Tuesday’s Waffle

Hi. I nearly called this “Wednesday’s Waffle” but it appears to be only Tuesday.. so there we go, silly me! I was sitting in my Mum’s care home lounge the other day where the main topic of conversation amongst the residents was what day of the week it was. Someone asked “What day is it today?” looking at the TV guide. Many didn’t know but thought it was a good question and were thinking hard. One said she had asked the staff earlier but she’d forgotten. Eventually I told them it was Monday and then I got teased for being a smart alec 🤣🤣🤣I guess maybe I’m not ready for care home life.

Do you like my sunny sunflower? I grew this from seed. So satisfying. The big one like a beanstalk at the front of the house hasn’t flowered yet, nearly ready though. This one at the back of the house really cheered me up. It looks a bit scrawny, but it’s still my sunflower.

I took my Mum some flowers to the care home last night.

They’re stocks and they smell lovely. I thought they were nice but my Mum was not very impressed. She was in quite a sad mood which made me sad. She seemed to have a lot of awareness of her dementia yesterday and was depressed about that. She said “all the good things are over” and cried while I hugged her bony body. I think dementia sufferers are often worse in the evening. I’ve decided not to visit again until Saturday when I can go in the morning rather than tired after work. Better for me and for her. I’ve bought her some new sandals as she was going on about not having any recently. I’m not sure she will be able to try them on at the moment with her post op hip. She’s usually in slippers these days. I might show them to her anyway otherwise I’ll have to send them back.

My Dad is sort of OK I think. Waiting to see the cardiologist next week when hopefully we’ll get a proper diagnosis for him.

I don’t feel like this is a very cheerful blog, but I’m OK, honest! Last night I made a pork and spinach curry with the leftover roast pork, it was quite tasty.

Today has been all work, work, work in the office. Catching up a bit now since I can focus a bit more on the job in hand. At lunchtime I popped down the road to see Julie to give her her belated birthday present which was a purple Wimbledon cap. I think it will really suit her and she seemed pleased with it.

In other news we have some new big cracks in our house. An ex surveyor friend and a builder have had a quick look. The working conclusion is that these are due to the drying out of the clay soil in Windsor as it hasn’t rained for months and months. It will hopefully resolve when the rain comes back again.

This constant sunshine is very nice but a bit weird for us. We might have a barbecue at the weekend but I did read that these are being discouraged at the moment due to the likelihood of fires spreading. Everywhere is so parched and the grass is all yellow or dead.

I’ll say bye for now so I can get a quick walk around the block in before I ring my Dad to check up on him. Bin night tonight. Exciting stuff 🤣🤣Have a pleasant evening, morning, afternoon wherever you may be Xx.

P.S I am still completely addicted to both Wordle and Quordle. How about you? I usually do Wordle at lunchtime and Quordle at bedtime. Life in the fast lane, eh?!

Happy Sunday

Hello. Hope you’re all well.

It’s not been a bad day for us today. This morning we collected my Dad from the care home and took him back home after his 2 weeks’ respite care. Not sure how he is going to get on home alone but time will tell.

This was my Friday night at the pub after seeing both my parents in the care home and before David joined me for beer and a burger. I would have had fish and chips but they’d run out. Cheers!

Members of my book club will notice I’m still on last month’s book 🤣🤣. Nearly finished. I actually enjoyed this more than most members of my book club, but the ending is getting very annoying and I am rapidly going off it. Next book is The Echo Chamber by John Boyne. I only have a week to read it. Unfortunately. I will try to read a little as it’s supposed to be good.

We’re next stop for Ocado delivery so I’ll go now, with a few recent photos from Windsor.

This is where I often have my lunch on a work day, on this sunny bench outside the church…unless someone beats me to it. I’m getting like my Mum with her favourite chair in the care home lounge!

The colour of hydrangeas

So the crisis must have passed a little with my family situation, as I’m now noticing the colour of hydrangeas. This is one of our blue hydrangeas 🤔?!? David says it will turn blue after it is pink. We shall see… apparently it depends on the alkalinity of the soil. I never knew that before.

