Thursday, March 15, 2007


Ok, now. I’m stamping my feet petulantly for a little while, so you might want to skip this post.

1) My dad, now moved permanently from the hospital he’s been in since September to another hospital for old people who need a lot of nursing care, is upset by the move and much more confused than he was before. He seems to think that he’s back in the army during the war and is trying to organise all the other old chaps into springing into action and… well, it’s not quite clear what he wants them to do, but they’re equally away with the fairies and are ignoring him, much to his fury. Not good.

2) My mum hasn’t been very well this week and I’m back staying every night with her, having got down to three nights per week. This is all right in its way but I’m worried about her too.

3) My son-in-law isn’t well again. Poor chap. Send him some prayers or good wishes or whatever you have available, please.

4) Daughter 2, whom we love and adore, is going out with an actor. This may not seem a problem to you, but it is to us. To be more precise, she’s going out at a distance with a mostly unemployed actor, and I’m sure that eventually she’ll have to move down to London to be with him. While I know that this would be perfectly natural, and we wouldn't stop her, we will miss her so much. And she doesn’t want to go to London anyway, except that of course he’s there. Or at least, he would be if he could get enough work to afford to live there, instead of in the Midlands with his parents.

5) I went to the optician today because I have a funny pink spot in the middle of the vision of my right eye. He spent an hour and forty minutes shining lights into my eyes, puffing air at them and showing me photos of my eyeballs on a computer screen (and if there’s anything that makes me feel more squeamish than veins, it’s anything to do with eyes apart from the view one normally gets of them; and as for veiny eyeballs….!!!) and then told me that I have the beginnings of cataracts in both eyes and also appear to have a hole at the back of my right eye. He’s referred me to the eye hospital. He says that it might not matter, but – sorry if this seems fussy - I prefer my eyes unperforated. Up till this afternoon, I thought that the only parts of my body that weren’t showing signs of late middle age were my eyes, since unlike most of my contemporaries I don’t need glasses apart from to read the phone directory in poor light.

6) Salford Person has abandoned me, or at least she hasn’t read me today. SP, I hope my speculations haven’t offended you. Come back!

I know everyone has problems, and some people have much worse ones than my family. But – that’ll do for the moment, thanks. Enough is enough.

Ah well. Above you see some wonderfully blue hyacinths and below, some lovely flowering plum blossom. Better concentrate on the good things in life. Like spring.

As I typed that, Son arrived home. “I’ve had an exciting day,” he said. “I got to stick my finger up someone’s bottom and feel his prostate.” (He’s a medical student. I hope you were taking this for granted.) I told him my eye news and he was sympathetic. “Maybe you need to get a cat,” he said. (This is part of a continuing get-a-cat campaign.) “Then if you can’t see, the cat can go and find you things. Like… mice. Have you ever felt a dead mouse? You could, if you got a cat.” He’s definitely one of the good things.
Post script the next day:
Thank you so much, fellow bloggers, for your sympathy. I particularly enjoyed Thimbleanna's comment that I should be thankful that it wasn't I who had to put my finger up someone's bottom. How very true. I mentioned this to my husband.
"It would be even worse," he said sagely, "to be the owner of the bottom."
Yes, indeed. Suddenly my life feels quite lucky.


  1. All valid gripes and you're surely entitled to the occasional sulk. On the up side -- your photos are lovely, spring is a lot farther along in your neck of the woods than it is here.

  2. Hmmmm. So it has not been a perfect day then. Have you seen the weather report????????? Apparently spring is gone and we are fast-forwarding to winter again, with snow and blizzards from Sunday. You get them before I do. Oh joy.
    More seriously, I hope you are taking good care of yourself. We are definitely the sandwich generation. My father had Alzheimers, and he kept insisting that Mum was an imposter, and "What have you done with my wife" was a constant bellow. He could only remember my Mum in her 20s, and there was this 70+ woman saying she was his wife and he was having none of it.
    You asked how I coped with my daughter in NZ.... All I can say is that you get used to it because you have no choice. I miss her dreadfully, of course, but we chat every night on messenger, so I can see her and see the new shoes etc and she can see me too. Thank heavens for technology!I could have written a post just for you at this rate. Take care and be gentle with yourself.

