Monday, March 31, 2014


Back to some sort of normality.

Rolf was on the road at about half past seven this morning.
I had meant that he take a card and gifts to his parents - bu the week slipped away and I had got nothing ready. Mr Postman will have to carry them for me instead.
I then had things to do to get ready for the shop.
My plan for the day was to do almost nothing.
I have been so tired and in pain - hard to get in and out of chairs.
I sorted out my sales for the week - things sold everyday except today.
But other people sold today.
I think Steve was feeling a bit low too - neither of us felt like doing very much.
I took some photos of my section - so that Rolf's wife can see them here on the blog and some of his family can see them on facebook.

The kitchen table - the one that Bill carried and later, Rolf carried and might have caused me to crack a rib.

Tins I bought at Brighton Marina yesterday.
I loved them and wanted them - and they will bring very little profit.

A cooking pot with magazines about cooking and other things.

Some glass.

 This part looks a bit untidy - next time I might get it sorted.

Loosely titled "Things for Mother"

Dolls and things.

Old birthday cards of the 1950s.
I bought some more old cards yesterday morning at Brighton racecourse.

A kitchen shelf.

Loosely - Things for Father.

My section.

Home - lovely driving on a bright sunny evening.
Enjoyed a slice of Rolf's apple cake with some cream that was in the fridge. Shouldn't have had the cream, of course,
Bill has been a but better.
Maybe he understood the concept that he could have me or he could make noise - but he can't have both.
Who am I trying to kid? Of course he didn't understand the concept.

Tomorow the fence and gate will be done. The materials are here already - so I guess he will start early.
So, I must get up early. There is lots of tidying up to do at hime - if my bosy allows me to be active.

Sunday, March 30, 2014


English fish and chips.

Carpe diem.......and all that.
But, by lunch time my ability to seize anything had faded away. I needed sleep.
I needed the pain to go too.
And just maybe, I have managed to give the doctor false information about the pain.
I have been pondering on the idea that I have a cracked rib - certainly wouldn't be the first time!

Rolf and I went to Brighton this morning - first to the race course car boot sale and then to The Marina.
I didn't really buy very much - and definitely haven't sorted it.
The weather was lovely and I enjoyed strolling amongst the stalls.
We went to The West Quay for a bite to eat.......but on hearing that the waiting time for food could be 40 minutes, we moved on.
We went to the fish and grill brasserie for the lunchtime offer for fish and chips.
It was good value. And lovely to sit outside by all the yachts, sipping my soda and lime.
Rolf enjoyed a tomato, onion and mozzarella salad with his meal, which looked lovely.
That on its own would have been a meal for me - if I had wanted to risk eating mozzarella.
The fish and chips filled me well.
And I felt like very little more today.

Rolf put together a meal for this evening - but not too much because I knew I couldn't manage much. Just a slice of the apple cake he made would have been enough.

So, tired, in pain and not strong enough to a world that felt like living within the walls of a lunatic asylum. That was my evening.
Bill and I will be seeing Colleen this week - the nurse attached to the memory service. She will have to know how close I am to not coping.
I realised that even quite a small illness would make it impossible to cope with Bill.
No - just being with him can be pretty damn impossible.

Saturday, March 29, 2014


Timekeeping with Rolf and contact with Dee.

Tired - a good dose of sunshine and strong wind (weather, not mine!) combined with concentrating for a long day of athletics. can be quite exhausting.
The pain hasn't helped me either, nor Bill.
He has proved again that he is still a good timekeeper and between races he demonstrated his fine abilities to clap hands and clap legs so very loudly and quickly.
Donna was keeping an eye on him and being more tolerant than I have been lately.
I regret that I was not a good teacher today.
Rolf didn't seem to master the technique at all and I couldn't think what else to suggest for him to get closer to the electric times, which are completely accurate.
I had a good day with the electrics - but haven't worked anything out yet. We all got tired and cold and I just couldn't be bothered  to sort things out at the track - or even this evening.
But I did have a wonderful surprise this evening.....there at my front door was my very good friend who lives in the south of France.
She is on a quick visit to the UK to help her niece design and decorate the bedroom for a 6 month old baby.
I often get close to that dangerous point, when  being busy and lazy lead us close to no contact at all. Well, it's me that lets us down. Dee never would.
I must cling on tight and not let her go again.

Friday, March 28, 2014


Bring on the lamb.

