My mother was diagnosed with vascular dementia in 2010. This is a blog about coming to terms with her absent mind.

Tuesday, 28 June 2011


Horrible horrible bad back today and run out of Tramadol so had to do a Quasimodo style leg-drag into Tesco and buy pathetic Solpadeine instead. To be honest with you, I'm not sure what to do with myself as sitting, standing or lying down doesn't help.

Cooked Ma red flannel hash tonight which she hoovered up to my considerable surprise. She's been ok today, much more level and far less volatile. We went to Tesco first thing. It took quite a long time to get relatively few items (one carrier bag) because she spends a lot of time studying the shelves and then declares that there's nothing very interesting to buy! We did manage to settle on some cookies she fancied which was good and got some new bath mats to replace the ancient ones in situ, also good :)

This afternoon was bittersweet. We watched Wimbledon and she asked me to explain the scoring to her. I remember asking her the same thing in about 1969.

More later maybe. Not feeling too great if I'm honest.

Slight change

I've been advised to change the format on here so that the comment box is a pop-up rather than embedded at the bottom of the post. This may solve the posting problems that people have been having. Feel free to comment on this post and see if it works. Thank you :)

Monday, 27 June 2011

Cooking the beast and other stories

The meal yesterday went very well indeed. Ma loved having people round and everyone seemed to have a good time. I got unbearably hot unfortunately and did wonder the wisdom of serving a full on roast on the hottest day of the year even if I didn't realise it was going to be when I planned it! Simon, bless him, brought the big floor-standing fan downstairs and set it up next to the Aga and that quite possibly stopped me from passing out.

The pork was sublime (and still is - leftover heaven here) and worth trying if you've never done it, although be warned it does feed an awful lot of people! Simon Rimmer's Lemon and Mascarpone tart is definitely worth making - but don't faint at the egg count - as is the Amaretti, raspberry and almond cake from the Good Food website I took a couple of photos and will post them after this - although the one of the table is a bit blurred due to me shaking from feeling so hot and crap. Sorry.


Days like today are the ones I find the hardest to deal with. Again, I think the excitement of yesterday has tipped her into a small decline. I call them white knuckle ride days.

When I took Ma her tablets this morning she was crying over Dad's photo (this is not unusual) and barely called goodbye to Simon before he left at about 9:00. She did not want to get up, which is fine, so I gave her a cup of tea and her tablets and left her alone.

At 9:30 Sue from the Community Mental Health Team (Older People) came to see me, she is the person who cares for the Carers and offers support etc. to people like me. Within five minutes of her arriving Ma came into the room fully dressed and lipsticked and obviously wanting to know what was going on. This made talking to Sue a bit tricky because obviously we needed to talk about Ma and how I am coping. However, I think Sue and I sparked off each other quite well and I'm sure we will get on famously, she is coming to see me again in a couple of weeks to do a Carer's Assessment. There's quite a lot of support out there that I hadn't realised existed and which I will be taking full advantage of, starting with a meeting on Thursday evening.

After Sue left Ma did her hair which she finds ever more difficult to negotiate - today she couldn't find the hairspray in addition to the regular difficulties with using her curling irons. She then went and sat outside in the sun for a while before coming back inside and becoming morose and beligerent, refusing to speak to me and spending over three hours on the sofa in the kitchen refusing to eat or drink anything. I was actually quite worried about her being dehydrated after being out in the sun but it took that long to get her to drink anything. I'm still not sure why she took against me but she's now sitting in the lounge watching Wimbledon (I've always loved Nadal, he used to be good. Which one is he?), is about to eat some tea, and chatting happily about yesterday.



Uncle Vic outdid Simon in the mis-naming of things yesterday. Apparently he's been watching a foodie programme he thinks is called 'Two Fat Greeks'. In fact he's been watching 'Two Greedy Italians'. Still chuckling.


Friday, 24 June 2011

It's the weekend

Today started with Ma looking for a dress to wear to church. When she realised that it wasn't Sunday she went into a decline refusing to eat or drink anything, just sitting in the chair with a face on. She did eventually have OSS at about 11am and gradually got over her snit.

Luckily for me I had E's visit to look forward to so pootled about in the kitchen making a quiche for lunch then did some apple sauce and started the stuffing for Sunday. Just generally faffing about really. I was desperate to start the puddings but will have to wait until tomorrow.

