Sunday, 10 May 2015

Highs, Lows and a Frock or Two.

Well there are many adages for this last week 'Just when you thought it couldn't get any worse' or 'It never rains but it pours' spring to mind.
2015 seems determined to give us a shoeing one way and another!

So it's been a roller coaster week of stressful overlapping work deadlines, cinema trips, a birthday dinner, care home visits and a late night phone call from the police.

It all started innocently enough. It was a Bank Holiday which of course means an extra day off work and a delicious boiled egg breakfast in bed and yes I did get egg yolk down my front but would you expect anything less from me?

We went to see 'Far From The Madding Crowd' which we were surprised to both have thoroughly enjoyed. 
Thomas Hardy is one of those authors I struggle with, just too damn depressing for my liking. My friend Murray (who was Dorset born and bred) always encouraged me to give him another go, he said the way Hardy describes the Dorsetshire countryside is just lyrical, but I just can't seem to bring myself to try his books again.
Having said that the film is stunningly shot, all on location in Dorset, and superbly acted. Even if Matthias Schoenerts has the poshest accent of any shepherd ever!

Talking of films yes, yes OF COURSE we went to see The Avengers - Age of Ultron when it opened, that's a given

and yes OF COURSE I bloody loved it!

So back to Monday, we also went to my Brother's to a.) Both get hair cuts and in my case a much needed colour.
 b.) Give my Sister in Law her birthday present and say goodbye & have a lovely time to them before they headed off on holiday..
c.) For me to help my brother finish up his garden which we had spent the previous weekend re-landscaping.
Talking of which I may have mentioned before that my SIL doesn't garden at all.
So I had to laugh when we staggered in after 6 solid hours of hard graft, digging, lifting and wheelbarrowing top soil, and she grumbled at my brother for not making her dinner because she had been 'working hard all day' whereas we had just been 'outside in the garden'.

Anyway it's looking pretty good out there even if I did end up in the flowerbeds wearing a hairdressing smock with a plastic bag thing on my hair colour, only to get shouted at for risking getting my head cold and turning my hair yellow.

From there we visited my Dad in hospital, came home and had dinner before settling in front of the TV, then the phone call came.

I'm not going to go into great detail because if nothing else it's not my tale to tell, but suffice to say Himself's Dad had been rushed to hospital and his Mum had been left alone with no care.
Cue Himself rushing off to Margate for the rest of the week and me not being able to go and help because I had important appointments booked for the planning of my Dad's future care.

So what do you do when you are worried sick about Himself, your in laws and even more so about your Mum who is exhausted and barely holding on? Oh and you have to make a decision that will determine the rest of your Dad's life?
You paint on a face, you put on a pretty new frock that you couldn't resist because you fell in love with it's spring blossom print,
take a deep breath and put your best foot forward.
Or in my case get distracted when you discover your new dress has pockets. Pockets! I do like a frock with pockets, doubly so when you weren't expecting them.

Decision day was full of the unexpected. The weather seemed to match our emotions and kept having dramatic torrential downpours followed by glorious sunshine. It was certainly a day of tears and smiles as it turned out.

I'm at that age in life when a few friends are in the same situation and I have been so grateful for all their help and advice about choosing a nursing home.
The need to visit first was made abundantly clear when the top choice on paper turned out to be just horrible, and as it goes the one Mum and I both loved, was one that wasn't even in the running on paper! 

Of course the home we loved had no spaces but Dad was top of their list for when one did become free. Which meant in the meantime he would have to go temporarily into the horrible one as unsurprisingly they did have spaces available.

Not ideal but doable.

We made the calls, spoke to his occupational therapist and social worker and were just sitting with Dad explaining when by some happy stroke of luck we were told Dad could go straight to the lovely home after all!
 We hadn't been able to meet with the assistant manager when we visited because she was out assessing a patient for the one room they did have free. As it turns out they couldn't match that person's care needs so as Dad was next on the list he could have the room.

For the first time in a while now it felt like things were going in our favour. I cannot even begin to describe to you the relief.
As it goes this seems to be the turn in the tide. Himself managed to arrange the right care and support for his parents too and came home yesterday knackered but positive. There is a way to go in both situations but we are on the right path.

We had to postpone our trip to Greenwich for Himself's birthday but that is easily rescheduled. Instead I have bought all sorts of yummy treats to spoil home rotten with.

