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Alfred – The End

George and Gladys – I miss you so much. Brighton has just not been the same since you relocated. Shanie (The Border Collie) I hope you are having fun with Kimble in dog heaven xxxx

Her grandfather thanked her for the grapes but then told her that he hated grapes, adding

“And why did you get me flowers, I’m not queer, and I’m not dead yet either!” Luckily, however, and as she’d predicted, he found the papers very entertaining. Alfred was not always a big talker, but he was a prolific moaner. Fuelled by the newspapers as well as his obvious contempt for the staff at the hospice, he found plenty to gripe about. Forty-five minutes passed before he had time to draw a breath.

Their last 15 minutes of the visit was spent discussing the lively gay scene in Brighton, although from very different perspectives,

When the Mother got ready to leave, he asked that the next time she visited, she’d bring some pea and ham soup and a couple of cans of Guinness. She promised she would. Even though it was against the rules. She was pretty many of her granddad’s activities at the home were against the rules.

Anyway, you had to admire a man who, in his mid-nineties, was still making plans for the future. It turned out fortunately, there was a next time, in fact the Mother made several more trips to see her grandad. However, in a strange turn of events, the final visits took place at a completely different home. For Alfred was perhaps the only person alive who had been moved to a Hospice and had not come out in a box as the expression goes.

Instead, unknown to him he was moved to another hospice, several miles away. Heavy sedated and wrapped in blankets Alfred was relocated during the dead of night in the back of an ambulance. The only witness were the moon and stars. It was unorthodox, highly unprofessional, and quite possibly illegal, but no one said a word. Everyone in the family knew why Alfred had been moved because everyone knew Alfred. No one could blame the staff at Daisy Lane for moving him on it was simply his time to go.

As for life at his new establishment well, his room was much the same, his pictures were hung in identical places, he continued to be fed his usual meals by a cheerful, but vastly underpaid black nurse. His lifelong belief that “They all look the same,” came back and bit him on the arse. Alfred never actually noticed that the staff had changed and was therefore completely oblivious to the fact that he’d been rehoused. Happily, Alfred spent his final years at Daisy Lane, at least in his head.

Alfred finally passed away just shy of 100, which was probably the only time he’d been shy of anything in his entire life. After living for such a very, very long time people couldn’t understand why he didn’t just hang on a few more days, to get to 100. The Mother knew why it was to spite the Queen.

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