I’m sorry you didn’t get a post from me yesterday. I was doing my elder-care weekend. Once a month, or sometimes twice a month, depending on circumstances, we trek across the country to care for Husband’s mother and aunt (who live together). This time I made a few notes in my writers notebook, thinking they might be useful starters for writing exercises:
- A weekend of fabulous sunsets and endlessly varied cloudscapes.
- A red kite swooped down into the garden to scavenge the chicken bones left over from Sunday dinner, as I perched on the back step a few feet away, reading the newspaper.
- Learning to manoevre a wheelchair – its a lot more difficult than you think, especially inside supposedly ‘disabled’ toilets. And garden centres. Note to self – the aisles are always narrower than you think. Especially round the orchids. Perhaps they just want to capture you there, so you’ll spend more money, I don’t know.
- I lost my mother-in-law in Sainsburys. She walked off. She has dementia. Now I can imagine just how terrifying it is to lose a child in a supermarket. (We found her again in the end.) Note to self: find a way to attach mother-in-law to aunt-in-law’s wheelchair at all times.
- A wheelchair is a heavy thing: discuss.
- A kind lady came up to us and said hello. Just because. People can be friendly just for the sake of it. The world is not such a scary place as we think.
- Old ladies want to feel pretty too. Aunt-in-law asked me to spray her with scent from an old bottle of Guy LaRoche that she had tucked away, so she would feel confident when she saw the doctor.
- A friend’s dog escaped and she snapped her achilles tendon whilst chasing after it. Just before her impending annual holiday and her daughter’s graduation.
- My niece’s husband teaches Wittgenstein to his year 12 students. I think he is brave.
- Coming home, the sky was full of a just-past-full moon, an orange disc slashed with shards of inky night cloud.
- Bacon. No, you don’t need to know anymore. Bacon is all you need to think about.
- Hugs. Hugs make everything better. Even if you’ve heard the story about the man walking into the plate glass window 18 times in the last ten minutes, hugs always help.
My thanks to Phoebe and Sam Grassby, Mike and Debbie Bracken, Betsy, Maria, Dr Finnegan and the unknown lady who came up to us in Sainsburys, Kidlington, for making the world a better place.