• Kay

A challenging day


Today was supposed to be full on, trying to get hard core into the remaining section of the parking area, or ‘forecourt’ as Patrick has now explained I should call it.

Unfortunately, we do not have James today because Sunday is ‘cricket day’ and although we have Meave she has to fit in some office work. I should have been available to help, but Dad had other ideas. He had buzzed me at 1am with catheter issues which I thought I had sorted out, but he buzzed me again at 7am and I found him sitting on the bed with the entire catheter on the floor, which he had pulled out! This was obviously very alarming so I phoned the ‘out of hours’ district nurses but they had not opened yet, so then it was down to 111. When I got through to them, they agreed I needed a district nurse but also a doctor as I was pretty sure he was starting another UTI, hence the extremely confused behaviour. By this time the district nurses were open (8am) and thank goodness they came quite quickly to put in a new catheter. Unfortunately, the 111 service was over-run and although we spoke to them several times during the day and we were told we were being prioritised because of dad’s age, we did not get a doctor’s visit and antibiotics until about 8:45pm! By this time, dad’s behaviour had become very unsettled, restless and confused and by the evening he was buzzing every few minutes. I had to stay by the phone all day waiting for the doctor to call which was extremely frustrating. So in between running backwards and forwards to dad, I ‘Covid prepared’ the music room for me to start teaching tomorrow, the piano has never been so clean! In order to get me outside we called 111 again on a mobile phone…this is one of the few times where I consider a mobile phone would be useful…I then took my turn with the family ‘chain gang’ in between scurrying in and out to check on dad. Today, I spent some of my time breaking up hard core with my favourite club hammer (obviously the oldest one!). I was pleasantly surprised that I could do this quite well but you wouldn’t want to do it for too long, no wonder Patrick has a sore arm!

I then joined everyone, which now included Mary, filling the dumper up from the hard-core pile. By this stage, it had just become a frantic race to move the hard-core whilst we still had the dumper, before it got dark, we could break it up later in the week. I’m afraid my pupils will get a shock tomorrow when they drive up and meet a large heap of type 1 – maybe they will think it is a novel type of Covid precaution!

We were incredibly relieved when a doctor finally arrived and he started dad on antibiotics. Hopefully, these will return dad to some semblance of normal which will be a good thing because his last suggestion of the evening was “Are we going to the caravan now?”.

Meave decides to cook tonight, thank goodness, and she collects kale (for her roasted crispy kale dish), potatoes and rosemary to roast, chard to use as we don’t presently have spinach, to cook with the salmon with lemon and dill. I’m looking forward to dinner and praying that we will get dad to go to sleep.


The new normal?


I hate the phrase ‘the new normal’ but today I did reflect on it when I started up my private teaching practice after a six-month break. It is ironic that my chosen restart date was the day that the new law came in, restricting gatherings to six. It did give me pause for thought, I’ve been SO cautious for so long. However, I am only moving forward with extreme care and having now completed one evenings teaching, I think it will be OK. I am very lucky, my pupils are lovely and they all seemed happy to follow our new guidelines. We are also very fortunate to have the space to work at a safe, well ventilated distance. We were all very pleased to see each other and everyone appeared to enjoy their lessons even if practice has been scarce in lockdown! It will be interesting to see how my faithful elderly piano copes with having its keys wiped over with antibacterial wipes every half hour!

I must admit to being a little distracted today knowing that I was going to start work again. Aideen, Diane and Patrick spread out the ‘type 1’ over the last section of hard-core outside the house realising that otherwise it might be difficult for my pupils to walk to the front door…good point! This was very kind of them because it was really hot today, not ideal for raking and barrowing ‘type 1’.

I tried to get some gardening done but my time was mainly absorbed by dead heading. I was also quite concerned about how grandad would be today, but luckily he has improved, thank goodness, and he is considerably less agitated than yesterday, thank God for antibiotics.

Hopefully, I will quickly settle into this new way of carrying out my teaching and life can at least partly return to normal.

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