I also seem to be growing a beanstalk…(actually a sunflower).. I planted a whole row of them at the front of the house but only this one is growing. I guess nature’s like that sometimes.

It’s been a busy day with my parents. My Mum is looking a bit shell- shocked still but she’s back at the care home after her hip surgery and mobilising with a frame and helper between her bedroom and the lounge and the dining room. So proud of her! It’s nice to see her back with her new friends.

My Dad has been to 3 medical appointments today, driven by David and assisted by me. We started off with blood tests and physio for his back this morning and then moved on to ENT this afternoon. He has finally had the hard wax from his ears cleared completely. The chemist and the NHS had already tried to clear this twice and gave up saying his ears were too hairy and the hair would have to be cut away by a specialist. The ENT consultant said it wasn’t actually hair, just A LOT of wax. He is SO much happier now this is gone.

Tonight it’s time for Charlie Bigham’s salmon en croute and baked beans. There hasn’t been much cooking going on recently as you can imagine. At times there wasn’t even much eating as there were not enough hours in the day. Old people take ages to do anything, everything takes so long.

For now my Mum is in the best and safest place for her. My Dad is still in the same care home for respite and then he ventures home into the big wide world on his own again on Sunday. It is a worry and I’m sure this is not his last time staying in a care home, but he is a new man compared to when he arrived a couple of weeks ago. He is proud and independent and will not have any help at home, or even any company except me occasionally due to Covid concerns. It may be that we are waiting for another crisis with him, but there’s nothing I can do about that except to try to work with him and steer him towards a safer path when I can.

Let’s hope August is a little less challenging than July. I still can’t believe how much was thrown at me all at once last month. Aiming to get back to some reading, cinema, cooking, socialising and concentrating on my job, but I won’t get my hopes up too much. My part time job running my parents’ finances, being their personal shopper and overseeing their health needs is not going away any time soon.

More drama

Just bought more of these tinned sweets for my Dad amongst other things.

This week has been so hard. I cannot really describe it.

My Dad arrived in the care home for 2 weeks’ respite on Monday.

My Mum slipped in the care home and fractured her hip (neck of femur) on Wednesday. She is 91 years old. I was super scared with her having surgery at that age and also being in A & E with her on Wednesday night for 5 hours. She was in so much pain. A & E was so busy. I’d never been to A & E before, it was a horrible experience. I left her at midnight when I could take no more, she was still having investigations, still not in a bed. I sat on a bench outside the hospital, utterly exhausted, I’d worked all day before that and had no dinner. I had a big cry while waiting for David to pick me up. A few people passed me including staff. No one asked if I was OK.

My Mum had her surgery late yesterday. It nearly got cancelled due to admin issues with their new computer system. Thankfully it went ahead and went well. I saw her this morning, a bit spaced out, in pain, but looked probably a bit better than I expected. The physios came to get her moving. I was very impressed with them and so proud of my Mum. A bit confused with her dementia but she was really trying to do as they asked. Frightened, in pain, feeling a bit out of it, but she was doing it. She has never had mobility issues before and wants to run before she can walk or even get out of the bed. Hopefully she will get there, with the right support.

So I am shattered. Again. Hoping for no more dramas over the weekend 🤞🤞🤞Happy weekend all.

And then there were two…

Both my parents are now in the same care home, temporarily at least. My Dad just couldn’t manage at home on his own and has gone for 2 weeks’ respite care. Before you say “oh how nice for them to be together again”, I’ll step in and say you probably don’t know my parents. The lovely care home staff are doing a brilliant job of caring for them both with their completely different needs and also separating them when they are winding each other up….

I am a bit exhausted but carrying on. If anyone else tells me to make a little time for myself I may scream because although it’s a kind thing to say a) I am already aware I must do this and b) this idea seems to be just adding to my already extremely busy to do list. The correct support I need right now is just acknowledgement of how hard my situation is. “That sounds horrendous” or something along those lines. I have also recently received a couple of surprise little gifts from friends which is lovely to have something for myself. The only shopping I do right now is clothes, toiletries etc for each of my parents. My Mum seems to have a constant need for Ricola herbal sweets. I have to take a packet every time I see her, but not the original flavour as she doesn’t like them. Similarly Kleenex tissues in a cube. She does not ever want to be without them, and they have to be in the cube. My Dad has needed new shorts and is very happy in his jersey material blue shorts from M & S. They are really soft and comfortable around his post op areas. So nice I went back for the green ones too. “Gail bought me these shorts” he told the neighbour proudly before we left for the care home.