E arrived and it was fab as usual. Never run out of things to chat about and we noshed away on the quiche with some new spuds and salad. I was rather miffed that the Aga Know How book failed me regarding a 'crisp quiche base' and actually you DO have to bake the pastry blind first Grr.

After E left took Ma to the Doc's for a bit of a check up which went well and he picked up on my verbal clues and told Ma that he thought it was an excellent idea for her to go to the day centre. Now that Dr Hampson has spoken she's champing at the bit to get there *rolls eyes*

I also collected the pork from the butcher.  I think it's fair to say that I'd forgotten just how huge a whole shoulder of pork is, scoring the skin is proving to be a challenge too far for my poor old hands. I'll have to do the other half tomorrow. It does do justice to the Aga roasting tin though :)


Another chic-lit recommendation for you: Milly Johnson's The Yorkshire Pudding Club. Cried like a loon at the end.

All this reading is in the name of 'research' obviously. One day I will have a go at writing one.

Thursday, 23 June 2011


Back to Normality

The aliens have returned my mother. Damn them.

At 6am she woke me up to tell me she wouldn't be going to 'that place' because she didn't want to sit in a room with old ladies. This is not open to negotiation but we do have to wait for a place so there's time yet to bludgeon her into going.

I am convinced that the problem is fear. She is being asked to attend something new, on her own, for the first time since Dad died. They really did do everything together so this will be a first for her and it's a biggie. She keeps saying that I can/will go with her and this morning she said something very telling 'I looked around and didn't see anyone I know'. I do believe that once she has been a couple of times it will become something she looks forward to and it is also, in my opinion, something she needs to do. By that I mean meeting new people, many of whom are in very similar circumstances to her, and getting out of the house with some small measure of independence. And at the risk of sounding horribly selfish, it would give me a little bit of time off too.


Watching Wimbledon has been relatively frustrating. She has always loved watching it and in years past I vividly remember her and Mavis glued to the tv watching Borg, Nastase, Conners et al. Today she decided that they've changed the scoring rules, that the Hewitt match 'is going on too long, it's ridiculous!' and responded to everything said by the commentators.

Eh well. Only another week and a half to go.


I've ordered the pork from the butcher this afternoon. So far I've decided on roasties, newies, carrots, blue cheesy leeks, courgettes with rosemary and garlic crumbs, beetroot and horseradish relish, apple sauce, some sort of stuffing involving lemons and parsley etc., Yorkshires and gravy (natch). Then a tarte au citron and a damp raspberry/amaretti/ground almond cake thing with cream. I think some Cornish greens need to be in there too, for colour and also for balance. Do we think this sounds ok? Or am I missing something? (yes I do worry about things like this)

ETA oops forgot to mention the sausages wrapped in bacon. Someone attending is v partial to them :)


I had a bit of vein poppage in my leg on Sunday but not, thankfully, DVT. The result is a whopping bruise on my calf which aches like a bugger. I rang NHS Direct when it happened, they couldn't have been more helpful, calmed my fears and told me to see the GP the following morning. GP was reassuring and told me to rest my leg and elevate it. Which I did. But only after I'd driven 500 miles obviously. I'll post a pic in a bit however, the bruising has faded a bit so not a gruesome as it was on Monday!

Actually Sunday night was eventful for another reason too. Some f****r kicked off my nearside wing mirror overnight. Definitely kicked off as the car was parked nearside to the kerb. I've managed to clip the housing back together but the glass won't go back in properly so it's now taped up waiting for a repair which will cost me £75 excess on the insurance. Like I said. F*****s.

Wednesday, 22 June 2011


Where's my real mother and what have you done with her?

Today (so far - it's now 17:20) has been easy and pleasant with Ma clearly pretty contented. She didn't get up until just before 8, decided not to have a shower today and requested porridge for breakfast just after nine o'clock. I successfully negotiated the tv schedule away from Jeremy Kyle and hit upon Cruise TV which pleased her no end. I was somewhat flummoxed when she said she thought she should be having some lunch at 11:30 and then proceeded to eat a small fish pie with tomatoes, four custard creams and a hot chocolate.

