Tuesday, 28 August 2007

the visit

My first visit this year. Friday evening, Mum opens her front door and sees me there with my bag hanging from my shoulder.
"Are you going somewhere?" she asks.

I spent a week with Mum and what I saw could fill several entries here, but I'll just do the 'highlights' for now.

Worst moments:
1) Mum not being able to guess the day correctly even once - then forgetting 5 minutes after being told
2) Finding perishables in Mum's fridge with 'best before' labels for April and May
3) Mum repeatedly using her oven grill to heat up ready meals
4) Finding a telephone bill for £160 where all but 2 calls were to Directory Enquiries, often several a day at 5 minute intervals. When I asked Mum if there was a number she kept forgetting, she explained that sometimes she wanted to know the time and sometimes she just wanted to talk to someone.

1) I persuaded Mum to part with her car (to the relief of my relatives and other residents at Mum's block). The official story is that she's sold her car to me as I'm 'having car trouble'
2) Mum has accepted the idea of more sheltered care, and we are going to look at brochures together
3) I simplified her banking further, completed her tax return, got her name removed from several mailing lists and subscriptions and accepted a share offer which should net her £5k
4) I cleared a year of flyers and magazines and wrappers and junk (3 large bin bags almost too heavy to carry)
5) I cleaned Mum's kitchen and discovered that her crockery was originally cream and not scummy brown. She cried with happiness when she saw the cleared kitchen (really!)

One week later, it was actually quite poignant to leave her (normally by this point I'm chaffing at the bit to get away). But I'm heading down soon by train so that I can pick up my own car and bring it home.

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