Thursday, 31 July 2008

in brief

The vomiting isn't stress-related, apparently. It's some kind of bug.

Is that good, or bad?

Wednesday, 30 July 2008

right then

Right then.

Yesterday we went to the funeral of R's mother, who passed on suddenly a couple of weeks ago. I was in two minds about whether to go - I really wanted to show my support to the family, who are, naturally in shock; but I was worried about holding it together because it was so soon after Pa's. I think it's probably the height of bad manners to have hysterics at someone else's family funeral.

We will not be travelling to Weymouth on Friday for my friend's funeral. It's about a five hour drive and we would have to come back on the same day; not only that, we can't afford the petrol. I am all 'griefed out', I think. When I took the telephone call on Sunday, the person who rang me was crying - I was just numb.

On Monday, I spent all day looking at our finances. We basically need to sell this house - but we are probably not going to clear the mortgage debt if we do so at the moment. I have been talking to our solicitor, who will deal with the mortgage people for us. And the accountant is coming round for a chat tomorrow night. B is going to talk to the Citizen's Advice people this afternoon and this website is very helpful.

We want to avoid bankruptcy if at all possible, obviously.

Leo has gone to nursery today, thankfully - we didn't send him yesterday because of the Exorcist Sick incident the night before; but he seems to be okay now.

I don't feel too bad - apart from the stress-induced vomiting, which is a bit of a nuisance.


Sunday, 27 July 2008

and so the wheel turns

We had an absolutely mammoth 'screaming at each other in the garden a la the neighbours from hell' row last night.

Then this morning we had a chat and realised that it's okay, we don't hate each other - it's just that we are under an enormous amount of stress.

B said "Well, at least things can't get any worse".

And then the phone rang and it was someone telling us that a very old friend had been found dead.

He was coming to visit us next month.

I have spent the morning trying to track down the phone number of my ex-partner, who I haven't spoken to since 2002, in order to pass the news on to him - they were flatmates for years.

Counting our blessings, whilst being in shock.

Friday, 25 July 2008

the truth is ...

I just cannot *cannot* cope with any more. I feel very worn down.
  • The pubic bone pain is there all the time, however I sit.
  • Leo is teething and is all hot and bothered and off his food and has just had an Exorcist Sick moment.
  • The thermometer in my incubator is one degree off and none of my two dozen eggs have hatched.
  • The house is in chaos because the builder hasn't come back yet.
  • We are going to have trouble finding the money to pay him when he does come back.
  • We can't get on and rent the spare room out to get a bit more cash coming in until the house is less chaotic and there is a separate bathroom for the lodger. I don't think I can bear being heavily pregnant / to have just had a baby and be sharing with someone I don't know.
  • Kate and Vic (B's parents) are home from their world trip just after August Bank Holiday. B and I both agree that the best way to head any repeat of any trouble off at the pass is to go up and see them, with Leo, for a cup of tea when they get back. I'm not sure I can however; no apology has been forthcoming from Kate and I am if anything even *more* angry at her for bothering my mother in the two weeks before Pa passed on.
  • We have sat down and looked at our finances. Partly because of the debt that turned bad on us earlier in the year things are very bad financially. Also, our house has dropped in value and we therefore don't have enough equity in the property to remortgage at anything near a favourable rate when we come out of our tie-in at the end of the month. Our mortgage is therefore going to rise by 40%. We are both scared that we are going to lose the house.
  • I miss Pa.
I am not feeling very well. Neither is B.

Wednesday, 23 July 2008


I would like a rant please.

I LOATHE being this dependent on other people to do things for me. I *hate* having to ask B to lift things, pick things up, hang things up, all that kind of thing. I feel trapped, because even driving - specifically the movement of my foot and leg to put the clutch out to change gear - is agony. Even walking is hard.

It feels as if something - probably the baby's head - is pressing down in the middle of my pubic bone, and that the bone is going to split apart. It's painful even sitting down.

I am taking paracetamol and apparently rest is the answer. I am going to see the GP on Monday to discuss stronger forms of pain relief - apparently they may prescribe co-codamol for short periods during pregnancy. That's fine, on the one hand. On the other hand, I'm a bit sensitive to opiates and will end up feeling like I'm flying.

B is fed up because there is so much for him to do.

I am fed up because I can't do any of it.

And we've lost a six week old chick today. We thought we'd lost two - but by climbing up the bank and listening very hard, we managed to find it and herd it back to it's mother. This, of course, didn't do me very much good at all.

Oh bollocks.

Tuesday, 22 July 2008

get dressed

Today we will mostly be relighting the AgaHunterRayburn, that went out when I put a load of paper on it; doing a mountain of washing now the chap has been and fixed the machine; and killing, plucking and dressing seven chickens.