Quickly does it - sleep beckons.
I was with the doctor this morning and later had the blood test done that he wanted. He will arrange an urgent appointment with the gynaecologist.
I think he thinks that my pains are mostly muscular - tight muscles reflecting a tense mind.
He has prescribed other strong pain killers.
My back really hurts and complains badly sometimes.
He suggests leaving the ankle problem just now until he can rule out anything potentially serious in other areas.
Rolf has worked hard again today. The paving stones have been blasted and look quite clean now.
He planted some pansies that he brought with him from Germany.
The grass has been cut.......the grass, moss and weeds that is.
I'll have to get Bill out there in a week's time maybe to follow up this first cut.
It was time then to get rubbish to the tip.
Two cars full of garden rubbish and some household rubbish.
Bill and I left Rolf to enjoy himself in the kitchen, creating an Italian lamb dish.
Rolf needs more yeast - and we were happy to collect some from Alex; pausing a while for a small snack.
The Italian lamb was and dumplings were yummy.
Bill didn't enjoy the lentil salad, but I did and may take some of it for my lunch at the track tomorrow.
Bill has been difficult again - driving me to distraction.

Must be up early to plan for the athletics meeting. - food, warm clothes, maybe blankets.
I have already handed over the role of chief timekeeper.
The pain would be too much. My concentration would shatter under pressure.
And bobbing up and down off my seat would be impossible.Pain killers and sleep time.

Thursday, March 27, 2014


Beyond the limit.

I am so tired!
Bill makes me tired.
Pain makes me tired too.
Today the pain got really bad. It was like I remember from 20 years ago when pancreatitis first flared in my life.
I have been trying to ignore it or make the best of things since the weekend when it flared again.
I have been happy and busy, but the more I ignored it, the stronger it got.
Tomorrow I have an appointment with the doctor and probably some of what I planned to talk about will be deferred until another time.If I take the strong painkillers early enough it need not get unbearable.
But Bill is being unbearable. This evening has been too much.
I am very aware that my reactions to him might be the root cause of the present flare up of pain.

But as usual I wanted normality - a need that was stronger than my reaction to the pain.
Rolf and I went to Ford.
It was a dull day, with some showers and the boot sale seemed dull today - not what I would call "buzzing".
I bought some things - including a French bread box - for long baguette loaves.
We then went to Littlehampton for breakfast and chatted with a few people I know.
We walked by the river and on the beach.
And I got Rolf to pose on the curly long seat.

Maybe I shouldn't have laid down on the curvy wooden slats. I felt uncomfortable and could hardly get up. The pain got worse.
By the time we got back home I was desperate for strong painkillers.
Since then it has been easier.

Rolf found that his adaptor was a bit broken and we needed to get another before he could use the high pressure cleaner.
So - a trip to B and Q. We also took the now empty composter to Pam.
Rolf began by cleaning  the front path - now back to the oirginal Yorkshire stone colour.
He has made a start on the paving at the back.
Later Rolf made lovely pizzas for us.
Bill has continued to drive me more than crazy.
If he continues like this I shall be more than willing to have him in a home.
I felt real hate this evening. How dare he make my life a misery?
How dare he constantly upset me with his noise and his poking?  How dare he not know how it feels to be in pain? How dare he laugh in that manic way so much - so often?
Nothing you do is funny Bill - it just gets more and more upsetting.
So upsetting that for a brief moment I turned on him and attacked him with my fists.
I hate this - dreading his every waking moment, dreading him coming into the same room as me, dreading knowing that tomorrow will be no better than week will be no better than this week and gradually things will be worse.
So next week I shall be discussing day care centres.......I cannot live with him 24 hours a day and stay well and stay sane.
Tonight I feel neither well or sane.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014


Connections within the global village.

