The Woman in Black



This is the saga of DilysNextDoor and The Woman in Black. It’s quite a mixed little tale: a bit sad and a little bit funny.  Even she thinks its funny now. I was in two minds whether to tell you or not, but if it means people are more aware of the pitfalls of prescription drugs then it’s done some good. Anyway, I shall fill you in; if nothing else it will make you realise you need to make the most of every moment before we are all basket cases.

So, Dilys has been quite happily living on her own for around 25 years now. She is extremely reclusive and was once agoraphobic, so she rarely sees anyone at all. However, she does regularly sees her son, and I pop round every now and then for a cup of tea, a sneaky G & T or to do a spot of gardening for her. At the grand old age of 88 minus 2 weeks, it’s understandable that she’s a bit creaky and achy and needs some tablets for this and that. However, in recent weeks she’s been a bit ill with a bad chest, which has prevented her going out ( I still think its all due to dust inhalation and she needs a cleaner, and not down to any particular medical issue). Anyway, she’s been relying on the chemist dropping her prescriptions round. Shortly before Christmas she was running short of her sleeping tablets, so decided to up her dose of tramadol because on the packet it said they would make her drowsy. She upped the dose to four at a time; plus a couple of double Gordons with a teeny splash of tonic; all added to her cocktail of various other statins, paracetamols etc. And then she met The Woman in Black.

It all started with phone calls, with nobody there, just laughing or silence. We assumed this phenomenon was down to the damaged phone line she’d reported, and that the sounds she was hearing were either the engineer testing the line, or a crossed line,or just static. But no, Dilys was adamant it was The Woman in Black: the same Woman in Black who had been watching her through the kitchen window at night.

Then TWIB started trying to get into the house; trying all the doors and windows, putting her hand through the letter box to undo the chain, and eventually resorting to…wait for it….taking the door off it’s hinges and putting it back when she left.  She didn’t do anything, or approach Dilys, just stood and laughed…through her balaclava without a mouth hole (must have been a bit stuffy…).

Oh, and she stole things: all  Dilys’ best handbags; all her glasses- even the ones with a bit of sellotape holding the wing on; the key to the sun lounge; and the key to the china cabinet. She even had the audacity to try to steal the broken remote for the electric garage door, and then smashed the wing mirrors off the car in temper when she couldn’t find it. I’m thinking there are probably several cars between here and Sainsburys with a similar wing mirror problem…but she swears she didn’t do it herself. She’s also most concerned that if I want to borrow her china cake stand I won’t be able to get into the cabinet, and would I please call a locksmith, rather than smash the glass.

On Sunday she called the police to report that TWIB had moved the golf club (that she was sleeping with) from under the covers to the corner of the room to try to entice Dilys out of bed to retrieve it. Why was Dilys sleeping with a golf club I hear you ask? Well, it was so that she could smack TWIB over the head with it because she was starting to annoy her. It was a 3 iron by the way- she decided a wood was a bit too whippy to do enough damage…

And so the policeman called the paramedic,  and the paramedic took her into the hospital where the doctors eventually deemed her to be Of Sound Mind, but suffering from severe hallucinations due to her drug habit.  Before they would release her, she had to do an 11+ type of test to determine whether she’s really sane or actually as nutty as a fruit cake. The only thing she couldn’t remember was the Prime Ministers name. Oh, and she asked the handsome young doctor if he could come home and look after her for a few days, as she thought he’d make quite a nice butler. She’s actually quite enjoyed her stay – three square meals a day, with dessert no less, all served with a smile. And plenty of people to chat to. And no, strangely enough, TWIB hasn’t popped in for a visit.

Anyway, her son has ransacked the house whilst she has been otherwise occupied and has found several hidey holes stuffed to the gunnels with glasses, keys and various other ‘stolen’ paraphernalia. He’s decided he’s going to sleep at her house for a few days when she comes home, just to make sure she’s quite settled.  I’ve offered him the use of a bike helmet in case the 3 iron puts in an appearance, but he declined. Foolish man.

And so, the moral of the story is this….

Live life. Have fun. Enjoy it while you can.

One day this will be us…