Sunday, 29 November 2015

Dementia sucks....but hey! I can cook?

A sketch of my dad at The Waiting Miner

Well, I have been into this #dementiasucks lark for over two weeks now, helping my dad in his 24/7 care as he battles dementia, my mum laid up in rehab care,  recovering from an emergency hip replacement (partial) and it feels like a roller coaster of emotions.

It has also been a road of self discovery, self belief, crying by self, sleeping by self and being by I have raided my mums iPad and blogged away contently at what I can only describe as "can this year get any better or worse."

Apart from the games, zip up and down, pants up, pants down, sock on, sock off, walk around the living room, touch things, move things, move things back things, the singing to nowt but Nat King Cole, telly on, telly off, open front door, close front door, wipe up, chuck cuttery in any fooking drawer, take them out, put them back..."Hey son!? Is this right?"; then the daily ritual of recycling so then have to play that outdoor game of  "get the right recyclable into the correct bin"... then you wonder and question why, why, why?

That is a just part of his daily routines and habits and when one becomes accustomed to them, like eating meals with his cutlery knife, then it makes this caring lark a little more easier as each day passes and not the dreaded challenge that I feared. I discovered things, met past acquaintances, met people I have never met before and probably never has my dad as he goes about that staring, eventually asking "Do I know you?".... Jeez next time I will make sure I put that extra hour on my car!

Then there is the dribbling, runny nose, shuffling of his feet, kicking away the fallen rubbish or leaf on the ground. And, when we visit mum there is the calling her precious...but most of all is the crying, floods of tears that I just can't hold back...weep, weep, weep! Oh and dad crying too!

The saddest and most hurting bit is being apart from my good leading the single mother life style but still struggling with the family ups and downs of before and now. I miss my kids, taking my daughter reluctantly to the station each day #dadstaxi; the giving-in to the daily demands of my son, our son, troublesome in the nicest possible way.

So I find myself here with dad, sometimes lonely, building up a new relationship with a father whom is a totally different character...not the dad I once knew, not the dad he was and never will be again, but still my dad, my brother and sisters' dad, husband of nearly 60 years to mum...for he has changed due to dementia and will keep changing, downwardly until Heaven has a room ready for him.

In this brief time, we have become closer. We have had walks out, family have visited and I am blessed with the knowing how truly wonderful my aunts and uncles have been...dutiful so dutiful. And I found out that I can cook....don't tell the wife...I can organise but maybe not assertively as my sister - poor big brother he got a sharp telling off - and I can clean plumbing pipes!!

And with this organising, arranging care, I have learnt to be sneaky and state a few fibs to dad so not cause upset in his thinking, his worry or concern that may well arise from telling the on Monday daddy you are going to the day, no,'s a surprise sort of party, get together with others like you, suffering like you and they will have old stuff there to aid your memories.

At each crossroad along the way I have felt the weakness, the urge to cry but slowly I have to control my emotions as I learn each skill that is needed such as last night, the mishap from toiletry, something that tested my resolve and anxiety and then today the display of anger as my brother came to relieve me for the duty to our father who is living in the moment.

So that's the way it is...normality may never return, no, not may, but never will.

God bless.


Monday, 16 November 2015

Mum, Dad...? Dementia sucks, okay...

There is something I learned this week, something very important and that is dementia is 24 hour care and it sucks. Full Stop! Luckily in this world my mother had a lifeline and when she fell it came in great use...they rang for an ambulance, they rang myself and that is when the realization sank dad would need 24 hour care.

Sorry dad.

I know deeply you miss mum for she gave you and met your needs. She gave you care. She gave routine. She gave you love. She gave stability. She gave you your breakfast. She gave you your dinner and she gave you your tea. She gave you company. She gave you your meds. She gave her time to dress you and undress you...Make you look smart and clean. She arranged for a carer to come and wash you.

But now dad mum has fallen and hurt herself. You looked pleased to see her, though in a hospital bed. You kissed her like old days. You cried when you left as you have cried all day on and off.
Like when you cared for us it is now time for us to care for you...It may cause a drop of dignity and family order you find confusing.

