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Geraldine's musings

December 25th, 2011

Not such a great Christmas. @ 10:28 pm

Current Location: same old place
Current Mood: drained drained
Current Music: none at present

I think this has been the worst Christmas ever for me.  My trials have been pretty modest, so I guess I'm lucky that I've good Christmases right up till today.

The worst thing was that C spent most of the day sitting under his own personal thundercloud at the end of the sofa;  I have no idea what was the matter and apparently neither does he.........sigh!  I can't tell you what a horrible effect it had on me - I haven't felt so demoralised and depressed for a very long time.

I had already spent most of a sleepless night trying unsuccessfully to raise some Christmas Spirit in myself. I didn't realise how lucky I was all those years when the joy of Christmas was right there in my heart.   I've no idea what has caused its failure this year; it's not that I don't believe, because I do, it just refused to come to me. I believe some poor souls are inflicted with this "dryness" all their lives, even though they stay faithful, so I must be grateful for all the very happy and holy Christmases I have had.

My state of mind wasn't improved by my dropping a jugful of precious beef gravy all over the kitchen floor, followed later, by the lovely home-made Christmas pudding slipping out of it's string to crash on the floor with thousands of shards of Pyrex embedded in it.  Fortunately I have another one, but we didn't actually eat it, because I had forgotten to make the brandy butter.  We wouldn't have had room for pudding anyway after Charles' excellent game stew, we only just managed small portions of lemon mousse.

John was his ever-cheerful self, thank God and didn't let C's attack of the miseries affect him;  I tried not to let it affect me, but I'm afraid it did.

C cheered up after dinner and insisted I sat with him watching TV and DVDs, when all I wanted to do was go to bed.

I'm utterly shattered now.

November 27th, 2011

Too sunny to make Christmas puddings! @ 01:47 pm

Current Location: same old place
Current Mood: cheerful cheerful
Current Music: none at present

It seems really weird to be thinking about making Christmas cake and puddings (which I will be doing just as soon as I feel better from this rotten cold), when it's such a brilliantly sunny and warm day.

It's also John's birthday and fortunately I felt well enough yesterday to do some shopping at Lidl, where I got him a box of chocolates as an interim present.  He actually asked for clothes for birthday and Christmas and we had arranged to go out last Friday to get them, but we were both too ill with this disgusting cold I managed to contract.  I don't know how someone who hardly ever leaves the house can suddenly get a cold which is almost-but-not-quite like 'flu, or how someone like John, who, in all the fifty years I've known him, has had colds the number of which I could count on the fingers of one hand, could manage to catch it from me.  Maybe one's resistance reduces as one ages?

I would like to go out for a trundle in my disability scooter, but I really must stay in and make John's birthday cake.  Chocolate sponge with a filling of whipped cream and liqueur-soaked cherries, I think.  We all deserve a treat, specially Charles, who has been lovely to his poor sick old folks!

November 15th, 2011

Novel writing @ 04:39 pm

Current Location: Same old place
Current Mood: accomplished accomplished
Current Music: None at present.

Finally got around to writing again, thanks to my lovely sister who sent me a dig in the ribs just when I needed it.

Toay I've written 1147 words of a totally new chapter which will come quite a way after the place I had got to when Iliterally lost the plot.  I plan to go on from here and go back to the difficult bit at a later dat. 

October 13th, 2011

Sorry I haven't posted................ @ 10:35 pm

Current Location: same old place
Current Mood: cheerful cheerful
Current Music: none at present

I haven't posted for ages, but I'm busy trying to configure my new PC and the system to operate the way I like it.  So far the PC is winning!

I've managed to keep my temper so far, though.

October 7th, 2011

New PC @ 08:46 pm

Current Location: Same old place
Current Mood: cheerful cheerful
Current Music: None at present.

My new PC came today.

I had been dreading it, because of all the installations of programs I needed to do, but it's actually been fairly easy, although I'm a long way from finished.

Charles and I were absolutely disgusted because the computer company installed a different WiFi adapter  to the one I'd ordered and the blummin' thing didn't work.  Charlesexchanged the WiFi adapter for the one out of my old computer which works perfectly.

So now I've got to waste time complaining and asking for refunds and so forth.  If they want the old adapter back, they'll have to send for it or refund the postage.

