News items in the paper

Elderly English couple found dead, he nearly one hundred, she eighty-five and incurably ill, he had a gun… and Mme El impressed by the ‘courage’ displayed, so she said.
I told her what the Pope Francis had given to understand that it was no good producing children just like that all the time…
She was struck: that couldn’t be the Pope Francis speaking! 
I asked what was wrong with it, children cost money, don’t they? She resolutely agreed. And what if there’s not enough money to go round? And she: ‘la misère’, poverty.
I explained to her why I hadn’t been for two days: a big cold with an unpleasant cough which limits my talking. And she ‘ça passera’ – it’ll pass, ‘je ne vous plains pas’ – I don’t pity you. I told her that all my ailments are on the left side of the body, beginning with the ear, then elbow, wrist and ankle, with a big bout of sciatica for hip and knee thrown in some years ago.
‘And the heart on the left!’ she added looking meaningful. Of course.
I had quite forgotten my trouble in that department. Mme El’s weak side is the right one.
Mme El and I return from the salon to her room. She tells me in her factual manner, the same one all her life, to ‘close the door’ to which a strident ‘please!’ from the kitchen is immediately added. I close the door and Mme El, back in her very own chair, heaves a sigh of relief.
I suggest to note down in her diary that there was a visitor, but she has already forgotten.

I tell her who it was and she says that without writing it down she would never ‘remember’ which she finds ‘grave’, serious. Does anyone know what it is like to live without a memory? I dictate a sentence about someone coming to see ‘us’, but she writes ‘me’, she has a mind of her own, I like her self-confidence.
The obituary in the local paper will hold her attention, although reading as such, especially aloud – she says she doesn’t register anything – writing a few lines in her diary is more tiring, but she will make the effort.
Mme El is proud of their ‘caveau’ in the village cemetery, the family burial site which is of a generous size, slabs of marble piled on top of a cavity where four or five people are waiting for her, a decent resting place, she calls it, and everyone in their coffin. She wouldn’t want to be cremated for the life of her, even if the church now allows it for being a much cheaper and in addition space-saving option.
Mme El’s life has had its own adventures. She told me that once she was stung by an adder as she was putting her foot down from the bicycle. As a result her arms, legs and face swelled up terribly. Fortunately that was all. She was out of action for several days and could then resume as normal.
Another time she contracted an injury while working in the garden. It became inflamed and she went to see the doctor who treated it. However, ten days later she fell seriously ill with a life-threatening tetanus infection. She was taken to a hospital in Toulouse with nuns for nurses and reckons that she was on her way out of this world when she heard a secular nurse advocate a tracheotomy to save her. However, the nun addressed rejected this and from then on Mme El hasn’t had a kind word to say about that profession. The secular nurse did go ahead with the intervention, thus keeping alive a young mother who was forever grateful, forging a life-long friendship with this nurse and her two sons who spent memorable holidays on the farm and whom I have also met.