The silliness continued when I took mum outside for a walk to the park. We sat on the first bench because the second one was already occupied; schoolboys were playing soccer on the playing field in the park. I started talking in a thick French accent. I said I was a tough dockworker from Marseilles. Mum punctuated the discussion by spitting occasionally on the ground; she does this sometimes, I'm not sure why. Anyway, we sat in the park for about 25 minutes then headed back inside. They had set the tables upstairs for lunch and I left mum there to wait while I put away her going-out things: sunglasses, her hat, and her woolly jacket.
When I got back to her table she was sitting with her head placed in front of her on the table. She does this sometimes. I'm not sure why. It's the same as when she gets into the lift, which has mirrors on three sides. Each time she gets into the lift she pokes her tongue out at herself. I tell her she should respect herself, but perhaps inside the nursing home she has lost some of that self-respect. Maybe she feels worthless. I don't know. I told mum as I walked away today that I would be back in a couple of days. "A couple of days?" she asked. "Yes," I said.