What a gorgeous place Brighton is. So vibrant and picturesque. Every time I visit my younger daughter, I understand more why she’s chosen to live there.
Kim’s recently bought a flat in Hove so it was our first visit to her new home – and we spent a couple of evenings at a lovely local pub for a Christmas dinner on Friday night and a quiz night on Sunday where we just missed out on ‘winning’ the second loser prize!
It’s certainly turned a good deal colder recently, but the clear blue skies and sunshine (almost) make up for it.
Kim had already arranged to go somewhere on Saturday night, Barry’s 59th birthday, so we had a morning together wandering in Hove, and then Barry and I strolled the mile or so from Hove to Brighton.
During the winter you can watch the sun rise and set from the beachfront – how amazing is that?
Barry took a few photos too along the way, which will find their way onto the blog at some stage and far outshine my offerings!
One of the (many) reasons why I love Barry, is that he’s a man of few material needs, much preferring the simple pleasures of life than striving to ‘keep up with the Jones’s’. He did however suddenly state on our walk that he’d always fancied wearing a cap. So he treated himself for his birthday. And the friendly stall holder even gave him a £5 discount on the size 59 for his birthday. Very special – hold onto it Barry, maybe put your name and phone number inside?!
We had a couple of drinks and found a little Italian restaurant on the way back to Kim’s flat – no wild night’s out for us anymore!
We didn’t do much more exploring, as Kim had a number of ‘jobs’ for us to occupy our time. Mostly Barry to be fair, he’s such a great handy man. So he enjoyed a day off on Tuesday and caught up with his friend Dickie – needless to say travelling back on the train yesterday he wasn’t feeling too bright and breezy after an afternoon and evening of Guinness.
Meanwhile Kim and I had a gorgeous evening together drinking mulled cider in a few Brighton bars and watched the ice skaters at The Pavillion.
The dreaded hospital admission
I got the message I’ve been dreading yesterday morning, saying dad had had a nasty fall overnight and been admitted to hospital. He did time it perfectly in a way – on the day we’d planned to come back, and of course while we’re moored up in Worcester where their local hospital is.
So I never made it back to the boat with Barry. I left a stop early from the train at Droitwich, collected mum’s car and drove to Worcester Royal to see them.
Bless him he’s more confused than I’ve ever seen him, and being in an unknown environment won’t help. He did raise an occasional chuckle trying to find the words he wanted. Admittedly it’s sometimes difficult to find things to be grateful for, but the memory of his smiling face during those fleeting moments will always be precious.
I suspect the coming days, weeks and months are going to become progressively more challenging and sad. I want to wave a magic wand and make him better, turn him back into the proud and confident man he used to be. I want to talk to every nurse, care assistant and doctor there and tell them who he really is – that he’s not just a ‘94 year old man with dementia who’s had a fall, in bed x‘.
Instead I’ll do my best to care for mum, ensure dad gets the care and respect he deserves as much as I can, and be kind to myself, Barry and my family as we support each other.
Thank goodness Barry has an Aldi nearby to provide him with ready meals for the forseeable future!