Just awoken from a delicious deep sleep.
I was alone, meaning to pull myself away from Masterchef on TV and then write my blog and be in bed at about 10 o'clock.
I could hardly believe, when I opened my eyes, that it was almost 11 o'clock.
It has been a good day and I have not been away from home.
I was up fairly early to make sure that Rolf would be able to find all that he needed to do things in the garden - and to make some decisions about what needed to be done.We began in the back.
The composter has been emptied and some pretty good compost (had been rotting away untouched for a year or more) was scattered on the soil of the garden. Rolf chopped back one of the conifers opposite the kitchen window in order to do this and another was taken out completely.
Our back garden is cluttered - I allow all sorts of bits and pieces to decorate it. Everything needed to be moved in preparation for the power cleaner on the paving stones.
I busied myself with this. Some things for the dump, some to the charity shop and some to keep.
Later there were similar decisions to be made in the front garden - which plants to keep and which might go.
Rolf loves to be busy in a garden. I was worried that he was working too hard  and I worried thjat I was taking advantage of his good nature.
I was almost glad when the rain came - he was forced to call a halt.
The grass has still not been cut and the power cleaner has not yet been used, but already I can see that the garden is looking much better - enjoying its beauty treatment.
More to be done tomorrow and Friday.
Talking of beauty treament - I will be sent a voucher for a massage. I was phoned by The Carers' Helpline, asking if there was anything I needed.
I need massage and soothing.
My back, middle, pancreas - whatever it is at the root of my pain - is giving me hell. I am taking strong pain killers to tone down the pain a bit and to keep me cheerful. There are times when I find movement very difficult.
After our lunch of jacket potatoes, left over quiche from last night and ham and things, I let Rolf work in the garden alone and I stayed indoors at the computer.
And an incredible story unfolded.
I contacted Rolf's sister to ask if she would like to be a facebook friend and she agreed.
Before I had time to write anything to her, there was a comment from Rolf's cousin.
Bill and I had got to know both Rolf's immediate family and that of his uncle and aunt. We stayed with both families.
It was a wonderful holiday in 1976.
So next, I was becoming friends with the cousin, Sabine - who lives in Greece.
A small thought crossed my mind.......Jamie would be fascinated to know I was in touch with these people. Jamie, aged 7 in 1976, was already aware of a pretty face and had a soft spot for Sabine - just a bit older than him.
So next Jamie in Thailand was chatting with Sabine in Greece.
Then Olaf, Sabine's brother joined in. Another facebook friend for me! And more facebook friends for Jamie too.
Olaf and Jamie chatted and we discovered that Olaf had been in Phuket about a month ago. He is a sport's journalist and had interviewed a mountain bikr......who just happens to have had the office next door to Jamie's. Jamie has known the person since 2004. The guy's partner actually works with Jamie in the dive shop and I know her too.
Soon the mountain biker had joined in!
I was just loving it - loving the memories and loving the link up between people all connected within this global village of ours.
I have put photos from that holiday onto facebook too - it felt like hardly more than yesterday and many images flooded into my brain.
Everybody loved to see them.
Meanwhile Rolf was finally beaten by the weather.
But did he stop? No, after a cup of tea, he made a loaf of bread and then popped down to Asda for some chicken - too late by then to cook the Italian lamb dish.
We had delicious chicken with roasted cubed potatoes.
I was tired - foolishly didn't abandon things for bed as both Bill and Rolf did.
Bill has been pretty damn noisy today.
Tomorrow, despite a suspect weather forecast, Rolf and I will go to Ford and Littlehampton.
Must get some sleep!!!

The hat has history - it had been mine!
In 1978, Rolf had forgotten to pack a hat (and that year the chilly wind must have been strong, like now). I gave him one of my hats and it has become THE gardening hat of choice.
Another brilliant day.
Even so, there was a moment this evening when I felt my breathing begin to race when Bill was getting louder and louder and more determined to make himself heard in the only way he seems to know how.
Slow deep breathing, Paula!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014


And the grass continued to grow.

This is the late blog:
Enjoyed being kept away from my computer by wine and conversation.
No grass has been cut today- bah! It has rained quite a bit.
So lots of good eating and relaxing.
Before Rolf and I went to the supermarket we went for tea/coffee and pain au raisin at La Rusta. Rolf wanted fresh yeast for bread making and I guessed that Alex would have some.
But not until after midday when more would be delivered.
So we did the shopping  - ingredients for meals that Rolf planned to cook and then went to Dorking with the kitchen table.
This is now in place in my section and I am very pleased to see it there.
Back at home we collected Bill and then went to collect fresh yeast, and to grasp the opportunity to have a late lunch.
Home then to relax a bit.
My body has been really hurting. I have maybe mentioned the back ache - it's not really that though, it's pain all around my waist.
I am thinking it is a big flare up of pancreatitis and maybe caused by the extreme stress I felt on Saturday evening.
Deep breathing, woman......that would combat the stress somewhat.
Though wine and lovely adult conversation are good tools for stress busting too.
I relaxed at the computer and lazy woman that I am let Rolf get on with the cooking!
He made a delicious leek and bacon quiche. He made a dough (not with yeast) to press into a big dish - not pastry exactly.
The filling was delicious and it is a recipe that I will copy.
And then we talked and talked.
Loving it!
I think the weather forecast is better for tomorrow - lots of work will be done in the garden.
I think tomorrow's dinner might be an Italian lamb dish.

