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Posts Tagged ‘Mum’

  1. In response to repeated complaints

    July 11, 2012 by superlative

    I have received multiple complaints over the last few weeks that I haven’t written anything on my blog for ages. Well it’s true, I haven’t, and the people who have complained are very sweet to notice. I mean seriously, reading my blog really shouldn’t be high your priority list, it doesn’t contain anything remotely interesting. But thank you for caring, and apologies for my laxity.

    The problem with blogging is that if you stop posting for a while, it becomes increasingly difficult to start again. So much time has passed that you can’t cover everything you have done since the last post. Equally, you don’t want just to pick a recent occurrence and blog about that and overlook the large gap as though nothing were amiss. So you leave it for another day, and another, and suddenly you’re no longer a blogger, you’re one of the many people who ‘had a blog once’.

    I also find it much harder because of Twitter. I write so many short snippets about what I’m doing and what I think about things, that I feel I’ve already said them and don’t want to repeat them again in a blog post.

    And the final nail in the coffin of my blog is that I have been much, much busier at work since the start of February when I started working two days a week in a different office. My weeks now consist of working on projecty-type things in our main Marketing office, where slacking off is much more difficult as there are constantly people around you, and then madly trying to catch up with my normal job on the other three days of the week before the whole cycle begins again. I’m certainly not as bored as I used to be, but some of the things I used to fill my empty days with have been unfortunately kicked to the wayside.

    If you’ve read this far and still care what I’ve been up to (even I’m losing interest), key items have been:

    • I went to see my new nephew Oliver a few weeks after he was born. He was terribly sweet for a baby, and stayed asleep for practically the whole time, earning him double points for Not Being Annoying. I held him for about an hour while he slept, which was lovely, and then gave him to Chris and he cried, ha. The baby, not Chris. This is me holding him.


    • I have finished my maths course. The exam was in the middle of June, and it went OK, but it was much, much harder than I was expecting. The actual maths wasn’t too bad, but the amount of time you were given for the number of questions was ridiculous, and I didn’t finish the paper which really annoyed me. It seemed fairly incongruous with the past papers all the students had been practising on, where time was tight but it was do-able, and lots of us have been complaining loudly on the module’s website that it wasn’t a fair paper. One of the tutors in the exam preparation information casually said “The exam tests your ability to solve mathematical problems quickly”, and many of us have taken issue with that as a part of the assessment. The learning outcomes of the course did not include being able to do maths at speed, just that we should be able to do the actual maths, and we mostly all could. So it seems unfair that we could have done the questions if we’d had half an hour more time and we didn’t get to demonstrate our ability due to the time limit. I’ll have to wait until August for my result, and although I know I must have passed, I’m now hoping just for an OK grade rather than a good one. Bit annoying.On the subject of maths, I am currently doubtful that I’ll be carrying on with the course next year. The next module entails double the workload of this year’s module, and I really can’t see how I’d find time for that, especially now I’m busier in the day and more tired at night.  It also costs twice as much, at a hefty £800 for some self-study materials they have reprinted a hundred times, so it doesn’t feel like very good value. I haven’t decided yet. Either way, I should get an Undergraduate Certificate in Mathematics for the modules I’ve completed so far, as I’ve got enough credits now, so at least that’s something.
    • I’ve been baking a bit and have made a lovely carrot cake a couple of times. They were massive and delicious, behold.


    Um… I think that’s it.

    We’ve booked to go to Sitges in a couple of weeks, and I’m hoping the weather stays as nice there as it is at the moment.

    And my Mum is coming to stay in the flat above us again in September, blargh. It’ll be OK, but it was quite stressy last time.

    I’ll blog again at some point…

  2. Vroom vrooooom!

    March 7, 2012 by superlative

    I have had another rubbish month for blogging, to the point where I have actually received complaints about it. Who actually wants to read this stuff?? Well apparently you do, so you’ve brought it on yourself and I have no sympathy.