  3. Ah Isabelle, as always, even when possibly not meaning to, you've provided us with a very entertaining post. In the depths of it all, things could have been worse -- YOU could have been the one having to stick your finger up someone's bottom! I'm hoping things will look up for you -- at least you know you post among your peanut butter friends -- those of us who are the peanut butter between our parents and our kids. And btw, I'm not enviably thin, although, thanks to linds's comment I now know what my problem is. I can only remember myself in my 20s -- so I just continue to eat those Cran-orange cookies. And on a day like today, if I lived near you, I'd bring them over to cheer you up with your tea!

  4. You've got a lot on your plate Isabelle--how do you even find time to blog? Hope all the problems find happy solutions. Linds is right. Make sure you don't forget to take care of yourself along with everyone else.

    I'm glad someone else [and not me!] is taking a turn dealing with unmentionable, male body parts!

  5. Aww Isabelle, so sorry to hear of your woes. If you can't have a whinge to us, who can you? That's what we are here for, and we will always repay the favour by making you read our whinges!

    Your son is a cack though, I love that reason for getting a cat!

  6. Your delightful son is really intent on the cat idea, isnt he!
    Sorry things are blah at present, but it seems to happen when our parents -& children- reach certain ages.
    And I agree with Aunty Evil, you whinge all you want! We dont mind.

    I love your flowers, & the lovely fesh buds on the shrub/tree? next to the hyacinths. Ahh! how beautiful is plum blossom!

  7. I'm sorry for all of these things. It's all a bit much, isn't it? Except for the blossoms, of course.

    Regarding son-in-law, the depression thing is definitely an uphill slog. There can be so many root causes, and sometimes the whole thing doesn't even seem logical to someone who isn't in the midst of it. (You're handsome, talented, have your whole life ahead of you - what is there to be depressed about?) It's like being on a roller coaster that turns off and on at various unpredictable points during the ride.

    Enough of my unhelpful blathering. I suspect that Salford will be back. He/she undoubtedly found your speculations as entertaining/well-written as the rest of us. Reading a nicely written blog like yours is a joy.

  8. So sorry, Isabelle, that you are going through so much. It seems like you've been heaped upon with some issues, and all at once! I appreciate how you try to see the positive! It's an inspiration. Prayers and thoughts are being sent your way!

  9. Dear Isabelle,
    How frightening, to have eye problems like that. I can relate and sympathise, I have had bad eyesight all my life and I have always had a terror of going blind. But visits to experts are never really nice.
    Never fear, however, because technology is a wonderful thing and things can always be fixed! Arent we lucky.
    You are such a good daughter to your parents, they are lucky to have you, though its sad for you that your dad is the way he is, I imagine.

    As I have mentioned before, burmese cats are such a tonic, plus they would look so pretty in your garden , (one chocolate and one blue.) among those pretty flowers, ones I cannot grow.
    I could not imagine life without my little cat friends, and they have fewer side effects than prozac.

    All the best to you, take care.

  10. Ah Isabelle .. even though I have a black mark from you, I felt I had to write something. You made me laugh writing about your dad... senior moments happen to us all ... I guess its just not too hilarious when its present all the time.
    Having suffered from depression I can empathise with your son in law and you too ... its not easy feeling unable to help ... Enjoying all your blogs!

  11. I'm sorry to hear that things aren't going so well at present. I hope that your mum gets better so you can move back home again, and that your son-in-law finds some relief from his depression. It must be horrible watching your father so confused as to where he is and when he is too.
    As for the seeing-eye cat...not so sure that that is such a good idea. You may find yourself spending rather a lot of time up trees or hanging out in front of skirting boards!
    Good luck at the Eye Pavillion.

  12. I feel bad now because you were making me smile with all the bad stuff happening in your life. The imagery of your father's new hospital for example, even though I can only imagine how confronting all this must be.

    I do love how cheeky your son is. And that he controlled his urge to wisecrack during the prostate exam.

    Sending cyber-wishes that your parents and SIL improve, and that you get to keep your eyes intact.