I may have time to post more later.

Or, I may not.

Oh. And the SPD has come back. I can't bend down.

Wednesday, 16 July 2008

a few things

Right. The consultant has confirmed that things are okay - I am not currently about to go in to labour and the leaking has stopped. Apparently the head is not at all engaged, so if I was having any kind of serious leak I'd really know about it. It might have been a pinhole that has healed up. But whatever, it's stopped.

Braxtons, less so. If I do anything. Like walk up the steps to the garden.

I have to hang in for the next six weeks - after week 34 things are pretty safe, apparently.

In the meantime, we have been freecycling stuff like mad and getting the end room ready to rent out. In all the emails I respond to, I ask people to ring B's mobile phone to arrange a time and get directions:

B: Hello! B here!
Caller: Hello?! Hello!? Hello?!
B: Hello! B speaking!
Caller: Hello?! Hello!? Hello?!
B: [pause]
Caller: Hello!? Hello!? Hello?!
B: Hello?
In background behind caller: Stop saying 'hello' and tell him what you're bloody well ringing for!

Also, if you ever freecycle a macerator and someone phones you about it on a very poor mobile phone line, do make sure that you are both talking about the same thing before you hang up thinking it's a dirty phone call. "I am phoning about the macerator" is open to so much misinterpretation.

Of such small joys is one's day made lighter.

Tuesday, 15 July 2008

okay I think

I've promised to rest and to go and see the consultant tomorrow at Welshpool and thus avoided being sent to Shrewsbury for a scan yesterday. The Braxtons calm down when I don't do very much and the 'leaking' likewise. I think we're okay. Likewise, New Baby is kicking like mad and has a strong heartbeat - so he/she/it is fine, it's just me that has had a fit of the wimbles.

And here's a tip. If you think you're going in to early labour, DON'T go googling for stuff about premature babies. Definitely not. Just. Switch. Off. The. Computer. And. Walk. Away.

No bees. Sorry.

Monday, 14 July 2008


I'm having Braxton-Hicks and I think I might be leaking a bit. I'm 28 weeks. The midwife is coming out to look me over.

Friday, 11 July 2008

thank you

Right then. I am all emotionally blogged out for the moment I think. We are going home tomorrow - we need to attend to our own lives for a bit. We will probably come back in a week or so. This is the quiet time for us business-wise, so we can bob up and down to give Ma and Sister Natalie support without being in their hair all the time.

Ma is hoping to go away on holiday for a couple of weeks once the Pick Your Own Raspberry season is over in early August. I think that Sister Natalie is hoping to take some time off to go with her; B and I are hoping that she will come and visit us for a few days and she has an invitation from an old friend in Yorkshire that she can take up if she wants to.

B and I have our building work to finish sorting out and New Baby to prepare for. So we have things to think about. I want to process this in small chunks rather than all at once. The Medicare people came this morning and picked up Dad's hospital bed, the two hoists and all the various other paraphernalia of being old and disabled. That means that Ma can at least start to make the space her own again - not blot Pa out exactly; but reorganise her space to fill the missing gap.

Thank you everyone for your support over the last few weeks (and months). It has been very much appreciated by all of us. I have found a great outlet in writing about it all and I shall continue to do so when I need to, I suppose.

Next week, though, I really AM going to try to post something about the bees :).

Thursday, 10 July 2008


Well, that's done.

There were sixty people at the church, apparently. A large proportion of them came back to Ma's for tea and cake. It was kind of nice and kind of overwhelming. Now they've gone, I think that we all feel very drained and a bit numb. That's kind of part of the process, isn't it?

B and Aunt Edith are making toast for us all. Leo has gone to bed after a hard afternoon being admired by people and throwing up on his father's best suit.

I think I am ready to go home - probably Saturday.

Wednesday, 9 July 2008


Dead people sometimes don't LOOK dead, do they? Pa looked like he was sleeping, and cold. I found it mildly undignified that he was in his winceyette pyjamas. And the lining of the coffin was a kind of nylon net curtain material.

I didn't think I'd be too upset. But all of a sudden, I was. I loved him so much. He was so quiet and steady and constant - always there, like an anchor. Even in our most difficult moments - for example, when I was twenty one and he told me that I either knuckled down under my mother's roof and let her be top dog, or I packed my bags and left; and I did - I respected him.

My first memory of him, is, I think, when he brought me home from visiting my mother and Sister Natalie in hospital when Natalie was born. We had a Singer Gazelle and the seats smelt of hot plastic when it was warm. I must have been two and a half. Every Saturday afternoon we would all go in Daddy's Car to visit Granny and Grandpa in Wellington. We would be sat in the back, often in short 1970's toddler-skirts. Our legs would stick to the seat. Coming home, we would chatter at him to drive over the 'cats eyes' in the road going in to the village, so the car bumped and rumbled.

