Maggie’s Mind Lint 1



Above front is Maggie when she was a bunny girl. That was a long time ago now. These days she frequently communicates by text.

Texts are perfect for providing succinct updates, but they aren’t meant to be used like letters. Not just any old letters but unedited, longhand letters written in haste with a leaky fountain pen. However, that’s how my dear friend Maggie Armitage uses them.

She doesn’t so much send me texts as what I refer to as ‘mind lint’ – the gatherings from the pockets in her brain where dusty bits accumulate, then hurls them into her phone at me. These come from what Tony Hancock once described as ‘the threshing machine of the mind’. Here is just one week’s batch of phone texts, which I have mostly corrected for bizarre spelling. I have removed her entirely random use of emojis and have also edited them down massively to protect her privacy. You thought I made this sort of thing up.

NB Amber and Poppy are her daughters, Gail is a friend. Amber is going to live in Italy, which means leaving her mother and sister behind. Now read on…


I feel bad that I have not been out today but I like reading. have read too much Oscar Wilde all his stories are very similar mainly about the English upper crust with thinly veiled bits about young attractive men who are just really good friends packed full of very cynical over famous quotes. I have a friend who keeps texting me about their excruciating pain. another bomb attack I did not know about it my cousin Lyn in Leeds rang me then Amber rang Gail. Thank you for being so kind and letting us come for Amber’s birthday. due to Amber being very depressed about it I have not got anything together as she has been so stressed about her life you know. I have just spoken to Sue and we are going to have a day out on Wednesday and go to the theatre which will be lovely as it has been a very bleak week. Are you alright my little pigeon  I bet you are glad you are in Bcn.  I stayed in today Amber got her phone back I offered a reward when I phoned it several times.  no one got back but they emailed her yesterday to say it had been found so it took four days. I also prayed to Jesus. Gail said she felt crap when she got to 40 no husband no home she thinks men feel it more when they are 50. I think going to Birmingham will have made us feel a bit better. I love you thank you Gail was so upset over the bombings. I feel very sad for children. I wish I was back in the 80s and 90s with our gang.


what a lovely photo you sent have unpacked shopping from Sainsburys had a vegitarian Turkish meal both of us had to shoot to the lavatory. dreadfully sad as Amber is packing her cases to start her new job in Puglia. I finally delivered lillies to my friend Mavis house and cried a lot as her husband David had died. Amber is going to see her Daddy before she flys off on Wednesday From Stanstead. I know I have done this so many times but it tears my heart asunder. my shingles are nearly healed now. as you know I am going to a hypnotist in September to try and stop as it is really not helping. anyway young lads I’m off now. I have finished reading the biography of Mr Plimpsoll the ardent controversial man who due to his campaining saved the lives of thousand of seamen from the greedy ship owners and their insurance of faulty ship coffins. weather today fine and sunny. So glad you phoned me you always cheer me up luv and kisses. eternally yours maggyxx


I was setting out with Amber to go see an exhibition but have returned due to syphncter muscles unable to withstand onslaught of you know what all dressed up and no where to go but to hobble back. left Amber on seat at the Arsenal tube. we think it was the West Indian curry that was given to us at the wake. the food was lovely we also had a lot of rum which I also had cos I felt so sad. anyway I am lying on purple towel cos there is a violent boxing match going on in my tummy. thank the scientists that invented loperamide. sadly we have had several break ins in our road. If I had not locked my back door we would have had one. the burglar used my garden chair to climb over my fence after trying to get into my house and leaving a trail of euros and pence outside. visited very lovely couple called Tim and Matt who had their side return broken into so far four people have had attempted break ins. I will defo be writing letter to my council about this the police are unable to cope with the onslaught as they were with mine. all these crap events to deal with I have taken photos of trail of money. Amber is going to look for her passport. why does this happen There is an important document file I keep where I return all our passports. They should make a documentary about folks searching for passports oh bother another problem coming up. Last night watched heartbreaking doc about Whitney Houston and her descent into crack cocaine and death. truly awful watching this so very beautiful woman who had this extraordinary voice fall into this quagmire. the creature she codependently had a relationship with appalled me by his extreme extreme everything. Went to bed very disturbed. It is a stuffy grey day but got the washing dry. It feels like a documentary. only three more days to go. we are meeting Poppy for lunch tomorrow. I know you may think I am crazy and I know you have to let go and I always do let go and let go and let go. but I miss Amber a lot cos we have really good conversations. so I will do all I can to be behind her and in front if her. This is another small book. (X) rang and talked and talked I went to the toilet but I do not think she knew. she is back in Denmark Hill. (Y) rang he has had some operation to take out some nasty things in his bottom something like fibroids. great eh. (Z) is coming to stay with him love you and will see you soon Margaret thank you very much for everything xxx

Knowing that too much of this can send a person mad, I will withhold the remaining texts for tomorrow.

8 comments on “Maggie’s Mind Lint 1”

  1. Jo W says:

    Oh,Chris,that read just like a conversation with Maggie. Having met her a few times,I think she’s a lovely lady who chats away to me as if we’re old friends,mentioning lots of others who I don’t know,but that doesn’t matter. Please say hello to her from me.
    Btw the phone call she mentioned,when she went off to the toilet during it,so funny,but I think most of us know someone who can hold a phone conversation on their own. 😉

  2. JILL Q says:

    It’s very Nora Barnacle/Molly Bloom, isn’t it?

  3. Adam says:

    I love the thought that going to Birmingham will make her feel better. Never worked for me in the 18 years I was living there.

  4. Helen Martin says:

    Maggie makes perfect sense, at least as you edit her. She’s really not having fun, is she? I know people like her, in fact sometimes they’re me, and they just want you to listen for a bit. It probably was the curry, too.

  5. Helen Martin says:

    Looking at those shoes (just like my wedding ones) I wonder if that picture was taken in mid sixties. Wasn’t she a pretty little thing?

  6. admin says:

    Maggie is the most optimistic person I know. I edited out the scurrilous / libellous bits and tidied things up so that the stream of brainwork could be followed. More tomorrow.

  7. Barbara Allan says:

    Love it. Great sense of being in the present.

  8. Porl says:

    More Maggie!! We love her!! 🙂

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