Followers on Twitter will have seen me refer to “Fanny in the Corner” ... Fanny (clearly not her real name) is the spinster daughter of my favourite, now long dead, great aunt – she is 80 years old and, when we used to live in Catatonia by the Sea, she used to visit us about three or four times a year. The visits were meant to last about a week but one week usually became two and two often became four. She’s a sweet old dear and was really no trouble at all. She lives in London and, since moving here, I’m ashamed to say that we actually see considerably less of her now that we live in London too than ever we did when we were on the South coast. Just after we moved to London, Fanny had a fall and had a stroke. She’s been in and out of hospital ever since. Her patch is North West London and we now live in Essex. Getting to North West London on a frequent basis is something that just doesn’t happen. I heard yesterday that despite living in a really excellent care home she’s had yet another fall and is, once again, back in hospital.
Twitter friends will also have seen me refer to “Doddery Dave” who is my 89 year old father and whom, rather guiltily, I left in Catatonia when we moved to London. He knew the circumstances of our move ... and, being a very good Grandpa, fully understood and approved of a change of school for his grandson. Since we moved he, too, has been in and out of hospital. He suffers from Parkinson’s Disease and leukaemia and is a very, very frail old gentleman. Getting to see him is even more problematic than traversing London to get to see Fanny.
Doddery Dave actually spent all last week with us – I’ve managed to arrange that he will move into a super sheltered flat very nearby at the end of next month and he had to come to London to sign papers and set up the date of his move. He will be sad to leave Catatonia but is happy at the prospect of once again being closer to his family. I am an only child and son is his only grandchild. He misses my son a great deal.
I took him back to Catatonia on Saturday and called him on Sunday to check that he was okay. He wasn’t at home but, as he has a “lady friend” (who would see him more frequently than he prefers if she could) and usually goes out for Sunday lunch with her, I wasn’t unduly concerned. I should have been. He hadn’t been out to lunch, he’d fallen over and had been admitted to hospital. The hospital didn’t contact me and nor did his lady friend – until today. A good part of the day has been spent in receiving calls from aforementioned lady friend who has been intent on telling me what a bad daughter I am. I needed that ... like a hole in the head!
When not receiving accusatory calls, I've spent the day on the ‘phone to two different hospitals, trying to find out how my aged relatives are. It would be a very welcome simplicity to just hop in the car & go and see them but I have a son who attends school and a husband who flits off to Europe every three minutes. Getting to see aged relatives isn’t simple at all.
I feel absolutely miserable and I truly don’t know what to do – so, instead of sleeping, I thought I’d tell you about it all.
I will aim to write about something more cheerful in my next blog.