I didn't say very much to him, in the Chapel of Rest. I couldn't reach out and touch him - kiss his forehead or cheek or put my hand on his head.

But I thanked him. I told him that I would do my best to look after everyone.

I couldn't say out loud that I loved him.

But I did.

I do.

Tuesday, 8 July 2008


Tomorrow; body viewing; flower-choosing (Ma wants to do a coffin spray from us all and a posy from the baby) and collecting Aunt Edith from the coach-stop (she is going to play at the funeral).

I also need to post five parcels of tomato plants tomorrow morning, as for some inexplicable reason the Post-Office in Ma's village closes on a Tuesday afternoon and I missed the post today. I have also been putting things on Freecycle. And I dropped three boxes of incontinence pads back to the District Nurses this evening.

Did you know that a limousine to follow the hearse would cost in the region of £110? We have declined, on the grounds that the church is only five minutes up the road; and anyway, Pa's reaction would have been "£110? Just for a car? BUGGER ME!". We also declined a eulogy by the vicar because he would have hated the idea.

Today's gallows humour moment has been explaining exactly where the grave needs to be dug, so that they don't dig up Granny, who has been waiting for her headstone since March 2000.

I'm fraying round the edges a bit. Not sleeping too well.

This is kind of live-blogging a family death, isn't it? Is it weird?

Going to get some fresh air before I collapse in to bed now. Well, fresh air and rain, really. But that's okay.

Monday, 7 July 2008


It's been a grim weekend, as you would expect. We are all regrouping; but in the meantime Ma and I have come down with some kind of virulent chest-thing, probably caught in the hospital. And I still have conjunctivitis, generously brought home from nursery by Leo.

Also in the meantime, a client has forgotten to pay us; they have sorted themselves out this morning, but it's meant some nail-biting VAT jiggling. CHAPS is a wonderful thing.

The weather matches my mood - blustery, wet, hot and cold in turns. New Baby is still kicking away; which on one hand is good. But on the other hand I am not getting much sleep. I am burying myself in listing all Ma's surplus tomato plants on eBay. In three days I have sold five batches of three, so I'm quite pleased about it. eMail me if you'd like some - Alicante or Gardener's Delight (cherry ones), 12" plants in 3"-size pots, £1.50 for three, plus 1st Class postage (£2.50 for 3). She has loads.

I just want to cry. I need to turn out Dad's stuff from some of the cupboards this afternoon - the recycling people will take clothes apparently, and they come tomorrow.

Saturday, 5 July 2008

Friday, 4 July 2008

a few thoughts

Staying at Ma's, we have access to cBeebies. Goodness. Is it populated ENTIRELY with failed actors who can only get jobs as children's TV presenters? Are they ALL on some kind of recreational pharmaceuticals that make them unable to communicate in anything quieter than a yell, with vigorous facial mugging?

Funeral next Thursday. We are staying down here with Ma and Sister Natalie until then. Thank you all for the good wishes, they are very much appreciated. Whilst Ma pretends to abhore the internet and everything it stands for, she is very touched at the kindness of you all.

It is just starting to hit me.

Thursday, 3 July 2008

conversations with my mother #080702

Driving Ma home from the hospital at 5pm yesterday:

Ma: Damn. I hope that rabbit will be okay in the back of the car.
Me: Pardon?
Ma: It's been there since nine this morning.
Me: Gnagh?
Ma: For the magpie.
Me: Gnagh?
Ma: Well someone's given me a Larsen Trap for the magpies and it's got a magpie in it ... so driving in this morning there was a dead rabbit in the road and two magpies were eating it so I thought that that would do for OUR magpie and so I stopped and chased them off and put it in the back of the car.
Me: Ah.
Ma: It hasn't been TOO hot, I suppose.
Me: [retches]

We arrived at the hospital at lunchtime and sat with Pa during the afternoon. He knew we were there. They had put a drain in his leg to try to help him clear his lungs because he was too weak to cough, and just before we arrived had given him some morphine by IV, because he was becoming agitated.

Ma went back in during the evening and she and Sister Natalie sat with him. He passed at 1.15AM, peacefully - cause of death pneumonia.

We are okay.

Wednesday, 2 July 2008


We off to Somerset in about half an hour - spoke to Ma last night and things aren't looking good for Pa. The stronger antibiotics aren't working and he is refusing food. They wanted to tube him yesterday but he refused. The doctors have asked Ma to go in this morning for a chat.

I think this is it.

I feel oddly relieved now it is actually here.