Monday, March 24, 2014


It#s been a good day.

Short posting tonight - we have a friend staying with us for a week.
I must not spend too much time with my computer!
Today has been a shop day and I worked hard - getting my shelves ready to receive the kitchen table tomorrow. I think it will fit in well.
My sales have been good - something every day.
I sold 4 novelty teapots at a good profit. Time to find some more.
Home then - beat Rolf by just a few minutes. Though he would have beaten me if he had not got lost in Crawley; nobody told him about the big medical centre opposite our house.
I followed a recipe for a meal in the slow cooker and it turned out to be the best I have done yet. Very tasty.
Rolf opened a bottle of Chianti and we have felt very easy together.
Bill, too has seemed to be more relaxed and I feel no stress this evening.
Rolf and his wife went to a car boot sale last Saturday and brought us presents - good 1950's stuff and other bits have some of their own family history too.
Rolf is eager to cook and work.
One job tomorrow is to move that kitchen table from our car and into the shop.
Hopefully the lawn can have its first cut.
And he wants to make bread. I don't know these days where I can get fresh yeast in Crawley.
Life feels good.
Bill is not actually very clear about all we did yesterday, which seems a shame; but he enjoyed it at the time.
Time to go and be sociable - and finish my wine.

Sunday, March 23, 2014


Bluebell Railway.

It has been a lovely day.
I am so very fortunate to have good people in my family.
We went, with my brother and his wife and my cousin to The Bluebell Railway.
My mother was born into a railway family - apart, that is, from others in the family who wheeled and dealed in junk, antiques and maybe almost anything that would turn a profit.
But I was not wheeling and dealing today, I was being a railway person.
We met up at Sheffield Park Station and  boarded the train for East Grinstead - the first time that any of us have travelled to completed route.
And today was the first anniversary of the first passenger trains reaching east Grinstead after the mammoth ask of clearing a railway cutting.
We have witnessed all weathers today from bright sunshine to a heavy hail storm.
The country side looked lovely - the primroses each side of the railway were superb.
We chatted together and enjoyed the views. Bill gave a good demonstration of clapping and banging too!
We stayed on the train at East Grinstead - watching our locos move to our end  for the return journey. We were right behind the the two locomotives hauling the train....poor old L150 was being a bit temperamental.
We waved to people in the fields, out with their cameras - standing (and in one case sitting) like scarecrows to watch the variety of steam engines on display today.
The anniversary ensured extra trains for the enthusiast to drool over.
We enjoyed seeing all the trains too.
We all fell for Captain Baxter - already a favourite of our great nephew; his family cat's name is Baxter.
We met up with Captain Baxter later in the day.
Back at Sheffield Park we battled to find a table for our lunch; as luck would have it we found 5 seats alongside another family of interesting people, people who I would guess had never had much time for formal education but had learned to love learning through their own devices.
We wandered amongst the locomotives in various states of repair in the large loco shed.
My brother found one that was totally apt for the day. He had been pulled by this locomotive when a young lad from Paddock Wood - home of our railway man Uncle and also of his daughter, our cousin who was with us today.
We spent a little while in the museum, until we realised that the next train to Horsted keynes would be departing very shortly.
We climbed aboard.
We wandered a little, with plans to get a cup of tea,
Then the station announcer informed us that Captain Baxter would be pulling a brake van (think I have remembered that right). So we scurried to that platform and climbed up on to what I would have always referred to as the guard's van.
My mother's father.....our grandad was a guard.
The truck was open at either end and we stood to enjoy the wind in our hair and the views up and down the track.
In the middle of the truck was a cosy compartment with a hot, hot, coal fire and some seating for the guard in days of old.
The day, already lovely, now had the cherry on top.
This was a treat that we hadn't expected. And I loved waving to people from my vantage point on the van. Could they be thinking that we might be important visitors doing something so different?
Well, of course, many others also made the trip back and forth, pulled by the delightful Captain Baxter.
We climbed down - thrilled.
But my brother had seemed to negotiate an extra treat for our cousin.
She was invited aboard the foot plate of Captain Baxter and talked with the men working there.
She couldn't stop grinning.
Our great great grandfather had been an engine driver.
He was killed in a tragic railway accident in 1884.

