29 September 2011

Posted by DMC on 30 September 2011 in Diary |

A BRIGHT RED LETTER DAY. MY DEAR MOTHER-IN-LAW’S 100TH. BIRTHDAY. I have never subscribed to those people who denigrate the character of this much maligned relationship. My mother-in-law has always been extremely kind to me and I am very fond of her and now she has reached her 100th.birthday. Congratulations, Sprig, and lots and lots of love from your son-in-law.

I insisted that ‘my lovely’ joined the family and friends who had gathered today to celebrate the occasion in Cornwall. She left at 4.00 a.m. to catch the early train to Truro, having made, in the interim, military style directions for my care during her absence, today and tomorrow. I can’t say that the day started particularly well with carers turning up at different times to those which I had been given understand they had been asked to come. One of them arriving, to turn me over in bed,,half an hour after I normally get up! Never mind The best laid plans of mice and men….et al. I left a message with my sister-in-law to say all was well at present so as to reassure ‘my lovely ‘ on her arrival.

When I rang about 11.30, the birthday girl was having one of her ‘better days’. She was having a bath and was totally aware that it was her birthday. There was never any question of me going down again so soon after our last visit but I do envy the guests their lunch, apparently each are having a whole lobster- scrummy.

 The Ross nursing carers left after dealing with the normal dressing, shower etc and ‘Jane the sheep’,who was in the locus paremti, so to speak, took over until ‘Paul the computer’ arrived at one o’clock,, to share the task. Jane managed exceptionally well with some manoeuvres with the hoist that she had not attempted previously. In fact I think it was a first-time she used it and to do so all alone was a very good effort.

 Paul spent the early part of the afternoon backing up my programmes and files onto one of my stand-alone hard disks in preparation , tomorrow, for reinstalling Windows, Word and Dragon to see if that that improved the situation. In the meantime as the weather was like the height of summer I spent three hours in the garden, shirtless in my wheelchair.

‘ My lovely’ rang from Cornwall to say that the party had gone off extremely well but she would fill me in when she gets home, tomorrow night.

Craig, one of the few male carers from Ross nursing turned up at 9:30 p.m, and with Jane’s assistance, put  me to bed, without incident.

After such a boring entry largely centred on me I try to find some piece of media interest to the readers which might loosely be considered relevant to what I have written in my entry earlier. At first sight these pictures of this incredible piece of engineering, the Rotational Bridge ,might be difficult for the reader to recognise the link with my entry but seeing the precision engineering that went into this project reminded me of the military precision in which Alice had organise handing me over to the other carers, even just for a couple of days. Anyway even if the reader is not prepared to accept this rather tenuous link I think you will find these pictures are pretty staggering. The interesting thing for me, about this particular way of lifting barges, is the comparison with the famous Yangtze River dam which I had the pleasure of seeing on one of my trips to China the dam retains 200 m of water, is 1.5 km long and can carry ships up to 3000 t in a lift and shoot them out at the top. Anything larger than that requires two stages of lifts but, in any event, a staggering piece of engineering which provides 15% of the whole of China’s current electricity needs. Click here to see the Rotational Bridge.

Be patient while the PowerPoint slide show downloads. Then click the fourth icon from the left,, in the bottom tray, in order to view it as a PowerPoint slide show. It’s worth the effort!



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