    I have been crap at writing on here because I’m insanely busy with work, and trying to do my normal job in three days a week plus a new job in the other two days is seemingly a bit ambitious. I’ve managed to get back on top of things this week, but it is hard going. I’ve also had quite a lot happening at home, so there has just been no time for anything, and blogging got pushed out.

    My main news from the last month is that we (well, Chris) have bought a new car! This is him, and his name is Thunderbolt:

    Chris has wanted a convertible for aaages, and he’s earning pretty well now so he decided just to buy one. Our old car (dear old Columbo, who I’m going to miss terribly) was on his way out a bit, so we knew he needed replacing soon, and in a bit of a whirlwind of activity Chris found Thunderbolt online, we saw him the next day, and test drove and then bought him the day after that.

    It all seemed to happen REALLY fast, and even though he’s second hand and wasn’t all that much money, and Chris was paying out of his savings so it wasn’t even my money, I found that the whole process made me insanely anxious and stressed. I was worried we’d get ripped off, that the car would have a major fault, that the garage wouldn’t do the work they’d promised to do on it before we picked it up, that it wouldn’t be ready on the day we were supposed to pick it up, that they wouldn’t take Columbo in part exchange once they had a closer look at him, ALL sorts of things. I don’t really know what’s happened to me in the last few years, but I have completely lost the ability to cope with change and my anxiety levels have gone through the roof. Buying a house, starting this new job, and buying a car have all been a nightmare, and I’ve worried myself to the point of feeling sick all the time. I really don’t want to be that person (effectively my Mum but not so haughty) and I need to find a way of nipping it in the bud now while I hopefully still can. I’m not sure what to do about it though. I’ve got a book on anxiety at home somewhere that I need to try to dig out, and there are various types of therapy I could try. When I’m in between big stressful events though I don’t feel especially anxious about things, so I end up not doing anything about it, and then something else big happens and I wish I had. Hmm.

    Anyway, that was an interesting (boring) diversion about my anxiety issues. Thunderbolt seems fine so far, touch wood, and we’ve had him nearly a week. The weather has unfortunately not been nice enough to have the roof down, but he is very big and comfy and Chris seems to enjoy driving him. I always refer to our cars as him, by the way. I hope everything stays fine and his big end doesn’t go after a fortnight or anything. What the hell is a big end anyway, and where does it go? Can’t they just fix them in place more securely? I might have to look into that.

    Other than that I have just been drinking too much, not getting enough sleep (while drinking), and thinking I really must cut down on my drinking. I don’t get wasted all the time or anything, but I had started to drink out of habit in the evenings a couple of weeks ago. It was just a cocktail or a glass of wine, so not loads, but it wasn’t very good. So now I’m cutting down a bit and only drinking when I’m actually socialising or for a treat.

    Mum is hmmm OK, not great. That’s about as good as it gets with her. Their gypsy curse this week has included: the downstairs phone breaking; the battery going on her car so it wouldn’t start and she had to get the AA out; a blind falling off the wall when she pulled it; and my Dad fainting for no reason and banging his head on the dining table. So pretty much par for the course with them really. Dad has been to the doctors already and been told he has low blood pressure, and now he’s having some tests done. I’m not too worried about him as yet, but I’m glad he is getting checked out.

    It’s just bizarre that they have so many stupid things happen to them though, it’s non-stop. He’s still waiting to hear from the police about his accident thing that he lost his job over and that he might get prosecuted for. If I wrote down all the unfortunate things that have happened to them over the last year I think it would make me want to shoot myself (or them, as an act of kindness). But it does at least make me realise, anxiety issues or not, I have a comparatively good and easy life and so I should be grateful.

  3. A bumpy Christmas, but better than expected

    December 30, 2011 by superlative

    Well I survived Christmas, which is good, and although it had the potential to be a disaster what with Dad being suspended, in the end most of it was better than I expected it to be.