At 20 minutes to 2 on Saturday morning a heavily laden goods train with Continental goods from Folkestone to London, stopped at Sevenoaks station as usual for the purpose of taking in water, and for this the driver is allowed five minutes on the time bill.  But scarcely had the train been standing a minute before another heavily laden train from Deal dashed into it with great force. This train also consisted of about the same number of carriages as the other, and was drawn by two engines.  The line is on a gradient some distance from the station, and the moving train was running at a speed of nearly forty miles an hour.  The collision caused the two engines drawing the Deal train to rear up and topple over onto their sides, one falling on the platform of the station.  A shunter was the only person on duty at the station at the time and he ran to the spot, and found the driver of the first engine named John Ware, jammed in between his engine and the tender, while the stoker, Mark Jenner, lay on the foot plate of the engine, both apparently dead.

Today John Ware's great great grand daughter experienced nothing but pleasure on her locomotive.

I have photos for you. They are on flickr. They are all in the wrong order.

But it's late and I'm tired - too late to be bothering with sorting out any presentation errors.

We enjoyed our cups of tea and relaxed on the train back to Sheffield Park, where we parted after a special family day. We must thank my brother who arranged this day as our Christmas presents and Alison who paid for us all to ride on the brake van behind Captain Baxter.

By the way - if we do get another cat and that is quite likely, we might take a leaf out of our niece's book and name it memory of the locomotive.

Saturday, March 22, 2014


Like an overwound spring.

Not the easiest of days.

This is what I just wrote for TP; TP is Talking Point, the online Dementia Forum - gosh we share lots on that forum.

It hasn't been such a bad day really.....though Bill has not done very well today.
 I always say that I can cope with the memory loss - I can be his brain for him. But the repetition of forgotten things is tedious isn't it?
A family trip to the Bluebell Railway has been organised for tomorrow - only 5 of us, so not too daunting. Even after checking it out umpteen times today, I think Bill is going to be surprised in the morning to learn where we are going!
But there has been one loud clap or bang too many.......the sharp, staccato style noises feel rather like an attack. One minute peace and the next something akin to a gun shot!
It's been bad all day.
By evening I was over breathing and shaking - a sort of panic attack. Will I explode into foul temper?
He has gone to bed now. Peace - until he comes back down to see where I am.  I shall hear his footsteps on the stairs and his fists on the walls as he descends; my body will go into a sort of frozen panic.
Time to get and fill a wine glass I think. Maybe refill it too. Cheers everybody!

Now to add a few details.
The sky was clear when we left home. I had asked Bill if he wanted to come to Ford and Littlehampton and he said he would accompany me. Maybe it would have been better for both of us if he hadn't.
Though I have to say he was useful to have around at the car boot sale.
It was showery at Ford - heavy showers with dark black skies and it was chilly.
But I did find another kitchen table for the shop.
It was a heavy kitchen table. Bill though he could carry it - but he did concede that it might be better to use one of the organiser's trolleys.
I shall have a bit of a re-arrange in my section in readiness for the table which we can take in on Tuesday.
Then we went to Littlehampton.
I had been pleased to see that they had some curries left from the curry club day.
But the chicken korma was somewhat tasteless and in the end I didn't enjoy it very much.
And Bill had to make do with instant coffee. Their coffee machine had broken down and all they could offer was free instant coffee.
Even in the pub, Bill was restless and banging. I hate it in public.
Being chilly we came straight home - didn't even see the sea.

At home, Bill had a doze. maybe I should have done too.
He did say he wouldn't accompany me to Asda - but in the end he did.
I wanted ingredients for a slow cooker meal on Monday. I will have been out all day and an old friend is arriving early evening to stay for a few days.
I had thought of a take away - but if I get the meal prepared on Sunday evening, it would feel better to have cooked something.
Take aways and eating out can happen on other days whilst Rolf is with us.
Oh - and eating meals that Rolf prepares too!

