Monday, 6th May, 2024

[Day 1512]

Today is the Spring Bank Holiday but not exactly May 1st which is celebrated across many European states as MayDay. I must admit I do not look forward to Bank Holidays these days as normal social life seems to be disrupted so much. Nonetheless, the sun was shining so we decided on a slightly different pattern of activities for the day. Last night, I had taken our transit wheelchair from the back of the car and cleaned up the wheels so that they would not dirty our carpet. Then this morning, I got the carers to put Meg in this transit chair instead of more normal armchair so that we were prepared for later in the morning. As soon as it was well past 9.00am I took the opportunity to phone the manager of the care agency as his sister (who also works in the business) had told me that the day before her that brother and his two children had been involved in a car smash and although a little battered and bruised were basically OK but their car was a write-off. Apart from my best wishes and concern for his health, the care agency manager was going to give me access to their own ‘app’ which should enable me to look ahead to the exact timing of the next care worker in the schedule.

After breakfast, we had the choice to push Meg down the hill and go for a spin in the park or just go that little bit further to Waitrose. In practice, we did neither because half way down the hill we were really pleased when we were pleasantly surprised by our (male) Irish friend who had been out for a ride on his bike. He invited us ‘in’ for coffee and we arrived within about 5 minutes. My friend and I tried to lift Meg over the two door thresholds but a combination of Meg’s dead weight and the height of the thresholds defied our efforts. Eventually, it was decided that we should take our elevenses outside which made for an absence of trouble all round. A little outside table was quickly produced and then we sat down to a delicious jam sponge and a pot of tea. This meeting was absolutely fortuitous as we neither had any plans to meet the other but it was great to seize the opportunity. This couple are due to go to Ireland tomorrow for a Spring Break so the meeting today could scarcely be better timed. They were expecting their grandchildren around in a few minutes time and we remarked at how fast the children seemed to grow up these days. After we had our repast, it was time to strike for home but our friend very kindly volunteered to help me push Meg up the steepest part of the hill, which offer I was glad to accept as I knew it would quite a hard push home. Once we got home getting Meg plus wheelchair in through the front door was easy but getting Meg out of the transit chair and into her regular armchair was going to prove quite a challenge, the leg supports from the transit chair getting in the way. I made two attempts without success and was reconciled to having to wait for the carer to arrive mid afternoon but then I thought of something that might help. At a visit in the past, one of the physiotherapist had brought along what is termed a grab belt which is our around the waist of the patient and which then has a series of handles upon which one can exert some upward pressure. This seemed to do the trick and I got Meg into her favourite armchair and then proceeded to cook a chicken lunch. Again, we are having to adopt a slightly different regime here so i dished up the two sets of dinners but had my lunch alone in the kitchen. Then I cut Meg’s lunch up into bite-size portions and fed her with it ‘in situ’ and in this way managed to get more food inside Meg than is she had been feeding herself. Afterwards, I was relieved that she had a good sleep of over an hour which is always to the good.

We try not to let our lives be dominated by the TV schedules but tonight there is going to be a little treat in store for us. There is to be repeat of the animated cartoon ‘The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse‘ which we saw the Christmas before last and which was repeated last Christmas.This a delightful little animation with some stunningly well drawn illustrations and a series of little philosophical homilies. Our friend from the local parish church brought along a hardback copy of it as a Christmas present for Meg – I think it is true to say that it has hardly left her side and she reads (and re-reads) the book constantly. So this little gem is something to which we look forward for half an hour in the early part of the evening. There are two events later on the week to which we are sort of committed but it seems problematic whether can attend either of both of these. The most important one is the funeral of Meg’s cousin with whom we have spent a great deal of time in the past. As of about a week ago, I thought that attending the funeral in Derby was just about feasible but after the pattern of falling, inability to stand and extreme weakness, I am just not sure if this is feasible or even too foolhardy to even contemplate. The other event is on Saturday which happens to be my birthday and where, about two days ago, I purchased a couple of tickets for a local concert because I thought it might have been a nice birthday excursion but I think this is eluding us as well. So the patten of our lives seems to be changing almost day by day and I constantly having to take decisions about what is feasible and what is not.

When the House of Commons resumes after the break, Rishi Sunak will find his MPs in a sullen and jittery mood if not outright rebellion as even some of the extreme right wingers are admitting that changing Prime Ministers at thus stage is not just feasible. Some MPs are clinging vainly to the hope that there there may be a hung Parliament after a general election after a rather dubious projection has raised this as a possibility by projecting forward from the local to the national election results. This has given some Tories hope but most of them must know that they are heading a for a massive defeat and the present troubles of the SNP in Scotland are going to aid the Labour Party.