    The first day back, on Friday, was horrible. That was my first day with my parents and they were in full-swing massive stress out mode regarding Dad’s job. As I mentioned briefly in my previous post, he has been suspended for gross misconduct, the details of which I’m not going to go into too much on here. Basically he has been suspended for two things, one of which he did but which is fairly minor, and one of which he claims he didn’t do, but his story is a bit woolly and Mum doesn’t believe him. He should be in his disciplinary meeting right now actually, and we don’t know if he’ll get a warning or get the sack or what.

    So anyway, Friday was MASSIVELY stressy. Which was odd, I thought, as this is a job that Dad hates and Mum hates and we have been urging him to resign for about three months. He hasn’t wanted to though, because he says he won’t get job seekers’ allowance if he resigns, so we said in some ways it would be better if he got sacked. Which is sort of what might happen now, so I was bemused that Mum was making it out to be such a disaster. It is true that the day before Christmas Eve isn’t the nicest time to be suspended, and that his manager most likely did that on purpose because she’s a cow and the things she has suspended him for happened in November. But aside from that, to my mind this was exactly what we’d been saying we wanted to happen.

    So I spent most of Friday counselling them (when did I become their fucking counsellor?) and trying to get them settled back down. As I said to them: if he just gets a warning, nothing changes; if he gets sacked, he doesn’t have to go back to this awful job that’s running him into an early grave. So it really isn’t that bad.

    “But he’ll never find another job, and then I’ll have him at home all day and I need to REST!” Mum wailed.

    Well, fine… That’s possible. But a) it’s his house too, so you’ll just have to deal with it, and b) why have we been telling him to resign then?? Where’s the consistency, mother?

    She was just catastrophising and being stressy, but it made being at home pretty horrible nonetheless.

    It also threw into doubt whether or not they would come to Chris’ Mum’s house for Christmas lunch the next day, because she was “too stressed”. I wouldn’t have been happy about that, so I urged them still to come and reminded them that being out of the house for a day, and being around other people so they weren’t just thinking about this and squabbling over it, would do them a lot of good.

    I spent Christmas Eve night at Chris’ house, and then had to wait until the morning for the verdict on whether they would be joining us or not. Thankfully, they did, and I was entirely right because they had a nice lunch where they talked and laughed with people (I can’t remember the last time I heard my Mum laugh), and it seemed to reset them back to a more normal level.

    I had a nice Christmas Day overall, and I got some lovely presents. I’m always much happier once my parents have gone home, because then I know for sure we haven’t had any disasters and I can relax. I’m really pleased they came though.

    Boxing Day was my day for seeing my Horrible Grandad, which I had complained about constantly in advance. Mum never ends up coming (she’s not up to it after Christmas Day), and my brother is on holiday, so I knew it would just be me and my Dad and my Grandad and I wasn’t looking forward to it at all. He doesn’t know I’m gay, he doesn’t know I’m married, and he doesn’t know Chris and I bought our first home this year. I don’t care much for his company as he is hugely critical, and at times bigoted and spiteful. He has also always favoured my cousins over my brother and I as they are ‘good with their hands’, and he puts much more store by that than academic achievement. So anyway, I dislike him, and consequently decided many years ago that he doesn’t deserve to know me properly or to be given the opportunity to judge me unfavourably because I enjoy hot boy-on-boy action.

    I therefore went off to my Boxing Day meal with a fair amount of trepidation. I only go as a favour to my Dad really. But as it turned out, it was MUCH better than I was expecting, and was the best Boxing Day meal I’ve had with him in about four or five years. He was pleased about my secondment, he didn’t say anything mean about the infrequency with which he sees me or my Mum, and he actually liked and was grateful for the present I got him. Normally he just says something like “what am I going to do with that?”, or “I’ll put this on the pile of 10 of these I’ve got, shall I?” and I end up thinking well fuck you I wish I hadn’t bothered. But he LIKED his book this year and thanked me for thinking of him. You could have knocked me down with a feather. He also told me that one of my cousins’ current job (much to his disappointment) is Ditch Digging, which I found HILARIOUS. Yes being able to do things with your hands is so much better isn’t it?

