Hilda has been around for all the 62 years of my life. We travelled the rough and the smooth side by side. At every step she was there pushing me on to the next stage or to reach greater heights. She was with me as I ran to catch the bus on the way to and from school, as I climbed a tree with my young brothers, as I walked into a room to face my first job interview and as I stood to make my marriage vows. She was with me in the delivery room, moving gently to the side allowing for the safe and easy birth of my daughter Elly.
She made sure I stood straight to do justice to; and carry off the clothes I wore. and if Hilda did not agree with my footwear fetish she made her feeling known in a short sharp yet quiet way.
There were times when I treated her roughly. The times when we lugged heavy furniture across the floor, I expected her to do the work of two strong men. Times when we carried heavy loads unevenly balanced, making her do more work than was necessary. She grumbled but not for long.
On one clear crisp and cold winters day we climbed the Cave Hill in Belfast. On the downward journey almost at the bottom I tripped crashing to the ground bringing us down with a wallop.
The pathway was hard. Cold. Solid winter-hard ground.
My full weight on top of her, we lay for a few minutes making sure nothing was broken before slowly standing and then continuing on our way. Hilda was not a happy bunny that day and let me know about it for a week or two.
Our growing incompatibility in recent months has called for a parting of the ways. Hilda is tired, overworked and needs to retire. Today we bid each other farewell.
I cannot let the day pass without saying thank you to Hilda for helping to carry my load in all the years that have passed.
I need a replacement for Hilda… Now I wonder if my replacement will be a Toyboy?
What shall I call him? Hector… Horace…. Humphrey…
I will be missing for a few days while my hip is replaced this morning. In fact as this is published I will be in a taxi, on my way to the hospital for admission. No doubt Elly will give you a progress report when she returns from Italy on Tuesday evening or on Wednesday when she sees me. I will not have my laptop or mobile phone, so please be patient. I am only one patient in a very busy hospital so no calls asking for details, I will be requesting that no information is given over the phone. I expect it to be a short stay of two to three days. I am not ill, just having a new shock absorber fitted, so no flowers please. I associate them with illness and death, and there is plenty of life in this ould bird yet.
P.S. I did offer to live blog the event… alas, I think the surgeon was blog shy! 🙄
My temporary home for a few days
Whoever named this place had a sense of humour!