Her social worker arrived after lunch and took her off to the day centre which she really wasn't very keen to see. (I finished Mandy Baggot's book Knowing Me Knowing You *sniff*) When she got back she was full of it! 'They give you lunch and you can get your hair done and they have music afternoons and send you home with some tea.'  There was some confusion over the arrangements ie she seems to think that I can go with her and she doesn't quite understand about the minibus collection schedule - I think she thinks this is a personal taxi service - but all in all it was a fantastic response. We now have to wait until there is a place for her but hopefully it won't be too long, not because she will forget but because she won't and will ask me many times a day until it is sorted.

She's watched a couple of hours of Wimbledon and has just asked me when her tea will be ready and would like cottage pie and peas.... This is when I began to suspect an alien abduction.

Yesterday when I was literally nauseous with fatigue and pain after all the driving she was in a vicious mood, got unbelievably annoyed when I dozed off for 10 minutes, banging cupboard doors open and closed and throwing things around then pushed food around her plate at both meals and went to bed in a huff. So that's the last time I let her have blue Smarties for lunch (kidding).


I've invited Ma's friend's over for Sunday lunch again. I fancy doing something very slightly different ie mustard and maple syrup glazed roast gammon with parsley and Cumberland sauces and the usual roast dinner type veggies (roast, new, cabbage, cauli and leek cheese, peas etc). Never done gammon for Sunday lunch - do we think this is ok? Otherwise it will have to be 24 hour pork in the bottom oven. Which, now I think about it, is a very good (and going to church friendly) idea. Place your votes now please....


'So did you like it?'

'It was very nice, the girls were ever so friendly.'

'Well that's great! You'll soon make some new friends and it will be nice to chat with some new people.'

'I won't be talking to any of those old ones though. Poor souls.'

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Wincey's Words of Wisdom

Quick update on today.

Picked Ma up just after 10 this morning. We listened to the Radio 2 pop quiz on the way home which she seemed to enjoy - although I'm not so sure it was quite as funny as she seemed to think it was... The weather was absolutely foul so the journey wasn't the best but we got home ok.

She's eaten a three egg cheese omelette with bread and butter for lunch and a small portion of braising steak and onions with some mash just now. Plus tea and chocolate biscuits with Vic and Mavis. A good food day for once.

Lots of confusion about what has happened recently so I've had to do a fair bit of picking through the conversation carefully to make sure that I don't piss her off because I'm 'not listening' or worse, correcting her.

And I am shattered and in quite a bit of pain after all the driving so need to go and lie down in a darkened room.

So a short update today, sorry. More tomorrow.


M62. Saddleworth Moor. Just passed the sign which says 'Highest Point on British Motorway 1221ft'. It is raining so hard and the spray is so bad you can't tell one from the other.

'It's a bit dull isn't it'

Saturday, 18 June 2011

Playing away

My planned quick getaway this morning was slightly scuppered by Ma breaking the flush mechanism on the loo in her bathroom. The flush mechanism is easily repaired and it really isn't much of an issue because there are several other loos available but it sent Ma into a decline whereupon she went back to bed for two hours and cried a lot. Obviously I couldn't leave her in such a state so I pootled about until she was ready to get up then fed her breakfast, cleared up and left at about half 10.

The journey was the usual mix of slow-ish traffic, bad weather en route, stopped traffic due to rubber-necking a three car pile up on the OTHER carriageway etc. etc. So six hours after I set off, hello North Devon. As predicted, the house was fairly empty although Will was at home and not at Abi's as I'd thought. Otherwise the house is in good order, Lily was thrilled to see the children and we've all just scarfed a Chinese. Chicken balls for them, king prawn egg foo yung for me (no noodles ironically) whilst watching Kung Fu Panda. As a result of this I have booked tickets to see Kung Fu Panda 2 in 3D with  my daughter tomorrow (Pullman seats - get us!).


Father's day tomorrow. Exactly seven months to the day since my wonderful dad left us and I can't tell you how much the whole thing upsets me this year. I have tears running down my face as I type this. I miss him so very very much. The silly sense of humour, the Basil Brush laugh, our daily phone calls that often went on for an hour or more. His compassion and wise counsel, his love and affection. He was a great party animal, adored my mother, custard, a drink and a tidy drawer. He was deeply loved by so very many people and is deeply missed by all of them.


