Friday, 21st April, 2023

[Day 1131]

So the day has finally arrived when we are to make a visit to Meg’s cousins in Cheltenham, which trip has been planned for a week or so now. But the day did not get off to a particularly good start. Meg had a rather disturbed patch during the night which was unusual as she sleeps pretty well on the whole. Anyway we coped with the disturbed patch with some night time tea and some of Meg’s pills, although I cannot vouch for their effectiveness. Then I was awakened at about 7.30 with cries of help coming from the en-suite bathroom floor as Meg had fallen and evidently could not get up. But as it happened, I had done two things in the last day or so which helped me to cope. Firstly, I had consulted some advice on a specialised website which indicated how to cope with falls of the elderly. This all sounds common sense but it was the first time I had to put the advice to practical use. Firstly, the person who has fallen needs to be rolled over onto their stomach. Then from this position, one should attempt to get into a kneeling position and then from this position to actually stand up. When I went shopping at the supermarket the other day, I spotted in the Aldi ‘middle aisle’ a child’s step stool and I purchased one of these because I thoght it might be a useful aid to get Meg dressed in the morning,not to mention picking herself up from the floor. So a combination of following the website advice and then using the step stool to achieve a kneeling position seemed to work OK and the rest followed fairly quickly. After all of this pallaver, I got myself and Meg up and adressed and then got downstairs to cook some breakfast. I had to improvise here as well becaue I had forgotten to buy some eggs but I substituted some cooked plum tomatoes served with some cheese on toast (for Meg) and rice cake (for me). After breakfast, I needed to access the web to organise a refund of some train tickets. I had already organised and paid for a couple of tickets so that Meg and I could go to an ‘Old Fogies’ (ex-University of Winchester) colleagues for a meal on Tuesday next. But the relevant company, Cross Country trains, sent me a message to the effect that the train we were going to pick up at Birmingham International was not going to stop there on this particular train. So I organised a refund for myself and can now work out what options are open to ne. As Meg seems to be in a pattern of having a fall every other day or so, then I think the journey to Winchester is now probably beyond us. We could go by car but this makes it quite a long day without the benefit of any alcohol at lunchtime. As Meg cannot be left unattended, I have to reluctantly conclude that shall have to give the ‘Old Fogies’ a miss on this occasion and will look forward to the next occasion in about six months time.

We set off for Cheltenham in plenty of time and the car almost knew its own way there from past journeys to Meg’s cousin. We had arranged to meet in Meg’s cousin’s daughter’s house where we could leave the car and then proceed to the restaurant in a couple of cars as car parking is at a premium. It was wonderful to see Meg’s cousins again after a gap of some years (in one case) Unfortunately a severe illness seems to be manifesting itself which was distressing to hear but we are convinced that a positive attitude can make a world of difference. We all had a good meal which in our case was Fish and Chips which is quite a treat as we have some so rarely and they were beautifully cooked and presented. We had plenty of time both before and during lunch to get each other up-to-date on family matters and naturally some political discussion ensued. After we had had our lunch, we all repaired to the cousin’s house for a cup of tea and then we struck off for home, which was quite an easy journey home. We are only about 40 miles distant from one of Megs cousins so we are hoping that they can come and spare some time with us in Bromsgrove if time and other commitments allow. At least we have the prospect of summer unfolding before us which makes these family trips much more manageable.

Of course, the major political news today was Dominic Raab’s resignation just before 10.00am this morning. My predictions of last night were quite wrong, by the way. What is so unusual is that Dominic Raab has resigned with all guns blazing calling the whole enquiry process ‘flawed’ and the narrative that he is trying to construct is that a small cadre of ‘passive-aggressve’ civil servants were hell-bent on bringing him down. But significantly, there are no Tory MP’s arguing that his resignation was unnecessary with the exception of Jacob Rees-Mogg in an interview that dripped vitriol (towards civil servants) in every sentence.