23 MAY 2020
We seem to have established an unwelcome night time routine of Jean waking us with the buzzer in the middle of the night. I cannot describe the unpleasantness of being awoken by a siren at 3am. In the morning the district nurse phones us, after a team meeting they have decided that Jean has developed a type of pressure sore and she needs a different ointment. This means a nurse will have to visit twice a week. They are also concerned about her potentially falling from the chair because of her latest behaviour habit, so we are being referred to the ‘Rapid Response Team’. It is likely that they will recommend moving the hospital bed into the living room and putting it into a chair shape (Jean cannot tolerate anything other than a sitting position). This will be safer and it may make nursing her easier. I am relieved that they have intervened with some practical suggestions, because it has been getting to be too much to cope with. Today turns out to be quite frustrating, I try a different approach with Jean, popping in to praise her for still being upright in the chair rather than just going in when she has pushed herself down. I also put a vase of sweet peas next to her, which she really liked. Unfortunately, she moves to a new habit, which is asking to go on the commode every hour irrespective of whether she really needs to.
The wind is very strong, but I’m glad to see the giant achilleas still look quite respectable despite being constantly buffeted. I manage to pick the first bowl of strawberries which I have for breakfast and then I finish planting the calibrachoas. I decide that I should also weed the bottom bed of the mount, so the whole thing looks tidy, but I am called away so frequently that progress is extremely slow.
Patrick assisted by James and Aideen carry on removing nut trees from in front of the the walls in the orchard. The increased light levels are incredible and we can now view the entire arched wall from the bottom of the terrace. This is a view that has been impossible to see for several hundred years and I feel very privileged to see it now. It was recommended to remove these trees in our conservation plan which was written more than twenty years ago, and it is brilliant that finally these recommendations are being carried out.
I go inside to prepare dinner, a chicken dopiaza – chicken with onions – using lots of onions and elephant garlic from the garden. I am not feeling particularly well (probably due to a lack of sleep) and I am very tired and fed up because I still haven’t finished the mount. But I do go back outside at about 8:30pm and go to look at Patrick’s progress and then walk around the garden with Aideen and the garden performs its magic and I begin to feel restored.