Friday, 15 May 2009

Who is mad?

MM broke her hearing aid, whether wilfully or accidentally I know not.  But I do know it was murdered and, without it in she is murder!  

So, today, I took it along to the local hospital where there is a "drop in" repair session every afternoon between 2 and 4 pm. I sat there, along with the cast of Cocoon.  You come in, take a ticket - rather like those at the deli counter in the supermarket, and wait your turn.  My number was 70.

"70" was called by a pleasant looking attendant, "Booth 3" she said loudly, followed by "What's the problem?"  "My mother's hearing aid is broken" I replied.  "Sorry, about that" she replied "many of our clients can't hear and we have to shout!"

She then told me that my mother had inflicted a cruel and unusual torture on the poor implement - she had virtually ripped the battery holder, hinge and connections from their socket.  The technician was bemused that an 80yr old had the strength to inflict such carnage.  She obviously has never met MM.  So she went off, got a new hearing aid to attach to the ear piece - then with the most amazing computer interface aligned the hearing aid to the computer diagnostic of MM's hearing - amazing.  She gave me new batteries and suggested it might be best if I hide these from MM and in future I replace them.  OK.  So now I have a new job every week - replace batteries, instruct MM against wanton and cruel torture of her hearing aid, and check the damn thing is clean.

On the way back on what was a sunny May afternoon, I realised that I had spent it inside ... waiting on (excellent) repairs to MM's hearing aid.  Where was she, you may ask?  At the blooming seaside on a jolly with her geriatric and some friends, having fish and chips and a "small" glass of wine ...

Tell me ... who's mad??

Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Over 80 support group

There are days, and this is one of them, when you know your purpose in life is to be a supporting player. 

Today, on my way to meet MM, I met my 84.5 year old neighbour.  He's selling up and moving south, to be in a secure gated community some 3 miles from his only son.  The neighbour, Peter, is an ex WW2 fighter pilot, widowed some 7 years ago, who keeps a very neat and tidy house, who paints amazing water colours and some less than perfect oils; who makes me smile, but who is throwing in the towel on independance.  He also shared the awkward news that another neighbour has major kidney failure and requires regular dialysis - the poor wife is struggling, herself aging and trying to be 100% perfect in a carer's role.

MM, when I met her, was struggling and therefore, by association, so was I.  She perhaps had forgotten her tablets, so her grasp on life was slippy, but she was pleased to see me; as I was her. Still, the letters she sent me when I was young, the words she sang to console me, the times she hugged me and hummed my name ... all those things are out there binding me to her and giving me the encouragement to support her.  I took her home, hugged her, chatted to her cat, and drove home in tears.

Later I had a phone call from my late Dad's sister, who is now 83.  Jacqueline is well and fairly chirpy but begging me to visit her before she dies.  I don't know how I quite answered that plea ... but still, tonight, I've been checking the cost of flights from here in the UK to Washington where she lives.  How can I refuse her?

Thank goodness for the numbing mindlessness of daft online games like Zuma .. my current highest score 111,076, and for a lovely glass of wine.  Thank goodness for online friends who don't know me, so the guilt associated with remarks such as this is less ... I don't know you for real, so this isn't wholly disloyal.  Thank goodness for earphones and music, and indeed for ITunes Genius which does actually provide some pretty amazing playlists based on one song.

Haven't had the stamina to ring friends, haven't had the enthusiasm to pick up the knitting ... but hey dear blog still have the hope that lets me post the words and cast them out to the world.

Whatever you are doing and whomever you are doing it with have fun and have a little bit extra for me ...

Sending hugs

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Phone calls from the hedge

So, this is MM (Mad Mother) who has had a great 80th birthday week-long celebration.  However, just to make things a little more interesting for me she has stopped taking her tablets.  

The tablets are to allieviate mood swings and depression; so today she telephoned her surgery to cancel a prebooked appointment at the hospital (for a hearing aid check up) - she told them she didn't want it, couldn't make it and they needn't ring me because I had dashed back to Australia.

Of course they did ring me, and I said I would sort it.  MM has denied the whole thing. Then she told me she wants to go to the bank to check it hasn't been losing her money, and she wants to do that with me tomorrow.  (The bank is as sound and honourable as it is possible for a UK bank to be).  I am really looking forward to the cringe factor.

She asked me to feed a cat balloon a tin of sardines - I thought she was joking so laughed.  She wasnt and became very annoyed.  

This is all succinct, but the whole rambling conversations went round and round and round and round.  Tomorrow I will go and check her tablets and if she has forgotten to take tomorrow's I may
 just use them as a suppository for her!

Meanwhile this is DGD no1, Ellie, in her favourite cardigan :) playing cricket ...  in the garden when my DS, DIL, 2 DGDs, DD & BF, 2 cats, my DH, MM and I had Mum's fourth 80th birthday party!

This is DGD no 2 (some 10 mins younger) Beth, in her favourite cardigan cat sitting (it was YoYo's first wander around my garden).

