A belated happy new year from me. Thanks to the mild weather there seems to be vast numbers of horrible germs going around, plenty of which, I’ve got.
And so has my mother, Last visit, I rang her in the morning to remind her we were going and she was fine. By the time we got there she was a bit croakey, by the time we left she had a well-established chesty cough. The care home was great and got a doctor and antibiotics for her at once but now she is on the mend she is absolutely evil. I rang at lunchtime when I finally stopped coughing long enough to get up and learned that she was starving, had been wickedly abandoned, was no way going to press the buzzer beside her bed for help, they could all rot and I could ring the office, stamp on their toes, spit in their eyes and call them some really bad names she couldn’t be bothered to think of now but I could and was instructed to be inventive.
I wasn’t at school with my mother, which goes to show the good Lord limits misfortune for all of us in some ways, but I have thought for quite a while that it is probable that her CV includes a lengthy stint as school bully. I remember from my childhood when I was bullied by a much bigger girl, my mother’s amazement. ‘Why don’t you,’ she asked, ‘just reach up and pull her hair really hard?’ I never made the classic rejoinder: With which arm? The one she was twisting or the one she was standing on?
So I did ring the office and politely expressed my concern and advised them gently of my mother’s mood. I have every confidence that they can deal with the problem and grateful that I no longer get embroiled in such difficulties as I used to do when she was cared for at home.
Have you ever felt that the first few days of a new year can give an indicator of what is to come?
I am hoping this year will feature more problems that magically vanish as I get closer to them, such as the mouse.
Cleo brings in mice and loses them, easily. Russell tracks them down. Last week he kept putting his head in the kitchen cupboard whenever I retrieved a plate. I have yet to find a cat with a keen interest in crockery, though I’ve known a few furry students of tin openers. I remarked upon it to the OH who had also noticed the feline plate inspector and, he thought, a smell. So when I finally surfaced today we took everything with great trepidation and rubber gloves out of the cupboard. First we emptied the bottom shelf, filling a bag for the charity shop in the process. I washed the shelf, we put the plates back and then I surveyed the top shelf. Mountaineering mice? Hmmm. Jumping mice pursued by a cat? Very possibly. With even more trepidation I emptied the top shelf as the OH had an urgent recorded comedy TV programme he’s only seen ten times to watch. And for LO! Nothing. Hooray. What would you call the opposite of serendipity, you know, the expectation of something awful that turns out to be the discovery of nothing? Well whatever it is, I had the pleasure of it.
And then the bottom fell out of the kitchen drawer again, so I took it out and mended it. Just like that.
Are you familiar with the dinosaur behind the door in the dark that turns out to be a coat on a hook when you put the light on? After the last few years, I could think of a worse theme for the year. I hope all your tyrannosaurs turn into car coats with an abandoned bank note in one pocket and a pair of gloves that you thought you’d lost in the other.
Can you remember when no one was sure how to spell millennium?