    The lunch reminded me though that for all my bitching about him, he is a lonely, old, infirm little man now. I still don’t like him, but I am perhaps too harsh about him sometimes.

    And that was Christmas really. We saw some friends on Boxing Day night for drinks and giggles, and it was nice to do something normal with no family members and no stress, and then we escaped back to Brighton on Tuesday afternoon. It’s always nice to come back to my peaceful home after I’ve seen my parents, and especially so after Christmas. I’ve got a few days off left before I go back to work, and so far I’ve spent them slobbed on the sofa cramming chocolate things I was given for Christmas into my fat face. It is practically New Year’s Eve already, so the week is going pretty fast, but it has been nice to be off work, and overall I should be grateful for having a much better Christmas than I expected.

  4. Home for Christmas

    December 23, 2011 by superlative

    We’re off back up to Essex and London tomorrow to spend Christmas with our mummies and daddies. As always it’s going to be a bit of a whirlwind of rushing about to see all sorts of different people, which is a bit of a shame because it ends up being more about ‘seeing’ as many people as possible, instead of actually enjoying  it. I’ll have to look at Austin Drage in a santa hat for a while to console myself.

    The same as last year, I’ll be spending Christmas day up at Chris’ Mum’s house and my parents are going to come for lunch for a few hours. It seemed to work pretty well last year and it meant that Mum and Dad had more of a proper Christmas than they would if they just sat at home. It also means that I won’t have to travel on Christmas Day (the only day between now and Wednesday that I won’t be driving anywhere), and once Mum and Dad go home I’ll be able to relax properly! I did find it a bit stressful having them there last year, because Mum has the potential to be so difficult, but it turned out fine that time and they were just grateful to be invited somewhere. They don’t actually have any friends, which is a bit weird really!

    Then on Boxing Day I’ll be seeing my horrible grandad for lunch, which I’ll hate, and I’ll have to remember to take my wedding ring off and dodge any questions about my home life. It’s such a chore. I’m sure he’ll also mention that he only sees me once a year on Boxing Day now, but, well… there’s a reason, and it’s because he’s not a very nice man.

    For the first Christmas in my life I won’t be seeing my brother at all as he has gone away on holiday. Lucky him – I’m quite jealous that he doesn’t have to bother with all the enforced family engagements.

    Other than that I’ll just be trolling up and down between Chris’ Mum’s and my Mum’s houses, seeing friends in the evening, and stuffing my fat face with Christmas food. It could be worse really, I shouldn’t grumble!

    Then we’re back to Brighton next week for New Year and some much needed peace and quiet.

    Ryan Phillippe wishes you all a very merry and partially-clad Christmas:

    UPDATE TO THIS POST: Dad has been suspended from his job for gross misconduct. Hmmmm, so this is going to be a fab Christmas of frosty atmospheres and snippy passive aggressive comments from Mum, isn’t it?? Jesus Christ… I might just rock up drunk and try to stay pissed all the way through until Tuesday. I can’t see how else I’m going to get through it. God I love my parents’ gypsy curse, it makes my time at home feel so MAGICAL.

  5. The Icemaiden Goeth

    October 6, 2011 by superlative

    They’ve gone! Finally. What a fucking draining few days that was… It was nice in many ways, but some of it was horrific and more than once I thought “God, what have I done??”

    They came down on Sunday afternoon as planned but had quite a hard time getting into Brighton as it was so sunny and busy, so in the end it took more than three hours to get here. That completely wiped Mum out, so she arrived in a foul and very exasperated mood. So what did she do as soon as she arrived and the minute I turned my back? She snapped at Chris, or said something rude to him, that was only fairly minor I think, but given she was in our house and he’s not that fond of her at the best of times, he got really cross. He bit his tongue, bless him, but said to me later “I nearly threw that fucking woman straight out of here!”

    So that was a nice start.

