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1 - Up around 7:30am to a rainy day. Very tired . . . PCd . . .walked in the drizzle . . . slept a large part of the day . . . TVd . . .at precisely three minutes to five in the afternoon my 'mood' lifted somewhat and I was thinking a little straighter again!!? Weird how it can work that way - kinda scarey. . . M/D/Sis2 called to confirm trouble with the bus time tables and ask if I was ok to act as a taxi service when Sis2 goes home. Of course I will . . . BB called to touch base a little later, by which time I was sufficiently 'myself' to answer the phone without severing contact (AvPD like) - as I surely would have done only hours before if I'd picked up!!? I think BB 'understands' more than anyone I've known :o) . . . ML called to confirm him visiting and staying over Wednesday. I said I wasn't up to it and cancelled with lame excuses . . .walked in the drizzle and M/D called on the mobile telling me Sis1 had been successful at an interview and had been offered a new job - less money but no getting beaten up by 'hopeless' kids. Good news. Briefly called Sis1 and offered congratulations . . . TVd/PCd till early as heavy rain battered outside. Tiring couple of days of 'madness' - my life is stripped down to a bare minimum and yet at such times I feel overwhelmed with 'responsibilities' and 'obligations' from which I need to (MUST) escape. (small stuff as simple as answering the phone when it rings, or needing to answer an e-mail I've received, or of late even doing this journal, etc.!!) What I record here as probable triggers, are probably not! Go figure . . :o\ (2/10)s
2 - Woken too early by Sally gently 'woofing' as junk mail was delivered . . . more rain (what is that Sting song about 'Fields Of Gold'? Round and round and round boring a hole in my head!!) . . . drove Sally in the car down to Snuff Mills for a walk in what turned out to be mostly sunny spells. Quite a bit of respectable swimming chasing sticks. :o) Spotted three tennis type balls trapped in the 'sump' of one of the waterfalls along the river - grabbed a large part of a fallen tree and eventually bagged them for Sally to chew on at home. Amazing how difficult it was to dislodge them from the currents and undertow - could have been stuck there like that for years! No wonder people drown in larger scale versions of such stuff! . . . back at home and decided to bite the bullet and get some car insurance sorted - only have a few more days! Rang a broker Dad has a soft spot for, and then as an afterthought remembered I hadn't called Direct Line who I used to have a policy with several years ago. Called them and amazingly (disturbingly?) they called up all my old policy details on their computer which of course used to include a FULL no claims bonus, despite the fact that I'd made a claim when my old 1600SI had been wrecked outside the house by that hit and run b*****d!??? - incredibly they said there was no record of that and they could carry it forward if I was to come back to them as a customer and they gave me a quote of £224.70 for fully comp WITH a no claims protection cover!!!! Blimey! BLIMEY!! :o) That's more like it - flashed my debit card number and paid for the cover from the 5th. Excellent (although some worry whether or not I should have insisted more forcefully I DID make a claim back in 1999!!) . . . touched base with M/D and told them the good news and resisted their attempts to pay it for me! Dad keeps saying "What is money to me now!" but I'm sure Mum will want as much as she can get hold of when he's gone even though he had the forsight to make sure she'd be 'comfortable' by signing up for extra pension payments when he was younger! He's always been SO practical about such things - paying off now! God knows what MY financial situation will be in later life!! I don't even know if the company medical retirement pension I am trying to live on (£373.64 per month) will cease at a certain age or not! And so much for dreams of moving house - house prices here have exploded again and risen 20% this year according to the news!!! . . . celebrated the good news about the car insurance by falling asleep for most of the rest of the day!! 10 hours + sleep a day again, and then never enough!!? . . . TVd . . .walked in the rain . . . watched the first in a hard hitting series of TV programs all about death! Focused 'fly on the wall' like, on several women with terminal cancer, one with a brain tumor not unlike Dads! Heavy stuff - quite a trip - some tears. Missed the very end of the program beacuse BB called to touch base (unhappy and of course I hadn't appropriate words!) but - well - I guess the end of the program was inevitable from the start! Everyone dies. . .TVd/PCd till early. . . funny how my guestbook kinda has a life of its own. Can't find 'totty' in my dictionary - but what the hell would a schizoid/avoidant do with 'it'?!! :o| No, no, no, no, noooo! I maybe need to ammend the guestbook, like I have the feedback form, to alleviate my guilt at never responding. (Viz. "Whilst I am most grateful for and avidly read all the feedback, suggestions and comments I receive on a daily basis, it is unlikely I will feel able to reply to you personally, so please accept my apologies in advance.") . . . On the subject of crushing guilt, I desperately need to force myself to reply to some mails! Seem to have upset CC by not replying to a couple :o( - one of the hardest things about being 'me', the way I unfortunately am - is having to keep on apologising for it! Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow! (3/10)as
3 - Woken by insistant Sally after only about six hours sleep . . . walked . . . took my spade out into the lane and 'dug in' some old flagstones that had been dumped out there (kept a couple, possibly useable for feature stepping stones in my front garden) and then trimmed away some obstructing branches and weeds and such. Jeeze I'll do anything rather than reply to e-mails!! :o/ Relocated a toad to my garden . . . left Sally at home and drove to shop. Weird shopping trolley - gave me electric shocks all over the place every time I reached up for stuff on shelves! They should give those to shopaholics as part of the therapy! . . . eventually sat down and started trying to do some mail but it didn't last long and I ended up yet again doing none! . . . BB called to touch base . . . PS called and said 'tonight?' - felt kinda ok so thought what the hell and dutifully phoned ML and invited him over too, apologising for my fickle moods and about saying no the other day and then yes today! Because of the short notice he couldn't stop over which I admit suited me fine . . . finally a week after getting his ansaphone message I called IHB back and thanked him but declined his offer to attend the barbecue he is planning in a week or so . . . walked . . .ML and PS popped round for chats till early. LB popped in briefly and gave ML a couple of vouchers she had for cheap ferry trips to France, just in case he decided to use them for a duty free tobacco run - if I didn't have the dog I'd have done one for sure. M/D called to say (despite my resistance) they were tranferring money into my account to cover the cost of my motor insurance and were of course giving the same amount to Sis1/2 to make it fair!! . . . TVd till early. (4/10)ass
4 - Woken by insistant Sally again - she has definitely learned it is ok to wake me up when she pleases!!! Bad habit to have got into! . . . forecast is awful for the next week or so (where on earth is summer?!!) but today 'should' be nice . . .got the insurance papers through in the mail, so filled out what was necessary and also completed the car registration document to transfer it into my name. Stopped by the post box and then walked . . . pottered in the garden, did some washing (last day for over a week I'll be able to put washing out on the line to dry), sat around for ages doing nothing much. Fell asleep for several hours until Sally woke me up with a lick . . . touched base with BB . . . M/D/Sis2 called to touch base and tell me about todays M/D visit to the hospital to see Dads doctor. Everything had gone OK, the doctor seemed pleased with Dads condition, and it was decided that Dad should attempt to once again reduce the steroid dose he is on. Uh oh - last time they tried that he went 'downhill'! Next appointment scheduled for three months time!!!! Blimey - based on averages that is at the high end of Dads life expectancy!!! . . . walked in the drizzle. . . ansaphone message from Uncle TJ saying how delighted he was at the news of the results from Dads doctor visit, and how brave Dad was, etc. I wasn't in the mood to call him back and frankly didn't know what to say anyway!! Is it 'bravery'? I AM my fathers son - I think I kinda understand Dads position a bit (he's very practical, doesn't understand depression, doesn't believe in an afterlife,wants to make things as easy as possible for Mum and everyone else, etc, etc ) - if you're out and it's gonna rain, you're gonna get wet. There is nothing you can do about it - just gotta accept it and carry on until you do! . . . TVd till early. Turned the PC on intending to try and do a mail or two but received one from CC mentioning the fact that a couple of people from school days were dead already! Ended up turning the PC straight off and went and sat in the conservatory, with the frogs and snails and slugs all active in the garden as heavy rain poured, just sitting for ages 'thinking' about stuff . . . nasty noisey neighbours opposite were having another 'domestic' from about 10:30pm onwards for several hours! Made me all voyeuristic and I couldn't help sitting in a darkened bedroom watching through the blinds for a while. Actually kinda perversely entertaining!!! Called LB (like she often does with me) asking if she was watching and listening but she'd already gone to bed!! Ooops - amusing I'd woken HER up for a change! . . I couldn't see any actual nastiness other than a lot of screaming and maybe some throwing of posessions but that must have been enough for someone - the police arrived! How come those idiots got the police out, yet whenever I call them I get put on hold forever and a day and they do nothing? What extraordinary unpleasant, simple minded people those neighbours are - what a waste of police time - and all in the heavy rain! (4/10)as
5 - Up around 8am after no where near enough sleep . . . PCd this . . . walked. Sally treated the stinking muddy puddles like the river again and wallowed!! Uggh . . . weather seemed to clear up a little. Ummd and ahhd about clearing some more rubbish from the lane out the back. I really can't figure out why it is such an obsession! Not 'that' much rubbbish out there any more - pretty much just an old rusty wheelbarrow full of concrete and lots of bricks, building blocks and rubble. Eventually managed to get going and ended up leaving Sally at home and doing a trip in the car to the council tip with as much weight of rubble as I dared, AND at last, the old wheelbarrow. Relocated a frog to my garden. Still enough bricks and blocks out there for another trip but I couldn't face going again today - clearer than it has been for over twenty years. One of the reasons I want that lane as clear as possible is so I can pillage some of the soil that is out there - excellent dark, almost black, peaty soil. Marvellous stuff - better than I have in my front garden. Seived some of the soil from the lane into a bucket and pottered in the garden. Made up a large container to bring on some more 'Mind Your Own Business' in the conservatory - I've promised LB she can have some MYOB for her garden at some point - and I reckon the lane would look amazing if it was covered in the stuff! It is already totally out of control and 'drowning' everything else in my back garden! :o) . . relocated a tiny bit of Campanula into the front garden rasied bed. Need LOTS more. Dug in the broken flag (stepping) stones I'd kept from the lane and proliferated some more of the 'MYOB' here and there. Wish I could have a pond out the front as well! Had a silly thought last night while thinking silly thoughts - I could cut an old dustbin in half so it isn't 'quite' so deep, I could bury it in the front garden, fill it full of water, grow MYOB all around it and make it look like a well - I could then put a sign up saying 'Wishing Well' and encourage people passing by to throw money into it! lolololol Sadly I guess I'd be honour bound to give the money to a charity, and in reality of course if I did such a thing, it would probably end up full of beer bottles, chip papers, crisp packets, cans, syringes, car wing mirrors, thieves, drunks, Sallydog, drowned cats, etc, etc!!!! Tempting though. :o) . . .PCd/TVd . . . walked . . . touched base with BB . . . LB called to touch base . . . TVd till early. (4/10)as
