Monday, July 21, 2008

We managed to get to visit my parents on Saturday – Mum’s still wearing what looks like a piece of scaffolding to protect her hip and although she’s doing her best to look after it we still don’t know when the apparatus is coming off, or what can be done to keep her hip from coming out again when it does.

The doctors really need to do an examination to find out what’s causing it to come out, but it looks as though they’re going to wait for it to happen again before they do. This strikes me as pointless costcutting by the NHS. The fact is they know there’s a problem and they know they’re going to have to deal with it sooner or later. They should just get on with it.

Anyway, it sounds like my parents are going to put in a shower my mum can use – Lisa’s suggesting a wet floor, but that might not happen. It looks like they’re going to build a new room for it in the garage – and Lisa’s suggested a few alterations to their design idea which it sounds like they might take on board.

At least I hope so. Lisa is after all an occupational therapist and does this kind of adaptation all the time. It would be pretty rubbish if they had someone offering that kind of expertise and didn’t take her advice… Mind you, as Andrew pointed out, he’s a professional driver, but that doesn’t stop Dad telling him how to drive.

It fell off the back of a lorry…
Andrew joined us for part of the day – again, his penchant for crisis managed to give him an improbable set of obstacles to overcome before he could have lunch.

Firstly he was left waiting in his lorry for 3 hours while the warehouse people messed around instead of loading his lorry. This meant he had to leave empty, so he told the people running the warehouse he was doing so, then pulled away.

Unfortunately somebody had chosen that moment to drive a forklift onto his lorry. The forklift fell off the lorry and got jammed at 45 degrees between it and the warehouse loading bay.

Just the kind of improbable accident that happens to my brother all the time.

He then had to go and give in a form for a passport… but of course, that involved the woman in the post office being unable to fill in her own forms (it had also previously involved them taking all his documentation and loosing it).

Uncle Jim
It looks like my uncle Jim is back in trouble with the law. He’s been arrested for getting angry with someone at the council offices for some reason nobody’s been able to establish. Since we have to rely on Jim to tell us the news, we get at best a garbled mishmash of anger and denial. He’s incoherent at the best of times, and you generally get more information from what he says he hasn’t done than what he says he has.

His barrister has told him to plead guilty – and I can see why. It doesn’t matter what Jim is accused of or indeed whether he’s guilty or not – if you put him on a witness stand, he’ll make such a case for the prosecution he’ll be found guilty without a doubt.

That said, people working for councils must come up against upset, angry and incoherent people every day – partially because councils are generally in the business of failing such people on a regular basis and generally because you wouldn’t go into a council office unless you were angry, upset or incoherent. In other words, council workers are pretty well trained (or should be) in diffusing difficult situations (generally without resolving the problems that cause them) so if Jim has gone far enough to get arrested he must have done something pretty extreme.

George is teething again (surprise, surprise) and although he coped Ok with the visit, he let us get just out of my parents’ village before being sick all over the car-seat and himself.

Andrew – who’d followed us out – pulled up and produced towels and wipes from his car and combined with those we had, there was just enough to clear up the mess.

On Sunday morning, he did the same thing with his breakfast milk, but he seemed fine by the end of the day….

Sunday was the Dulwich country fare – a yearly event which doesn’t quite allow the people of Dulwich to pretend they live in the country. However, it does allow them to buy a huge selection of potted herbs (which we’ve been meaning to do for ages), eat fresh coconuts, jerk chicken and low-fat-fair-trade-doughnuts, and watch displays of sheep sheering and falconry (no, really!).

There was also a tent demonstrating the wii fit board, but no chance of buying one, a selection of sickening rides, and an entire canvas boulevard of council “awareness” schemes… although I’m not aware or what kind of awareness they were promoting.

After the fare, we went to Sam’s with Mons, Abbey, Claudia and Fee for a long afternoon of lunch and cava.

We returned home late, giving George another disrupted bedtime.

The bad parent’s club
I had my first taste of the bad parent’s club – having put George on the top of the washing machine in the bathroom to brush his teeth, I turned away to grab some toilet roll to wipe his mouth.

In that couple of seconds, he rolled over and fell off onto the bathroom’s tiled floor.

He’s got a graze on his back, but doesn’t seem to have suffered any damage… but I felt awful. I won’t be leaving him on anything from now on.

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