    Then on Monday I had my own little episode when I tried to take them to the pub round the corner for lunch. Mum, who has M.E., has a very particular set of requirements when it comes to… oh, everything really. And they’re completely inflexible (because she’s ill) but she also doesn’t really help herself with the way she behaves and the way she communicates.

    She likes/requires: effectively no noise; lunch at 12.15am with very little margin for error; food that she ‘fancies’ or she can’t/won’t eat it; a precise temperature that varies and is impossible to predict.

    So, although she wants to go out for lunch because she never gets out much, it makes it SO hard. There is MUSIC in pubs, for a start.

    “Why do they always have to have music?” Mum said. “Do people like music?”

    What?? YES! Yes people like music! And it’s not even loud!

    And then the kitchen wasn’t going to be open until 12.30pm (note earlier time requirement), and THEN when we finally got a menu it only had things like confit of duck on it which was really expensive and wasn’t what I was expecting at all!

    “It’s too loud and it’s too expensive!” Mum proclaimed loudly, in full earshot of the woman behind the bar (we were the only ones in there). “Why don’t they do things like sandwiches and jacket potatoes? This sort of food doesn’t even suit this sort of pub! It’s only a crummy little place!” And she went on and on and on.

    I was so embarrassed.

    “Do you want any of this?” she asked me, gesturing in disgust at the menu.

    “No, I don’t want any of it now,” I said. “I’m going home because this has been a FUCKING DISASTER. I’ll see you there, I don’t want to walk with you.” And I stormed off.

    How old am I?? A bit old to be storming off! But it wasn’t because of her needs that I was cross, it was her behaviour, which was awful. So childish and so rude. I never tell her off, and I never swear in anger in front of her, and so actually it turned out to be quite powerful. She was very meek for the rest of the afternoon, and then Tuesday and Wednesday went much better and the rest of the trip was pretty much OK.

    I was probably the most stressed during the evening meals when Chris was there, because I was anxious for them to get on OK, but they were only a couple of hours each night and then they left us alone for the rest of the evening.

    Even Mum’s birthday on Wednesday went OK and she didn’t freak out too much about being 60. We opened her cards, and we had a nice lunch up on Devil’s Dyke, and she said it was really nice to do something different and be somewhere away from home and to see me.  So that was the highlight I suppose.

    They said they’d like to come again some time, which I suppose would be OK as they could be a bit more self-sufficient now they know where they’re going.  It WAS fine, but it was really tiring, and it’s really nice to have the flat to ourselves again now.

  6. The Icemaiden Cometh

    September 28, 2011 by superlative

    My mother is coming to visit. For four days.

    In order for that to sink in properly, imagine your own mother coming to visit you for four days and then add on a whole extra bag o’crazy. That’s what I’m facing.

    Dad’s coming too, obviously, but that’s not really what’s at issue here because he’s not mental, so let’s try to stay on topic.

    As a bonus, Mum will be turning 60 on the final day of her visit, and she is freaking out about it, so hooray! So much to look forward to!

    I being mean obviously, because I’m sure the visit will be fine, but I am a bit nervous about it nonetheless and I’m concerned that Chris will get annoyed with her. Thankfully, they aren’t staying with us – they have rented the flat above us, which I may have mentioned before is available for holiday lets from the woman who owns it. So they will have their own space, they won’t be in our (read- Chris’) face the whole time, and it will hopefully be fairly easy on Mum because she can just go and have a rest whenever she wants.

    They are coming down on Sunday and staying until Wednesday lunchtime. It’s sort of her treat for her 60th birthday, as they hardly ever go away and they certainly never come down to Brighton, but we’re not allowed to mention her birthday particularly as she doesn’t want to be 60. It’ll give her a chance to see our new flat, because she’s been moaning on that everyone else has seen it and she hasn’t, and it’ll be a change of scene for them, and she likes seeing me so hopefully that will give her a bit of a boost.

