I seem to be on a proverbial rollercoaster at the moment, hence my absence over the last few weeks. There have been lots of highs, lots of lows and some scary white-knuckle bits in the middle. Quite frankly, I'd be glad to get off onto terra firma for a while if I could.
For a start, I am leading a dual sort of existence in two places sixty miles apart. One is with my mother. I went to visit her at the beginning of November for two weeks. We had a great time together, sharing laughs and memories. I also did the usual hard work felling two enormous holly trees and taking then to the local dump. I prepared her garden for the winter and took anything extraneous to the dump. I shredded loads of paperwork and took that to the dump too. I washed net curtains, cleaned windows, filled her larder and freezer with food and walked the dog inbetween. I don't mind hard work. It can be therapeutic and helps me work out and de-stress. In the middle of all that my mother got a call from the local hospital - they had had a cancellation and they were inviting her to have her other cataract operation while I was still there. So I was able to drive her to the hospital, hold her hand while we waited in the conveyor-belt queue, drive her home again, remove the eye patch the next day and administer the first antibiotic eye drops.
Then I had to get back home to run my other existence. The one where I live with Greg in a semi-nightmare world. He is back to drinking big-time. Back on a full bottle of whisky a day. Back to not eating. Back to not caring for his hygiene. In addition he has had upset tummy problems which alternate between constipation and diarrhoea. Because of his leg problems and inability to walk very fast, he is not making it to the toilet in time. I shall spare you the graphic details of what my involvement is when his diarrhoea meets his inability to walk quickly. Let's just say it is not pleasant. The words he uttered to the social worker in hospital when he declined her offer of back-up services at home keep coming back to me. "We can manage" Like hell, we can! While I was away at my mother's he managed to drive himself to the local hospital for some laser treatment on his feet, supposedly to help with the tingling feeling in his feet caused by the diabetes. He had several sessions. He also had to see the diabetic consultant on one occasion and, smelling drink on him at 10.30 in the morning, she refused to let him drive home, ordered him a taxi and made him leave his car in the hospital carpark. He picked it up the following morning - still intoxicated. He rang me at my mother's to tell me and was so humiliated and embarrassed..... unfortunately not enough to make a jot of difference to his drinking.
The best bit of the rollercoaster has been that Kay came home this weekend as she had a prizegiving at school and had to pick up her prize and A-level certificates. It was great seeing her again, as it was the first time we had seen one another since September. We have spoken on the phone lots, emailed, texted on our mobile phones, but not met. Either she has been busy with academic work or making new friends, so there has not been an opportunity up until now. For those who have asked, she is settling in well now and making friends from all over the UK and beyond. When she walked through the door, she looked so much more confident and older. We nattered a lot and she showed me some of her essays - written in entire gobbledegook, so far as my non-scientific brain could decipher. How she can cope with all that bio-chemical jargon is a mystery. Greg and I did foreign languages at uni, but bio-chemistry is a language all on its own! I put her on the train back to uni last night, but our parting was not at all tearful. She was happy to be returning to her new life and I was happy that she was happy... but roll on Christmas!!!