Nov 22, 2020: Picking Up The Pieces

We went to visit my mum yesterday, to make sure she’s alive and all the other stuff you’re supposed to periodically do with elderly relatives.

Part of almost every visit is to check over her work on the jigsaw she’s doing which, this year, is an “impossible” Minions jigsaw which, as you many imagine, is mainly just yellow.

She’s been doing it for ages. There was a time, pre-stroke, when you could get my mum a jigsaw proclaiming to be the hardest jigsaw on the face of the world ever, and she’d have done it before any normal mortal had sorted out the edge pieces. She was a whizz. Now she is not. This upsets her, but she still cracks on with it – and that’s the main thing.

She also has a jigsaw roll thingy – a felt sheet that she does the jigsaw on, so if she were to need the table for anything she could roll it up and the jigsaw would be safe. She’s only doing half of the jigsaw on that, the other half she’s choosing to do on the yellow oak table.

A yellow jigsaw on a yellow table.

You can see how that might be working out.

Oh and the jigsaw roll is hanging precariously off the back of the table threatening to take anything that’s on it crashing to the floor at a moment’s notice. Which would have resulted in mum having a massive hissy-fit and deciding that she couldn’t do anything any more and what’s the point (something which we have had in the past but have found that all it takes is to threaten her with the prospect of a home help and everything is suddenly sunshine and rainbows).

The jigaw has been this way for quite some time. But this week, I noticed that she had assembled (almost entirely correctly) the edges of the jigsaw. They weren’t attached, however as they were in wildly different parts of the table. They needed to be joined. I offered to join them. Mum chucked a wobbler that then she wouldn’t be able to say she had done the jigsaw.

We talked her down from that wobbler. And we all moved them into position, and dragged the felt back on to the table, fixing it in place with clips, and sorted out all the part assembled pieces she had on the go. It took three of us, two using fish slices, and about twenty minutes to shift all this stuff.

“Oh, I probably wouldn’t have been able to do that,” mum agreed, finally.

I wouldn’t be surprised if, the next time we see her, she’s actually finished the jigsaw as well. Not because she’s suddenly developed the skills she had lost, but because the pieces of minion are now resplendent against a green felt background, rather than a yellow table.

It’s the little things.