    I’m grateful that they’re coming on what are mostly weekdays because Chris will be out at work most of the time, and then we’ll have dinner, and then Mum’s said “Oh you don’t need to worry about us in the evening, we’ll be quite happy watching television upstairs so you can just do whatever you’d normally do.” It’s not that Chris isn’t fine with them, but he doesn’t see them often and Mum is hard work, and even if everything is going swimmingly I still get anxious trying to make sure they’re both OK and getting along and things.

    I’m not sure what to do with them while they’re here, but with any luck the sun will stay with us (not too hot, Mum doesn’t like the heat, something else you can put on the list of things she doesn’t like) so we can just sit out in the garden or go for a look at the sea. She likes the sea and is normally quite happy just to sit looking at it for a bit. She also suggested to me that I could take my Dad to the sealife centre, which I found a bit… odd. He’s not 11. But she claims he likes sealife centres and always wants to go to them, despite me having no memory of him going to one in the 30 years I’ve been alive. I think she might have confused “sealife centre” with “pub”, but I’ll give him both options and see which he picks (pub pub pub).

    So anyway, wish me luck! I will no doubt tweet about the experience as it unfolds and then do a little blog afterwards. If it goes really well they may want to come again. So, erm, here’s hoping it goes…. okaaaaaayish.

  7. Grandad update – no I’m not going

    February 3, 2011 by superlative

    I spoke to my Mum again last night, and I won’t be going up to stay with my Grandad because it isn’t really what he needs.

    He did see the doctor yesterday (who again didn’t bother to examine him), and apparently the base of his spine is disintegrating. That sounds awful! So no wonder he’s in pain. But the doctor seemed to think it was just one of those things that happens to some people as they get older, and there’s nothing they can do about it really apart from relieve the pain. And he said Grandad hadn’t been taking enough of the morphine he’s supposed to be taking (because he doesn’t like taking it), which is why it wasn’t working.

    So anyway, I did say to Mum that I could offer to go up there, but she said that was kind but there’s no point really. Having someone there full-time for a week isn’t what he needs, he won’t be better after that time, and I wouldn’t have anything to do for most of the day. Ideally what he needs is someone to pop in regularly and do his shopping and a bit of cleaning, that sort of thing, but not to be there all the time.

    I know you can get home help type care for that, but the doctor didn’t suggest referring him to social services for it, and my Mum suspects he’ll have so much in savings in the bank (he’s not rich, but he has some) that he would have to pay for it, in which case he wouldn’t be prepared to do it.

    I don’t know what’s going to happen really, but at least I offered, and my Mum’s cousin Jean is going to go back over there on Friday and check on him again.

    I hope I never get old.

    We’ve got a flat viewing tonight in Brunswick Square. I hope it’s nice. I know it won’t be.

  8. I don’t know what to do

    February 2, 2011 by superlative

    My Grandad is quite ill suddenly. He’s been suffering from bad back pain, caused by something but we don’t know what, and his doctor has been calling it arthritis. The last time he went to see his doctor he didn’t even bother to examine him and just gave him a third type of painkiller to take on top of all the other things he’s already taking, and told him to come back in a month. It hasn’t worked though and he’s still in so much pain that he can’t sleep, he’s struggling to move around his house, and he can’t stand in the kitchen to cook for himself very easily.

    This is my Nice Grandad, by the way, the one who is the BFG, not my Horrible Grandad about whom I would say it couldn’t happen to a nicer person.

    So anyway, it has basically become very difficult for him to look after himself effectively, which is not good news when you are 83 and live alone.

    His neighbours, who occasionally do things for him and who keep an eye on him, in a bizarre decision chose to phone my aunt in CANADA yesterday to say ‘we think you better come over, he needs someone to be with him to look after him’. So of course she then gets on the phone in a flap to my Mum wanting to know what’s going on.