Nothing much else to report. Work tomorrow. Cinema tomorrow night to see “Where the Crawdads sing” provided there are no more emergencies with my parents, or anyone else for that matter. Hope you’re doing well. If you’re currently caring for a loved one you have my particular warm wishes. I know what you’re going through and it’s really tough! Bye 4 now Xx

Ongoing challenges

Hi. Nice bee isn’t it? I snapped this in Windsor Great Park last weekend.

Life continues to be challenging for me.

My Mum is relatively happy in her new care home residence. She’s very busy participating in lots of different activities. She even went on a trip to Brighton last week. One of her main worries is if someone sits in her favourite chair. She’s already had podiatry and a hair cut. The staff seem very kind and competent.

My Dad is home from hospital after his urgent vascular surgery x 2, but he is not doing that well. He is struggling, weak, tired, very thin, confused. I am helping him as much as I can and talking to all his doctors on a regular basis. I do not feel like much progress is being made. We are both battling on.

I am sort of OK I think. I make myself do some of my usual routine of relaxation with David. I often do not feel like I am very present, I feel preoccupied and anxious pretty much all of the time. But I do not feel overwhelmed. Not yet anyway. I will keep calm and carry on. I have many lists to write of things to do and shopping lists. I was going to treat myself to something too but after my parents’ tasks this morning I just did my online food shop and couldn’t be bothered to think about anything else.

My Mum’s care home fees are enormous, as they all are. I’m trying to get the Power of Attorney registered with all the various banks. My parents seem to have little bits of money in many different places. They have not made it easy for me. The task is huge.

Last night David and I went out in Windsor for a few drinks. We had a mini pub crawl in St Leonard’s Road. We started at The Hoppy Place which is a nice little craft beer place. We enjoyed it there except for the little dog yapping at your ankles at the bar. Then we moved on to The Old Court which is the arts centre in the old fire station. There were enough people for there to be atmosphere, but quiet enough to get a table and relax. They serve beer from Windsor and Eton brewery, my favourite. Our final stop was at The Windsor Trooper pub. Below are some pictures of the pub decoration there.

After that we tried to get an Uber home but no cars were available. We got a local Five Star Taxi, then forgot we hadn’t got an automatically paid Uber and got out without paying. Oops! The driver took it quite well and called out the window politely that we needed to pay him so we rushed back very apologetically and did so including a generous tip.

I hope you’re all doing well. It’s very muggy and hot and sweaty in Windsor. It feels a bit oppressive like we still need LOADS of ☔️ rain. Back soon hopefully Xx.

Hottest day ever in the UK

Hello. If you’re living in the UK you don’t need me to tell you it’s HOT 🥵 right now. Like really really hot. Like the hottest it’s ever been since records began. It’s currently about 37 degrees C in Windsor. I work in an office with no A/C. At 2.00 pm today I abandoned ship and went home. I’m currently relaxing in the A/C of my bedroom. I know this is very unusual to have A/C in UK homes and I am a very lucky girl. David and I had this installed in our bedroom and David’s study a few years ago. Bliss!

Tomorrow it’s going to drop to 28 degrees C here. We are joking at work it will seem so cool we may need a cardigan 🤣🤣. The thing is in the UK we all crave a bit of sunshine and warmth and a proper summer, and we obviously all wished just a little too hard for this, as now it’s gone bonkers and we don’t want to play any more. Hot weather sounds great, until you’re actually really errrr… hot 🥵.

David and I like to dine al fresco in our garden whenever it’s warm enough. One year we honestly only managed this one day in April and once in June. The rest of the time it was just too cold and miserable. Hard to believe that now, but the British summer is extremely unpredictable and unreliable.

