When I lived in West Sussex my neighbour’s mum lived in Cornwall, but spent much of her time in Sussex. If anything was needed to be sorted out, for example dog or cat sitting, personal problems, she would drive like a bat out of hell from Cornwall. She lived just outside of Falmouth.

Come the Christmas build up she would be steaming puddings and making the cake. Now she barely remembers where she lives.

I try and phone her every Sunday but she now doesn’t pick up the phone. I asked her daughter if she was well and why didn’t she pick up the phone. She evidently doesn’t recognise where the noise is coming from.

She is very fit except her mind has let her down. In a photograph album I have in my possession, there are many photos of her and I walking the dogs round Christ’s Hospital the school in Horsham. Back in those days you could walk all around the school. These days that’s out of the question with padlocks attached to the gates.

We also used to walk around Southwater Country Park. You can even see one of our dogs walking on the bottom of the lake. I believe you can see the lake from planes as they approach Gatwick. As I’m a very bad flyer I don’t know if this is true. I can’t look out of the windows.

So sad to think of that feisty lady as she is now. It just robs the person of all that they hold dear, besides making life very difficult for those close to them. I miss my chats with her.

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