Ohhh! So THAT's what  the new +1 button at the bottom of the page does!

Friday, 17 June 2011

Friday and beyond

Today Ma went to hospital for some tests. Everything seems to be ok but they did take a biopsy as a precaution.

Naturally she was up at daft o'clock so I'd done a full day of housework by 9! We had a few inside out issues and tricky pants to negotiate, and the shower was 'broken' again but generally it was a fairly easy start to the day. Porridge (Oat So Simple Golden Syrup Thank you Thank you Thank you) and ITV kept her entertained until Jane arrived. 'We' are now watching Emmerdale.

God bless Jane who came and took her to the hospital so I had a few hours off. I'm ashamed to say I spent them catching up on House. I love the relationship bits and think they are far more interesting than the ridiculous medical scenarios. Yep that would be me justifying my viewing habits. Sue me.

I'm off to Devon tomorrow to spend some serious time with my children. This means that I will arrive to an echoingly empty house and my daughter drawing on her graphics pad with no sign of any boys. Will will be staying at Abbi's and George will be working then off to a party (or making jazz hands). I shall wrestle H into a girlie night of dvd/chocolate/ice cream and a discussion about the various merits of Mr Depp, Mr Bloom, Mr Radcliffe and Mr Smith (we are geeky Dr Who types). I think she will vote for Mr Smith. But only because I don't intend to include Mr Hammond.

Happy times.


Spanish Chicken for tea. I was convinced Ma would push it around her plate but she hoovered it up. Perhaps having Jane here helped. I used some cooking chorizo along with chicken thighs, onion, peppers, tinned toms, red wine, chick peas, parsley, garlic and paprika. They had it with mash, I used a large spoon. There's just enough left over for a one person frozen meal :)

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Any suggestions

I need to find a non-alcoholic substitute for sherry. Ma has started to refuse tea or coffee and ask for sherry or wine. Even at 9 in the morning. Now I like a snifter as much as anyone (and possibly more than most) but you can't go drinking sherry at breakfast, notwithstanding the fact that drinking it makes you, and by that I mean Ma, very aggressive.

Refusal to supply sherry this morning resulted in three hours of crying which isn't really a good thing. So any suggestions?

This afternoon Ma spent most of the time clutching a hymn book Dad half inched from church a few years ago which had a small shopping list written by him tucked between the pages. Poor old soul. I sent Simon a text telling him that she'd been holding this hymn book but neglected to say why. He replied asking if she was going to sing. This sent me into such uncontrollable giggles that I had to leave the room. I know that sounds insensitive but it's a huge family joke about how dreadful my mother's singing is... it is still making me fight the urge to laugh out loud.


I've been reading a spot of modern romantic fiction for light relief (and also sobbing like a loon at the endings) written by Mandy Baggot. I urge you to read them, highly recommended. (especially for you Lizabeth! x)


Just made a thing (technical term) using chook thigh fillets, wine, stock, onion, garlic, cream and blue cheese. Served with broccoli and a bit of rice for Ma. It was bloody lovely actually.

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Chips and Onion Rings!

Well that went well

Unfortunately my SIL was offered work at the last minute so isn't coming until tomorrow. However, I didn't know this until after I'd told Ma Jane was coming so there was no chance of her staying in the house when she'd already decided we were going out for lunch. She settled on a place in Ramsbottom which does serve very nice food and promptly ordered chips. I urged her to have something else as well, so she ordered onion rings. Hey ho, onions are a vegetable I suppose and the onion rings were easily as big as her head. So that's at least two of her five a day.

After lunch we had another stab at finding this mythical pub. She was insistent that she now knew where it was and off we went. She didn't so we didn't. But at least we've seen the whole of Haslingden, Rawtenstall, Edenfield, Stubbins and half of Rochdale.


We have a bit of a running battle going on. Well, not really a battle, more of a skirmish. She is permanently cold - she's 81 and doesn't move around much so it isn't terribly surprising. I fear I have my very own built-in hormonal Bessemer converter. I think that her choice of clothing doesn't help (she favours floaty, sparkly and generally flimsy things) so I have bought her some fleecy tops, vests and warmer trousers but she still insists on having the fire on. Not a problem so long as I don't have to sit in the living room with her. However.... if I don't she gets very sulky and will sit with the tv and fire turned off huddled in the chair. What to do? I think perhaps a room fan and a cold (hot) water bottle strapped to my head should do it.