For those of you in the UK I read that about an hour ago in Somerset it started raining (how nice, remember rain?!) and the temperature dropped to a very pleasant 22 degrees C, so you might want to head down there.

David called a builder contact of ours this morning as he’s getting a bit worried about cracks appearing at our property. Some of them are quite big. He’s going to have a look but says due to our clay soil here, together with the lack of decent rain for weeks and weeks recently, we are not alone and everything is starting to move a bit. So if this carries on let’s just hope the house doesn’t break apart. That’s the last thing I need. Got enough on my plate at the moment.

All this typing is making me hot now, so I’ll love you and leave you. Be careful, don’t go crazy, see you the other side of the heatwave! Xx

Parents, parents, parents…

The picture above is of some fake flowers I saw in Windsor (or maybe it was Eton??) earlier this week. Quite pretty I thought.

My life is all about my parents now. Today I visited my Mum in the care home this morning and my Dad in his own home this afternoon.

I took my Mum some new pyjamas and some of my old clothes I thought she could make use of. She tried everything on immediately! The pyjamas looked really nice..here is a photo of one pair of them for sale at M & S. They are really soft material and came with a matching scrunchie that was cute. The other pair came from Amazon.

It was an exhausting day and I had a headache most of the time. There is a lot to worry about that is suddenly all my responsibility.

To get to my Dad I got the train from Windsor & Eton Riverside to Richmond. And then the bus.

I was hoping to have a day off from it all tomorrow, but looks like I will have to call my Dad and see how he’s going and if not improved I may have to call 111. He was very grateful for my visit and told me I am a brilliant daughter and David is also very helpful. He does not usually say such things.

I hope you are all doing well. I wish I could do the usual Waffle about cooking and eating or my garden, but unfortunately there’s not a lot of time for any of that at the moment. Or for the foreseeable future… ☹️☹️

A new era for me and my parents

Hi everyone. I really don’t know where to start. My life has been turned upside down since the events of Tuesday onwards with my parents.

My Dad is in hospital at St George’s again. A routine check up on Tuesday led to admission the next day for urgent vascular surgery… and then when that didn’t work completely, more urgent surgery the next day. It seems that hasn’t properly worked either so another CT scan today. We await the results.

My Mum couldn’t stay home alone with her dementia as it is so I walked out of my job on Wednesday, stayed a sleepless night on the sofa at my parents’ house with my Mum and sorted out emergency respite care in a lovely care home in Windsor for her. As you can imagine I was an emotional wreck whilst trying to stay strong, calm and practical.

My Mum’s care home required 2 weeks’ fees up front. Although I have Power of Attorney it’s not registered yet with the bank/s, so I had no choice but to max out my credit card with the massive amount. David went a bit pale when I told him how much money I’d spent.

For now my Mum is sorted, clean, relatively happy, very well cared for. She is unsettled of course and worried about my Dad and if she’ll ever see him again.

This is where I’m up to. I think I still have a job, a husband, two parents and maybe a little life of my own. The next few weeks and months are going to be super challenging. If I’m not on the blog you know I’m missing The Waffle crying in a corner somewhere, well hopefully not Xx

Goals for the summer

Hi. The weather is heating up in Windsor in time for my Wimbledon experience on Friday. Looks like a perfect English summer’s day to me 😎.

And then after I that, according to The BBC, it gets even hotter.. very nice when not in the office. My office has no A/C 🥵….but mustn’t grumble. I do like the summer. I love eating outside and wearing summer clothes. I like the warmth of the sun on my hair and my skin (within reason, I’m very pale skinned so try to enjoy the sun responsibly.. lots of factor 50 sun cream 😎😎😎).

So, apart from Wimbledon, work, watching films with my Odeon limitless membership, seeing some friends and family and helping my parents, what are my goals for the summer….?

I think Snoopy just about sums it up for me:

So I’d like to pause, reflect, enjoy the garden or the beach, and stop rushing about so much. A good book or two wouldn’t go amiss either.

How about you? Got any goals for Summer 2022?