Windows 7 seems to be quite good.

September 18th, 2011

It was lost and is now found! @ 10:55 pm

Current Location: Same old place
Current Mood: grateful grateful
Current Music: None at present

Thank Heavens!   I finally found my precious notebook which has been missing since The Great Carpet Laying of Friday in my room.

It has all my writing notes in it and a lot of first drafts of poems and I felt absolutely bereft without it.  I wondered how I could possibly go to my writing class on Thursday without  it in my bag

I decided to forget about it until tomorrow, and while I was watching the news, it just popped into my head that there was a box of stuff I hadn't yet found, so I looked in the Office/Study and there it was.  

I plan to sleep with it beneath my pillow!

In the meantime, I am very pleased with my lovely new blue carpet and am hoping the last little bits will be finished tomorrow or Tuesday.

August 30th, 2011

$£***X printer @ 11:47 am

Current Location: Same old place
Current Mood: aggravated aggravated
Current Music: None at present

I'm quite proud of the fact that I haven't yet thrown this $£***X printer out of the window.  Can anyone suggest a good cheapish colour printer which is NOT AN EPSON ?

Also posted to theladiesloos

August 27th, 2011

Unexpected money! @ 09:54 pm

Current Location: Same old place
Current Mood: happy happy
Current Music: None at present

I really think I must be going mad!  Good news appears to make me ill!

Today I heard from the Pension Service that I'm entitled to a higher payment of State Pension than I currently receive.  I remembered that they had sent me a form a couple of months ago asking about the period when I received Child Benefit, and apparently they have decided that I should be receiving more State Pension than I currently get.  Not only that, but they owe it to me for the period fron April 1978 to April 1991, so are going to send me a lump sum, for which I shall be very grateful indeed.

The lump sum will pay for new hall and stair carpet and a carpet in my own room which I really need because it has been very draughty and not awfully good for my arthritis since I took up the old horrid carpet in despair a couple of years ago.

Not only that but the increased weekly amount will cover the amount recently lost on John's pension for some esoteric piece of insurance law that neither of us understand but which appears to be perfectly legal.

There will still be a nice little amount left over. so I shall keep that in the bank for future emergencies, and it will make me feel a great deal more comfortable to know that I have a little cushion against disaster.

The silly thing is that ever since I opened the letter, I have been feeling quite ill from the shock of it, and nothing I can do will slow down my heart or improve my breathing.  It does seem to be improving gradually of its own accord, so maybe it will be OK by the time I want to go to sleep.

I am very thankful, though and have said so to the One who matters.

July 20th, 2011

Clot! @ 11:21 pm

Current Location: Same old place
Current Mood: anxious anxious
Current Music: None at present

The ward sister tells me that John has a clot on his lung, not like the several small ones he had last year, but a large one.  We're lucky he is still alive.  He will have to remain in hospital for a few days till they've managed to disperse it.

I suppose the clot is what has been making him faint from time to time, so if they can sort that out he may feel a lot better than he has been feeling.  Although it wasn't a great way for us to find out, it's probably just as well that he cut his head so badly that he had to go to hospital, or we may never have found out till it killed him.

He has 8 large staples holding the edges of the cut together.  The nurse wanted to put 11 in, but he just couldn't take the extra three.  He said it wasn't the pain so much as the feeling of the staples scraping across the bone of his skull.

Charles and I went to see him this afternoon;  he was glad to see us and actually apologised for being so horrid on Tuesday, although I think I would probably have been much nastier under those circumstances.

It is really difficult for me to get to the hospital to see him, since I'm feeling rather under the weather at the moment.  Fortunately Alison & David are hoping to go to see him tomorrow, so I won't go.  He doesn't really want me to go, because he appreciates how difficult it is, but he was glad to see us today with his clothes, extra books, money, chocolate, biscuits, etc.

I wish Charles could drive;  it would make things so much easier.

I spent almost all of last night lying awake worrying about how I would manage without John.  Charles is very good and helps us both a lot, but his illness prevents him from participating in decision making.  I've always assumed, because of my heart failure and diabetes that I would die before John, in spite of the fact that he's six years older than me, because his family is long-lived and mine isn't, on the whole.

