23 December 2013

Where was Dumbledore, when you needed him?

I'm sorry I've been off radar for a good while. I have been reading your blogs, just not always able to comment on them or write on mine. Life has a habit of getting in the way.

First I have been busy getting my mother settled into her new home. The flat needed some tweaking to make it just how she'd like it, so we were off to shops to buy new bits and bobs for it. Then of course, I was chief curtain-hanger, picture hanger, furniture re-positioner, online purchaser, Christmas card writer and cleaner. I have been at the flat every day for four weeks solid. Even the retirement flat warden suggested I buy one of the empty flats in the block as I was there so often. It's a lively community considering the average age of residents is about 85. The warden sits in the entrance foyer and usually has a gaggle (or whatever the collective noun is) of residents sitting around her. Some are waiting for taxis to collect them, others just sit there to pass the time. There is always a hub-bub of conversation and their eyes follow me as I arrive and head for the lift, or come out of the lift and head for the main door, usually with questions about what I am doing or where I am going. It has become impossible simply to arrive and depart without comment or attention. My mother meanwhile is settling in well and apart from seeing me almost every day so far, has also been to loads of communal coffee mornings with the neighbours,  a Christmas dinner (where they all wore evening dress) and already received a shedload of Christmas cards from them all which has resulted in me having to  wander around the building to reciprocate delivery of mum's cards.

My other preoccupation has been the cat. Once the dog had died, she took ill too and was throwing up all her food on twice or even thrice daily basis for over two weeks.  She seemed incapable of keeping her food down. I had to take her to the vet several times, spent over £350 in fees to establish what was wrong and even had the vet accuse me (jokingly he said) of having Munchausen's by Proxy (first taking the dog back and forth and then, once the dog had died, the cat). As if I actually enjoyed scooping vomit off the carpet and paying exorbitant vet bills. But, as I say, he did say he was joking. Hmmm. I'm not laughing! She was put on a drip at one stage to replace fluids and blood tests were done - all of which produced no diagnosis. The vet finally reckoned, in the absence of any other result, that she may have had a bug and refused to  consider she might be pining for the dog or have some kind of blockage. Thankfully  this last week she has improved, although she has still thrown up  once or twice.

Finally, I have actually been away for a few days. (Shock, horror.) It was something I have not been able to do for years. When the dog was alive he hated being left without me, so I was virtually trapped in my own home for years ...and so now I have the freedom to go away for the first time. I went up North to visit Kay for a special reason.  Those who have been following this blog for some time will know that Kay took time out of her Medicine course to study Human Physiology in one year as a degree within a degree. She took her exams in the summer and came out with a BSc for that (the medical MBChB degree will be in 18 months). The BSc graduation ceremony was this week.  I was so proud of her. I leave you with a photo of the opening scene as the bigwigs arrived on the stage.
All we needed was Dumbledore in the big chair and an owl flying through the hall!

Have a great Christmas. Normal service will be resumed in the new year. I hope