Dad there are things you can no longer do and we or others must do them for you. Trust us dad and there is no need to be sorry when you shout at us because we understand.
Mum will soon be home and we will be around a little bit more. New routine but still family love.

Your loving son,


Mum was taken to hospital with my good wife in company, a midnight journey, while I stayed with dad...and when he had no desire to retire back to bed I sort of knew this would be a difficult and challenging night..."mum you said dad sleeps like a rock"...clearly only with you mum, only with you!

My dad has dementia, his carer is my mum, so stepping into this caring role, while my mum is laid up in hospital with a broken hip, proves to be a big change and a most confusing change for dad and for me as well...oh yes, for I suffer anxiety, so after the first night I knew that this "game" from my dad will be my biggest challenge.

Yes it is a game, like helping to dress from his PJ's into day clothes...pants up and down like a bloody yoyo...and going out to visit mum the coat zip fastener travels further then us in the car to the hospital. There are small snippets of "my normal" dad and at the hospital bedside of my mum there are classic displays of a husband from long ago...that tickling finger under my mum's chin, a loving kiss of a peck on the lips as visiting time ends but in reality its the tears and the scared look and a frown and of  that whimpering plead of an "I'll miss you, I miss you".

So I have to learn and normalise my dad's routine and in turn will have to change mine. I am thankful for we have a close family and an ace in my sister and between us we SHALL put together a care plan and together we SHALL rally round each other's needs...for maybe God has done this for a reason? What reason I do not yet know but as they say God moves in mysterious ways!

God bless


Sunday, 19 July 2015

An Antique Tale...

My vintage toy car.

Waking up on a Sunday and it is peeing down with rain does not do well for queuing up at Walmer Castle for a chance to be on the BBC programme Antiques Roadshow. So I had a power nap on the sofa and dismissed the idea of going to the show.

And soon I was in a deep sleep, dreaming, dreaming,! Oh Fiona Bruce, Brucie babe!!

' Car was ready and I collected my Nan, bless her well, all 4 foot-five of her. Splendid for her age, but alas a bit slow but some great stories to tell. Rang her doorbell and she greeted me with her now traditional, "Who the fook are you? No salesmen, no JoJo's; go away".

"Its me nan. We are going to the Antiques Roadshow!"

" I ain't that old. 99 I am and still going. Not out so to say! Come on lad stop dithering!"

My nan came out with her broom, not a witches broom but a newish looking one from Homebase. She was convinced it was the same rotten one that her husband use to have. He were a keen gardener and always said to me to look after your broom. Alas he never looked after his rake, left it lying on the ground and a misplaced foot and then WHACK!! Hit directly on the forehead whilst picking a cabbage for dinner.

Always asked my nan what did you do at the time. Her reply was, "Only thing I could do; opened a tin of peas..." My nan so funny!!

So we parked up near the castle and joined in the queue for the show. This was going to be some wait; my nan, her Zimmer and broom, my vintage toy car and an old tortoise paperweight. Soon we got somewhere to sit and rest, a waiting area of sorts and a group of posh looking researchers rummaging and inspecting peoples belongings. Trying to find the most notable antiques.

Would I get to be on TV with Fiona...oh Fiona!!

Whilst we waited for the researchers to approach us my nan was staring at an old boy in an electric wheelchair. In his basket was some miniature grandfather clock. It looked extremely old and was very dusty and grimy on the face. In turn he was staring at nan. In fact they stared at each other for a good ten minutes and then together they spoke in unison, " Hello? Do I know you??".

I thought to myself you ought too;  your blinking neighbours!! You always admired his clock!