Obviously , if either of us dies, the one left would be unable to stay on in this house, and while moving doesn't bother me, I lay awake quailing at the thought of getting rid of all the accumulated stuff in this house.

I'm not going to think about that again now;  I really need a good night's sleep


July 19th, 2011

A & E!! @ 10:44 pm

Current Location: Same old place
Current Mood: exhausted exhausted
Current Music: None at present
Tags: ,

Yesterday was a traumatic day. 

I woke latish (8.30) as I'd hardly slept until 5.00 am and when I did wake, I could hear someone calling for help.  It sounded a long way away, down the street, maybe, but as I got up to look out of the window, I realised that it was John.

I rushed into his room to find him on all fours bleeding heavily from a wound on the back of his head and the hardback book on the floor by the side of the bed was covered in thick bright-red blood.  He confused me by saying it was tomato ketchup, but he was undoubtedly bleeding.  I had no idea how long he had been there and neither had he. I shouted for Charles and Thank Heavens he heard me, because he rushed downstairs immediately and held his father up while I phoned for an ambulance.

I continued to hold John up  and a motorcycle paramedic was with us by the time Charles had thrown on a T shirt and jeans; I was sooooo relieved to see him.  Shortly afterwards an ambulance crew came and took John off to the RVI hospital.  Charles accompanied him in the ambulance while I hastily got dressed.

I couldn't go to the hospital in the car since I knew I would need my disability scooter at the hospital because I probably wouldn't be able to walk from the car park and would have to walk some distance inside the hospital and I can't get the scooter into the car unaided and wouldn't you know it, all my neighbours were out!, so I telephoned for a taxi which could take a disability scooter in the boot, and went to hospital.

I found Charles waiting while a doctor examined John in another room and when they wheeled him out of the room, he was still very shaken.  At this stage he'd had nothing to eat or drink since the previous evening, but eventually a nurse gave him a couple of pills; (I imagine they were analgesics)  and we all sat and waited for literally hours before someone finally took John to the assessment suite, where we sat for another long time while John went off for scans and other examinations.

When he finally returned, the nurse said they were keeping him in overnight for observation and more tests, so as it was now about 4.00 pm we left him there with nothing but a book, his reading glasses and his slippers, since his dressing gown was covered in blood and we had to bring it home to wash.

While the nurse cleaned the wound I had a look at it and it was about three inches long and a quarter of an inch deep.  Who would have thought a hardback book could do so much damage!

Charles was brilliant.  When we got home he cleaned up all the blood, as well as he could, although I think we shall have to cut a square out of the carpet and cover it with a rug, and we had to throw out a couple of books John had on the floor by the side of the bed.

Today I've spent almost all day telephoning to try to get some sense out of the hospital, but eventually I spoke to a nurse who said they had more tests to do and would probably transfer him to the Freeman hospital.  Later the sister from the Freeman rang me to tell me he was there and let me speak to him.  Unusually he wasn't furious as I had thought he would be, so I assume he's had the stuffing knocked out of him and is feeling worried and anxious, poor old man.

Anyway, tomorrow Charles and I will take him some clothes, money, his sponge-bag and a supply of books, because I bet he's finished the one I took in yesterday.  I feel a bit more reassured now that he's in a proper ward, because although the A&E department at the RVI is all spanking brand new and full of the latest equipment, it didn't seem as though there were enough doctors and nurses for all the patients.

I was a little sad that I wasn't able to get to my final Community Transport Meeting which, unusually, was being held in Newcastle this morning, so I was unable to bid my fellow directors goodbye, but this fall of John's has just proved to me that resigning was the best thing to do, as I was worried about us driving back and forth to the Midlands where most of the meetings are held.  I did a lot of heart-searching before I resigned and John tried to persuade me not to do so, but I've been worried about him lately, as he's had several fainting episodes over the past six months, which the quacks have been unable to diagnose, and I don't think it's fair to have a seat on the Board if I can't reliably guarantee that I can attend meetings.  I shall really miss it, though.  It was the last thing in my life which made me feel like a useful, valued, grown-up member of society and not just a poorly pensioner.

Ah well!  At least John is relatively OK tonight and I don't have to worry about him.

Geraldine's musings