It’s been a busy few days on and off Areandare since our last blog post.
Thanks to everyone for their good wishes on Facebook, they do mean a lot.
The sight greeting me at mum and dad’s house on Tuesday evening, were a couple of very old people struggling to cope. That afternoon, Mum had been ripped off by a plumber, unbeknownst to the Social Worker who was visiting. It’s a long story that I won’t go into too much, but she’d managed to phone said person who’d got her to sign a contract (that she didn’t understand) to agree to his astronomical price of £59 per HALF hour or part thereof, and strung out the job for almost four hours. The (lovely) plumber she’d originally called, arriving later in the afternoon, was aghast at what had occurred, and suggested the work should have only cost £150 – Mr Absolutely-no-consience-whatsoever made away with £630 for fixing a leaking cistern.
Trading Standards will be notified (by Mr Lovely Plumber) in the hope something can be achieved, but in my innocence of such matters, I wonder how on earth such people live with themselves? It gets me wondering what their beliefs are about the world, and their fellow man, that they can be so incredibly cruel and heartless. At the end of the day though considering my overriding priorities of family and health, it’s ‘only’ money …
Mum’s been amazing to care for dad mostly alone for so long, reluctant and too proud to ask for much help. Dad was always the one who looked after mum, she’s not used to having all the responsibility. The tide has turned now she’s reached out – thank goodness. It’s only been two and a half days, and three of the Walsh sisters have visited to help, with the other one on her way today. The difference in mum and dad is stark. Mum’s had some sleep, and dad appears a little improved and less dehydrated.
Mum took dad, with great difficulty, to see the doctor on Monday as he’d had a nasty fall a few days before and was in a great deal of pain. On Wednesday morning, after a challenging night, I looked closely at him and realised why he’d recently become more confused. The right side of his face was drooping, and of course his lean and gait was that way too. A request for a home visit from the doctor confirmed he’d suffered a small stroke at some point since I’d seen him three weeks previously.
St Richard’s Festival
Yesterday I went into Droitwich for a few last minute items needed for the weekend, and whilst there visited a mobility store looking for aids to help rescue my dad from the floor when he falls. As a nurse and midwife working in a hospital, I’d never lift someone, we’d have all manner of things available to us to provide support to do so without the risk of injuring our backs. When you have someone in the home it’s obviously much more of a challenge.
The assistants looked through their catalogues, apologising for their lack of knowledge of such things, whilst explaining they were just looking after the shop, but were really the social media spokespeople for St Richard’s Festival! We got chatting and tweeting, and I got a much needed lesson in how to have more than one twitter account available on my iPhone. It’s funny how you meet people isn’t it? Later that day, Laura and Celia came to visit The Home Brew Boat and Wild Side, moored snugly next to each other not far from Vines Park, and took a photo to tweet. Sadly not the one below (I can’t work out how to copy it without having a mouse to use here at mum and dad’s!), but there’ll be pictures of this weekend’s festivities in the near future …
My younger sister arrives from Devon this evening, staying until Monday, so I’ll be face painting and spending a little time with my frequently abandoned but uncomplaining husband (I suspect he secretly likes it!) – and maybe having a game or two of six-handed rummy with Helen and Andy if we’re all not too tired at the end of our ‘work’ days.
I have a pitch across the path from the boat – and even the luxury of a gazebo to put up to guard me and the painted faces against sun and rain. I’ll be trialling a system of laminated raffle tickets with timings on them, that I’m hopeful will mean no-one will have to wait in a queue to have their face painted, but can take a ticket and return at their allocated time-slot. I’ve known friend’s children wait in line patiently for an hour or more at events, and I’m determined to find a way to prevent that.
Both my daughters are coming to Droitwich at some stage, over the weekend, so although I’m hoping for lots of fruitful trading, a little break now and then will be gratefully accepted. The weather forecast is dry and mild – hurrah!
Have a happy May Day Bank Holiday Weekend everyone in UK.