16 November 2001
‘My lovely’ left early this morning to catch the train to London. She had organised everything in advance like a military exercise, so much so that I asked how many weeks she was going to be away! As soon as the two carers appeared at 7.25 she was off. First stop was Olympia, Earls Court for the Antique Trade Fair to which she is invited each year, either because she happened to buy some small object years ago or she is invited through son Miles’ gallery. In any event, all one can do at this fair is to go around like Charlie in the Chocolate Factory admiring the magnificent items on display and realising how relatively poor one is!
Following that visit she then met my daughter-in-law Kimberly for lunch at the V & A (Victroria and Albert Museum) in Kensington. Apparently they do very nice meal in the cafe there.
In the meantime I followed my usual pattern except that Sarah, one of my early morning carers, staying on until Jane’ the sheep, arrived at 9.30. It was my plan to put poor Sarah to work assisting me printing out the latest batch of my blog but sadly we could not find the ink cartridge which ‘my lovely ‘had somehow spirited away.
One of my readers very kindly alerted me a new Apple product in which she knew I would be interested , a voice activated telephone. I telephoned the Apple Store in Regent Street and they confirmed that their latest phone, the IP4 (?) is indeed able to be used by voice, either by saying the telephone number or the name of the person you wish to speak to (provided you have already listed them under contacts on that telephone) and it will dial the number and, of course, you can then speak to the person, hands free. Whether one will be able to link it to broadband and just buy the telephone or get locked into some sort of annual fee, I have yet to find out. It will also read out text messages (not that I ever indulge in such things,) plus one or two other useful apps. according to the sales person to whom I spoke. Apparently this is newest and latest telephone and costs Â£500. So this is not the right time to buy it. Give it three months down the line and the price will come down dramatically and, no doubt, one or two of the other people in the business will have produced a clone. Having said that, it’s nice to know that it exists and when I really need one. there is such a thing that I can readily buy. It is usually me giving advice to my readers but on this occasion it worked the other way round, which is a demonstration of one of the main purposes of this blog, sharing ideas.
Those readers who have been with me for some time. Will recall that I had a period, after my broken leg ,of getting about with a walking frame with what they call gutters at the top on which one can take the weight of one’s body through your arms. I took one of these frames and bought some 4 1/2″.rubber tyred wheels and had them fitted in place of the little plastic ones and thus was able to use this frame outside for a few months. Unfortunately, we had these frames taken away some time ago, when we no longer had a use for them but now I would like to recover that one and hand it onto another patient who could benefit from it. But how to get it?
Another thing I need to work out is how I can strap a pen onto either my left or my right hand, in order to make a small tick and perhaps a number as I will shortly have some examination papers to mark from my Chinese students, as a result of the recent lectures given by my friend Paul Mitchard. I shall speak to Lynne my occupational therapist, who is brilliant at dreaming up new ideas.
As it was going to be an extra long day and Jane’ the sheep’ and I do not get on over the lavatory problems, ‘my lovely’ arranged for someone from Ross nursing to pop in, mid-afternoon to give me a pee, which they did and then I lasted until Alice got home around 6.00 and relieved Jane ‘the sheep’. It has been a successful experiment which means that ‘my lovely’ will be able to plan the more days in London in the future without worrying too much about me ,which I am very pleased about. It is terribly important that carers have regular time off when they can really relax knowing that everything is being taken care of by others.
What a lovely deep and comfortable relationship you and “your lovely” have – each aware of the need to care for each other through thick and thin. I would say that is as much the essence of this blog, to show others in similar situations how to “make it work”, as are the specialised equipments/gadgets etc. Congratulations to both of you on a job well done. Your deep concern for your wife, considering all the difficulties you have yourself, really touched me today.
Many thanks Christine. You are too kind.
Perhaps I can take this opportunity of wishing you and yours a relaxed and happy Christmas and good health and joy in the New Year