Monday, 30 June 2008

Feeling small

My mother has now been in the nursing home for 3 days. I feel rather like I imagine a small time crook feels when is gang leader is banged up in jail. A stream of orders arrives via a variety of messengers and I am expected to report on the execution of these orders at the next visit.

I wonder what she'll do when I go home.....

Saturday, 28 June 2008

What a week!

It has been a week since I last wrote anything here and it has been a difficult week.

Last weekend we went to a friend's 50th Birthday party and enjoyed it very much. We spent some time in the planning for our own celebrations in September, and enjoyed such good weather as there was. Thomas appeared from Durham, and promptly vanished to Warwick with one of the cars to see his brother. He has since gone back to Durham to do St. John Ambulance things and some revision for the bit of his maths that he failed.

Wednesday I bowled down to Cornwall and have found my mother in a bit of a state. After several falls and a visit from an ambulance crew, my mother and I resigned ourselves to the fact that she must go into a nursing home, at least temporarily. She left her own home yesterday and was clearly very upset. I do hope she will be able to return.

Saturday, 21 June 2008

Getting up

I came home on Wednesday as I had volunteered to help at the school my sons used to attend with some careers activities. On both of these occasions I had to be in the school by 08:15 which meant getting up at around 07:00. The experience has proved that I'm not up to it. I enjoyed both days very much, but by the end I was completely exhausted.

Also, leaving school at 15:30 means one ends up in the thick of the south Birmingham traffic. It is horrendous. I shall avoid driving in the afternoon round here.

Sunday, 15 June 2008

Ferries, Falls and Fathers Day

This is the first post after my resolution to put more pictures in the blog.

My first picture is of the King Harry Ferry which connects the Roseland Peninsula to the road between Truro and Falmouth. The picture was taken while I waited to board this splendid vessel yesterday afternoon on my way back from Sainsbury's.
This vessel is now in its third(?) year of operation, having replaced the previous ferry. The main benefit of the new one is that it takes a few more cars.

This second photo shows a man leaning on the rail of the ferry. Look carefully, however, and you'll notice that is right boot is secured to the walkway by a metal strap. He is a fibreglass and concrete sculpture that has been lovingly crafted, painted and secured in a place that fools most of the children and a good proportion of the adults who use the ferry during their holiday. There is another gentleman sculpture who overlooks the western slipway of the ferry from a bench, and I'll try and remember to take a picture of him next time I'm there.

You can get more details of the ferry here.

In other news, my mother fell over this morning which ruined my planned lie-in. She has raised a flap of skin on the back of her left hand, but my bandage passed inspection from the carer, Alison, who is training to be a nurse.

This made it a dismal start to my Fathers Day, and my only hope is that my children rescue it by remembering to phone me at some point. It will be nice to hear from them.

Friday, 13 June 2008

Relief all round

I can't handle too many days like today. It started badly as the first thing I did was to break my mum's teapot. It was not going to be the pride and joy of anyone's old age, but it was annoying.

Then I had to ring the care providers and ask them for a load of additional care for Mum. They rang back this afternoon to say that they could provide, so I am mightily relieved. So is Mum.

Oh, and I've decided this blog looks better with a simpler template and more photos, so I shall attempt to put a photo into most of the posts from now on.

Tuesday, 10 June 2008

Happy Christmas

My beloved wife finally got her Christmas present today

Last Christmas I bought a half day Falconry experience and today we finally got to it. There were Hawks, Owls, Falcons, Eagles and Buzzards to admire and then a selection of them were brought out to fly from hand to hand of from post/fence/shed to hand all bribed by small pieces of food. The good news was that my wife enjoyed the experience immensely and we both learned a great deal. The owl shown on the left here was a particular favourite of mine as he would only fly to the food, and had to be carried back to the perch from which he started.

One of the things that struck us was how much the birds were characters. The owl being flown also had a habit of provoking the Raven in his aviary by walking on the roof of it. Apparently before the roof was planked over the Raven, when provoked, would grab the piece of leather tied to the owl's leg and fly round and round in his aviary in order to upset the owl.

John the demonstrator was the most knowledgeable person I've ever met, and I'm pleased to say that he had strong opinions on most things ecological.

Details of the Falconry Centre are here and I would recommend it wholeheartedly.

Oh, and the weather was brilliant too.

Monday, 9 June 2008

Life could be worse

A weekend of never ending sunshine has continued this morning. I have managed to stain 4 out of the 6 patio chairs, and I hope to get another one done this morning. Chris spent most of the weekend playing cricket, eating and sleeping, so presumably he judges it to have been a success.

Life is good.

Thursday, 5 June 2008

The Pensions Minefield

Today in the mail came a letter from one of my employers which started with the words "With your impending retirement, it is time for you to think about your pension...". There then followed a six page form which I have to fill in and a whole load of blurb describing the options that are open to me. There are rather a lot. Because she has much more patience than I do, and listens to Radio 4 a lot, I described the situation to my beloved wife who immediately made huge sense of it for me and I find the whole thing a lot less daunting. Even after only a few minutes with the web, it is clear that far and away the most important thing is to do a fair bit of research and a lot of shopping around.

So, I have entered the Pensions Minefield. The journey through this hazard of modern living will take a while, and will almost certainly feature in the blog (thus driving any readers I do have, away) . I promise I'll do my best not to bore you.

Monday, 2 June 2008

It's easy when you think about it.

Looking after my mother is driving me nuts. It is obviously showing because Julie (the much beloved cleaning lady) noticed something was up as soon as she walked in this morning.

I simply feel so helpless. My mother is slowly deteriorating before my eyes and I have no way of knowing whether she can cope or not when I leave tomorrow. After some thought, I have resolved this dilemma by deciding that there is only one way to find out. I shall go home tomorrow and we shall find out on Wednesday and Thursday. Julie and Mum's wonderful neighbours will keep their eyes and ears open, and I shall soon be made aware if things are not working out. So now I've stopped worrying about it and I'm really looking forward to going home tomorrow.

Sunday, 1 June 2008

Sunshine and showers

The last three days have been unremitting sunshine here in Gerrans. Just up the road in St Austell there have been a large number of violent thunderstorms and torrential rain. We have been able to sit in the garden and watch the thunder and rain clouds scud by to the north. We have not heard thunder, but it has been obvious from the visibility over headlands up the coast (to the east) that others in this county have had a lot worse weather than us. Funny old world.

My internet home page is that provided by BT Yahoo and has a news feed section on it which supposedly gives the headlines of the major news stories. I notice this evening that there is an item detailing the happenings in the various soap operas that feature on what passes for prime time television. Who gives a shit? I certainly don't. Get it off. Grumpies Rule!