6 - Woken by Sally real early but managed to snooze a bit more until around 9am. Ouch - headache - annadin for breakfast in the sunny spells in the garden . . .walked - so much for the doom and gloom forecast. Really rather warm and nice. . . finally mustered the nerve (I've been mulling it over for days!) to take a carrier bag and a trowel and go up the lane behind the nearby shops and dig up a clump of Campanula that I'd spotted there being choked by all the weeds. Felt rediculously self conscious and guilty as though I was committing a robbery! Used Sally as cover!! Back at home it transpired there was very little of the actual plant amongst all the grass and weeds, but what there was, I planted in my front garden raised bed - every little helps given time. There was a little more up that lane so I may have to return for it when I can face the embarassment. . . TVd . . . BB called to touch base . . . fell asleep ALL afternoon! Almost twelve hours sleep today?!!! . . .waking up in the garden with a coffee it became clear to me that I have returned to a 'dormant waiting state'! This business with Dad - powerlessly waiting for the inevitable to happen - waiting to have to run around doing whatever will be necessary when it does - waiting to see how Mum will cope afterwards and how much of my life will then be spent running backwards and forwards up and down the motorway, etc etc etc. It feels very similar to when I crashed out of work and was 'on hold' awaiting my fate and waiting to hear whether or not I would be granted a medical retirement. I've definitely taken backward steps since last November - I figure I was just starting to lighten up a bit back then and actually making things happen rather than just reacting to what happens TO me!! But now I am up tight and waiting again - feet stuck in concrete - not motivated to do ANYTHING until the future reveals itself - fully schizoid (I think that's part of my current mental block with replying to e-mails!!!) cause it really is just SO much easier and doesn't require all that self analysis during conversations and such. Blah blah blah!! :o| . . . BB called to touch base . . .walked. Really annoying to find yet again someone has dragged their dog down the pavement right outside my house and for yards down the street whilst it was going to the toilet!! Grrrr. . . TVd till late and then tried to read a little (reading seems like real hard work!!?) till early. (4/10)a
7 - Broken nights sleep and then woken by Sally a couple of times and finally got up around 8am . . .walked in the drizzle and ended up walking down to Eastville park and along the Frome Valley Walkway because the local field was the venue for some sort of rugby club 'fun day' and they were already setting stuff up. Found 4p along the way. Down along the Frome Valley walkway by the river in the park an illegal party was still on the go presumably from the night before. Disco equipment set up blaring out music, cars and vans (all somehow driven through the park on the footpaths and of course most untaxed) were parked up, people were drinking beer for breakfast, etc, etc, and all this blocking the footpath!! Felt pretty intimidating having to walk right through the middle of it all!! Real unpleasant. Being the miserable old man I have become, I tried reporting it on my mobile with the usual results - put on hold as the phone rang unanswered for just over five minutes before I hung up. Tried again and spent about three minutes complaining to the poor switchboard operator about the lack of 'service' and then finally after another two minutes of waiting got through only to be told someone had already reported it and they were 'dealing with it'. Pretty obvious the police had no intention whatsoever of doing a damn thing about it at all. What on earth has happened to this country - and in my lifetime!! . . . walked back via the local field to check out the fun day - in the drizzle, one bouncy castle (deflated during my walk), a disco (silent), a burger stand (no burgers), little more than a dozen people (getting wet) - didn't look like much fun to me! . . . TVd and watched Schumacher win the British Grand Prix . . . fell asleep for only an hour or so . . . balanced my accounts . . .BB called to touch base . . . walked but made it short so I could get back in time to watch the first of the American TV series 'Pioneer House' - interesting. . . touched base with Sis2 to suggest they all watch it too . . . Sis1 called to touch base and say she had returned from her weekend visit to M/D. She told me how up tight it had made her ((-/content removed post 19th April 03 /-) they'd been out searching the shops for a lounger chair for Dad to safely fall asleep in the garden without the risk of falling out, (-/content removed post 19th April 03 /-)) and how Dads condition had definitely noticeably deteriorated in the week or so since the last time she was there and how he'd had a couple of falls and how that morning he'd got stuck in the bath again! Sis1'd had a few tears! The conversation made me think more clearly of a few things I hadn't fully thought through about how things will be nearer the end - the doctors appointment in three months 'may' not be such good news after all. Maybe it is an arbitrary time away because they know they can do nothing more for him except wait and see how long he lasts!! On a selfish personal level it's gonna be REAL difficult - (-/content removed post 19th April 03 /-)!!! . . . touched base with M/D/Sis2 and in conversation it was clear Dad HAD 'deteriorated'. Sis2 is gonna be in a state if she is having to return home just at the wrong time! If it all works out that way - I'm gonna feel awfully responsible for being accurate in the timing of suggesting she fly back over when Dad gets near the end!!!! Whilst she has been staying there it has kinda taken the pressure off me - when she goes back home and now Sis1 is back at work, I'm gonna have to somehow be more supportive, available and in touch! Arrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrgggggggggggggggggggggggggghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh - I can't 'avoid' any of this!!!!! I'm liable to get in (more of) a mess myself if I'm not careful! . . . agonised/TVd till early.(4/10)s
8 - Disturbed sleep and then woken far too early by Sally climbing all over me! Miserable grey rainy day! . . .walked in the rain . . . quickly drove to the pet store with the intention of buying a couple of dog bowls that I could leave at M/Ds, to cut down on the amount of luggage, packing, remembering and such I have to do everytime I make an expedition down there. There wasn't a suitable 'pair' on the shelf and then I spotted a neat plastic box/bowls/food store contraption all in one! Brilliant idea but around £30 - ouch!! Food for thought - could maybe buy a couple of cheap bowls and a storage box and make up my own, cheaper? Decided to think about/investigate that in the future so drove home without buying anything. . . leisurely showered and packed up everything (including my garden sun bed that 'may' do to sleep on at M/Ds) and called Mum to touch base and confirm I was setting off around midday. . . journey was ok apart from suddenly coming to a standstill on the motorway for ages and then dribbling along real slow until we passed the accident. A car had collided with the central reservation - no signs of injurys but quite a mess and lots of police and such. I'm still not comfortable as a motorway car driver and seem to be constantly aware that immediate death is always seconds away! Drove on through the rain, stopped to fill up with petrol not far from M/Ds, and arrived there around 2:15. Sis2 was off doing shopping. Mum dashed up the shops as I unloaded Sally and all the gear and then sat in the garage chatting with, very unsteady on his feet, Dad. Mum returned bearing best corned beef slices for spoiled 'angel dog' Sally. Coffee and chats and Sis2 returned bearing a small plastic stool she'd decided to buy. A good idea - for Dad to sit on IN the bath rather than end up sliding about and hurting himself like yesterday! Dad wasn't at all keen on the idea although a non slip rubber bath mat that Sis1 had suggested when she was there was now being used. Mum wasn't keen but almost went along with the idea except that the colour wasn't right. It didn't match anything!! Arrrrrrgh!!!!! Lots of 'discussion' about definitely taking it back and getting a refund and then 'maybe' shopping around for one that was a matching colour! . . . more coffee and chats and then set up and tested the sun bed in the garage. Lots of M/D complaining that I'd refused to let them buy a proper expensive guest bed they'd seen going real cheap in a charity shop. At the time I just didn't want to be any hassle - just wanted to try and make everything easy and make do on the floor but I guess I'm getting old - the floor gets harder with age! The sunbed, covered in a thick rug with a sleeping bag on top, turned out pretty comfy - better than the floor - it'll do. . . I sat around popping annadin tablets to try and combat my stress headache as Mum cooked loads of tea - somewhat embarassing when Sis2 innocently asked what I had to be stressed about with my simple, quiet, avoidant lifestyle!! Impossible to explain how stressful I find it to be exposed to and have to submit to M/Ds 'ways', cat and mouse behaviours, rituals, etc. Sis1 understands but Sis2 seems to be strangely MUCH more tolerant. Tolerant that was until she spilled some strong vinegar on the table cloth (specially ordered and made in Portugal to fit the table and match all the colours of everything, etc.) and Dad told her off in that 'it's the end of the world when Mum sees it and my life will be hell because of it' way. Sis2 got a little annoyed and there was something of an 'atmosphere' for a while (she broke the ice by amusingly saying she wanted to sulk for a bit) - Dad has changed and realised his overreaction and bent over backwards to insistantly try and smooth the waters and chat about something. It all made me absolutely squirm and want to retreat to the garage and pop more annadins!! Childhood stuff I haven't resolved as well as Sis2 has. We all ate - loads . . .lots more rain but I felt like getting wet, so without waterproofs I walked Sally all the miles down through 'Pooh Lane' to the coastal path. All the rubbish I'd seen dumped at Churston Cove the last time I was there had thankfully been cleared away by someone - wonder how without vehicular access? Sat under cover in Battery Gardens having a cigarette and admiring the views, Sally sat unleashed watching a young rabbbit only twenty feet away without the slightest attempt to chase it. On the walk back along the roads she strained on the leash trying to chase a cat! Weird dog. Found a penny. Arrived back overheating, rain soaked, sweat soaked and feeling unwell! Left Sally eating in the garage and joined everyone inside for chats and some TV. I wanted to videotape that nights episode of 'Six feet Under' because I wasn't gonna be able to stay awake to watch it - Sis2 suggested it would be a good idea if Dad taught me how to set and use the video recorder- oh dear! Such things are always 'difficult' - I'm not good at being taught such stuff by Dad and he isn't such a good teacher! Soon became clear why Sis2 wanted 'the guy stuff knowledge' handed down - Dad's losing it!!!!! :o( He has started pressing all the wrong buttons (repeatedly over and over and over) and many programs that M/D always tape and watch have been lost when it has been revealed that he didn't tape them at all or has wiped them or taped over them! Just watching TV these days is almost impossible as without warning in the middle of a program he will suddenly change channels or check video settings or dial up a random teletext page etc, etc, etc. The remote controls perhaps offer him some sort of security that he is still 'in control' and he will fall asleep (at a moments notice sometimes during a conversation) holding onto them! He managed to explain enough for me to figure out how to set it - after I had done so I hid the video remote out of his reach cause I really wanted to catch the episode - if I possibly could! . . . managed a quiet word aside with Sis2 who confirmed Dad was 'better' today. He's the worst I've seen! . . . said goodnights and retired to the garage around 11:30pm. Found Sally asleep on my sunbed!! :o) (_/10)aaa
