Saturday, 20 November 2010
Another crazy week.
We get up late. Sunday had us leap to our feet as a Pipe band squealed it's way past us on the way to the Remembrance Day Service at the local War Memorial where the bronze gates have recently been stolen...
We are getting used to a life with no real structure. Often our decisions are made after we look out the window and check on the weather.
Earlier in the week the weather forecast had said it would be a sunny dry day so we planned a day of culture in the big city. If we had not already made arrangements based on the weather forecast to meet somebody for lunch at the Museum of modern Art in Edinburgh we might not have bothered to set off. Thank goodness the car lives in a garage these days. When I opened the curtains I could see nothing, the fog was so thick and the garden was trying to look like a Christmas card with plants all frosted. By the time we had set off the fog was sending that the landscape was etched with a white frost for the first half-hour of the journey then the sun came out, started to melt it and illuminated the fog banks settled in the valleys in the magical manner.
Once we arrived I abandoned Julie for an hour and a half to chat to some of her old friends on the staff while I escaped to try and do a little shopping. The city is now a nightmare of closed roads, many are just closed at random to disallow traffic canceling out three decades of knowledge of the road system. Then there are the random closures due to replacing gas mains, road repairs, and the best one of all digging up the whole city to introduce a new tramway to replace a perfectly usable bus service!
All in all this transformed a 10 minute return journey into a 40 minute nightmare with motorists driving through red lights to test my antiskid braking mechanism which works fine! And to test my nerves when somebody drove along a main road on my side against the traffic. Then began the challenge of trying to find a parking space since a third of them had been closed due to be building of the National Museum, I couldn’t get any closer to the shop are required since the roads have become one-way! My relaxed time in the big girls shop was much less than expected but thankfully the Tuesday is a very quiet day and the salesgirl was really helpful with only me in the shop most of the time. This is a shop, the only one I know which I can actually visit, which sometimes has shoes in my size. I really would like a pair of boots, not clumpy kind for climbing mountains but something with a little style. Nothing in large sizes was in stock, she told me they only ever get one pair in each style in a larger size for the whole season! No, I am not the only person who asks for them!!!
All was not lost since I found several blouses to fit, this shop actually sells blouses with arms appropriate to the size rather than stopping somewhere halfway up the forearm. Thank goodness I now have something hanging on the rail which doesn’t have stripes.
I made it back to the museum in time to lunch with an old friend of Julie’s and they were able to catch up on news of all the comings and goings of staff. We spent the rest of the day in the gallery and the evening having dinner with a cousin who has just returned to the city after three years away. The 55 mile journey home was pure joy, we hardly encountered another vehicle and once we hit the cross country road for the last 40 miles of twisting rolling roads through the darkness, the headlights cutting through the swirl of falling leaves was fun.
A couple of days later was much less fun. Early in the evening I had a desperate call from my neighbour to come and sit with her husband who she didn’t want to be left alone while she made telephone calls for assistance. I went round immediately and Douglas who I’ve known for nearly 20 years now was slumped in the easy chair in his sitting room but clearly in distress. Even I could see signs in his face that he was probably experiencing some kind of stroke and he was utterly confused as to the situation. I held his hand and tried to comfort him through his anxiety and calm him through his desire to get out of the chair and prove that nothing was wrong. Out of hours health care now goes through centralised control rooms and Betty was back and forth all the time checking on him to answer questions about what he could and couldn’t do, clearly they didn’t consider this an emergency priority and it was over an hour before the paramedics arrived. That’s an hour of Monty Python-esque conversation and pantomime behaviour as he slowly regained some of his faculties. Occasionally I couldn’t stop him getting to his feet even though he couldn’t always take a step but when whether the he could it was worse trying to dance him back in to the chair. It can’t have been easy for him, he couldn’t understand why I was there and of course it didn’t help that he still considers me as a sort of guy albeit a strange one who he is known to 20 years and not the girl is only known six months. In his confusion he was touching my hair which is only half the lengthy used to be and even gave my boob squeeze which he declared was nice and soft! He also declared I looked resplendent! He is going to take a long time to live this all down!
Eventually the paramedics arrived and one of them was his nephew who really couldn’t work out who I was so I guess I have changed a bit. By now he was showing great signs of recovery and was even able to stand and walkabout though he was still a bit confused and stubborn especially when he was told he was going for a ride in the ambulance. Betty had already organised an overnight bag and I waved them goodbye. It seems he was lucky, he had a TIA and there is a good chance that all the new pills he has and he takes care he could make a near full recovery, he is already back home and being a rotten patient.
I guess the motto is don’t put off living until some mythical point in your future, it just may not ever happen with nature steps in and finishes you off! Better start wearing my new blouses, get my money’s worth before it’s too late.