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Ollie and Dad

Teresa & Alison.jpg

Teresa and Alison

My object is a picture of a vase of flowers. The lady I worked for, for six years, she had cancer and died, and she gave me the picture of flowers. I mean in, in her will.


It was always on the wall, you know, and I thought, oh yeah, I like the look of that. I said, "I always used to like that", and she goes, "Ah, you can ‘ave that, ya know, if ya want . . . in the end."” So I thought yeah, go on then. I won’t say no. I liked it, know wha’ I mean? I think it’s just cos it’s pink. I’m a fan of pink. So I sort of spotted it. Yeah I like that.

Apparently, the . . . the thing that got me was she said that the woman that painted it, after she painted that, she erm, I think she had a nervous breakdown and went insane! So it was almost like woah! So I’d like to see the picture she painted after . . . know wha’ I mean? It would be like . . . what would it look like then? You’re not in the same state as you are after you’ve . . . know wha’ I mean? Obviously. You know like Van Gogh when he did his paintings. When he did his normals, then he was a bit more . . . cutting his ear off and all the rest of it, you can see his different pictures.

Thank you for being there for the last six years. ‘Oldin me up, I would say. Cos she was like a Mother. Gave me advice, know what I mean? I’d used to just go in there like, "Ohhhhhhh!" and she used to, "Calm down, speak." I used to go like, "Uuuuuuuh!" talk about a hundred words a minute and I used to sit there.
"Calm down." and she used to just do that. It was almost like a Diazepam. You could just look at her and she’d just sort of . . . that’s better, I’m alright now. Everytime. Even in the hospice when she was on her death bed. I was in there and I held her hand and I could still see. I was in there and I was sort
of, "Oooooh". I was calm when I went in there but before I was havin’ a breakdown. But I wen’ in there calm, cos I thought I’d better, I’ve gotta go in there . . . cos I can’t go in there all, know wha’ I mean? Cos she’s dyin’ there. She don’t wanna see me in a state, and I don’t wanna ya know, look a state. So I went in there calm. And when I was in there, it was like, ah that’s it. That’s the medicine I needed. You know wha’ I mean?

I dunno why she liked it to be honest. She didn’t really like pink. But . . . she did, I’m makin’ bullshit (sorry), I’m makin’ . . . she did like . . . yeah, because she liked flowers. That’s why she liked it. I’m tryna work out, she never liked pink, so I’m thinkin’ of the colours. But no, she was a flower person. Completely. She had
lilies. She always ‘ad flowers in the ‘ouse. She showed me how to cut the flowers, make the flowers. And when she couldn’t go in the garden, she sent me out. And I thought, well I don’t know what the flower is . . . am I gonna cut it right? She’d send me out, "Get these flowers and bring ‘em all back in, cut ‘em and . . ." know wha’ I mean? Was quite a master in the end. She had this vase, an’ it was her Mum’s, an’ I was thinkin’, ah no! She always used, I used to pick it up an’ take it, an’ fill it, an’ I was thinkin’, don’t break it, don’t break it. I was scared stiff of it.

When I look at it, I can imagine it being on ‘er wall. I can see ‘er kitchen . . . I mean, I remember I used to dust it, so yeah.


There’s definitely God. There’s definitely angels. Definitely angels. I got lost in Mexico once and this bloke, who weren’t Mexican, he was white. And he turned up. And I got off the bus and he stood there, and he was white and he was, he was English. And he said to me, "Get back on the bus." Cos I was going down the bogie corner; I was goin’ down the shantytowns. And I got back on the bus and I’m thinkin’, well where did he turn up? Cos it was in the middle of Mexico. Out of the so. . . out of the bit. Six mile out. And there’s no one that would turn up. It was like, know wha’ I mean? Where did he turn up in the middle of mexico? Anyway.

An’ when I was dangling off the bridge with my left hand (this hand’s weak cos I had an operation on it), and when I was dangling off the bridge . . . near motorway, and when I spun myself up . . . and ya know, there’s angels. I don’t think it was just adrenaline, know wha’ I mean? Cos I’m weak; I can’t even do arm things! Aye, so there’s definitely angels about. Definitely.

She was bossy. Definitely bossy. Everyone was scared stiff of her, part from me cos I could see past her. Know wha’ I mean? If she told ya off, they’d all run a mile. They were all scare of her. But I was never scared of her, you just give as good as ya get. Yeah, I can’t think what else . . . bossy . . . she was generous to
a fault; she’d give anyone anything. You know, all the charities that come and then she’d . . . but they’d still hassle her for more, and she couldn’t work out why they’d still hassle her when she was already givin’ an arm. Why weren’t they, why weren’t anyone else givin’ an arm? And they wanted an arm, a leg and . . . all of it! Know wha’ I mean? She could never work that out. But no one else gave so, so obviously they’re gonna
hassle people that give. They want, they think might give more, know wha’ I mean? She was posh, know wha’ I mean? When I seen her in the hospital, she was in Barnsley hospital, she just had this presence about her. Know wha’ I mean? Erm, what else? That lovely calmin’ face. Know wha’ I mean? That’s what I would think of. Lovely calmin’ voice. She used to pick up the phone, "Hellooo." So I mean, that’s what I think about. I can’t go into that, cos it’s too bad. Cos I wanna go, "Ahhh!"

Yeah her lying in bed . . . scared. I could see the fear in her eyes. And the frustration, cos she’d never been in pain in her life. And then suddenly she had cancer. And she was in bed and she couldn’t breathe because the cancer was in her lungs. And it was like, it was like on her wind pipe and it was like slowly just
gonna suffocate her to death, know wha’ I mean? And I can feel her, she was tryna be brave and stoic, as she was, but I could still feel the frustration . . . and scared and all that rubbish in her head. Know wha’ I mean?

But it was funny, cos she was lying in bed and she had the Chanel next to her.

And I goes, "The doctor’s comin’."
She goes, "Quickly give me the Chanel."”
I goes, "No no, it’ll be alright."
She goes, "No, no I want it now! Give it me now!"”

She used to sit there put it on, rub it on.
I goes, "You don’t need it! He don’t care!"”
"I care", she said.

She always used to say that, "I care."”

They even give me the bottle of Chanel, you know wha’ I mean? Left, cos there was a good bit left. And I can just still see it, know wha’ I mean? If it wouldn’t have been that picture, it would have been the Chanel or something else.

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