginia Barton

23 June 2014: Old Hands


23 June 2014


“They’re old hands at that sort of thing; they spent years in the Far East, you know.”

“The Stringers or the Wadham-Bassetts can easily do that dinner for you. They’re old hands at entertaining.”


Hand-opening-jarNot those Old Hands but these old hands. The ones that line up an array of plastic bottles, medicines, and drug strips; tins of tomatoes, boxes of wine and coffee, etcetera (pause to look up “cetera”), in front of BH’s breakfast bowl.

I  know these things must be kept away from babies and children. I also know I need them on a daily basis.


BH’s hands are one of the first things I fell in love with: he has lovely hands, so important in a man, don’t you think? They are still strong enough to open these necessaries. If it were not so, our flat would be very grubby, nay smelly; my blood pressure, asthma, ulcer etcetera (pause to tell the world that “cetera” = so forth, “et” supplying the “and”), and likely we would starve to death or live on potatoes provided they came in a brown paper bag.

Many a morning I open the milk for my 4 o’clock cup of tea with my teeth.


Yes, I’ve bought every gadget in the book: rubbish tin-and-jar openers, a giant set of  “easy use” tongs, a rubber mat to grip and twist. I have turned things upside down in boiling water, I have frozen others. All useless.

It’s reached the stage when: “Desperate old lady in nightie seen rushing into street waving bleach bottle!” may headline in the local rag.







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