    My Mum was aware that he’d been getting worse not better, and had only spoken to him the day before when he had appeared to be feeling a bit better again. She’s been trying to get him to go to the doctor again and ask for a proper examination, but he hates going to the doctor and he’s worried he’ll be sent to hospital which he hates even more. He doesn’t trust hospitals at all, not least because my Nan died in one on the day she was due to be sent home when they thought she was all better again (this was years and years ago when I was a baby; he’s lived on his own ever since).

    So anyway, now Mum’s in a bit of a flap. Her cousin Jean, who lives an hour away, is meant to be going round there today to get his prescriptions and some shopping for him, and he’s been waiting for her to come so she can either go to the doctor with him or be there if he gets the doctor out for a home visit. We think he’ll be more comfortable doing that if he’s not on his own, so he’s been sticking it out until today when she can come.

    He lives in Hitchin, which is quite far from my parents, and my Mum isn’t sure what else she can do. She can’t go and look after him herself because of her illness. She can’t have him down to stay at her house for the same reason, and I’m almost certain he would refuse to come anyway (this is what she thinks my aunt was angling for). My Dad can go up and visit him and do some small jobs for him, but he can’t stay up there for all that long because he needs to look after Mum and it’s not his own dad.

    So I’m left thinking should I be offering to go up there and stay with him for a while? I don’t want to, I really don’t want to, because as much as I love him I don’t know what I’d do to look after him. I only see him about once a year, probably less than that, and I’m fond of him but don’t know him well in the way that people who see their grandparents all the time do. We’re not a close knit family (Chris would postulate this is because my Mum is horrible to everyone and cite the fact they have no friends as additional evidence, but that’s a discussion for another time). But we are family, he is my Grandad, and I don’t like to think of him suffering and being on his own. If I went, I could at least do his shopping and cook his meals (despite my generally shitty cooking skills) and help him move around, which would take some of the pressure off him.

    Chris said to me “If you were old and ill, would you want your family to come and help you?” and of course yes I would. If I had children or a grandson I’d like to think they’d help me and not leave me to it. So I feel I should offer, even while not wanting to, because that’s what family does.

    I’m not sure he would have me, even if I ask. He’s like that, he’ll just refuse because he’s a cantankerous old sod sometimes and he won’t have people going out of their way for him or buying him Christmas presents or interfering with the way he wants to do things. He’ll put up with it from my aunt because she’s his youngest daughter, but he just says no to anyone else.

    And also I feel like why the fuck does it fall to me AGAIN to sort people out? I always pick up the slack, shoulder the extra bit of burden, and try to help everyone else. Where’s my brother in all of this? He won’t offer to go, of course he fucking won’t. He’ll say he can’t get out of work. He won’t even think to offer.

    And what would I do all day at his house? It’s not a nice place because he stopped cleaning properly years ago. And I’d be there on my own ALL the time. And I don’t know how long for either – he may not get any better. He may ALWAYS need help with stuff from now on. And if they try to move him to a care home he’ll point blank refuse and disengage from any kind of support service. He still has all his faculties, so he can’t be forced to go.

    So fuck. FUCK. I don’t know what to do.

    I’m going to see what happens with Jean today, and see if there’s more that the doctor can do for him. I haven’t mentioned to Mum yet that I’m considering offering to go. I don’t know what she’ll say if I do. Fuck. Shitty start to the day.

  9. Gingerly tapping on the spacebar

    January 28, 2011 by superlative

    My Dad rang me up last night. He never rings me, in fact the only time I speak to him on the phone is when my Mum is having a bad day (worse than usual I mean), and I ring home and he’s been placed under instructions to answer the phone and speak to me.

    But he rang me up quite deliberately yesterday because he wanted to tell me about his first day on his Basic Computer Skills course. He told me he had done typing, he had made his first Word document, he had centred some of the text, and then he saved it and printed it out.

    Honestly, it was SO sweet. I can imagine him there, with his huge clumsy hands, looking down at the keyboard so he can push a button and then looking back up to see if the computer screen (he calls it the VDU) had done anything.