9 - Licked awake by Sally around 6am. Coffee, cigarettes, rain, rain and more rain! Set off with Sally for the long 'Pooh Lane' walk again around 7:30. Got soaked then the rain stopped around 8am. The woods were real wet, loud with drips, and muddy, but as always, beautiful. Did the circuit in under two hours . . .weather brightened and I was roped in to trimming out some dead branches from an unhealthy hebe - half a dozen frogs or so all hidden beneath! More sitting in the garden chatting as the weather improved and turned largely to sun. Inexplicable to me how Mum can make breakfast and the subsequent washing up last until gone 1:30pm!! Arrrrggggh! . . . at last we were all out in the car intending to head for DIY stores looking for a garden chair for Dad that he can safely and comfortably fall asleep in and of course maybe a replacement for the not the right colour table Sis2 had bought for Dad to sit on in the bath! . . . the first store we tried on the road to Torquay amazingly had a fold up, high backed, green and white cushioned chair that seemed to do the business and was even acceptable to colour co-ordinated Mum! The fact that it was marked down in price in a sale of course made it even more suitable. After much sitting and arguing in the store (because Mum said SHE didnt need one aswell), it was decided M/D would buy a pair. Only then did we realise that wed have a real problem getting them in the car what with the dog and all!! -/- unfinished -/- All walked back to the car and then drove to M/Ds to pick up Sally and then drive back down to Battery Gardens for a short walk and then a long sit on the seat overlooking the bay, chatting and watching all the rabbits. Back home around 9pm to feed and water Sally but Sis2 came dashing out saying I had a phone call BB called to touch base. Figured out the chordless would happily work in the privacy of the garage, so chatted for ages. Sanity. :o) Fed Sally real late. To bed around midnight after sitting inside with everyone, watching some TV. (_/10)
10 - Woken up by Sally at 5:50!! Managed to get back to sleep until around 8am. Woke up with coffee and cigarettes in the sunny garden. Spent a moment sweeping up some of the rubble and dust that had fallen into the garden from next doors re-rendering work and then swept up a little of the dead grass from where Mum and Sis2 had mown the front lawn and topped up the bin which was due for emptying today. . . pretty tired so only walked Sally down to Battery Gardens. Seemed funny to watch as a couple of workmen were repointing and fixing up prior to painting, one of the old second world war pill box/gun emplacements - apparantly they are being done up as part of some heritage project or other? Good I think - dunno why but I have a soft spot for such things and think they should be saved and made use of. Excellent places to sit and admire the view in the rain and certainly a nice place for a small party or an overnight camp - hell I wouldn't mind living in one if they put in some electric and water! I must have been an island hermitage monk in a past life! :o) . . . sat in the garden some more as Sally was spoiled by M/D with more best corned beef breakfast but rain showers forced me to sit a while in the garage . . .cleared up into a sunnier day. . . Sis2 had to take library books back and buy a few things, so decided to leave Sally with M/D and run her down in the car and have a look around myself, looking for a new backpack and a coat to replace my favourites which are all broken/worn out. Mum insisted on giving us some money to spend just in case we saw something (blimey second childhood or what!). Had a look at the backpacks that theyd all spotted on my behalf some days before and decided despite the fact that it was rather cheap I quality, I may as well buy one cause it was only about £7, Mum was paying and it would likely make M/D happy to think theyd put me on to the bargain. Browsed several charity shops. Sis2 insisted on returning to the shop where she had bought the small plastic table that Dad didnt want to use in the bath and Mum thought was the wrong colour, to see if she could order a different colour or confirm a refund was possible. The whole affair seemed inexplicably to have blown into something of a monster and she wanted it all sorted before she left. A refund WAS possible and another store confirmed they could order a similar one in a more favourable colour. Returned to the car and M/Ds. . . more sitting in the garden and chatting before it was agreed Id run Sis2 back down town with the table to get the refund, order the other one and have the whole thing settled before she left. About then, Dad revealed that he was concerned about the state of the rainwater guttering on the house! Figured he has enough to worry about, so following his detailed instructions I ended up on top of the ladder and clearing all the moss and debris from the guttering all along the back of the house!!! . . . left Sally, happily with Dad in the garden, and drove Sis2 and table back to the shop. Waited in the car in the heat as she succeeded in getting the refund drove her up to the other shop and ordered the other one! Sorted at last, but probably not the end of the matter! Crazy! The road was too narrow to turn around so we ended up having to carry on up looking for somewhere to turn just then up by traffic lights I spotted a store with what appeared to be a display of second hand wheel chairs, walking frames and such on the pavement just the sort of store we could probably use to get things for Dad, as and when necessary!! Nowhere to park so Sis2 leapt out to look as I stayed with the car desperately trying not to block traffic. Sis2 returned enthusing about how marvellous the place was, how the guy was VERY nice and helpful, and how they had everything you could ever want if you were in physical decline. Excellent. . . back to M/Ds to debrief. On arrival Dad was asleep in a chair in the garden with Sally sprawled out across the grass asleep next to him. :o) . . . chats and coffee and slowly packed everything up in the garage and got ready to go. Around 6pm we made our move. Heartfelt emotional love you and hugs goodbye to M/D with Sis2 in tears and Dad being pragmatic Dad, albeit with watery eyes. Wow tough one! As we drove down the street and slowly turned at the junction and looked back to wave as we always do, the small shrunken figure of Dad all wearing his woolly hat being supported by Mum was tough to bear and right then for our benefit he managed a silly clown like dance!! Jeeze that did it I started to lose it and had tears in my eyes and was blowing my nose as I drove both of us in silence for quite a few miles! Must be REAL tough for Sis2! . . . made good speed despite some rain showers on the way and amazingly coloured, layered, cloud filled skys. Touched base with Sis1 on the mobile and agreed to meet up at my place for simple coffee and chats. Sis2 wanted to see a bit of Bristol just for old times sake so ended up doing a weird magical mystery tour around the centre and up Whiteladies road, onto the downs to look at Brunels Suspension bridge, over the bridge, etc, etc, etc and somehow ended up in Ashton Court looking at the mansion house. Made best use of the opportunity and managed to quickly walk Sally and get her business all done out of the way. . .back to my place to find Sis1 there waiting . . . coffee and chats and a call to touch base with M/D. . Some heavy conversations with Sis1/2 about the future and what funeral etc. arrangements and such will be made when the time comes. Some concern that none of us really knew anything about such things and really didnt fully know what M/D wanted!!! Some tears. . . A little after midnight we left Sally at home and made a move - hugged goodbyes to Sis1 who headed off home and then drove Sis2 down to the bus station. Parked up and sat briefly before the coach pulled in and I struggled Sis2s heavy bag out of the car and dragged it down to the queue. A short wait then the bag was safely loaded on and we called Mum on the mobile to confirm everything was ok. Hugged goodbye before Sis2 got on and settled herself for the journey in one of the front seats. Eventually waved goodbyes as the bus pulled out around 12:45. Drove home and grabbed a quick bite to eat before bed around 2am. (_/10)
11 - Slept through an ansaphone message at some point and then Sally dog inches from my face threatening a lick but finally woke after 9am. Oh NO!! - the ansaphone message was at around 6am from a tearfull Sis2 just as she was gonna get on her plane, telling me Dad'd had another fall in the bathroom and Mum was in the process of trying to get him back up and that I should call and check things were ok and how awfully powerless she felt and that I should keep her informed and if necessary she'd turn around and get the next flight straight back!!!!! Oh jeeze! That was hours ago so I woke myself up with coffee and cigarettes before calling Mum to hear her tell me things were 'ok' but Dad was VERY tired and wobbly this morning and even (unusually) complaining of a headache!!! She'd put him back to bed to sleep but HAD managed to get him to take his steroids (with only a glass of water, no food!) - the dose had been reduced as from last Monday but this sort of a 'relapse' had happened last time he reduced, so Mum put him straight back on the higher dose this morning and was awaiting a call from the McMillan nurse to confirm there were no objections. Oh dear. Dabbled with the idea of going straight back down (I think I'll wait a day or so, at least) and told Mum to keep me informed and call me if she needs me (suspecting she probably wouldn't and would struggle along alone like usual!). . . walked Sally in the drizzle. Felt 'strange' and full of lots of 'thoughts'!? Found a penny . . . quickly planted the Campanula I'd harvested from M/Ds in my front garden raised bed . . . PCd this for hours!! It's getting harder not to get tearful when looking at photos and such. It's getting harder to type this, but I have to! I'll need this to enable traces of otherwise forgotten memories in the future. :o\ . . .following last nights conversations with Sis1/2 about how things will be arranged when the time draws near thought I'd better start trying to learn all about funerals and such. Had a poke around on the internet - big mistake! Lost it and ended up in tears for quite a while. All this is pretty tough . . .sat around and did some chores. Left a sitrep on Sis1s ansaphone . . .called Uncle TJ to touch base and try and give an accurate picture of the recent and now current situation and to none too subtly imply that a short notice (so that Mum doesn't start trying to do an elaborate tea etc) visit to M/D sometime would be good . . .BB called to touch base . . . M/D called later to say the doctor would be making a visit and that Dad was feeling quite a bit better again although he sounded slurred in speech! I brouched the subject of wanting to talk 'heavy' at some stage about wishes for post mortem arrangements (saying 'for both of them in due course' kinda made it easier to handle) and such, that someone really WILL need to know in advance - like which funeral company, what type of affair, what type of casket, what music at the crematorium service, what should be done with the ashes, did they want some form of memorial etc etc etc. I was relieved to find them very happy to discuss it although their thoughts and wants really need to be formally recorded somehow, soon. The conversation eased my mind and gave me 'some' direction, assuming I will have to play the lead (male?) role in making such arrangements when appropriate and most difficult . . . Uncle TJ called back to say he'd spoken with Dad and was planning a visit with them tomorrow. Goodo - hope Mum isn't washing her hair (all!!!) tomorrow!!!! . . . Sis1 returned my call. Didn't realize she'd been woken in the early hours by an upset Sis2s call from the airport (so much for Sis1s good nights sleep before her morning job interview!!!) and had been in touch with M/D. . . M/D called back to say the doctor had been and the steroid dose was gonna be bumped up from 3 to 8 for a few days and then, further downward tweaking if all is ok!!?? Jeeze why don't they just leave them up - it's obvious they are