Ruddy Twitter. I've deleted at least seven hashtags whilst writing this #habitual

Tuesday, 14 June 2011


It is really really difficult to strike the right balance between helping Ma to help herself and taking over. I am very aware of this and try very hard not to jump in immediately when her wheels appear to be spinning.

Today she was on a mission to go out for lunch which is fine and I do encourage it because it gets us out of the house for a few hours, it involves food and it isn't shopping. Several places were suggested and then rejected before she settled on a pub, the name of which she couldn't remember, but she was adamant that she knew where to find it. (insert sinking heart smiley here: 'We go up the road and along and it's on the side...) Unfortunately and fairly unsurprisingly we didn't find it but I did try, truly I did. The fact that we couldn't find it resulted in quite a few tears in the car and she was calling her self stupid and useless.

In the end we had a very nice lunch here:

somewhere I haven't been for about 30 years! Ma had fishcakes ('and a few chips' :D) and I had a cheeseburger sans bread with salad. During the meal she went from sobbing because the music wasn't anything Dad would know to dancing along in her chair to M People. It's a white-knuckle ride I tell you!


Just helped her to bed. She's convinced we are going somewhere tomorrow and I am not about to disabuse her of that notion. I'll deal with it in the morning.

However my ex-SIL is coming to take her out tomorrow (hopefully) so that will please her but obviously I haven't told Ma to avoid the 05:30 start and sitting on the edge of her seat for five hours.

Monday, 13 June 2011

Party Animal

My cousin's 40th wedding anniversary party was great fun, as always it is so nice to see family members, especially those you haven't seen in a long time. Dave and Glen looked fabulous, it's hard to believe that they've been married for 40 years. One of the highlights of the night was a projected slide show of old photos which played in the background during the meal. I think they managed to get pretty much every family member who was there (I was 10 and a bridesmaid and cannot believe how much my daughter looks like me!). A late night but a very good one.

The following morning started early for me because I had visions of Ma deciding she needed to walk the dog and wandering off. So at 6:30 I went to her room and sure enough she was in the process of 'dressing' and getting ready to go out. I left her with a cuppa and told her I'd be back at nine. I took the dog for a scamper around the grounds which she absolutely loved even though she didn't spot the rabbits! At that time of the morning the horrendous rain hadn't arrived so it was a very beautiful pootle. Back at the room I was now very much up and awake so I had some serious Kindle time until 9 then went and got Ma, arranging to meet a delicate Cornishman in the restaurant.

After a truly stonking hotel breakfast we packed and paid and then drove over to Dave and Glen's for a post party lunch party. Clearly there was less drinking for the drivers though! Lovely food and lovely company then home.


I think all the excitement of the weekend has sent Ma into a small decline. She is rambling such a lot and is almost incoherent at times. There's a lot of talking to herself and talking back to the television too. As I understand it, vascular dementia has a different progression to Alzheimers. In Alzheimers the decline is fairly steady and continual, in VD it is more like a set of uneven steps. There can be relatively long periods where things are stable and then an event or situation will bring on a noticable reduction in abilities. Over the last few days we've had quite a lot of new behaviours or existing behaviours becoming more marked.


We nipped into the garden centre for bird seed after we'd been to Tesco having picked up a hot chicken and some salad for lunch. Silly me. Ma had chips.

Thursday, 9 June 2011

Blood tests and other things

As predicted we were slow off the mark this morning. Ma was still floating around in her nightie at 8:15 but we made it to the appointment on time. Naturally Ma thought this was the appt with the gynae and was very surprised to be seeing him in the doctor's surgery... next week she'll be wondering why we are going to hospital.

We had a cup of tea in Tesco afterwards. As we were sitting there this was the conversation:

'Don't look up there but there's a couple we used to see here all the time. She used to go to the place where we got covers and got measured (nope me neither). They were always here when your Dad and I came and he used to talk to her for ages. She couldn't walk very well. They came here because they didn't have anything else to do'

'She looks to be walking ok now'

'Who does?'

'The woman in the corner you're talking about'

'Oh they aren't here. I was just telling you about them'


Edited to add: And when we were in Comet she was admiring the shoes. For shoes read irons.


