22 November 2017

In peace at last

16 August 1923 - 22 November 2017

Almost 67 years to the day (less a week) since we were first introduced to each other, we have parted. A great mum, a lovely grandmother , who will be sadly missed and dearly loved. Rest in peace. Pain-free at last.

20 November 2017

Stop the world, I want to get off

You've probably missed me over the last few weeks (and then again, probably not). I have neither posted nor managed to read your blogs. It has seemed like a few weeks of hell. I've only just managed to raise my head for a few seconds, before I bob down again. So here goes. 

Mum continues to hang on by a thread. Having been in hospital for eight weeks, she was transferred two weeks ago to an extremely nice nursing home for end-of-life palliative care. The gangrene in her leg is moving fast covering her entire ankle and now moving down her heel to her foot. The skin is black and the flesh is being eaten alive. Her pain levels have been astronomical and the only way to control it is to knock her out with so many opiates that she can now neither register when we visit or eat or drink or talk. It is so sad to watch her decline in so few weeks when ten weeks ago she was living independently. She won't be here by Christmas. On the good side the nursing home is amazing. I had been told I would not have to pay the exorbitant fees but that it would be funded by the NHS as she is at the end of life and the care is palliative. The home is one of the best (believe me I saw quite a few which were ghastly) and more like a hotel. The staff are so caring and seem to like their jobs. The food (not that mum eats) is served on trays with lace doilies. When I get decrepit, that's where I want to end up. Here are photos of her room (not that she can appreciate it in her drowsy state)

and the view from her room

Beyond the trees is a  field with horses grazing which is a very calming scene indeed. 

Apart from the daily visits to see her, not that she really sees me, I have been blessed with two other major problems. Three weeks ago, I had my central heating system serviced by a large company in this area and for the first time in 30 years, my boiler failed its test. The engineer disconnected my heating and slapped a sticker with "DANGER. DO NOT USE" on the boiler. After a phone call to the head office, it was only then they cheerily told me they could not install a new boiler for another five weeks, as they are so busy. I pleaded and cajoled but was told I would have to join a very large queue. The removal of the old boiler will be on 30 November and the re-siting of the new one to conform to modern regulations will be on 1 December, so in all we shall have had five weeks without heating, just as temperatures plummeted to near zero. I have had to go out and buy three electrical heaters (I've never had the need for them up to now as I had efficient central heating) but as a lot of my house is open plan the heat doesn't stay in one room. I've found four layers of clothing works far better, with a hot-water bottle and pyjama bottoms tucked into socks at night. God, I look sexy.

Don't think that is the end of my woes. To add extra stupidity to my chaotic life, I decided to have most of my windows replaced. I had used this double-glazing company in the past and had been satisfied with the quality and the price, but this time disaster decided to strike. The team of two they sent to do the job were a cross between Laurel and Hardy and the Hammer House of Horror. They attacked the old windows with frenzy, almost severed my telephone connection, hacked out chunks of plaster which they either covered with new plaster of concealed with  strips of PVC, took the paint off my stair banisters as they carried frames upstairs and then put in this hideous window in one of our  bathrooms. 
The window itself is the size of a microwave oven, so not very big at all, but the hideous hinges and rings and rings of PVC surrounding it, make it look more like a submarine hatch. The view is of the fitter's leg outside on my flat roof as he wields even more PVC strips.  Happy I aint. I'm at war with the company, refusing the final tranche of payment and they have promised to come and inspect, except they failed to turn up on Friday when they said they would and failed to turn up again today when it was rescheduled.

Any one of those problems would have had me tear my hair out, but all three together have rendered me a gibbering wreck. Hence my silence over the last few weeks. I'm off to rock myself quietly in a corner of a freezing cold room. I may be gone some time....