By evening I really had tensed up.
I must get him to be peaceful......
I planned some drawing. But could I find the box with pens, pencils, paints and sketch pads etc? No!
That upset me because the box contains my art efforts when I was being treated for cancer.
They are precious to me.
So more tension for me and every clap and bang cut me like a knife.
What a relief when Bill went to bed at half past eight. Maybe he won't come down again.
I did find the art box in the end - so the drawing idea is back on the agenda. I don't want to push too hard - but I hope he might find it satisfying.

Friday, March 21, 2014



Perhaps a day at home is not good for Bill.
He became very restless this evening - more banging and clapping than I could cope with.
This morning was devoted to house work. Bill changed the linen on our bed. I dusted and cleaned floors downstairs. Last week I bought  a pink handled mop and bucket - quite fun to wash the kitchen floor today.
I haven't done as much housework as was on my list of to do things.
This afternoon I went to see Rose - another of our elderly neighbours. She is great.
I did ask Bill if he wanted to come and he opted not to.
But later I saw him wandering outside her house - I think he felt lonely. So he came in and helped himself to the biscuits Rose had put out for me.
I think he also felt lonely as I watched some of Sport Relief. He felt shut out of moving stories.....he clapped and banged all the louder.
He can't deal with emotion and caring really - but in a way, he never has. He could make a difference for people in a practical way - but not with any emotional empathy.
Perhaps  we can get out tomorow morning - I intend to go to Ford. Bill should come too.
.........Whoops! So sleepy now - have been asleep for an hour on the sofa.

Thursday, March 20, 2014


Needing to feel cherished - cake saves the day!

Too tired to travel today.
Feeling fraught.
Medical matters might mean trouble.......and might not. But today my mind has been busy with tales of what might be. Tales of the old troubles rearing up again.
There is no escape from such thoughts - once your life has been threatened by something that can return those buried thoughts can rise up at any time.  You never truly escape cancer.
Next Friday morning I will see the doctor and he may well have to refer me on.
I can feel the problem "down below". I want it to go away.
So tiredness and fraughtness kept me away from my usual challenges. I did not go to Ford.
I rested for a lot of the morning - didn't get up much earlier than Bill.
My only useful work was to renew the car tax.
I have also talked with a woman at Sussex University about getting a copy of Bill's MRI scan. She is trying to contact the memory assessment service to get their permission to release it. Once she gets the OK, then we can go and collect it - and pay up; it is only £10 and might prove to be very useful.

By the middle of the day the weather had turned from any semblence of Spring - not good on the day that was always officially the first day of Spring.
It was cold - that chilly wind has returned.
We decided to go to la Rusta to relax and feel warm....and cherished.
We certainly got that - though at first I was disappointed that the chilly wind had encouraged everybody to have soup today and there was none left.
So, I ordered parisienne scrambled eggs - asking Alex to be a bit sparing with the goat's cheese.
It was amazing.

Masses of sweet little tomatoes hidden within the scrambled egg..
It felt very relaxed today.
Bill was almost charming!
He maybe offered me a bit of a break through - but probably will have forgotten by now.
He asked me if I had known all those years ago about all that is happening now, would I have married him?
That's the first time I have heard any acknowledgement from Bill that there might be problems now.
My answer was obviously that I would have married him - because young love believes it can conquer any problem.
And old love is doing a pretty good job of coping.
We discussed the problem with Alex too - so easy to talk with.
He had been given a booklet today about dementia. It was from Crawley Council - who seem to be doing  very well at promoting dementia awareness.
We are not lucky at all - but have to count our blessings that dementia is no longer an unmentionable word.
Alex then decided that Bill would like some chocolate cake. I insisted that this time I would pay for it. I love his gifts - and the fact that he loves to treat his customers so well - but he runs a business.
So the cake came with 2 forks.

Beautifully presented isn't it?

And so yummy to eat!                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          

Bill said he should go and pay (well, it's all out of the same bank account) but I was happy that he should take over and do the normal thing.
It was only later that I realised he hadn't been charged for the cake - they just wouldn't charge Bill!

We needed virtually no food this evening. I just had  some grapefruit from a tin - refreshing.
And I was dozing just a bit too.
Still tired.
Should feel better tomorrow I hope.
I had thought of going to the dementia group Forget me Not, where our friend Mandy works.
Maybe our first visit might be better in 2 weeks time.
It is a group where we can be together or where one of us could go alone.

