Sunday, 12th May, 2024

[Day 1518]

Today has been a really messed up day, what with one thing or another. Why I bothered to watch the Eurovision song contest last night, I do not know but with an entry like the UK’s (a weedy voice accompanied by semi clad males doing indescribable things apparently upside down using a backdrop that looked like an uncleaned men’s toilet) is it any wonder that the ‘professional’ jury gave it ‘nul points’ The winning entry from Switzerland was somewhat better but not really memorable – all best quickly forgotten about. Meg had a rather disturbed night which did not help and then the carers arrived at 7.00am instead of the usual 8.30am so we did not have time to properly wake up. Although we are given a schedule a week in advance, the actual schedule of visits changes on a daily and sometimes even an hourly basis so the only way of knowing what the next visit is going to be is for the carers to consult their own app which does detail both the carers and the time of arrival. I was a bit dismayed that this was going to be at 11.05 this morning which rather messed up what I intended to do. We watched one half of the Politics programmes on a Sunday morning and I then pushed Meg down the hill, stopping for a brief chat with our Italian friend down the road who was desperately trying to get some potting plants in before the threatened rains started. Then we collected our Sunday newspaper from Waitrose and then made our way to the park where we sat overlooking the lake in a haunt that had been a favourite one of ours in the early days of COVID. Meg had a drink of a smoothie juice I had taken with us and I had also bought along some crunchie oatmeal type bars and this provided us with a bit of sustenance before we started on the journey back. We got delayed a little because a friend I had phoned the other day down the road was phoning to enquire after Meg and I was able to tell her that now she had some more powerful antibiotics inside her. Then we bumped into some of the relatives of Clive, the octogenarian trumpeter who attended our 50th wedding anniversary celebrations but who died at the start of the COVID pandemic four years ago now practically to the day. As we suspected, Clive was an early by-casualty of COVID because the chemotherapy he was receiving to keep his leukaemia at bay ceased and hence he succumbed as soon as this medication was withdrawn. So we got home five minutes before the allotted time to find both the carer and Miggles, our adopted cat, waiting patiently for us. The carers had hardly anything to do for Meg just ensuring she was comfortable and then transferring her via the Sara Stedy from the wheelchair to her own leather armchair. But then we were dismayed again as the 3.00pm afternoon call had now been rescheduled to 1.20 This has really messed up our arrangements and mealtimes as, in an ideal world, Meg and I would have watched a bit of TV, Meg would have had lunch followed by a nap and then the carers would make their afternoon call. As it stands, Meg is fast asleep at the moment and I am loathe to wake her. I may just cook the dinner at the ‘normal’ time, wait until Meg wakes up and the carers have made their afternoon call an hour and 40 minutes early and then ‘play it by ear’ I like to be fairly organised and to have, if not a regimented routine at least a predictable one but when the carers schedules are all over the place like this not fitting in with biological activities like eating and sleeping, then I finding this somewhat difficult to cope with.

Today, we come to the time when we have a beef joint. Meg and I have cut down on our consumption of red meat these days but we do tend to have a beef joint about once a month. I cook it in the slow cooker for about 4 hours and then once cooked, the already small joint is divided into half and the one half gets frozen. I then add slices of the meat to a rich onion gravy, made a little bit thicker with some powdered potato and made to look a deeper colour by the addition of a few drops from my bottle of (gravy) browning. Today, the meal times are so messed up that I am cooking the meal according to a normal timetable and then I will plate it up and be ready to heat it up in the microwave when the time is more propitious.

I have just read the weather forecast and learned that a number of storms are about to sweep across much of the UK this afternoon. This has all come as a bit of a shock because earlier on today, we were getting the news that today might be warmer than yesterday and we hod expect some rain to follow in the next few days. But thunderstorms of this intensity in mid May are not unexpected. I vividly remember one which I can actually date i.e. 11th May, 1968. I can be precise about the date because it was my birthday, a date which I shared with a flatmate who came from Sri Lanka (then, of course, Ceylon) I can remember myself and my flatmate standing in front of our living room window which fronted onto the Wilmslow Road in Manchester. The rain was of such a ferocity that absolutely all of the traffic was forced to a halt and my flatmate and I watched as the rain hit the ground so hard that it bounced some 12″-15″ above the surface of the road. Of course, it could not rain at this intensity for very long but, nonetheless, it was a very vivid scene that is etched in my memory. Some people feel absolutely wonderful in a thunderstorm and there is some scientific evidence that the negative ionisation creates a euphoric mood in many people (whilst the counterpart is the positive ionisation you get in very hot and sultry weather than can make one feel out of sorts) So we will have to wait and see what we get this afternoon – I wish, though, that it would arrive a day later so that I could get the lawns mowed before the rain strikes.