Blackridge is a Sunset home on the South Coast, Worthing I think. I have lived here for…well a long time anyway.
The cook/housekeeper, Ilka, is a saint. As far as I know there is no Saint Ilka but there should be. How she puts up with the other residents is a mystery all insoluble.
I spend my time in my room away from the others. I watch the TV although it is all rubbish and everybody seems to be whispering for some reason.
Ilka called me in to breakfast. I sit at a table with Richard and Harry. I’ve heard other residents call us “The Three Stooges” but I ignore it. I ignore what they say whenever possible. They think I’m a bit deaf. They can go on thinking that.
Ilka put a boiled egg in front of Rich.
“What is this?” he asked.
“An egg,” she replied.
Rich continued to look at it with a puzzled expression on his face.
Ilka cut the top off the egg.
“You’ve ruined it now,” said Rich. He looked at the spoon, trying to work out its function.
In the end, Ilka put the spoon in the egg.
Rich made a mess of it.
I didn’t say anything to him but I talked about it to Ilka and I think he heard although his hearing is not up to much.
The next day, Ilka called me in to breakfast. She reminded me to put some trousers on. She’s thoughtful like that.
I share a table with two other residents. Some of the women call us “The Three…” something. Stooges perhaps.
It was one of the others, I think his name is Richard or possibly Harry who looked askance at his knife and fork. After a while he threw the knife across the dining room. It startled Persephone the cat who was relaxing on the window ledge. She relaxes a lot.
Ilka brought a clean knife and cut up his food. He made a bit of a mess of it.
“What day is it?” He asked a few times.
All days are the same at Blackridge.
The next morning there was a strange woman knocking at my door.
“Who the devil are you?” I asked.
“Ilka,” she said patiently.
Derek McMillan lives in Durrington with his wife, Angela, who is also his editor. He writes book, film and TV reviews as well as short stories for publications in the UK, USA and Canada, His latest book is the audiobook “Brevity” which is available on eBay.