Saturday, February 10, 2018

Rushing around

Our visit to Daughter 2 was dual-purpose: to see her and Littlest Granddaughter but also to visit again my aunt, who's now in a care home in rural north Norfolk in the south of England - which is not at all handy for Edinburgh.

Up till November 30 my aunt, now 93, was living independently and having a lovely life, but on that day a Tesco employee, pushing a large container on wheels instead of (as is the rule) pulling it behind him so that he could see where he was going, pushed it into her shopping trolley and knocked her over, breaking her hip.

She's had a partial hip replacement but is now scarcely able to walk and is permanently in a care home - never having been able to go back to her own home to sort out her things. Fortunately she has very good friends, including one who thinks of her as his big sister, and who has done so much for her. But the fact remains that her life has been ruined.

To make things much worse, she's extremely deaf and totally reliant on hearing aids - and one of these got lost at the rehabilitation home she was in after being in hospital, so till she gets a replacement she's more or less cut off from the speaking world. And she's hardly eating at all and is now very thin. I think she's really given up. Of course, she's 93 and many people don't get that far. But there's no comparison between her life now and her life less than three months ago. It's so sad.

She has no children, but my brother's family and mine are all very fond of her so have been visiting her when possible. It's quite a faff to get to her from here, and even from Daughter 2's home in London it's not that easy. Daughter 2 kindly said she'd come and bring the baby for Auntie to see again, so we hired a car and drove there, staying overnight in the village so that we could visit both days. It's very hard to think of things to say to someone whose life has shrunk so much - and who can't hear you unless you bellow in the ear that has the remaining hearing aid. Luckily my brother and my niece live not so far away and are able to visit more often - but it's still quite a trek to the village. I write to her every second day because she can still read.

So that took up two days of our five days down south. Another two were spent travelling down and up again. On Tuesday, however, we went to the Victoria and Albert Museum because Daughter 2, though she's on maternity leave, had a meeting that she wanted to go to since it might provide work for the company and she knew more than her colleagues about what this might entail. The meeting was at 2, so we went to the V&A for lunch, she fed the baby and set off, while Mr L and I wheeled the (fortunately sleeping) baby round the museum.

Look at this! It was carved out of rock crystal about the year 1000 and I WANT IT. I shall put it on my Amazon wish list.

And this - made about 1545. It's quite large but I'd find a place for it easily.

And this - about the same date. Another lady was looking at it with me and we admired it. She said that she wanted it. I didn't like to tell her that I saw it first so obviously it was mine.

Now, of course no one approves of ivory but wow, the workmanship on this.

All these teeny pieces!

At this point, Daughter 2 phoned to say that the potential clients had rung at 2 and postponed the meeting till 4! So she would come back and feed the baby again.

While waiting, we admired this dress, made out of hand-embroidered fabric.

Look! How many weeks would that take to do???

Daughter 2 reappeared, fed the baby and rushed back to her meeting, and Mr L and I battled through the hot, crowded London transport system and returned to the flat. Luckily Littlest Granddaughter's feeds are supplemented by bottles, so we were able to keep her going till her mum returned.

How lovely she is.

Including when she's asleep.

And now Daughter 1 and her family are down in London visiting Daughter 2 and family, so we don't have any grandchildren around. Mr Life is quite enjoying the peace for now, I do believe... . But I'm missing them all.


  1. That's just so sad about your Aunt. Life can be so cruel sometimes..

  2. She is a beautiful baby! I have known the same thing to happen to elderly people; it just takes one fall, one health issue and they can't recover. In her case, it is doubly tragic because it never should have happened! I love the V&A and will take the second bowl, please. :)

  3. Darling wee baby. You 2 did well with your babysitting!
    The story of old folk is too familiar I am sorry to say.( we have had a similar thing in the past)
    Do keep writing and sending her photos etc. All too soon it might be over and you will be pleased you made the effort. ( again speaking from experience. )
    Greeting to you both from NZ.

  4. So sorry about your Aunt. I do hope she will feel less despondent when she can hear a bit better. Someone drove a pushchair in to Mother-in-laws leg whilst she wasstanding at the reception desk of her doctor. No breaks, thank goodness, but the resultant cuts and bruises were horrendous. It's awful what quite a small thing on wheels can do if pushed without due care. Littlest is looking very cute.

  5. The baby is lovely! What a shame about your aunt.

  6. Such a shame about your aunt's deterioration. I know from experience it's far from easy to witness. Your granddaughter is very cute. Wish I looked like that when I'm asleep but have a feeling the open mouthed look is more likely these days (or should that be nights?).

  7. So sorry to read about your Aunt. I hope if her hearing aid is replaced she will feel more connected to life. I am sure the visits and especially seeing your new granddaughter brought some happiness into her day.

  8. You were brave to go on London Transport with the baby. I haven't attempted that yet and she's three now!
    We used to play a reprehensible game with the children -What would you steal from this room?- in museums to keep their interest up.

  9. You're so funny! How 'bout you can have that first vase, but I'd really love to have the first bowl -- my, what a beauty!

    I'm so sorry about your Aunt -- how very sad, especially when you consider how good she was doing before.

    But Baby! She's a little doll -- since she was with you when you first saw your new vase, do you suppose you'll leave it to her in your will? ;-P