“So Lily, you’re celebrating another Big O birthday this week? Congratulations and thank you for agreeing to this interview. Do you join the thousands of pensioners who say they’re lonely? Will you be eating cake alone?
Well. no. I’ll be eating my birthday cake with my family. I make my own. I do see my family but they’ve got their own lives. Yes, I’d say I’m lonely. I don’t like to admit it but there you are
How does that affect you? Do you feel very upset?
Well, you just get used to it and get on with it. My friend lives in Scotland in the country and she must be more lonely than me because there’s no clubs or outings there. That is the thing. Well, she has church stuff. Like I read what’s on on your Up Your Street and there is lots of free stuff to go to. We do have that in London. Can’t imagine not having places to go, but they do. It’s funny when people say you’re more lonely in London because it’s an unfriendly place: You don’t know your neighbours. I don’t know mine. I see them going out and that. I don’t know their names. They don’t speak English. No-one does. Well not proper English.
Do you have any carers coming in?
What for? I’m old not disabled. Anyway all the carers are African. My friend, well a lady I met, had a carer and she couldn’t even make gravy for her dinner. Never seen it see. It’s just being lonely, living alone, being lonely. What one is it? It’s horrible sometimes. You just want to see people, to talk over the fence or have a cup of tea. Course they all drink latte now. It’s all change. I did make up my mind that England is too different now. We got Gypsies, not the old tinker lot but proper ones in all their clothes all around us now. What with the Polish lot and the Turks. I don’t even know what they eat!
Do you think it’s a good idea for old parents to live with their grown up children like some cultures do?
What will you be doing for Christmas?
Are we near that time already? (She laughs). I’ll see if we get a Christmas this year what with the heating going up. Some families have to decide food or keeping warm. See what I mean about it’s all different now. Who’d have thought we’d be this hard up in England. They’ll ration next, you see
What do you think about the outings and such-like you join in off Up Your Street?
Well, they’re nice. But it’s all youngsters all asking us about this and that in the olden days. Do you know I’ve been to six of that type of thing. All to do with engaging the community. Whatever that means. I still don’t know who lives up the road, and I can’t see me inviting any of the others back here for a cuppa. Do you? I asked my niece what that engaging means. Not a clue. We do always get a nice cup of tea. It’s usually in a church. I just take the bus. But you just go back home again, go back to the same. Sometimes I can’t be asked. Sound like an old misery. I do like my television. Freeview and the soaps. No I’m not too upset but could be better. Think I’ll move to Timbuktu. Might be some English people there.”