Stoic To A Point
Tributes poured in today following the announcement that Dorset’s most stoical woman Betwena Rockana-Hardplace has died aged 123. Relict of a bygone age when "putting up with it", "taking whatever life threw at you" and "just carrying on" were the watchwords of everyday life, Betwena distinguished herself not only through her personal qualities ["she was adamantine when roused but merely granitic in repose"] but also by virtue of her 30-year tenure as Secretary of Dorset's oldest established stoical society: the Silton Stoics.
In her last recorded statement, she told nurses at the Osmington Mills Journey's End care home that she had "lived through a World War, Drexit and any number of health scares and I'm buggered if this CONTRIK-69 is going to get me. If I don't survive the night it's because I've put up with grapefruit segments with a sodding marachino cherry on top for breakfast for quite long enough. I've been telling them for 20 years I want toast with a proper dollop of dripping, but do they listen? Do they fanfare". Relatives said that, in the end, she had simply lost the will to watch "The Big Night In".
"Nothing stopped her and nothing ever seemed to get her down", her grand-daughter Jollie Steadfast said today, "even when faced with the worst kind of situation, she just rolled up her sleeves and got on with it". Evidence of her fortitude emerged in a letter which Mrs Steadfast has made public today for the first time. In it, her grandmother describes what many would consider a traumatic set of events but does so only to assure Fellow Stoics Committee member Cary-Anne Regardless of her determination to take the Minutes at the Society's monthly meeting.
"It's typical of the way she just went about her business", Mrs Steadfast said, "but watching lots of self-distancing has-beens virtue-signalling and trying to ramp up the emotional pressure on last night's excuse for a license-fee justifier was just a step too far". "It's ironic really", said care home helper, Mrs M T Bedpan, "she wasn't remotely worried about CONTRIK-69 or its side effects but simply couldn't foresee the unintended consequences of the BBC's attempt to fill its schedules. I blame Fiona Bruce even though she wasn't directly involved in the programme itself. Still, neither of us could abide her and as for that Davina MacCall - well don't get me started. All squinting nipples in a yellow frock. She should be ashamed of herself - and stick to shampoo adverts. In some ways, it's a blessing for Betwena that she doesn't have to witness the end of all this. We've been warned it well get worse before it gets better - reruns of Emergency Ward Ten I imagine."