keeping him going even if they will soon kill him with side effects anyway!!! Nothin to lose! Dad sounded even better - what a relief!! What a bloody rollercoaster this is!!!! . . .called PS and said 'tonight?' . . . walked and found 3p. . . M/D called to say Sis2 was safely home and hadn't been refused entry by immigration (as was very likely!!!!!) . . . called Sis2 to touch base. She was understandably very tired, emotional and upset and suffering from being alone (thanks to her man friend scooting straight off somewhere the minute he'd picked her up from the airport and dropped her home!! Some friend!) . . . PS popped round for chats till early . . . noise in the street long after PS had left. Some sort of domestic going on with a guy and gal up the street. Watched and listened through the curtains as the guy was trying to persuade and sometimes carry the drunk girl home. She didn't want to go and resisted and ended up on the pavement. Looked real 'dodgy' like it could get out of hand and I was real close to dialling 999 and getting the police before probably going out to get hit - but strangely as time went by it seemed as though the girl was quite safe. She then began to deliberately and continually kick the guy from where she lay. She was REALLY kicking him hard in the legs and he just stood there and took it - wow that guy had amazing self control and would surely be in pain when he fully sobers up!!! Watched and watched and it still looked pretty 'dodgy' as they disappeared out of sight. Couldn't relax and ended up giving Sally an unexpected walk at 2am. Felt good to walk armed with a pocket full of cigarettes, a mobile phone and a large German Shepherd Sallydog. Up the road the guy was sat on the kerb head in hands between parked cars. Asked him if he was ok and he began explaining he was trying to get his 'girlfrend' home, how she always 'got like this' when she drank and how he'd lost her near a lane up the street. He was sat opposite her house and was waiting for her to safely arrive. I admitted I'd been watching and was worried. He seemed decent and genuine and young. Felt real sorry for him. The crazy girl appeared and I left them to it, walked round the block and came home. Arrrrrrggggggggghhhhhhhh! To bed after 3am! (_/10)as
12 - Woken late by the sounds of the bin men emptying the bins . . .PCd . . . touched base with M/D. All seemed ok - the McMillan nurse had been in touch and would be popping in some time over the next few days - Uncle TJ will be popping in today and also a visit from an occupational therapist later. . .walked and carried on up Kingswood and dropped in a pair of walking boots for a repair, although turned out it'll have to be a modification - paid the £8 and will have to pick them up tomorrow. Sis1 called to touch base on the mobile and I confirmed everything seems ok with M/D at the moment and I'm not intending to return there for a while. SO funny as I chatted - Sally had spotted an artificial but VERY realistic curled up sleeping cat in a shop window and was paws up on the window sill inches from it on the other side of the glass, all trembling with excitement. Picked up a couple of bones for Sally. On the walk home, some poor guy was struggling carrying a flat packed wooden table down the road and struggling even more when one of the binding straps snapped. Couldn't help but offer to assist and ended up helping him carry it to a not THAT far away house, although Sally made it difficult pulling on the lead and walking to HIS heel in front and not mine!!? . . . gave Sally the bone and spent a while in the lane filling a bucket with decent earth, ready for my next trip to M/Ds when I intend to rob more of their Campanula for my garden . . . sat around and tried to nap to dislodge my headache but just couldn't! M/D called to keep me informed and said the District Nurse had been, was all very nice and was setting in motion the procedure, which would take a while, for obtaining a wheeled 'commode' for when it is necessary! Apparantly Uncle TJ couldn't make the visit today. :o| Had another 'heavy' conversation broaching the subject of organ donation (which both Mum and Dad are signed up for), pointing out that if that WAS what they wanted they should maybe discuss it with the McMillan nurse. In the numerous phone calls they'd had all day apparantly there was yet further confusion about what dose/number of steroid pills each agency thought Dad was on!!!! Good grief how hard can it be to get it right! Sat down and knocked up a spread sheet laying it all out so one can see at a glance what any daily dose works out to be, in the two different sized (500mcg/2mg) pills that seem to be available - doubt Mum will like it but sure works for me. Printed it off and popped round the post office and posted it, addressed to 'Nurse' Mum . . .PCd . . .TVd . . . walked and got chatting to the nice guy with the dogs but OH doesn't he go on - and ON! Even Sally gave up waiting for me and lay down in the field next to her ball until I tore myself away - wasn't in the mood for that! . . TVd . . . BB called to touch base - apparantly I sounded 'spikey'! Just uptight, 'waiting', tired, real tired and lacking much pleasant to talk about I guess. :o( (_/10)aaa
13 - Up around 8am to a fine warm sunny morning . . .walked. A couple of old women with several dogs were walking round like usual but didn't spot one of their very old, stiff and slow dogs had kinda been left behind. As I started back down the field I couldn't help but keep an eye on him and at some point he headed OUT of the field on his own without the owners knowledge!!!! Quickly leashed up Sally and rushed off after him cause I was pretty close - somehow he'd managed to stumble across a road and was slowly heading off down the pavement on his own! Poor little woofer! Thankfully he seemed kinda friendly and far too old and stiff to attempt to run away so I grabbed his collar and gently encouraged him back across the road and into the field by which time the owner was calling out and heading up in search of him. Told her what had happened and she said he was probably trying to head home. Got into a chat and she confirmed that they still ran dog training classes not so far away (where I once apparantly used to take Sheba - although I have NO memory of it at all!!?) She said she'd look out the phone number for me at some point and let me have it . . . registration document for the car back in my name - all legally mine now then . . . touched base with M/D . . . nasty noisey neighbour across the road opposite the front of my house was playing his music SO loud, it was 'disturbing me' in my BACK garden!! I hate those people - they are turning me into a racist!! Walked up Kingswood with Sally and picked up my repaired/altered boots. Done 'ok' but Sadly the new lace eyelets he's used have sharp fold over pieces and are probably gonna mean I get through lots of shoe laces!! Grrrr. Load of 'cobblers'! Found a penny . . . sat in the garden in the sun and had a shoe polish frenzy - polished up ALL my various leather shoes . . . PCd/TVd and watched the tape of 'Six Feet Under' I'd made at M/Ds - damn I like that show - escorts my mind all over the place. . . touched base with BB . . . unexpectantly fell asleep on the setee for a couple of hours! . . . LB called saying she had the latest Makro leaflet for viewing and that I should come have a look at her garden which had exploded into growth . . . walked Sally late. Felt like an extra in a Mad Max movie!! Groups of mopeds racing around all over the place doing wheeleys and skids and 'burn outs' and such (on a moped?!!?); road rage cars chasing after mopeds; mopeds driving at speed all around the field, one with three people on it!; obnoxious groups of drunks shouting and throwing litter and beer cans around the grass; etc, etc, etc. Dreadful and of course nothing can be done about it other than to try not to become a target! I really fear for the future cause it's gonna get worse and worse - I am resisting a growing desire to start carrying my old buck knife on my belt again!!!!!!!! :o( . . . left Sally at home and popped up LBs to see the leaflet and garden etc. Ended up sat in her garden in the night drinking red wine (she was drinking a bottle of white when I arrived!), cause - well she offered and I was in the mood to get a little 'out of it'! Only had a couple of glasses (difficult to keep track cause LB constantly fills up the glass when there is ANY room!) but what HUGE glasses she uses!!! I'm a 'lightweight' - got a little wobbly. Everything she has planted has exploded into growth - enormous plants all around the beds - kinda nice but not sure the garden can cope with that amount of stuff! Chatted in the cool dark as the polecats and ferret rampaged around the place - they ended up sneaking into her front room and emptying out a house plant and it's earth ALL over the room!! LB is on some diet or other and gave me everything from her cupboards that she can't eat. .Suffered seperation anxiety from Sally and suggested we carry on chatting at my place - returned home carrying food donations leaving LB to vaccuum her living room carpet! LB popped down (with a bottle!) for more chats and TV but she very soon became semi conscious on her feet and Sally did a bit of devil dog when she stumbled off to use the bathroom so she was encouraged to leave pretty soon. . ended up eating ham sandwhiches and crisps at 2 in the morning before bed! (5/10)assd
14 - Up after 8am with a hang overy feeling! Ugggh! Coffee, cigarettes, annadin tablets and sunglasses for breakfast in the garden. Promise of another warm sunny summers day . . .touched base with M/D . . .walked. An old lady down the street that I have spoken to before called me over and offered me some 'money off dog food' vouchers, which was good of her. . . sat in the sun in the garden most of the day trying to ignore the loud music from out front opposite! . . .PCd and chatted with BB who confirmed she may come over to visit sometime in the near future!!! Blimey - that'll be scary - for both of us! :o) . . . walked . . . PS popped round for chats till early . . . TVd/PCd/sat in the garden in the cool of the night till gone 4am and birdsong!! . . . looks like my favourite toy is slowly dying a death - the flash on my digital camera has stopped working. Bugger!! (5/10)ass
15 - Blimey - up around 10:30am!! Scorching hot sunny day . . . walked . . . uncovered the bike intending to go get a little petrol and maybe touch up some rust and actually get round to advertising it, but of course the battery was near dead! Topped it up and put it on charge in the kitchen . . . PCd this . . . ML called to touch base and apparantly tell me his new PC had just been delivered . . . fell asleep for most of the afternoon and early evening and woke to what was like a different day - blues skys all gone and complete grey cloud cover! . . . BB called to touch base . . . touched base with M/D who'd had visits from the McMillan Nurse and an occupational therapist type nurse who had come with some sort of adjustable walking stick for Dad (Uncle TJ had donated one the other day too which used to be owned by Grandma!!) They'd had conversations with the nurse about putting in handles and such in the bathroom but M/D refused to have anything permanent that would have to be screwed to their wall tiles and such. The nurse apparantly expressed 'off the record' concern that the doctors WILL keep trying to reduce the steroid doses of her clients when experience suggests that WILL have negative consequences. On reduction some of her clients have become poorley NOT to improve again on a higher dose - that was why she had visited pretty urgently when told Dad had declined!! That kinda confirmed what I'd been thinking - bloody doctors - they seem obsessed with length of life rather than quality of life! . . . walked . . . TVd . . . Sis2 called to touch base (right in the middle of me watching Six Feet Under!) obviously upset. She'd been told by her work that her work permit papers had been renewed but she wouldn't actually get the papers in her hand for maybe a 'few' months!!! That means she'd be pretty much unable to leave the country until she gets them, which under the circumstances with Dad and all, is a BIG problem! I really didn't know what to say - seems like her life for SO many years has been built on a foundation of sand!! No wonder she is ill - MUST be all the years of worry! She was mostly suffering from being single!!!!! . . . sat in the garden till early. (5/10).
