Monday, 24th June, 2024

[Day 1561]

Today very much feels like the morning after the night before. Yesterday evening, I semi-assembled the blackout curtains which I have bought for our downstairs living room/bedroom hoping that by cutting out the dying rays of the sun, it might induce Meg to get to sleep when the carers put her to bed at 7.30pm. I had ordered some blackout curtains at a reasonable enough price but found that they were not quite wide enough so have promptly had to order some more. Then I ordered an expanding metal pole upon which to hang the curtains but as the whole of this arrangement has to be at least 10′ long, it is cumbersome in the extreme to get it into position even lodging on our existing curtain supports. Last night, though, should have blocked out 80% of the bright sunlight and I have now decided to keep the whole caboodle in place rather than carrying on with my original plan which was to erect and dismantle it each day. Although Meg seemed to fall asleep reasonably quickly, I got to bed at shortly before 11.00pm (after watching Scotland lose by a single goal to Hungary with a breakaway goal scored in the 40th second of the tenth minute of injury time) But Meg was awake at this time and stayed awake for the next hour and a half until she had been made comfortable which procedure takes the best part of three quarters of an hour. Eventually, I crawled into my pit only to be awoken by Meg at 4.40 in the morning thus cutting my available sleep time considerably. I was very relieved to see the care workers when they did turn up at 8.00 and I was thoroughly relieved to have them take over, being a bit like a bear with a sore head. I contacted our GP surgery to see if I could request some medication to help me to get to get to sleep and even more to stay asleep and have to fill in a form to get a telephone appointment. When the call did come through in the late morning, the response was as I expected but not what I wanted to hear. The doctors seem extremely reluctant to prescribe any sleeping aids and argue that when they work they serve to get people off to sleep but will not necessarily keep them asleep. So basically, I have to think of my own solution to the problem. The only thing that the doctor did suggest was that although the care workers should put Meg to bed at about 7.30 I should endeavour to keep her awake so that when she does go to sleep, it will be for longer. the doctor’s ‘solution’ was to entertain Meg with a TV or something similar to divert here for some hours. This sounds very simple but given the layout of our room is not at all practicable as the TV is un-viewable from the angle of the hospital bed in the other half of our ‘L’-shaped lounge. I have today ordered an extra 15m length of coaxial cable to see if I can bring into use a small portable TV that Meg could view whilst propped up in bed but this will not arrive until probably late tomorrow so we may have two more nights in which I am going to have to induce Meg to sleep throughout the night.

Today being a Monday but quite a sultry and humid day, we decided to visit the park in the mid morning and this little visit worked out fine but we did not meet (or really expect to meet) any of our normal park acquaintances. We got back in plenty of time for the carers and the (unproductive) telephone consultation with the GP and then proceeded to make a lunch out of yesterday’s beef and some cauliflower I had in the fridge. To avoid the cauliflower smelling out the whole of the kitchen I boiled it with quite a lashing of brown sugar on top of it and then served it with a packet of cheese sauce which I was pleased to find in my stock cupboard. This turned out to be absolutely delicious and much nicer than I anticipated that it would be, the only downside being that I promptly fell asleep after reading my portion of feeding Meg hers.

Earlier on this morning and this afternoon, we have been watching a programme made by Deutsche Welle’ which I have discovered is the German equivalent of the BBC World Service. What was being offered to us today by ‘DW’ was a magnificent hour and a half documentary over the influence and playing of Beethoven’s 9th symphony across the world. In one Asian country, perhaps Japan, it is performed each year with a cast of 10,000 singers and the political impact and use made of this work is stupendous. This is one of those films that one can watch again and again as there are all kinds of facets to this documentary which can be explored over and over again. This afternoon, we anticipate that we may be able to enjoy a spell in the garden now that I know that the weather will be fine. After a fairly humid and close start, the sun is going to break through and there is every indication that today we shall have the highest temperatures of the summer so far, as the country as a whole is ex[experiencing a ‘mini’ heat wave. Again, this is due to the changing position of the jet stream which seems to govern so much of our climate these days.

Politically, we are now in a position where there are now less than ten full campaigning days to go before the General Election on July 4th. Personally, that date cannot come soon enough and I am waiting for the ‘bomb shell’ which is bound to explode in the days before the election is actually held. My son and I have joked with each other that the revelations of further Tory sleaze in which prominent Tories, including their own campaign director, have been accessed of betting on the date of the general Election on the basis of ‘insider knowledge’ – the political equivalent of ‘insider trading’ could have planted by the Labour Party. These revelations are going to keep dripping through for the next few days but I suspect that all kinds of ‘surprises’ e.g incriminating bits of videotape or interviews held years ago that might prove to be useful as a type of hand grenade to be lobbed towards the enemy. The latest attack line of the Tories is to argue that Keir Starmer is associated with the policies of Jeremy Corbin, the left wing Labour leader, on the grounds that they were in the same shadow cabinet together. I am not sure that this will cut much ice with the electorate as a whole but is used as a constant attack line together with the accusation that a Labour government will undoubtedly put up taxes.