...they have no value...
Soon we were greeted by the researchers. They asked if we had any antiques for filming. Yes I replied as nan shoved her broom into the man's face.
" It's Victorian! she said. Gracefully I hid the Homebase label with my hand.
"Oh really?" said the man.
I had to come out with some story so I told him, " Belonged to my granddad and his father before. They kept it well maintained, and it has had 17 new brush heads and 20 new handles in its one hundred and twenty year life."
"Is that so?" replied the man. " More like Fools and Horses do you not think?
" Do you have any thing of interest?"
" My vintage toy car!" He said that with no box they have no value.
" My old tortoise paperweight?" He said far eastern tourist ware, they have no value.
...wasting time...
The man was clearly annoyed with us and suggested we were wasting time with our silly items. My nan was now having a nap. As the man muttered obscenities under his breath he turned to the old man in the electric wheelchair. The old man then fainted on the sounding of words of delight from the researcher; "...fantastic find...£10000 at least...get him on with Fiona..." First aiders were called an in the ensuing commotion a scruffy, dark haired man of eastern European appearance snatched the clock from the man's basket only to be rugby tackled by two others in the crowd and hit with an old antique police truncheon. "Belonged to my late husband...I knew it would come in handy" I heard a lady say.
The researcher, now rather bemused with the excitement, turned around and his eyes fell on my nan, who was very fast asleep. The chap had clearly forgotten that he thought we were wasting his time and was clearly out of sorts from so much suddenly going on around; ambulance, police and news cameras. "Now" he said "who does this ancient doll belong too?"
I promptly snapped back, time wasters eh, "That doll sir; is my fooking NAN!!"
Oh yes I got to be on telly, the local news...what a farce! Fiona, Fiona....Fioooona, yawn!'
God bless. Amen.

Saturday, 27 June 2015

A lottery dream

Lottery winner....yessssssssss!

Well being so close to winning last know that big one of £93 million...yep bought a ticket but alas my numbers were either one or two out of those actually called. Shame!

So decided to have another go this week on the normal lotto...after careful deliberation and statistical pondering of recently winning  lines I scientifically chose a lucky dip...looking at my numbers and I thought yep thats a fooking con...not sure if; 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 are random enough or if the choice of the machine was merely mocking my confidence.

Well, trudged home in a sour mood and tucked the ticket away on the shelf and thought that's another two pound wasted. Fat chance I have. Anyway with nowt on telly, yet again that night worth watching I tuned into the lotto draw.

There were some game show contest going on, trying to win a holiday to...oh no that's such bad luck...Tunisia of all places. So the first draw the Thunder Number...bodes well I thought. Then soon it was the lotto draw....first ball out....YES! Second ball...oh Yesssss! Third ball, then forth, fifth and sixth.

I was dumb founded...I think but was not sure I had won...on the lotto. I checked the rules on line and yes I had numbers had triumphed. I punched the air, jumped up and down on the sofa, screamed at the top of my voice.

So many emotions running through my head and questions on what I would buy. Strangely I looked in my cupboards and made a list...what was I doing? Nerd! Cars, I should look at cars....

So, having confirmed and then collecting my winnings I was at the dealership on the High Street...I was so excited. I had chosen my car...a it was...oh so love that pink! 

I left the dealership with my car...this turn heads I thought...but carefully everything was under wraps...all original packing and carefully placed in a carrier bag. Yep I had bought my first collectible Roller...number plate was: Fab 1. 

My first ever, Thunderbirds toy...the Rolls Royce of Lady Penelope. Well not much you can buy with £74.39...thank you lotto. Oh all six numbers up but so did another 40000 or so others!

And then I heard that sound, a regular voice of authority, calming yet angry and a shove in the back with, "Darling, your bloody snoring again!"

God bless and amen.

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Oh, Deal, why do I not love you.

Oh, Deal, why do I not love you.

I am falling out of love for my town,
Things that have happened,
And things that I do,
Are making me feel down.

I see despair every way I look,
Finding it hard to summon feelings,
In the good that is there,
This is my town and my life it has took.

A creeper we had,
And from us they stole,
A dog we had,
Losing her has taken its toll.

Parents growing old,
And their suffering I see,
Their worry is mine,
Affecting deep in me.

Oh, Deal, why do I not love you,
Born here and lived here,
I now want to go,
Somewhere very different in miles from here.

New housing new people,
Roads clogged with cars,
Weeds in the gutters,
And litter on the streets.

Bins overflowing,
Emptied so so,
Ragged pets running loose,
And leaving their do.

In business I am,
But many their are,
All plying for the same custom,
A worry to survive.

Oh, Deal, why do I not love you,
Born here and lived here,
I now want to go,
Somewhere very different in miles from here.