This afternoon has mostly been spent looking through the address book for Auntie Joyce's address and phone no. Well, whilst watching Loose Women again again. I know the number is in there but she refuses any help in finding it. She maintains that she is going to write a letter to Joyce but as I've said she can barely write anything at all anymore so perhaps I can persuade her to dictate and I will write it instead.

Oh and as we are on the subject of tv... she watched an episode of CDWM this afternoon. It was from Liverpool. These people were perfectly normal (well, within the parameters of the show that is) and yet, because they are from Liverpool Ma was convinced that they are all hilarious. This, I have to say, is not confined to the hallowed halls of CDWM it happens whenever any scouser is in the room/on tv/in evidence. I'm from Ramsbottom (mostly) and I can't honestly say that if I saw anyone from Rammy on the tv I'd find them utterly hilarious just BECAUSE they are from Ramsbottom. Drives me insane. And here's the really amusing bit... Ma doesn't think she has an accent any longer. When people ask her if she's from Liverpool she's always shocked. But this is the woman who still says 'a fair coat' and 'furry cakes' :)


However *Breaking News* Ma has discovered pizza. She had a quarter for lunch and another quarter for tea with a few chips and some salad.  As I really don't like pizza I am slightly miffed and don't know what to eat. I think I may grill a tin of sardines and have them with an onion/coriander/lime salsa thing.

Wednesday, 8 June 2011


It has been a very long day.  Ma has been on one of her 'mission' days so it started with a very early shower ('it's still broken') then visiting every neighbour. After that she got ready for her evening out and has been waiting to go out since 12:00. She has asked (literally) every 10 minutes 'is that someone at the door?' and going to put her coat on. It does get wearing after a while.

I guarantee that when I need her to be up and out for a blood test at 08:55 tomorrow she will be snoring away lol!


We've had thunder and lightning and torrential rain on and off today - I've been calling it tropical storm EeByGum - and it has played merry hell with the bird feeders. I've chucked all the sodden seed onto the lawn tempting the sparrows to dance in and out munching the seed when there's a break in the weather and we must have at least 8 blackbirds in the garden at the moment, four or five or them juveniles. Lily spends a lot of time chuffing out of the window...


As we know Ma is out tonight so I've made a variation on harira using up the meat from the lamb shank we didn't eat last night and the leftover stock along with chickpeas, ras al hanout, mint, coriander, lemon juice and eggs. Smells fab. If I wasn't so carb phobic I'd probably add a couple of handfuls of cous cous and have it with some flatbread. But to be honest it is quite thick and unctuous so I will have it with a mint, cucumber and onion affair, dressed with lemon and a little salt.


Thought you might like to see a pic of Ma and found this one on my phone (hence the rubbish photo). I'd just bought her some new clothes for Mothering Sunday :)


I've made a decision. I spend a lot of time thinking about food and then cooking and eating it but can't be arsed to write two blogs. Plus I do often refer to things I've cooked so from now on there may be a slightly more detailed small food bit at the end of any post.

Hope nobody minds and thinks 'Pah! What a cheat. I shall never darken the doors of this blog again' After all, you don't have to read the food bit if you don't want to.

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Dazed and confused

It's been a day of confusion today with a lot of repeated questions and a fascinating take on world politics.

She's going out for a meal tomorrow night so most of this afternoon was taken up with looking for something to wear.  Three bulging double wardrobes later and still we couldn't settle on anything. Nevermind, we've got all day tomorrow to resolve this. I do hope the neighbours weren't looking when she whipped all her clothes off in front of the patio windows in order to try on a dress. I couldn't swear to it but I think I may have let a very tiny scream escape when I turned around and saw her in the buff.

Lamb shanks for tea tonight. 6 hours in the bottom oven with red wine, garlic, onion, tomatoes etc. Absolutely ruddy delicious. Obviously Ma didn't eat very much of it *sigh* but the leftovers will make something splendid tomorrow for a one-person supper.


This is why she cannot be left to look after herself.

'Would you like a cup of coffee?'

'No thanks, shall I make you one?''

'No no, I'll do it''


'Ugh that's not very nice'

'It doesn't smell very nice either! What on earth did you do'

'I think this milk is off' <points to bottle in fridge>

'You mean this 'milk' in the salad cream bottle?'