This is son and SIL, taken by one of the DGDs

This is DD and BF taking the cat for a
 wander ...

The game of cricket ...

and she's out!

Fantastic day ... nice enough to smooth over bad memories ... nice enough to remember for a long while!

Meanwhile, wherever you are and whatever you are doing, keep the good memories on file and bin the rest.
Sending hugs

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Say hi to the pretty things

Well, not difficult to tell where I was when I found this pair ... but they hadn't seen any yarn  shops and despite a perfect place to stash a project, they didn't seem to have any work in progress ...

And although hard to see, Koala is there, sleeping in the tree, so no socks or sweaters there either ...

The ibis were happy
 playing and paddling ... no knitting ...

The lizard was just catching the rays ...

The brush turkey (AKA bush turkey) was very happy ... a protected species and allowed to wander without fear of cranberry sauce ... but definitely not a yarn addict

 And a pair of homo barbequiens laetus maritum novitor (thank god there are no romans around to criticise my awful latin!) ... who were so busy with each other, being married and cooking breakfast that they had no time for knitting and are now convinced knitting is something you do when deprived of a partner and conjugal rights .. (actually let's not even go there!).

So that left me ... knitting and photographing all the amazing wild life that just wanders ... no zoo just out there.  Of course I did do a little surfing (yay dude get me!!) and sailing, swimming and walking .... but when I got a little bit in need of something to be nice to me I got out my silk and merino!

I'd go back in a heartbeat ... but the knitting comes too!

Monday, 4 May 2009

A wedding, an 80th, a 60th and an honorable mention!

Well, this is the wedding I nearly never made.  I live about 60 miles from Heathrow airport, so in good faith and anticipation I left home 5 hours before my flight was due ... yes 5 hours!  That was to allow 2 hours to get there (no seriously, even at 30 miles an hour ...) and 3 hours to check in.

Of course I travelled via the road from hell, aka M25 - London's orbital ring road - DO NOT USE THIS ROAD ever.  Motorway my arse ... it's a carpark.  On the day in question some fool had decided to trash his car at the M25 junction with Heathrow.  There was a 30+ mile traffic jam ... with 4 hour delays reported.  Arrrrrrgh.  After racing up and down tiny roads, along with every other car who wanted off the road from hell, I arrived at Heathrow with 25 minutes before the flight was due to take off.  The desk was shut, but a hugely kind Malaysian Airline check in girl took one look at my red face and sobs and took my bags ... she got 2 burly security guys to rush me through security and race for the gate .. of course it was the gate 43 - the furthest from the terminal!  I made it but only because of the kindness of the check in staff.

This is my little bride and groom gift ... not quite Karen and Andrew, but much loved all the same, as was the gift of funds from the family that I took out with me.  

The day was gorgeous - the preceding 7 had been torrential rain, so someone somewhere heard a prayer!

And this is the result of much hard work, I was out there to help my sister get married and  to cater!  She's a veggie, so I did the boned and stuffed turkey and, with less than an hour to spare was still de-shelling 2 kg of prawns - I was aromatic!  It was accompanied by all manner of delicious salads and veggie dishes ... as well as intoxicated fruit salad which was happy to the tune of half a bottle of rum - yum!

At the end of the evening, I got rather carried away .. perhaps I should have been carried off!  But I did my "I'm here  to stand beside my sister as she gets married, and represent all her family" speech with enthusiasm, passion (and probably several glasses of  champagne inside me).

After the wedding I took time out to do some traditional Aussie things, we BBQ'd on the pristine and free outdoor barbies; we sailed on Drew's boat; I attempted surfing without too much bodily damage and, of course, the knitting and Ravelry bag came too.

Do you know ... the UK weather just sucks after sub tropical Queensland, although we do have yarn shops to compensate - they seem to be missing over there!

On Wednesday it will be my mother's 80th birthday ... do feel free to shout out "Happy 80th Joan" if you should see her on 6th May.

Another of my sisters (I have so many it is embarrassing and don't blame me it's all my mother's fault) put on a birthday lunch yesterday (Sunday).  Thank you Jacqueline who hosted family and friends to a rather yummy lunch - and this is my mother ... happy and enjoying the company (and possibly a small glass of sweet wine!).

I shall be taking her to lunch on Wednesday, the actual day, and then hosting another get togetheron Saturday for my kids and their families, who couldn't make Sunday.  

Tomorrow, however, I'm cooking lunch (do I ever have a social occasion without food?)(yes, but never without wine!!) for my friend's 60th and I'm expecting that Hilary will get giggly, Treez will be droll and I shall be snapping a photo or two!

Finally an acceptance speech - thank you - to Sheila and to Suse-the-slow for their kind remarks, and to SMP for making me say "holy crap".

oh, and by the way, the project count is now up to 6 on the go (not counting those that have gone into hiding) and I have to finish one for my mother by Wednesday, so why am I still blogging ?????

Love and hugs and sunshine

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