16 - Up around 8am to a warm but grey cloudy day . . . set off around 9:30 for a long walk down to Eastville Park and along the river. Got within a few minutes of Snuff Mills (and not that far from PS house) and called PS on the mobile and asked if he wanted to join me for a coffee or something in the little snack bar that is there. Bought a can of coke (cause a sign said you could only sit in the 'garden' area if you'd bought something) and sat with Sally and waited for PS to arrive on his bike. Sat and chatted for a while in the cool shade by the river then said goodbyes and carried on with the walk. My newly altered and polished boots seemed pretty waterproof so I carefully walked out onto the stones in the low river near the weir and played throwing sticks with Sally who did a bit of swimming. One particular dog we came across along the way seemed to be an ideal playmate for her for some reason, and she went haring around all over the place playing 'chase me' with it, like a little puppy. So, SO funny. :o) Extremely hot - back home around 1:30pm . . . did a little vaccuuming at last - it was starting to get a bit 'crunchy' underfoot on the living room carpet what with all the bits of bone and 'stuff'!! Got even hotter and real tired!! . . .popped the battery back in the bike and then 'roared' up to the garage and put £5 of petrol in. Back home and used the net to advertise it (Honda CX500 1979, black, good condition, registration *** 500V, 10 months MOT, 4 months tax, masses of spares, security lock, soft panniers, helmet, gloves, jacket. £500 no offers.) in the TRADE-IT local free ads paper - should appear in there Friday. Must SURELY sell - an absolute bargain if ever I sold one! I'll no doubt regret it later! . . .tried to sleep but too warm and stuffy and then the phone rang so gave up. Sis1 calling getting feedback on how M/D were doing and trying to decide whether or not she should go visit them tomorrow on a day off work . . . BB called to touch base . . . TVd/walked/TVd till late. (5/10)
17 - Woken around 2am by some idiot in a car screaching to a halt in the street and then dropping someone off! Woken around 4:30am by another domestic incident and shouting and screaming coming from the nasty noisey neighbours house opposite! Gave up trying to sleep in despair, and sat in the cool of the back garden with coffee and cigarettes and annadin tablet! :o( . . . PCd and ended up surfing the Bristol City Council website and reading up on domestic noise complaints! Under the circumstances there is nothing at all I can do . . . out of the house real early and drove Sally down to the River Avon at Hanham for a walk. Spent far too much time 'obsessing' about nasty noisey neighbours! Probably sleep deprivation but I felt really rather unwell and all light headed and shakey! Drove to the pet store and bought a 15kg sack of 'complete' food for Sally . . . sat in the sun in the garden for a while . . . fell asleep for a few hours . . . TVd and watched another episode in the series on people dieing of terminal illnesses. More tears . . . BB called to touch base . . . walked . . . ansaphone message from Sis1 - she'd visited with M/D and they seemed ok and she'd had a pleasant time . . . TVd till late. (4/10)as
18 - Up around 7:30am . . .walked early . . . Sis1called from work saying she was in a bit of a state and asking if it was ok to pop round. Seems like everything has been kinda 'getting to her' and she was uncontrolably tearful and was taking the day off work . . . touched base with M/D who were full of praise for Sis1 cause when she visited yesterday she'd arrived with a ready made Lasagne for lunch which was much appreciated - all seems ok. They were BOTH planning to walk to a nearby store today and Dad said he was going to buy a casette tape upon which to copy the couple of songs they have decided they want at his funeral service!! Had to cut the conversation short as Sis1 arrived for coffee and chats about M/D, relationships, etc. most of the morning! I had to selfishly agree it is the indefinite 'waiting' for us that is the most difficult about Dad's situation. Her analagy was it is like pulling off a plaster - quick is painful, but best over and done with. Slow is more painful!!. . .touched base with M/D again without revealing how upset Sis1 was about stuff or that she'd had a day off because of it. They'd had another visit from the McMillan nurse and now had on loan, a commode ready for use stored in the garage, a support frame around the toilet, and a shelf type seat in the bath aswell as the adjustable walking stick! They were full of praise for the service and care they have received and even Mum seemed happy because the bath attachment was matching white! Dad had been making jokes to the nurse about how all he needed from them now was a new head! Typical Dad! :o) Apparantly yesterday when Sis1 had visited with them they had gone on a walk with her to the favourite seat overlooking the bay and lo and behold, sat right there was Auntie M and Uncle C!! They were on holiday in the area (just down the road!) but hadn't bothered to get in touch with M/D (like 'usual') or arrange a visit, etc!!? M/D made light of that and eased their embarassment by chatting and joking but Sis1 was angered. I can see her point - you'd think under the circumstances that people would WANT to visit M/D - after all it may be the last time they ever see Dad - time is short. Even Uncle TJ hasn't visited for ages - he popped up and dropped off a bunch of walking sticks (used to be Grandmas) for Dad the other day but he didn't call in - just left them on the doorstep!? :o| There again I CAN also appreciate that people will feel awkward and would't know what to say to him and may not wish to have to face their own mortality or get upset by seeing him in his decline - but still seems 'wrong' to me that people 'withdraw' like they have. And I'M the avoidant one?!! M/D make light of it and are very understanding but it must be painful to suddenly be so isolated. :o( . . . spent a little while trying to clean and de-rust the bike a bit more but it was real hot in the garden (and the nasty noisey neighbours gangster music was SO unpleasantly loud!!) and I soon gave up - short of stripping it down and repainting stuff it's the best it can be. . . .called BB to touch base and wish her safe journey to her next work, port of call. . . PCd. Dad called briefly on the mobile warning me that he'd read on Teletext about an impending fuel drivers strike and hence maybe a petrol shortage. Business as usual then! Doorbell rang and I spyed IHB outside calling in for a visit - I just COULDN'T face 'chatting' so pretended I was out, as Sally barked and barked like crazy - haven't done that for a while!! :o( . . .TVd . . . walked and found 2p. Stopped off in the chip shop for sausage and chips . . . PS popped round for chats till early. He mentioned that his bike advert had NOT gone in the paper as expected because adverts submitted via the web take longer to go in?!! Damn - I bet my bike won't be in on Friday then!! :o( . . . BB called to touch base and confirm safe arrival. (4/10)sa
19 - Woken by Sallydog climbing up onto the bed and lying next to me with her head on my pillow! . . .walked and popped into the newsagent to buy a Trade-It . . . yayyy - the bike advert is in, although it is right above another one for £50 less - oh well - fingers crossed. Touched base with M/D - all ok. Told them to check out the TV program later all about Dr Shipman. The public enquiry was wrapped up today and it was confirmed he really DID murder a couple of hundred people!!!!!! Incredible. . .more loud music intermitantly throughout the day from the nutcase opposite. Grrrrr. . left Sally at home and drove up to shop and got a birthday card for Mum. Overdid the shopping - spent £40 and have NO room at all left in the freezer! . . . watered the front raised bed with the long hose run through the house. Fell asleep for a few hours . . . BB called to touch base . . . walked. Couple of guys over the field rolling a joint as I walked past - SO obvious what they were doing from quite a distance - risky. . . TVd. So much for the queue of people all waiting to buy my bike! :o( Had a glass of wine to finish off LBs bottle that has been open in my fridge for days - instant headache! Me and alcohol really don't mix . . .usual drunken yobs passing in the street. Popped out around 2am checked the car and picked up a huge plastic globe like thing that was lying next to my car!!!? Looks like maybe the top off the lights at a pelican crossing? Now what the hell am I gonna do with that! . . . didn't get to sleep until gone 4am! (4/10)d
20 - Woken just after 8am by my next door neighbour hammering and chiselling the wall between us! Bit early for that! Within minutes of me getting up, it stopped - typical!! Guarantees I'll need a nap later if the neighbourhood will let me - feel 'rough'. . .walked and found a penny . . . tried to sleep but nasty noisey neighbour opposite playing music for a time meant I couldn't. I have to admit it isn't 'so' much the volume - if someone was doing some building work or something, making as much noise, I'd find it far less irritating - with music it is an unecessary attitude, disrespect thing which eats away at me like Chinese water torture. . .sat around feeling a bit low and just unable to motivate myself to do ANYTHING! . . . quieter later and managed to sleep for a few hours . . .walked and found 2p . . . BB called to touch base . . . usual drunken yobs in the street till early. LB called just after midnight commenting about the noise outside - I'd been watching through the blinds in my bedroom!! A group of drunks were walking up the middle of the road (as they do??!!) and one had either tripped or been pushed and had fallen over onto his nose! Sounded like he'd done some damage and was bleeding - in his drunkenness he wanted to stay where he was, sat against the wing of a neighbours car, but the group insisted they escort him home so they dragged him off with them. As they went they left behind, propped up against a street sign, an old ten speed racing push bike that'd been dumped further down the road earlier! Funny how with the advent of 'mountain bikes', all those old (but quite useable) racing bikes are just being thrown away or dumped by people all over the place! Just another night in the ghetto! :o( . . . finally to sleep after 3am. (4/10)s