Monday, 6 June 2011

On your marks...

Ma has an ultrasound scan today at 13:45, she's been up and ready since just after 5. I told her she could have a slice of toast for breakfast but then nothing until after the scan. She refused breakfast.

Just found her in the kitchen eating KitKats. Arrgghh.

She's also been looking for shoes to wear to the party on Saturday. My goodness she has an awful lot of shoes!


The ultrasound scan has thrown up a few questions in the lady bits department so there is to be an appointment with the gynaecologist within the next two weeks. But they don't think it's anything sinister.

Ma is still very teary. Anything from driving down the street to Morrisons to eating a pie can set her off. I guess that after being together for almost 60 years everything you do is laden with memories. For her sake I hope things start to ease soon. I've suggested talking to Cruse but she won't have any of it yet, maybe (hopefully) in time.


 I've organised for Sky+HD to be installed. This is mainly for Ma's sake but also to save my sanity, there is only so much daytime ITV I can take. So from Thursday we will have a billion channels to watch and I fully intend to make sure we look at most of them - even though she watches wall to wall ITV she doesn't really like it!


I want an iPad. But only because I want to play Angry Birds. Look I never said I wasn't completely shallow.

Sunday, 5 June 2011


Yesterday was a fairly quiet day although deciding to go shopping in town was a really bad idea after such a long drive on Friday. I got halfway round and most of my joints stopped working due to overtiredness. Cue a cup of tea and a sit down! Unfortunately the tiredness stopped me being able to decide which shoes to buy for the party so will have to go back at some point this week.

This morning started with a blind panic.

I got up just after six and found the front door wide open. No sign of Ma or the dog. Jumped into car in nightie and toured the neighbourhood. Found them in the middle of the main road. No lead on Lily. Ma in slippers, sparkly top, pj bottoms and cardi. Apparently none of this mattered because there wasn't anyone around. I think my heart rate has finally gone back to normal.


Sometimes you just have to laugh...

'What do you fancy for lunch Mum?'

'Oh I'm not very hungry I think I'd like a couple of pieces of bacon.'

'Ok no problem, I'll just pop to the shop.'

'I'll have some of those other things as well.'

<cue a question and answer session - she meant sausages>

'Oh and I'll have a few mushrooms'

'And an egg'

'And some hash browns'

'And fried bread...'

Edited to add: And a sherry!


Ma is showing the dog her Princess Diana doll. The dog is supremely uninterested. Ma is taking this personally. I've tried to explain that the dog is not a 3 year old child but I'm not sure I've been very successful.

Friday, 3 June 2011

We're back!

Hellooo - it's been a busy week but we are now back.

The Cornishman is recovering nicely and the bruising is finally going, he's still a bit sore and has to be very careful about lifting/twisting etc. but otherwise he's fine.

I've just had the drive back from hell, left Devon at 09:30 and arrived in Ramsbottom at 21:00 - admittedly that did include a trip to Tesco, but I count any trip to Tesco as a drive from hell anyway. Ma was on form and annoyed a lot of people by stopping in the middle of aisles and spent a lot of time looking for red wine, something she's never drunk but apparently 'loves'. Fortunately only white wine made it onto the till in the end. I'd never hear the last of it!

The final hour and a half from my brother's house to here involved at least four circular conversations:

- 'How is George?' 'He's fine thank you' 'Will he get a job up here?' 'No, he's in sixth form college for another year'
- 'How is Harriet?' 'She's fine thanks' 'When is she coming?' 'She's not, she's still in school for another year' 'Oh yes that's right...'
- 'What colour shoes do you need for the party?' 'I don't, but you need to look through yours for some though' 'Well you can have any of mine' 'I know Ma thanks, but your feet are two sizes smaller than mine and I already have shoes sorted' 
-  'We need to get some wine' 'Yes we do (heartfelt)' 'I like the sound of this Merlot' 'You don't drink red wine Ma' 'I love red wine' 'Since when?' 'Always!'

Bedtime for me soon I hope - Ma is insisting on staying up for some reason.

Footnote: I watched Unstoppable last night. Great film in true Tony Scott style. I swear I yelled at one point 'Get the horses OUT!' Like they were going to let them get blown to bits in a horse box by a runaway train...