    He said he had got on very well, and despite having missed two sessions (even though they told him it started yesterday) he had felt much more able than the woman sitting next to him. He found the mouse challenging, because the buttons are too delicate and when he pushes them the whole mouse tends to move (seriously, his hands are like breadboards), but other than that he sounded really pleased with himself.

    He also told me he had saved his document as his initials, so he would be able to find it again next time, which I thought was an odd detail to throw in.

    So BLESS MY DAD anyway. I’m really proud of him, and it’s nice for him to go out and do something on his own and to sound quite positive about something. Getting some computer skills might not help him find a job, but it will at least help him look for one.

    Oh yes, and the gypsy curse continues because their porch has rotted through overnight and is about to fall of the front of the house, and the microwave blew up when Mum tried to make scrambled egg in it. Well it can’t ALL be positive with them, can it?

  10. Christmas and New Year

    January 4, 2011 by superlative

    As part of my ‘blogging once a week’ endeavour, check out my flying start with two posts in one day! It’ll never last.

    Anyway, I had quite a nice Christmas and New Year all in all.

    First of all, I was ill from about five days before Christmas until Christmas day. OK, so that bit wasn’t so nice really, and I was furious with the friend who I know gave me the cold. I mean, who comes round to a person’s house with a fever and then sits on their sofa spluttering and sneezing for two hours just before Christmas? Who would do that? Who?? My friend, obviously.

    But the illness did mean I had an extra four days off in total, so I had a full two weeks away from work which was LOVELY.

    I spent quite a bit of Christmas up at Chris’ Mum’s house, and for the first time ever my parents came up there on Christmas Day. It was really kind of Chris’ Mum to invite them, as normally I either don’t see them on Christmas Day or I have to drive down there in the afternoon or evening and miss out on the copious amounts of wine that’s always at Chris’ house. Mum doesn’t really like Christmas much anyway (she’s such a jolly person), so they don’t even do anything when it’s just the two of them on their own, and then she wails that their day was boring (i.e. I should have come and entertained them).

    But this year they were graciously invited to have lunch at Chris’ house, which made my life quite a bit easier and was actually really nice. It was a bit touch and go whether they would come or not, as Mum hasn’t had a good month and has generally been feeling pretty rubbish. Even on Christmas Day morning she still wasn’t sure, but then lo and behold they arrived at the allotted time and all was good.

    It was a little bit stressy for me having them there, as Mum can be fairly demanding (really, who’d have guessed?), but it’s quite nice and relaxed at Chris’ house, and they only actually stayed for about three hours or so.

    Boxing Day was dire, as usual, as it involved my annual torture trip to have lunch with my Horrible Grandad. He can barely walk now and is no less cantankerous than he was before. Mum didn’t come to that at least, which reduced the stress a little, but I still couldn’t get out of there quick enough.

    “I only see you at Christmas now,” said Horrible Grandad pointedly as we left the restaurant. He always gets his digs in at some point during the occasion.

    “Yes, there’s a reason,” I thought as I muttered a goodbye and scarpered back to the car I share with my male life partner he knows nothing about and will never meet.

    So that was Christmas anyway. We spent New Year down here as we normally do, and this year ended up going to a masked ball, which was quite fun. It’s any excuse to dress up with us really, as you can see.

    And then there was barely time to watch half a dozen films, eat two boxes of chocolates and a packet of biscuits and take the Christmas tree down before we were back at work. Trudging along in the pitch black and freezing rain at 7.30am this morning was not pleasant, but at least the office is dead today and I have the chance to catch up on my blog.

    Things I need to do during the first half of this year are:

    • start going to the gym once or twice a week, seeing as I’ve paid for it already and have barely used it.
    • find a lovely flat, buy it and move into it.
    • sort out some kind of celebration for my 30th birthday which is in four short months’ time.
    • turn 30 in a blaze of vodka.

    Let’s see how many of those I achieve shall we? The last one is the most certain as I only need to remain alive to achieve that bit. So if I sit very still and do nothing for the next four months I’ll at least have one thing I can cross off my to do list.