21 - Woken by Sally around 9am . . .walked and found a penny . . . sat around doing nothing - again! . . . ate the last of the Makro 'American style burgers' that I have convinced myself were full of weird artificial additives - pure coincedence I'm sure, but ended up real soon after with a nasty headache that a handful of annadin tablets wouldn't shift! Tried to sleep but couldn't! Sis1 called, innocently asking when I'd be next going to M/Ds because she wanted to get some flowers for Mums birthday and give them to me to take. What with the headache and my disturbed attempt at sleeping and all, I awkwardly/rudely resisted having to commit myself in advance to any particular day!! :o( . . .TVd and watched Schumaker win yet another grand prix and his fifth world championship . . .touched base with M/D - all seemed ok - incredibly Dad was out in the garden 'dead heading' flowers!!!! Ouch - what a play on words under the circumstances!!!! They told me about all the numerous up and coming 'events' that were gonna be going on in their part of the woods now that the school holidays are here and all the holiday makers are in town. Ugggh - I really don't want to go down there - especially amongst 'crowds'! . . . sat around aching and feeling rough . . .BB called to touch base . . . walked and had to quickly leash up Sally and dodge the 'kids' roaring around the field two up on a motorbike with no plates to the amusement of a crowd of their friends. Got annoyed and shouted out that they should take the bike out of the field - amazed at how cocky, outspoken and stupid they were trying to convince me that 'they'd asked the police and they'd said it was fine because they had nowhere else to ride it and I could confirm that by calling the police - their number is 999'!!! Their manner and comments confirmed that they absolutely KNEW they were untouchable and could do exactly as they pleased in the abscence of a police force in this area. I was angry and made the mistake of calling out 'grow up children' which served to see me exiting the field with shouts of abuse all around! Carried on walking (annoyed/upset/festering) down to the boating lake at Eastville Park and sat for a smoke. Walked along to the waterfall and spotted a car dumped in the river - a lasting souvenir of the illegal party that had been going on down there on the 7th - so much for the police 'dealing with it'! Walked back a different way I've never been before and got a bit lost and ended up walking further than I'd wanted. Back in the local field a group of young kids were blatantly stood preparing a joint to smoke!! Guess that is where all the roaches I've spotted near the seat come from!! Noticeably took a photo of them just to wind them up before heading back home out of the field . . .TVd/PCd till early. . . crappy day - feel like I'm under seige from nasty, antisocial, lawbreaking people - not very keen on myself either! (3/10)aaaa
22 - Woken by Sally around 9am again . . .walked . . . called M/D to touch base. All ok and they'd even walked down to the shops and back yesterday!!! Hope Dad isn't overdoing things - what an improvement those steroids make - whatever the 'long term' cost! . . .called Sis1 and kinda apologised for my 'awkwardness' yesterday and told her when I'd be going down to M/Ds. . . felt so much better than yesterday, managed to motivate myself to 'do' something! Uncovered the bike and put it out of the way in the street. Distracted Sally with a bone from the freezer out in the front garden. Got up on the stepladder and scraped down the old paintwork on the facia and original old guttering (asbestos?!!!!!) of the bay window and then covered everything in white masonary paint, together with another coat over where last years (botch?) repairs seem to be strangely showing through, presumeably where the damp is STILL penetrating and absorbed into the sandstone like a sponge!! All more of a cosmetic excercise than anything else. Makes it clear the whole front of the house needs far more paint on it! Should have finished that off last year - looks slightly better than before. M/D called, rather upset, in the middle of works and told me they'd just had a call from Sis2 who's car had terminally broken down (run without oil??!!!!) out on some highway or other 100 miles from home! Oh jeeze!!!!!! . . . finished painting for the day, cleaned up, did some washing and lay down to nap but only managed a brief snooze before Sis1 called to say she was popping in with some flowers for Mum's birthday. Coffee and chats - she starts her new (less pay but no physical abuse) job in a week or two. Called M/D to touch base and allow Sis1 to get the Sis2 story. . .BB called to touch base . . . walked . . . TVd . . .Dad called late evening telling me Sis2 had been in touch and had managed to do a finance deal, get rid of her old car and get a new little Toyota 'Echo' and she had already taken possession of it and had it parked outside her house! That has no doubt screwed her financially again for the next goodness knows how many years but at least it is all sorted and done and M/D don't need to worry 'quite' so much about her again. Nice one. . .TVd till around 2am. Nasty noisey neighbours loud (Sis1 agreed it WOULD upset her too if she had to live here - she didn't hear it at it's worst by any means!) music was 'disturbing' pretty much constantly from around 1pm to gone 9pm today! . . . e-mail from someone (pretty near my parents!) who may be interested in the radio gear! Hmmm that complicates things?! Mailed him back with my phone number!!!!!!(5/10)s
23 - Up around 8:30am to a drizzley wet dog day . . . walked . . .Balanced my accounts. The guy that was interested in the radio gear called and confirmed that if I took all the stuff down to M/Ds like Id suggested I could, that would be good. Rushed around like a crazy thing sorting everything out and stuffing it carefully into boxes. even went up into the attic looking for an old CB that I once had but couldnt find it - must have been thrown away during some previous clear out. Shame. Managed to dismantle the huge old rusted aerial that Id stored in the garden and proved that it would just fit in the car so long as Sally would lie on her duvet on top of it!! Grabbed a sandwich, cleaned up, packed up clothes etc. Finally all loaded up and called M/D to confirm I was about to leave and did so just after 3pm. Stopped for petrol and remembered Id forgotten the flowers Sis1 had given me to deliver to Mum! Returned home to pick them up and then started out again around 3:30pm. Traffic was ok but busy with intermittent rain showers on the way down. Nearer M/Ds there were the usual traffic queues. Amazing number of vehicles of all types on the roads down there with Dutch number plates? Shut up in the warm car it became clear that sally really had turned quite smelly! Managed to reach behind me and open one of the back windows for some fresh air - Sally made full use of this unusual state of affairs by sticking her head out of the window and having a damn good runny nosed sniff at the passing countryside. The window and door ended up covered in rivers of dog drool! Arrived at M/Ds after 6pm in a pretty foul mood - not sure why!? As usual Mum and Dad couldnt wait to see and made a big fuss of waggy tailed sally. Gave Mum Sis1s flowers, unloaded everything and installed myself in the garage as Sally was treated to slices of best corned beef by Mum. All sat down to an evening meal of soup and sandwiches. VERY tired! Walked Sally down to Battery Gardens and down onto the Fishcombe Cove beach and threw some sticks in for her to swim after - when it suited her. Lots more people around what with the first week of the holiday season and all - lots of noise from the nearby holiday camp! MUCH prefer it down there when it is out of season. Back to M/Ds after 9pm - fed Sally and left her in the garage and joined M/D to watch some TV. Felt rather awkward when they said they were gonna watch the next episode in the documentary series on Death. All those Ive watched on my own at home up till now have made me cry!!! Thankfully this episode was all about people with terminal illnesses outlasting their doctors predictions and it wasnt too bad. Unfortunately Dad still has control of the remote controls and all sorts of weird goings on happened throughout the program - volume increases, channel changes, video setups, teletext checks - the remotes really get a work out these days - he really has lost track of what hes doing with them! :o( Somehow the conversation got round to the support bars around the toilet and the commode that has been provided for Dad whenever he cant make the walk to the bathroom and finds he needs it. Looks ok and kinda like a wheelchair but it seemed to me to be parked temporarily in a really awkward position outside the bathroom - just right for bumping into! Ended up all having sits in it and discussing where it could be stored but Dad was adamant he wasnt ever going to use it. Back on the higher dose of steroids Dad was doing pretty well - certainly better than Id seen him last time - funny thing is that when he is doing ok he doesnt at ALL recall how bad he gets when he has a downward turn! That is very much a blessing I guess - although it makes it awkward to convince him he WILL need such things in the future. All called Sis2 to touch base. I retired to the garage to join Sally but Dad insisted on following me out and talking about all the stuff in the garage that will have to be got rid of when he goes! He seemed to think that Sis1 would enjoy doing a car boot sale with me but I have my doubts given the circumstances - would be pretty upsetting! I smoked and dad chatted somehow until almost 1am when Mum suddenly appeared at the garage door wearing her pyjamas in search of missing Dad! Said goodnights and soon to bed but difficulty sleeping.(3/10)a
24 - Disturbed sleep and finally got up after 8am. Sunny and clouds and breezy. Walked Sally to battery gardens - big gaggle of dog walkers all chatting like some sort of morning social get together. Carried on down to Fishcombe cove again but the water was a bit choppy and sally didnt seem to want to swim out in it. Straight back to M/Ds and skipped breakfast and set-to putting plugs on some of the radio gear and temporarily setting everything up in the garage. All seemed to be ok except that it seemed to be SO deaf - combination of rusty old aerials, bad aerial positions and being almost at sea level I guess. Ended up actually putting the huge vertical antenna back together and propping it against a tree in a desperate attempt to actually pick some stuff up to prove it was all working ok. Took the risk and actually tested the two metre radio by calling G4WKA portable requesting a radio check on the TR repeater I think it was!? Someone replied so it all proved out ok. Dad tried so hard to be helpful suggesting I call the local coastguard for frequencies and such but I was just SO uptight and short tempered!! Eventually happy it was all ready to be displayed I called the guy whod said he was interested and said it was ready for viewing whenever he wanted to arrange a meeting. He said hed be right over and should be there by around 3pm!! Excellent. Waited with M/D and Sally in the garden with coffees and had a quick bite of a pork pie that Mum had actually bought for Sally!! Managed a brief chat with Mum on her own at some point and asked her how she was doing - so hard to get to talk to either of them on their own now that Mum is constantly looking after Dad and now that Dad is always on the cordless phone when I ring. She said she was doing ok but that it was really tiring. She said it was like having a child to look after - always having to keep an eye on him, help him eat, walk, etc, etc. As if to prove that, at some point during the day (the day before Mums birthday!) Dad appeared and presented Mum with his birthday card to her. He couldnt get out on his own up to the shops to buy one so hed made one from a piece of notepaper and drawn on it with coloured felt tip pens!! Childlike - but SO touching - brought a lump to my throat for sure!! . . . All touched base with Sis2 and M/D thanked her for the parcel that had arrived that morning. Special nightclothes that you cant get over here for Mum and a large soft towelling bath robe for Dad so that he doesnt have to struggle trying to towel himself down after a bath. Genuinely successful presents. Sis2 had been for some sort of allergy test in the saga of trying to find out what was wrong with her and had to wear a plaster on her back covering the test scratches for a day or so! Irritating. I was REAL up tight waiting for the guy to arrive - eventually he called on his mobile