Kids in and out,
Their rudeness,
Reluctance to help in and around,
Our home our house.

No money,
Few friends,
A dear loving wife,
Two kids and debt,
Consuming my life.

I need to shout,
Find a way to cope,
At the moment I see,
No sign or light or hope.

Oh, Deal, why do I not love you,
Born here and lived here,
I now want to go,
Somewhere very different in miles from here.

Friday, 1 May 2015

Sexist East Kent Mercury

A Case of Deliberate Sexist Reporting...

Now I am not one for political moaning...absolute bloody lie...what me? Oh I admire Maggie the Iron Lady, not for what she did, but she was a leader and led well. Had the guillotine been at her disposal then she would have chopped off more heads then Henry VIII.

But we are still under the influence of Thatcherism long after her death and that is despite being in the pit of austerity. So what does the future bode...well more austerity, tinged with a return to some old Thatcherite policies if our dear friend Mr. Cameron gets in for a second term.

So what if Labour get in, is Ed up to leading us with is Skunk like hair and rat face eyes. And will he be in partnership with the Scottish lady, Ms Sturgeon, "Mary Queen of Scots reborn"... Yep she will be a tough one! And does the other Ed have the Balls to give us more and yet spend less.

Well, most will be having to make up their minds in the next seven days or less...endless leaflets dropped through your door, people with different coloured rosettes knocking on your door like bloody Jehovah's.

But I ask you, if you have a Labour poster in your window and some nerd asks "Are you voting Labour? Can we count on your support?"....der...of course!

Political programmes, adverts, broadcasts, who has done what and when and who was to blame for the mess...what the dog mess...ha ha! And then there are your local rags, profiling all the candidates, giving you some idea if you haven't made up your mind yet.

But, get local rag has profiled the five main hopefuls. Now we have two female contenders, one for Labour and one for Lib Dems and three male contenders: one Tory boy, UKIP and a Green.

Now clearly hidden in its layout is the clear agenda of our local rag, unbiased, non political support but sexist to say the least. Now the Greens have been given very little edited small you would think this is the editor or reporter.

So the rag has detailed the two female prospectives on one page and has the last two male contenders on the opposing page. My dear local rag have you deliberately pitted male against female..sexist point one!

Then look at the photo presentation..our two ladies have passport size pictures displayed whilst for the Tory boy and UKIP no-hoper...well they have purposely taken photos, six times larger in size then the lady hopefuls...sexist point two!

So does this,  I wonder, mean that my local rag is trying to draw your interest more towards the Tory boy and UKIP outsider and drawing you away from Labour or LibDem because they are ladies...pure sexism I proclaim.

Any way, I know who I am voting for on the day, for I have only seen one contender...not the Tory boy whom I have not seen; nor UKIP chappie; LibDem; well she could be anywhere...and the Greens...well had them for!

That's all folks! I gladly await my local rags response!

God bless. Amen.

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Farewell Tamba

Farewell Tamba

We will miss you staring with those Shrek eyes,
Wanting your dinner,
Always at five o clock,
Always dead on time.

We will miss your perkiness,
Looking for treats,
Or bringing that ball to us,
For us to throw for you to play.

We will miss taking for a walk,
Sniffing at other dogs,
Sniffing their scent,
Everywhere you went.

We will miss you sleeping,
In our room keeping us awake,
Your snoring,
And sometimes barking at noises in the middle of the night.

We will miss your dog hair,
Matted on our carpet,
Or the sound of teeth on metal,
As you licked your bowl bare.

We will miss you barking,
Whimpering at the dogs next door,
Or your waiting at the fence,
For a biscuit from the toddlers,
It's you that they adored.

We will miss calling you,
For dinner or walkies,
Your excitement would show,
As we open the cupboard door.

We will miss taking you,
In the back of the car,
Down to the promenade,
For that walk along the front.

We will miss you dear Tamba,
A lovely dog you were,
Smooth haired Collie,
A breed so rare.

It were the hardest decision,
But you had something inside,
The pain will go on hurting,
Without you at our side.

But doggie heaven now is your home,
And do not worry Tamba,
For you are not alone,
For I am sure God has ready,
A room especially for you.