Friday, 12th April, 2024

[Day 1488]

It sounds strange to say that your day starts in the middle of the night, but so it was last night. I got up in the middle of the night (not an unusual occurrence) and consulted my emails. My close friend from Hampshire, am ex-university of Winchester colleague, is caught in the middle of a most horrendous bureaucratic nightmare as he is in the basis of arranging long term care for his wife. His email to me was really a tale of woe which was quite upsetting to receive – as though carers do not have enough troubles of their own without bureaucracy on top. So although it was the middle of the night, I immediately sent a fairly full reply and we have arranged that I phone him this evening for a good old heart-to-heart. Whilst on the subject of carers caring for each other, I had given my email address to the lady sitting next to me at the club meeting last Wednesday and I showed her some of the tips and hints I had put up in a one page website. She had replied with a series of tips and hints of her own which I was delighted to receive and, hopefully, we can continue to be of assistance to each other as our careers as carers progress. Although I was up for about an hour during the night, both Meg and I had a pretty restful night which helps you to face the forthcoming day with a bit more fortitude. We had anticipated that our domestic help would arrive this morning in a session postponed from Wednesday which was the day when her beloved pet was sent to his maker. Our carer had got some of the way to us but was a bit to over-wrought with grief still to contemplate a morning’s work in our house so she was giong to take the morning off to give herself a period of restoration. I can quite understand the grieving process after 17 years with, in effect, an additional family member suddenly not being there. I did suggest that she might meet us for a coffee in Waitrose to help to take her mind off things but she intended to stay at home for the morning. Meg and I made our way down to Waitrose not really expecting to see anybody but glad if we did so. We were delighted to see our nonagenarian (90 year old?) chorister in the store this morning and we had a very pleasant chat, made all the more so because we shall not see her tomorrow as she is being taken out for lunch by family members. After our visit to the store had come to its natural conclusion, I remembered one or two things that I had forgotten to buy in my whizz around the Aldi store yesterday afternoon so Meg and I went to the big Aldi store in town. The car park was teeming but it is free after all but whilst Meg stayed in the car I managed to dive in and get some of the forgotten items from yesterday. As soon as I got home, Meg has her cup of tea and I progressed to cook our Friday lunchtime meal with was a haddock pie, complemented by some left-over vegetables from yesterday but complemented with some carrots, parboiled and then glazed with honey and finished off in the oven. I started thinking about the meal which we might have tomorrow, Saturday, because I have generally tried something a little out of the ordinary on Saturdays. We have sometimes treated ourselves to some really good sausages (which I know are not particularly healthy) or some liver which is quite hard to find these days. But as the weather has turned a it more spring like, I think I have all of the ingredients to put together quite a nice salad which we have not actually eaten during the winter months. So I am reminding myself to buy a bit of greenery whilst we are in Waitrose for our Saturday morning coffee.

I was pleased to receive a schedule of planned visits from the private sector care agency that provided carers for Meg before the hospitalisation episode and which is due to resume on Monday morning. I have a good relationship with the owner/manager of this care agency and there is a bit of give and take on both sides. Some of the timings for the evening visit may need to be adjusted if all of the logistics will allow but in return I am ‘making do’ with one rather than two carers in the mornings in the next week. But the allocated worker is a Polish lady with whom I get on really well and she really gets stuck into every task with no hesitation so it will be a joy to work with her again in the mornings ahead. I am hoping that apart from the days off that she must have that a pattern establishes itself such that she becomes a regular ‘morning visit’ person. So we are in the business of finishing off the ReAblement package of care which will finish on Sunday evening whilst the new package will start again on Monday morning. This afternoon, Meg and I are quietly relaxing to the sounds of ClassicFM and I am convinced that they put on a more interesting series of tracks on a Friday afternoon when they know that people are starting to unwind ready for the weekend. For example, we have just enjoyed the piece of Brahms ‘A German Requiem‘ which is a constant favourite of ours.

The Post Office Horizon enquiry is proceeding apace with past CEOs coming under the microscope. My son was telling me with some glee how the counsel for the sub postmasters at the end of each session actually ripped apart the facade displayed by these CEOs who tried to maintain that they were ignorant of what was going in the Post Office despite an audit trail that showed that they were in receipt of all of the reports and minutes. The quality of the top management teams at organisations like the Post Office appears dire and perhaps it is no wonder that the UK economy is in the state that it is when senior management in some of our private sector institutions is so poor. Of course, they have hardly been held to account for anything like these enquiries in their professional lives and hence constantly stumble and flail around under questioning by the Enquiry’s QCs.