We have an electricity problem. The two way switch at the top and bottom of the stairs suddenly doesn't just turn the stairs lights off, it turns all the downstairs lights off. And it can turn them back on again.
Tomorrow I must check if the trip switch can be thrown even though no fuse has gone.
I presume there is no broken fuse or the lights couldn't be switched back on again.
Or I must get an electrician.
Rolf - are you an electrician? It could be left until Monday!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014


Support group.

This morning I tried to do very little.
I expect you might notice the next posting on my ramblings which show that some time from folks all round the world has gone into solving the antiques shop enigma.
That was fun.
It's good to keep learning knew things - which almost certainly will never be needed again.

I chatted with Frieda's son this morning.
She is being discharged from hospital next Monday - and with no secure sheltered accommodation in place.
She will be at home for as long as it takes, with carers coming in 3 or 4 times a week.
Her stairs will be gated so that she is not tempted to climb them. Her bed has been moved downstairs and there will be a commode.
This doesn't seem ideal.

I contacted Sussex University where Bill had the MRI scan. I want a copy of the scan - which we were told we would have. Somebody should ring back tomorrow.
I want it for any future second opinions.
Maybe even a third - our friends' son might have some useful opinions.

This afternoon I went to the carers' group. It was quite jolly and in some ways quite useful. I now have information about more caring organisations.
Bill went into the room with other "patients".
It felt just like leaving a small child on the first day of school and I wanted to gate crash to make sure he was alright.
Perhaps throwing him in at the deep end wasn't the best plan, because he was not completely alright.
He can't tell me what he did for those 2 hours - yes, he did talk to some people, he said. He was surprised when I reminded him that every person there had some sort of brain disease - some of them seemed just as normal as him!
At one point I saw him outside and the nurse persuading him to go back in. That made me feel awful.
But he was OK.
They told me he banged the table quite a lot.
I was also told that he answered questions in a quiz - a quiz that he has no recollection of.
But what upset me was that, at the end, when I was talking to the nurse, I asked if it was suitable to bring him again.
They was an awkward pause and it was decided that next time might be difficult..
I am sure they are right. You see three or four times a year the group meets at the Hindu temple. This is admirable because it raises the profile of dementia perhaps withing the Asian community.
And of course we wouldn't want Bill going off for a wander round a Hindu Temple!
It was explained to me that the "patients" meet in quite a small room and that there would probably be only one carer in charge and maybe she wouldn't be able to cope with Bill.
I suppose that is like with children - if one wandered off, does the teacher follow and leave everybody else unsupervised?
But I was upset that at a carers' group there was nobody who could care for Bill! Except me.
And that is the problem - Bill probably needs or wants one to one attention. And he wants it to be me.
And if he could just stop the noise then he would be easy to care for.
Today on the internet forum I have been chatting with somebody who knows about noise -. her husband makes sucking noises - sometimes for hours.
In fact her husband has very similar characteristics to Bill. We must be at a similar stage.

In a couple of weeks we will go to a different group.
This is the one which our friend Mandy is already involved with. She is a paid carer. We can go together and even have lunch there. It is every Friday.
I think we ought to give this Friday a miss......and then next week we will have a visitor staying with us.

Tomorrow I will go to Ford - as usual Bill has said he will come; even gave me permission to bully him to get up early.
I doubt that it will actually happen.


The enigma Part 2. Solved?

The enigma that intrigued Nigel and I on Monday has now travelled round the world!
Many ideas have come forward.
I think we might know who the man is now. The translation of the writing is pure conjecture - but let's cling on to the story which fits.

I'll illustrate how thinking has gone by pasting the conversation from facebook.
With thanks to all contributors.
I included information from an email that I received yesterday evening.

Like ·  · Promote · 

Then we all got on with our normal lives.
I am sure that Jamie is right.
The plaque depicts Hector Macdonald - a hero of African wars.
Nobody could deny that he was a hero - but the army toffs couldn't sustain admiration for a poorly born man - a Scottish crofter's son.
Hector was bullied and treated with a lack of respect.
It may be that the accusations of homosexuality were no more than bullying tactics.
But they hurt and in 1903 he committed suicide.
The details were covered up and he was permitted to keep his heroic reputation.

The story from Roger will never be substantiated I guess.
I agree that the name of the recipient could well be Fred Rable.
And amazing that a Fred Rable existed - a boy of 8, when he received the plaque. (If it was him).

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