This morning I talked to a lot of people in my underwear.  I know this is my own fault for keeping a lot of people in my underwear in the first place, but from quite early the phone never stopped ringing.  In this house the telephone is the kind that comes out of the wall on a wire and has a curly wurly cord that joins the handset to the rest.  The OH has perfected the knack, over many years of assiduous practise, of phoning when I am seated upon the toilet, usually in order to ask whether he should purchase the special offer of two tubes of tomato paste and what size onions I think he ought to use in his chilli, are the smaller ones hotter, or not, and can you notice with real chillies in it, what do you think, Jane?  What Jane is usually wondering is whether enforced constipation is likely to be detrimental in the long run, or if you would end up like Mr Pavlov’s dog, sitting by the phone with a toilet roll in your mouth and a strained expression.

The cause of the phone calls this morning was my mother, thrice and several others to and fro.  The cause of the underwear was a bit of a lie in; after I got up at seven to do the cats I went back to bed with a cup of tea, yesterday having been even more tiring than usual because we took my mother to hospital.  This all started last Thursday when her leg began swelling to alarming proportions.  Assorted medical personnel were summoned, blood thinning medications prescribed, and, over the course of several telephone calls to her doctor, who arranged everything well, an appointment booked for a scan at the hospital, in the middle of Wednesday, fortuitously.

The hospital visit actually went very well.  I located a wheelchair instantly.  Having printed off a plan of the gigantic hospital we located the right waiting room immediately, my mother was on the system, we only had to wait about five minutes before we were called for and off we went to the ultrasound suite.  A wait of not more than ten minutes produced a quick and easy scan of the dwindling leg.  I was able to watch the screen while they scanned.  The blood vessels in the leg were small, weedy and irregular and so was the blood flow.  However, happily, there was no sign of a clot at all and in the subsequent consultation we ditched the blood thinners and were advised to carry on as normal.  We even got back in time for lunch.  When the NHS works well it is a wonderful thing and a national treasure.

The afternoon was spent dashing round the town to locate a new shower hose, do the shopping and to transfer money to pay the last agency bill and fund the first few weeks in the care home.  I ran a couple of miles with a really dodgy hip, thanks to some unseasonal cold weather but it was all done and the cake and tea served only an hour late and my mother calm and lucid throughout.

But this morning I felt as if I had been struck by a lorry at least, which, of course, was when the phone started ringing.  The first call was the friend who is a trustee of the care home about to go to a meeting there and wondering if we needed any help at all with arrangements.  Then there were a flurry of calls as my mother had had a fall in the kitchen, straight over on her side.  She is, thank goodness, undamaged apart from bruising, having been thoroughly examined by an attending ambulance team, who blessedly left her exactly where she is and don’t need me to go.   So then I generated several calls myself, concerning the whereabouts of the Arnica gel and similar concerns.

Here we are in the afternoon and it’s all gone quiet, my mother apparently having escaped serious consequences twice in a row.  Additionally, yesterday I was able to broach the subject of the move successfully; the plan now is to visit the care home next week.

I had intended to write about Miniatura, which was lovely, though all I talked about on Sunday was Dementia.  It started in the morning when a friend asked how my mother was.  As I was finishing the reply, someone else came up and said her mother was like that and had I found a solution to………..and then someone else came up and joined in.  When there was a lull someone else came up and said they had heard…..and did I know………..

And so it went all day.  I did precious little selling but a lot of writing down about free financial advice and all the other discoveries that have featured in this column.  The impression I have formed is that there is scarcely anyone of my age group who isn’t caring for a difficult elderly relative at a distance at their own expense.  In recent years it has become quite fashionable to decry the children of SuperMac for never having it so good, though if the chat on Sunday is anything to go by the good times have not just stopped rolling but have ground to a screeching halt for everyone.

The baby boomers who are not skinted by caring for the elderly are the ones skinted by their returning children unable to summon the huge deposit necessary to get them started on a back-breaking mortgage.  We seem to be stuck between the devil and the deep blue sea.  And I lost count of the number of people who said that they once thought that retirement was when you had the happy ever after and the roses round the door and what happened to that?

I’ve no idea.  All the more reason to celebrate the good half hour or happy weekend at the Min when it occurs and in between stick your head in a dolls’ house, where all the grannies are ept and ert, where all the children are keen and clean, where all the mortgages are miniscule, where all the husbands are sober and well occupied in meaningful and fulfilling jobs and returning to meals home-cooked by slim, trim, fit, well-rested, deeply cheerful women with perfect hairdos, weed-free gardens, pretty dresses, uncluttered houses, neatly made beds and shoes that do not pinch anywhere ever at all.

Why has the miniatures hobby not spread to every country in the known universe?

No, don’t know that either.


Happy ever after Miniatura, always.

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