The one hundredth Miniatura

As promised work is underway for the one hundredth Miniatura, which is a mere eleven months away.  Last posting I promised a free gift and here it is!


Well, I hope you find that helpful.  There is also the modelling for a 48th scale side table and the junk to go on it.*

It is practically a law of the universe that if you have a table beside your comfy chair, it will collect junk.  If I were more scientific, I’d tell you the formula for it.

Side tables are various.  My father had a nineteenth century rent table beside his chair with a drawer no one could open, because of the chair.  It had a very nice lamp on it, some spectacles, some spectacle cases, an assortment of small antique things, bits of paper, slight statuary and a rota of larger antiques that was ever changing as they were bought and sold.  He never really stopped being an antique dealer and loved visiting antique dealing friends and doing deals.  I learned early in life not to get attached to objects; they invariably vanished, traded up.

The OH has a table by his chair that he made at woodwork classes, with an inlaid kingfisher on the top.  He was very keen to obtain UV blocking Perspex to put on the top, so it would not fade.  This was an interesting conceit, as the table top is rarely visible.  It is the home for the newspapers from the last seven days, all with partially completed cross words, numerous one-armed reading glasses, only outnumbered by the one-lensed variety, though not in any way overtaken by those specimens waiting to be mended.

The table on the other side supports condiments, finger napkins, several pots full of broken crossword completing pencils, nail files (the working one is the glass one and mine) and coasters.  Yes we eat in the lounge watching TV like everyone else.

On the other side is my chair, next to it a table made by my father in the 1950s, covered with small square Italian tiles, very fashionable at the time of manufacture.  It boasts a collection of bits of kitchen roll used as finger napkins and constantly recycled and turned to use all the good bits.  That’s all.

Am I some paragon of tidiness?

No because the real little table for me is the bedside table which has one lamp and a tower of books.

So that’s what I should probably miniaturise next.

I had a email from SMIL’s daughter yesterday.  She had visited her mother, I think for the first time in a while and was unpleasantly surprised to be consulted about feeding strategies because SMIL has become thin and doesn’t want to eat.

My mother-in-law was the first person I knew with dementia who became very thin.  By the time she died she was almost skeletal.  She was never over-weight to begin with.  A lot of the costs incurred in care of my in-laws was to do with trying to get my mother-in-law to eat.  I put on sumptuous spreads, all to no avail.  I remember vividly my father-in-law hammering on the bedroom door where I was trying to feed my infant son, shouting ‘Come down, I think she wants to eat.’  I plucked the infant from the maternal breast and dashed downstairs, where, of course, the sufferer had completely forgotten that she wanted to eat at all.  Left alone at home during the day when her husband was at work, four days a week, she never thought of eating.  She seemed to lose the habit, or desire.

As well as lack of food, there are contributory factors to weight loss in dementia.  Inactivity, which was my mother’s problem, can leave undigested food festering in the intestines, killing off appetite.  My mother was hospitalised at one point, before diagnosis, for this problem.  She may also not have been helped by diverticulitis, a disease in which pockets form in the intestines, though returned home and moving more, this seemed to vanish.

Additionally, as I know first hand, if your intestines are not working they are unable to absorb nutrients from food passing through.  This can be related to age, infirmity or disease.

I believe SMIL’s daughter had given consent for her to be switched to a largely liquid diet, whether or not this will help at this stage, is debatable.  I continue to send cards weekly, containing chocolate.

My mother-in-law’s death certificate gave the cause of death as starvation.  This is as shocking to write, as it no doubt is to read.

If you are the carer just give love and food whenever you can, and if that’s not working don’t beat yourself up about it.  You cannot get into another person’s body and heal it, any more than you can get into their mind and make it work again.


*I have not stabbed myself with the scalpel.  It’s the varnish that will ensure the models glide out of the moulds**, which in this case is red nail.

**In theory.


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