Thursday, 7th March, 2024

[Day 1452]

Today has turned out to be quite an interesting day, as we shall see. The principal event on Thursday is my shopping day and for this event, the care agency supplied a care worker to sit with Meg whilst I go shopping. This morning, the two care workers turned up on cue including one who is a middle aged Polish care worker who is incredibly jolly and hard working. She is one of those people who does not hang back but immediately tackles whatever task is before with gusto and Meg and I have a very good relationship with her. She is very kindly and helpful to Meg and helps to jolly her along to get the morning routines accomplished. One of the pieces of kit that we had delivered the other day was a sort of basic wheelchair that we can use to quickly transport Meg from bedroom to bathroom and the carers appreciated the utility of this aid. So after we had got Meg up, washed, dressed and breakfasted we only had an hour to wait until the Polish carer, who had been allocated to another client, came back to care for Meg whilst I did my shopping. This took three quarters of an hour and I managed to buy all of the things that I had on the list (in my head) and when I got back, Meg had evidently had a bit of a wobbly so the kindly care worker had sensibly got her onto our little settee, put a (heavy) therapeutic blanket round her which was exactly the right thing to do and Meg was soundly asleep upon my return. The carer still had an hour left of her allocated slot so whilst Meg was sleeping, the care worker and I exchanged some of our life histories. She had a hard time in her life, losing her mother when she was only 18 years of age and largely left to her devices together with a brother and sister. I had put some of our favourite baroque music concerts (YouTube) on whilst I was out of the house and as the care worker had been exposed to classical music for an hour, I felt she needed a bit of a change. So searching YouTube I managed to find some Joan Baez (classical Mexican-American folksinger, one time ‘amante’ of Bob Dylan, who established her reputation singing protest songs in the 1960’s) Of course, the Polish car worker had never been exposed to these musical influences so we mutually enjoyed listening to Joan Baez tracks whilst Meg was asleep. If there had been a routine domestic job to share such as clothes folding, we would have done this but as it happened the washing was up-to-date. Afterwards we finished off the chicken thighs which were the remainder of last week’s ‘joint’ as it were and had a delicious lunch, complemented with baked potato and broccoli.

The afternoon turned out to be quite entertaining for us. As Meg had not had any fresh air and I had not had the opportunity to pick up my newspaper, we parked in the Waitrose car park and then went for a little trundle along the length of the Bromsgrove High Street, popping in at some of our favourite charity shops to see if anything tickled our fancy. We did not see anything we particularly wanted or needed but noticed that a new charity shop had opened, the proceedings from which were to be used to help the running costs of a horse sanctuary. We decided to pop inside and discovered it only been open for a month. As it was deserted and the owner/proprietor was very chatty, we had a look around and saw that they had supplied about three or four tables beautifully laid out for those who were tempted by a coffee and a cake. Meg was feeling a bit chilled at this stage so we decided to succumb to temptation and sat down with hot chocolate (for both of us) and then a nice piece of cake for Meg. As there was no-one else in the shop, the proprietor came and chatted with us and she explained how they had spent several thousands tastefully redecorating the interiors. Then some other customers came in and informed us that this brand new shop was going to have to close at the end of the week. Then we got the full story from the proprietor who explained that they had taken out a lease for three years and wanted to make it into a little community hub where groups could come and have little impromptu meetings. Then we learnt of the bombshell that had befallen then. After they had been in the store for only two weeks, the landlord decided to serve them notice of eviction as he had been offered more money than the horse sanctuary could afford to pay and was turfing them out. Having just discovered this wonderful little place we were horrified that this could happen. We left with hugs and kisses all round (yes, really!) and I left one of my business cards asking the owner if she could contact me the minute they had found a new place so we could come and patronise their new venture and to help to spread the word and help their little business to grow. When we got back home, Miggles, our favourite adopted cat, was sitting patiently waiting for us having observed us leaving about an hour and a half beforehand. Had the faithful animal been sitting and waiting patiently for our return, we asked ourselves but of course we shall never know.