Text: The English Rose

I shaved on the morning of my wedding day. I cut myself to ribbons. I knew I was too young.

After retirement I made two rules for myself:
Be up every morning before 8 o’clock and shave every day.

I don’t want to end up as a dirty old man in the pub.

My son aged 30 is a disappointment, he goes out without shaving. Even in the jungle we managed to shave every day.

I come to pay my last respects,
I do not know this will be the last time I see him.
My grandfather lies in a bed. He was a child of the board.
The hospital smells of bread, of blood. It smells too clean, like it is trying to hide something. It makes me afraid.
Grandad told me that he cried on his first day at school.
He made me my first kite and taught me how to fish.
His body more fragile than mine, cannot cope.
He loses muscle.
This is his third heart attack.

My wife died 31 years ago. I brought up my daughter from the age of 12. I’ve never had another relationship. It wouldn’t have been right for my daughter. I didn’t want to dishonour her mother.