asking directions from only just up the road and was soon pulling up outside. Showed him all the gear and tried to be as honest and up front as I could be about it all. He seemed almost decided as soon as he saw it and readily handed over £400 in cash! Blimey - excellent. Bit embarassing having to admit I slept in the garage with the dog! Took a while dismantling and repacking everything and then scribbling down a receipt but soon enough it was all in his car and he was gone. EXCELLENT! Such a relief to have it all gone after all these years of just sitting there gathering dust. More than that - SO glad I didnt have to lug it all back home again. Very pleased and couldnt help repeating Excellent which Dad latched on to - for the rest of the day he walked around repeating Its been an excellent day. I had to agree. :o) . . . Took Sally and all walked the twenty paces or so up to the post office and banked the money straight away. I like it when things work out all quick like - my granddad apparently used to say bang, bang, bang to describe such a rapid sequence of events. I like 'bang, bang, bang' . . . Back to sit in the garden with Dad as Mum prepared food adamantly refusing any help as usual! Uncomfortable conversation with Dad who confided that Mumd had a hard day a while ago and had said some really nasty hurtful things which he thought were unreasonable considering he was dieing - although she had apologised afterwards! VERY difficult times for them both!! :o( . . . Ate and then ended up falling asleep with Sally in the garage. Eventually woken after 8pm by sally sticking her nose in my face. Slowly roused myself and wandered out into the garden with a waking up cigarette. Eventually went in to use the bathroom only to find the place deserted??????!!!!!! Huh?? A note had been left by the back door saying that it was 8 oclock and they had both set off walking to battery gardens and would see me there!!!! Blimey! Rushed the walk with Sally down to Battery gardens and got there within twenty minutes to find M/D already there installed on their favourite seat overlooking Torbay and the views. Funny how sally recognised them from at least 20 metres away and ran to them all waggy tailed to be made a fuss of. :o) Called Sis2 on the mobile to touch base. Sally couldnt resist the lure of the sight of rabbits and leapt off the ledge in front the seat!!!!! Blimey - at least a ten foot drop but she hit the ground running - the rabbits ran faster and safely escaped. Chatted until night approached and then all walked slowly back to M/Ds - although not VERY slowly! Amazing things those steroids. Fed Sally in the garage and took the opportunity of disappearing out there for some privacy with the cordless phone. Called BB to touch base but got the ansaphone. Called Sis2 and Sis1 and gave them the real picture of how M/D were doing - which was pretty damned ok actually. Joined M/D in front of the TV but Dad started dozing so just as though she had a child Mum said Come on. Bedtime. All said goodnights and I retired to the garden for a sit and a smoke in the cool of the starry night. Felt nice and relaxed - NOT under siege. To bed with Sally in the garage around midnight.(5/10)as
25 - Woken by Sallys wet nose around 8am. Gave my birthday card to Mum and said happy birthday and such. Mum gave Sally corned beef treats in the garden. Walked down through Battery Gardens and on down through town to the motability appliance shop. Not particularly impressed although I guess it had everything you could need when you are in physical decline. They even rent out electric wheelchairs! As had been previously discussed for when it may be necessary in the future I bought two of the plastic urine bottles for Dad. Bloody hell - £6.50 EACH!!!! Id use a bloody milk carton if it was me. Walked all the way back to M/Ds for a bowl of cornflakes and more corned beef for Sally. The garden is already starting to prey on both M/Ds minds so I figured Id mow the lawn for them since it was already pretty tall and weedy. Dad and Sally both fell asleep despite the noise of the electric mower so I ended up mowing around them which was amusing. Overcast grey day with the sea mist but very warm and humid. Turned out to be bloody hard hot work (ended up topless! Ooooer. ) - more so because I adjusted the mower wheels for the closest possible shave! Sis2 called to say happy birthday to Mum and we all joined in on the phone which allowed me a bit of a break. Mowed both front and back garden and filled two HUGE plastic sacks with all the cuttings. Mum joined in with some sweeping of the paths and fallen leaves around the borders. Eventually all pretty much done around 3pm. Loaded up the car with the sacks and the heavy old mechanical lawn mower which M/d had finally agreed should be thrown out. Left Sally in the garden with Mum (who INSISTED on giving me £40 for petrol and the bottles Id bought!! Blimey - Im making money visiting for Christ sake!!!!!!) and drove with Dad to the council tip. Oh no!! We were refused entry because Thursday is commercial vans only day!? Thankfully the guy on the gate said we could at least walk the stuff in so I had to make three long sweaty walks carrying all the heavy rubbish! As always whenever I go to a tip, I see things I want others have thrown away - amazingly I spotted a PVC shelf of exactly they type that M/D had just got from the nurse for placing across the bath for Dad to sit on when he is at his worst! What a weird coincidence. HAD to take it back with me to M/Ds just for the laugh. :o) Back to M/Ds to all sit in the garden and relax for a while before having a bath and then getting ready to go out to eat Mums birthday meal. Called BB to touch base. Left Sally in the garage and drove out to eat around 6:30pm. Parked in the pay and display in Oxen cove and walked round to the current favourite restaurant near the bustling harbour. Nice meal - Dad managed cutting and eating his food mostly unaided. As we left the restaurant around 8:30pm a brass band was playing on the harbour wall to the crowds. Wouldnt you know it - Dad started trying to dance with mum for the laugh and then even grabbed a nearby sign post as though he was going to do the weird gymnastic trick he used to embarrass us all with as children. He used to grab the pole and with the strength of his upper body raise his feet off the floor until his whole body was projecting horizontally from the pole!! Thankfully on this occasion he didnt follow through and just threatened for fun. Funny old guy. :o) . . . Got the car and drove back to pick up Sally and then all drove to Battery Gardens. Walked Sally and threw some sticks for swimming and then joined M/D back up on their seat to chat and watch the herds of rabbits as darkness fell. Eventually back home to feed wet Sally around 10pm. TVd before a quick cigarette in the garden and then bed around midnight. (5/10)a
26 - Up around 6:45. Coffee and cigarettes in the garden and then around 7:30 walked sally the long walk down Pooh Lane to Churston Cove. Ended up talking on the beach to a couple with a dog down on holiday from Yorkshire. VERY chatty which was ok. They ended up feeding Sally who was acting real puppy like and romping in the sea, all their dog's doggie treats! In conversation I mentioned how I preferred the area out of season when there were less people around and there was less unpleasant noise from the holiday camp just round the coast. Ooops! They were staying at THAT holiday camp!! :o) Back to M/Ds around 9:15 to find Dad strutting around drying in his new Sis2 supplied towelling robe - definitely a success. Corn beef treats for sally for breakfast - Bran Flakes for me!! Cant explain it - visiting M/D makes me unconsciously anal retentive - as if Im not generally enough that way already!! Lay down in the garage and snoozed until around midday. Woke up and robbed out some of M/Ds Campanula from their garden and put it in Tupper wares for the journey home. Left Sally in the garage and drove M/D to their old favourite Safeway store to shop (Without the car they can no longer go there). M/D as always, paid for everything, including replenishing dog food supplies in the garage. Soon back home to relax sitting in the garden before stuffing some huge pizzas wed bought. Once again as usual Mum refused ALL help and did all the washing up as Dad and I sat in the garden playing with Sally and trying not to sleep. Around 7:30 drove us all to Fishcombe Cove and walked Sally as M/D made their way down the steep path that lead to the beach so they could see Sally swim for the first time. A handful of sticks and Sally obliged. Agonisingly slowly climbed all the way up and sat on the favourite seat for chats and view/rabbit watching. Walking back to the car Dad had a bit of a splutter and was kinda sick a little bit!! Bloody worrying but he assured us it was nothing more than a little heartburn and too much pizza!! Drove through town and drove past the large field site that was advertising some sort of Mardi Gras event complete with live bands featuring 'The Wurzels'. The place looked SO empty it was embarrassing - there seemed to be more portaloo toilets than people!!!! MUST have been a financial disaster - but then - The Wurzels?!!!!! Not surprising! Back home and fed Sally around 9:30. TVd. Sis1 called to touch base and tell all about her NVQ presentation which had been held at the Ashton court mansion house!! Impressive. Kudos to Sis1 who still insisted on belittling her achievement. :o) TVd and watched Katie win the latest 'Big Brother' and get the £70,000 prize. Yawn. Retired to the garage to sleep around 11pm to find wet Sally sleeping on my bed!! (5/10)a
27 - Couldnt sleep and ended up getting up for coffee and cigarettes until gone 1am! Got up around 6:30am for more cigarettes and coffee in the garden. Walked Sally the long circuit walk down to Pooh Lane etc. She was real energetic with lots of rampaging through the woods and some swimming after sticks in Churston and Fishcombe Coves. Back to M/Ds by around 9am and recovered with more cigarettes and coffee in the garden. Couldnt resist filling up the pond which had dropped a couple of inches by evaporation in the hot weather. Ended up cleaning and filling the bird bath and then watering a little of the lawn and all the trees and plants in their raised border. Mum enjoyed herself handing out more meat scrap treats for Sally before we all had some breakfast. Packed everything up and put the garage all back as it was when I arrived and said goodbyes and I love yous and ordered Dad not to be dancing in the street like last time! As I turned the corner at the bottom of the street and looked back and waved sure enough he was doing a funny dance just to wind me up! Thats my Dad that is. On the road around 11:30am. Stopped off at Safeway to get petrol and make use of the money-off voucher M/D had got when they did their shopping yesterday. £1 cheaper. Loads of holiday traffic - lots of start stop all the way back. Pretty scary driving in such heavy traffic the way some of those nuts were driving. Back home and called M/D to announce safe arrival around 2:30pm. Grabbed a bite to eat and pottered a little in the back yard clearing up fallen dead honeysuckle leaves that were threatening to block the rainwater drain. Around 3:30pm I became aware (still in the BACK garden) of the nasty noisy neighbour opposite's music. Loudest Ive ever heard it. Tried not to hear it but it was unbelievably loud and I figured enough is enough. Popped my tape recorder in my pocket and walked over and banged on the door.
