Most mornings Granny does a spin through the Guardian online and takes the odd peek at a local paper and at El Pais, besides. Sundays, though were different. On Sunday after going to the local produce market she would nip down to the newsagent and pick up her copy of the Saturday Guardian, the one with the family supplement and, much more significantly for her, the (mostly book) Guardian Review. She and Beloved would sit happily down to a late lunch later: Beloved would take the news section while Granny settled for the rest - starting with the quick crossword at the back of the Review, her weekly not very complicated brain teaser. The Review itself would continue to feed her bit by bit for the rest of the week.
But not any more. For the past 3 weeks friendly newsagent hasn't had the Guardian - nor has she found it anywhere else. She has a nasty feeling that the suppliers have decided there aren't enough Guardian readers on the island and stopped distributing it altogether. The rubbish of course - Mail, Sun, News of the World - is still everywhere; Times and Telegraph appear in more upmarket places, the Independent occasionally too. The Guardian no.
Granny can still read the main paper and its supplements online and she has ordered a subscription to the print version of the Guardian Review, but it won't be the same, appearing weeks out of date. Oh woe.
The real griefs of course continue. When someone dies it befuddles time; deaths both evoke and cut off the past, diminish the present, deny the future. To counteract that, a little, or try to, Granny is busy sending letters, emails etc in all directions, to people whom she hasn't been in touch with lately. That way if they too drop down dead at least she won't feel 'I should have rung/written - and now it's too late.' A friend of hers once said 'When someone dies there's always unfinished business.' And that's true. Such business, almost certainly, means nothing to those who are dying, they have other things on their mind. But regret being, inescapably, a part of grieving it does burden the sorrow of those left near or far behind.
(Which isn't to say that, sod's law being sod's law, those Granny contacts won't be fine for time to come; - that only those she has forgotten for the moment won't be. Waley waley - isn't there some song called that? Waley bloody waley. Tra la la. WAILY.)
The sun is still shining. Granny's favourite hen is ailing and has been moved up to the pen at the back of the house so it can be given special attention. 'It's on its way out,' says Beloved. 'And even if it survives, it probably won't lay any more.' 'Never mind,' says Granny handing out lettuce. She can't do anything for her dead friends but she can tend her speckled hen for the moment. No regrets that way. Saludes, Daisy.