4 August 2011
The’ flying doctor’, Michael, arrived late yesterday afternoon in time to crack open a bottle of champagne before supper. Mick has very kindly come here from Sweden, en route home to Australia, in order to give Alice time to go to Cornwall to see her mother who will be 100 on 29 September. As the dear old thing has not been to fit lately we were all concerned about the possibility she would not make her birthday, so just in case Alice is training down to see her. The good doctor has been given voluminous instructions from ‘my lovely’ from the second that I am hauled out of bed in the morning to the time my respirators is fitted and I’m tucked up for the night (but no kiss!). Of course, we still have the lovely girls and boys coming in from Ross Nursing, four times a day, but there seems to be plenty of other little jobs to do in between times to keep Mick on his toes. Anyway he is here until Saturday afternoon and I’m sure we will have a lot of fun in the meantime .
I wonder how many of my readers have noticed the little DVD at the beginning of the blog. My dear friend Monti made this for me, and my direction!, so that I could eliminate the long written introduction. Do look at it, if you haven’t done so already, it’s quite fun
‘ My lovely’ got up as usual just before .5.00 a.m making the final preparations for her departure and notes for Mick for my: my pills and other duties. If she had been going to climb Mount Everest the checklist could be no greater but, to be fair to her, she has a system that really works and she was pretty concerned that I was well looked after even for the two days and one night she was going to be away.
The days passed peacefully and without mishap and in the evening Mick managed to place me into my wheelchair and somehow get me through the little arch from the kitchen into the breakfast room which is one of the few places in the house I’m allowed to smoke. So it was in there that we had our champagne, in the middle of which, Paula, my night carer on this occasion, arrived to run my tummy. (We do offer her a glass but she refused, quite rightly, because she was on duty) There is something therapeutic about a change of scenery if you are stuck in one chair all day. Sitting in the breakfast room with its large windows overlooking the garden, even though it was only for an hour or so., certainly lifted my spirits and, as the good doctor says, a change of scenery from time to time is very important.
When it came to 5.30 Mick hoisted me into the wheelchair and managed to get me up the ramp and into the nursery. or, I suppose, now more correctly called the breakfast room -although we have most of our meals there – as our two children fled the nest well over 20 years ago. I was terribly excited to try out my new gadget, the very cleverly made stand for my smoking stick with a removable extension into which I could put my drinking glass. Barton and I have in the garden a couple of days before with him interpreting my design by drawing it on a scrap of paper. Basically it is shaped like the horses hooves and the smoking stick is set in the top sloping towards me. Barton certainly improved the design by adding a magnet to the base of the smoking stick so that it would not topple over when I was smoking. It is a brilliant idea, if I say so myself, but even more brilliant is the way that Barton translated bad idea and made it for me in record time
We spent our evening pretty well as usual, reading or watching television until Craig arrived to put me to bed. Normally whoever comes in in the evening only has hoist me into the wheelchair and from the wheelchair sits me up on the edge of my bed, after which Alice likes to take over. Having invited Craig to observe the routine from the night before he managed very well with a bit of help from the doctor. Between them they left me reasonably comfortable then, during the night, when Michael woke up naturally, he popped down to check on me and, if necessary, to turn me over
The plum tree, in our drive, is groaning with fruit, so much so that one of the main branches has split off and is hanging on by a thread but the plums look healthy enough and may well ripen. Seeing this tree reminded me of the incident which prompted me to write the short story entitled Jamie Oliver eat your heart out. Regular readers may recall that Jamie was born next door at the Cricketers. (See Anecdotes for the full story. It is well worthwhile reading and will give you a laugh).