The Parallel Parliament

Glen Pearson

Posts tagged “family

Life Among the Stones – To the Castle and Beyond (Chapter 11)

Posted on January 19, 2019

Alberta had wanted to walk from the Principal Hotel to the base of Edinburgh Castle and then along the winding road to the top of the great cliff.  It had been a mistake.  The ups and downs of the trek had tired Jennifer, but had exhausted her mother. The uneven conditions of the alleys and pathways had made for precarious walking, leaving Jennifer to reach for and steady her mother on more than a few occasions. They talked frequently along the way but concentrated mostly on putting one foot in front of the other in order to get to the base of the great castle.  There were clouds coasting through the increasingly pale blue sky but mostly the sun was permitted to shine freely over the ancient city.  …

Life Among the Stones – Edinburgh (Chapter 10)

Posted on January 17, 2019

The Principal Edinburgh Hotel on George Street had been a Scottish landmark since its opening two centuries earlier – a favourite lodging of luminaries like Robert Burns and Sir Walter Scott.  It had never been constructed as one structure, but was an amalgamation of five different buildings that eventually became the one prominent Edinburgh hotel.  Alberta couldn’t recall it from her youth, but the fact that some of the world’s great authors and poets stayed there when in Scotland appealed to her publishing experience.  Robin had been able to secure them a suite.  It had recently undergone a multi-million pound refurbishment, reclaiming much of its earlier glory and reputation. Things only got better as they entered the door beneath eight massive pillars and walked into a lobby…

Life Among the Stones – Heading North (Chapter 9)

Posted on January 15, 2019

The steady rhythm of the rails was both soothing and consoling for Alberta.  She gazed out the train window as it passed through the Lake District, wending its way ever northward, through England’s green rolling hills and valleys, from Hertfordshire to Yorkshire and on to Northumberland.  She and Jennifer had arrived at London’s Kings Cross station at mid-morning for the five-hour journey into the heart of Scotland. The idea had been Robin’s, and it had been brilliant.  The seasons had shifted and summer was making its resplendent presence known.  The familiar rains were at a minimum only at this time of year, and the sunshine filled every nook and cranny of the British Isles. In the weeks following their lunch at La Porchetta, there were increasing moments of…

Life Among the Stones – Stages of Decline (Chapter 8)

Posted on January 13, 2019

It was a premonition that proved true.  She came to learn this as she sat in Elizabeth Fairborough’s office a week following the Trout Point incident.  Alberta had undergone a series of tests at her physician’s request, and now looked at her friend as she delivered the results. “For a woman of 81, you are in remarkably good health, Bertie, but the brain is another matter. Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease. Over a period of many years, symptoms will slowly become more severe, and a person’s overall condition will worsen. Each person experiences a different progression of symptoms over a different stretch of time, though many will experience slow-moving Alzheimer’s that takes years to progress. For some, it may seem that symptoms are progressing rapidly, and that’s…

Life Among the Stones – Through the Gate and Into … (Chapter 7)

Posted on January 11, 2019

Alberta rose just after dawn, finished off two cups of tea, and proceeded down the back path to the open country beyond.  She hadn’t taken this route as much in recent weeks because of all the preparations she had undertaken in light of her prognosis. Having Robin at home with her made all the difference.  He had been attentive, non-intrusive, and a joy to be around, with his dry sense of humour. Unlike Jennifer, he hadn’t felt the need to press his mother about her feelings or plans; it was enough for him just to be her companion. It took her a moment to unlatch the wooden rail gate that opened up into the valley beyond those houses, like hers, that backed onto a more natural world.  Eventually, she…

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