Before I go. One thing I'm wondering, and this may be just me, but I have been having a bit of a clearout of the wardrobe and the first 2 dresses that just had to go, were the one I was wearing when Dad had his stroke, and the one I was wearing at his care plan meeting. I just can't bear to ever wear them again.
Is that just me? Is it a bit weird?

Anyway I'm going to sign off with another new frock, because when life is throwing you lemons buy a novelty print, especially if it's in the sale, which this was.
 Whales! who could resist?
 Cirencester bargain necklace
And if the novelty print doesn't do it, how about a 99p bargain vintage handbag of Ebay?


  1. Whales are great! And that spring blossom print is so pretty.

    I don't think it's silly to get rid of the dresses - I have one bracelet I never wear because I'm convinced it's unlucky. If those frocks always reminded you of bad things, they're better off going to someone who will only think of happy things in them.

    I hope the new home is really nice for your Dad, and that things are finally improving for you all.

  2. Oh goodness, Gisela, it's all going on. I'm very relieved to hear that you managed to find a nursing home which you feel will be right for your dad, and that your partner's parents are OK too. No, I don't think it's odd to have unhappy associations with those dresses - and since you do have a few (ha!) then why wear ones which make you sad? Plenty of others to choose from, with pockets and whales, no less!
    I love a bit of Hardy - the misery is all part of the pleasure! xxx

  3. I like Hardy too, your remark about the posh shepherd made me smile.
    What a week for you. So pleased to hear you got your dad into a place that you are happy with and no it is not weird... or just you, I did not wear again the clothes I was wearing the day my mum died. Not quite the same I know, but I didn't want to be reminded of the sad memories associated with that outfit. Fab ebay handbag!

  4. Another adage 'it's all or nothing' and gawd, you have been through it Gisela - finding a good care home is a blessed relief for everyone and I'm relieved Himself's parents are fine too. It's not weird about the clothes, and I'm with you on painting faces for any tricky situation, boy do I whack it on - the whale print dress is fab! and your bag and necklace - I can't comment on Hardy because I am a literary buffoon, I never read x x x

  5. You have my every sympathy. the nursing home dilemma is an utter nightmare. Our first choice didn't pan out either, although Dad's home isn't something he'd ever have chosen if he'd been in a place to do so is amazing and he's loved, cared for and I'm forever grateful to the wonderful staff who live on minimum wage but give him maximum care.
    Thinking and sending love to you both.
    On a brighter note you are absolutely stunning in those two dresses. I adore the blue bag and the daisy necklace and your hair looks fab.
    Love Thomas hardy, it's the dour Midlander in me. xxx

  6. My thoughts are with you lovely, it's such a hard decision and it sounds like it's not been going smoothly. Your friends sound very helpful indeed with their advice and no doubt a shoulder to lean on a bit. Sending positive energy through the net!

    Those two frocks are both smashing on you, and that's a super bargain bag! xx

  7. Blimey, its been a rough old time for you both, but I'm glad that things are starting to look up. No - getting rid of those dresses isn't weird in the slightest and I'm with Mim too as there's jewellery that I haven't worn since something went wrong whilst I was wearing them and I think they're jinxed.

    Lovely dresses those two; the whale print is cute whilst a gorgeous dress complete with pockets is always going to be a winner. xx

    P.S. Still haven't got round to seeing that film yet, so I hope it'll still be showing in a week or two.

  8. God love, what a tough time for you. Hope you are both OK and glad that things are looking up.
    When I won the Literature prize at school a hundred years ago, I got Tess of the d'Urbervilles and I've kept it ever since. The sad, sentimental Welsh in me loves the misery of Hardy.
    No, it's not weird. Association is a powerful thing. I've chucked things because of what went wrong when I was in them,
    Love the frocks and that bag is lovely.
    Take care.

  9. Wow, what a week. Yes, choosing a nursing home is a daunting task and a huge responsibility, but I think you know when you find the right one. Even then, if it doesn't prove to be, you can move your parent, that's what I did. And I think you have to be aware too, that you will always need to be communicating your Dad's needs and fighting his corner, even in a good home. With the best will in the world, they can't get it all right, all the time. But carers are wonderful people, especially if you get them on your side. I loved the dress I wore to my dad's funeral, but I had to give it away afterwards. Xxx

  10. Great, I love it! Enjoy the week honey!

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