Day 24

Still feeling pretty ill and tired of reading so I stared out the window for most of the day. From my window one can only see a bit of the canal through an alleyway, so its not much of a view, but its better than counting the flowers on the wallpaper. I watched the cars drive by, the pedestrians on the pavement below huddled against the biting wind, and people in the apartments opposite busy with their daily chores or just lounging about. Don't these people have jobs to go to?

That's the one thing I don't like about the Welfare State here in Britain. I know it does look after the truly needy, but the absence of it would certainly encourage a lot more people to go to work, or else starve. I know I am a heartless old bar steward but I can't abide laziness. I worked hard all my life until I retired. I also drank hard but that's another matter. The point is I didn't scrounge off others.

Joe would have probably popped in to say hello had he still been alive. I miss the old blighter. He was one of the few genuinely selfless people I knew – always had time for others.

I wonder what people will say about me after I'm gone. Miserable old fart? Loner? Probably. Good father? Debatable, even though the girls do love me. Good husband? I don't know. Marriage is complicated, and blame for its failure rarely lies at the feet of only one party. In my case, I drank, but why did I drink? Did Fiona drive me to it? Was she lonely because I worked too hard? Did her constant demand for things force me to work so hard? Was she looking to things to replace something I failed to give her? I thought I loved her, but perhaps that wasn't enough.

I read an article in Readers Digest, that font of all reception room education, about “Love Languages”. Awful title, but very interesting nonetheless. It was all about how we give and receive love in different ways, so two people could potentially love each other and yet not be meeting each other's needs. I wonder if that's what happened to Fiona and me?

Oh well, no sense pondering now about things gone by I guess, but I do wonder if I learned anything.