Transcript: Me: <bang, bang - bang, bang, bang>
- banged pretty hard but figured Id need to, to be heard above the music. The last time I had to knock on their door they didn't hear me! Some young kid I didnt recognise answered the door -
Me: Can you turn the music down please.
Just then the real nasty piece of work who actually makes all the noise appeared and came outside.
NNNO: <Enquiring look/mumble>
Me: Can you turn the music down! Every single day Ive got to listen to it. In every room in my house. I cant get to sleep. Im woken up at four in the morning with you screaming and shouting.
NNNO: Four in the morning?
Me: Do you want the date?! At four in the morning there was a bloody argument going on here and Im getting sick and tired of it.
NNNO: Listen there cant be no argument at four in the morning, Im asleep. Its my mum on the phone if anything. <Mumble>
Me: PLEASE keep the music turned down so I cant hear it in my back garden.
NNNO: What in the morning?
NNNO: Can you not knock on my door like that again.
Me: You keep the music down . .
NNNO: <interrupting - threatening tone> Do NOT KNOCK my door like that!
Me: You keep the music down I wont knock your door.
NNNO: What dyou mean keep the music down you wont knock my door?
Me: Your not stupid, you know its loud, man.
NNNO: In the day time I can play my music like this.
Me : No you cant. . . . Ill serve notice now . . .
NNNO: what do you mean notice now?
Me: . . . Im keeping a diary and Im going to approach the council . . .
NNNO: what do you mean <mumble>. . . .?
Me: . . . with a view to getting a prohibition order.
NNNO: Im moving out in the next couple of weeks I dont give a fuck!
Me: All Im asking is you keep the music down. Is it asking SO much?
NNNO: Listen. Dont knock my door like that. Theres no need to knock my door like that!
Me: Theres no need to play your music so loud. Why am I stood here? Why am I stood here?
NNNO: Look. Dont knock my door like that.
Me: Why am I knocking on your door?
NNNO: Do you see anyone else knocking my door like that?
Me: Because their frightened of you!
NNNO: Theyre not frightened.
Me: Yes they are.
NNNO: I speak to them. I spoke to them all the time.
Me: So thats ok? Ive got to put up with it then have I? Ive got to put up with it?
NNNO: Yeah but . .
Me: <interrupting> Its too loud for ME!
NNNO: Yeah but you dont knock my door like that.
Me: I wont knock your door if you turn it down!
Me: Youre picking points man, your picking points. Youre in the wrong.
NNNO: Your picking the points.
Me: Your picking little points.
NNNO: Ask the home office what time I can play music to.
Me: That is a volume that is unacceptable.
NNNO: <interrupting> Im a musician. Im a musician. Im a producer. <advancing gesticulating>
Me: Ive asked you nicely . . . .
NNNO: <interrupting> Im a produce....
Me: . . . and youre getting a bit in my face arent you?
NNNO: Im a producer.
Me: I dont care.
NNNO: Im a musician.
Me: So what?
NNNO: Get off my land then , I dont care . . get off, get off, get off my garden!
<grabbing my arms, pushing and shoving me backwards out onto the pavement>
Me: <mumble> . . . an assault!
NNNO: Now youre not on my land are you. . . <mumble> . . and phone the police.
Me: I will
I DID call the police after Id calmed down just a little, only to be told that Id have to actually go to Bridewell Police Station in person to make a report! They wouldnt send anyone out! So in effect he WAS right - he could play his music as loud as he wanted and there wasnt a damn thing I could do about it! Admittedly the music didnt come back on for quite a while - instead the half a dozen or so people that were in the house all emerged into the street all laughing and began to play football - stopping passing traffic as they saw fit and on several occasions bouncing the football on the roofs and bonnets of neighbours cars!!!!! Thankfully as luck would have it they didnt hit mine - but if they had done, what could I possibly do about it? Nothing!!!!!! LB called to moan to me about them but I was too wound up and watching to entertain a conversation. Eventually their music was turned back on as a background to their football playing, albeit somewhat quieter but still clearly audible in my front room. Eventually the lady, who I think owns the house, returned and the nasty young guy swaggered off with his mates and I could relax - a bit - until - who knows what or when??? I am of course now expecting reprisals! :o( The resultant adrenalin washing round my body for an hour or more made me feel positively ILL and want to become unconscious!!!! PCd and mailed a couple of photos to Sis2. Plugged in the laptop and sat in the garden in the hot humid typing this. BB called to touch base but I really felt unwell and tired and just didnt want to talk! PCd this until it was cool and time to walk Sally. Walked and found a real nasty menacing pair of scissors, rather more like a combined knife and knuckle duster set!!!! Cant believe someone was over the field doing a bit of needlework MUST be a weapon! Scary!! Nice sharp Ikea kitchen scissors. :o) . . . PCd . . .To bed exhausted around midnight. (4/10)
28 - Tried to sleep through the ansaphone messages LB left at goodness knows what time in the morning but couldnt sleep through Sally dog barking as the doorbell went around 2am! LB and a friend of hers on the wine had called to visit!? Ended up having a glass of wine or so with them before they left very drunk at goodness knows what time in the morning!! Couldnt settle and didnt get back to sleep until after 4am as it was getting light!! . . . woken by Sally around 10am. Big headache! Gosh it is warm and humid out . . .walked. Had a brief word with my next door neighbours who told me about the old couple who are the immediate neighbours of the nasty noisey neighbours opposite. Apparantly the old man who isn't too well is deaf, and the old lady is terminally ill and spends most of her time asleep!!. . . TVd watching the start of the Grand Prix but - round and round and round and looked like Schumaker was gonna win again so turned it off. . . slept most of the day!! . . . walked and went for milk but the shop was shut?!! Stopped off for a vegetarian kebab and chips - stomach feels a bit unsettled . . . watered the garden - god it's hot! . . . tried calling BB to touch base but always ansaphones! . . . PS popped round for chats till early.. . BB called to touch base but hadn't received any of my ansaphone messages!? (4/10)das
29 - Woken by Sally after 8am . . . walked but OH was it hot already! . . . sat in the garden . . . spotted some suited guy getting out of a car and taking digital photos of the nasty noisey neighbour's house opposite? Ooohhh, ooohhh - looked like an estate agent - could it be they have put their house up for sale? Ooohhh jeeze I do SO, SO hope so. . .PCd and hopefully renewed the bike advert . . . M/D called on their mobile - they'd both walked into town - asking if they should buy this and that they'd spotted cheap in their local charity shops! Business as usual. :o) . . . fell asleep all afternoon . . . watered the garden. Temperature up above 76F in the house - hotter than comfy I think. . . BB called to touch base . . . planted the campanula from M/Ds in the raised bed in the front yard and watered everything . . . walked a little later than usual. Nice and quiet out. . . . TVd till early. Feeling a bit down and bored with food. Trouble sleeping as Sally panted lots in the heat. (3/10)
30 - Woken around 8am. Still real hot - no sign of the thunder storms that have been forecast. Feel like I just want to sleep all the time. . . a neighbour next to LB has decided to replace his garden hedge with a wall and has had a skip delivered in which he's put all the rubbish and rubble. He was out there laying foundations when I walked Sally so I couldn't resist asking if any of the skip space was free for 'lane rubble'. He'd already finished with it (only half full) and had no objections to me filling it up. . .walked - bizarre conversation with the chatty guy about his ill dog and the intricacies of it's urine colour!! Eewwwww :o) . . . spent the rest of the morning digging, filling bags, and carrying rubble from the lane through my house and out the front and into the skip. Could have got more in but just HAD to stop - SO hot!! Soaked in perspiration and exhausted! It'll do . . . sat around recovering and drinking loads - feel better for having 'done' something - didn't last of course. . .sat around feeling low. Tried to nap but the new neighbour from down the road called at the door asking to borrow a broom! . . . TVd . . . quickly registered and threw together a simple demo 'old school reunion' type website for CC to think about . . . M/D called to touch base. Uncle TJ and Auntie BJ had visited today. Apparantly stayed chatting for ages and they had a nice time. Excellent. Apparantly Sis2 is considering taking in a lodger - it'll probably end in tears (as they always seem to for everyone) but gotta be worth doing from a financial viewpoint. Good idea. . . walked late - nice and quiet and quite a sky full of threatening storm clouds. Found 5p. Stopped off in the chip shop for sausage and chips. . . TVd. . . Uncle TJ / Auntie BJ called to touch base and say they'd had an enjoyable visit with M/D and offered whatever help they can give, whenever it may be necessary. Nice one. . . ended the day feeling really pretty down. (3/10)sa
31 - Up around 8am. It's raining and slightly cooler than of late . . .called BB to touch base . . . drove Sally to Snuff Mills and walked in the drizzle. Detoured on the way home and had a look at the old school (which has changed it's name) and took a piccie . . .PCd but my bloody webspace wont let me even log on!!??? . . . left Sally at home and walked up to shop. Scored a pair of trainers in a charity shop for only £3.75 . . . TVd . . . BB called to touch base . . . sat in the conservatory on the floor next to Sally watching a heavy rain shower (rain was going down AND up) and a frog climbing out into the lane to go hunting . . . got all done up in waterproofs and walked - dark heavy sky but managed the whole walk between showers . . . TVd till early. Tough day moodwise. (3/10)s