Pa's a bit better - the stomach bleeding has stopped. However, they have taken him off pretty much all of his medication, because they are worried that it will reoccur and all the things like warfrin etc. make him more susceptible to bleeding. They've also taken him off his arthritis medication, with the result that his hands are swollen up like balloons and he can't do anything for himself, even hold a cup.
Perhaps part of growing up is feeding your father with a spoon, shaving him and cleaning his teeth.
However, by the time we left for home he was much more himself - slightly grumpy, a bit frustrated and able to tell me off for 'being vulgar' when I told him that these days they send you home from hospital as soon as you've 'slid the baby out'. The aim is to move him to the local cottage hospital as soon as possible - it's closer to home, it's a less intensive medical facility and, of course, they don't have MRSA. Also, it might be possible to arrange for Moss-the-dog to visit him in some way - she is pining for him. And so is he for her.
We are home now - I am shattered and B isn't much better. I am having a day of rest and B is doing some design and planning work.
One of the other things we managed to do whilst down at Ma's, was Go In To The Top Shed.
If The Top Shed was in a role-playing game, it would automatically knock about three points off the morale, cleanliness, dedication, ability and strength scores of any character who went inside. In Real Life (tm), it has much the same effect.
For some time, our group of travellers had been hearing rumours from local residents that there were Kilner Jars stored at the back of the shed. Our mission was to locate the jars, extract them intact and not cause the enormous pile of, well, STUFF, to topple off the top of the Vauxhall Cresta in the meantime. Or the pile of broken white goods and televisions to overbalance. Or the three-door 1930's walnut wardrobe full of binder twine to topple over on to us. Or to do ourselves serious ankle damage on the rotovator. Or to cause the decaying pigeon loft to shake loose from the wall and crush us and all of the above.
After some serious rummaging about and the use of one or two 'reveal' spells, B was able to report that the rumours were correct. There WAS a box of preserving jars at the back of the shed, behind the chinese screen, next to the chutney boiler (disused) and the stack of old freezer baskets. By judicious wriggling, he was able to pass the jars out to me one at a time.
I put them in a handy cardboard box, and after about half an hour, we stood back and assessed what we had uncovered.
It was scary. See the scaryness.
At this point, Ma arrived to help. She was able to throw some light on the matter. They are the preserving jars that her mother used during the Second World War, for fruit.
Some of those things have been in there since 1942.
That's sixty five years.
B and I found some surgical gloves in the cupboard under the stairs and I levered the tops off of the jars with his Man Tool, whilst B emptied the contents in to the back of the flower border beside the front lawn. We felt rather like Howard Carter dealing with Tutankhamen's organs. Some of the tops were perforated and the contents had dried out to a dessicated substance not unlike coprolites. Others were in better nick - the rhubarb for example. And some blackcurrants. And some pears that Ma reckoned were only forty years old. It was a really odd feeling, chucking away stuff that my grandmother must have picked all that time ago.
Anyway ... we now have twenty 2lb jars and fifteen 1lb jars for jam and chutney experiments. I am going to have a look for some lids for them - but they aren't real Kilner Jars, so I think we may have a problem finding caps for them and won't therefore, be able to use them for pickling and preserving.
We also scored a seventy year old pressure cooker affectionately known by the family as 'the bomb', of which, more later.
Now, I am off to write a birth plan. Excuse me.