I drove up early on Monday morning, arriving at The Chapel at 7. The garden, as you can see, is looking beautiful. There were too many instructions on looking after the house for my small brain to comprehend at that time of day but thankfully I had been left detailed notes. Detailed that is until I needed to find out where the bin liners were, how to work the washing machine, and what the phone number was for the Cottage Hospital. Swaffham, geographically Norfolk, does not feature in the Norwich Directory. It prefers to ally itself to the Cambridge edition. Delusions of Academia maybe?
When I returned from taking my stepmother to the station dad was at home with the Occupational Therapist who was testing him out and measuring up for handrails, ramps, zimmers, sticks and shower accessories. My goodness the NHS is good in North West Norfolk. He was taken back as he was not being discharged until Wednesday and I visited again later. I've never seen a cleaner, friendlier and more efficient hospital than the Swaffham. Naturally of course it is about to be closed down.
I had to spend the first of my two solo nights on Monday. I barely slept. It was dark and it was mostly eerily quiet. In fact it was terrifying, especially as there was intermittent dog-barking and I couldn't decide whether this was a good or a bad thing! I think I managed 2 hours kip.
My 83 year old aunt who lives a few miles away invited me for supper the following day and it was great to revisit the home where I had spent so many childhood and teenage summers with my merry band of 4 cousins. She is a wonderful cook, the inspiration for me ever to start cooking, the instigator of my marmalade-making in fact. She, my 87 year old uncle and the eldest cousin enjoyed a very good sausage and white wine casserole and a gorgeous rhubarb crumble. So lovely to be cooked for as well!
The second solo night was better. But not a lot. 4 hours sleep I reckon. Dad returned home with my aunt early on Wednesday having changed all the arrangements at the last minute. He then proceeded to do lots of things he was told by the OT not to do. *sigh*
On the whole though he looks great and, having been in hospital the best part of a month, is overjoyed to be back where he belongs. My sister pitched up late last night, I left Norfolk at 3 this morning. I cannot wait for a good sleep tonight, bedtime will be early.
Awaiting me here was a letter from the Metropolitan Police informing me I'd been done for speeding on the A40 when I was taxiing my chum to Paddington a couple of weeks ago. 6.30 on a Sunday morning. Heigh ho. So much for feeling flush.
The second stint begins on Saturday evening. Anne has just posted her Facebook status as "Caring for the elderly and trying not to get wound up". I know how she feels.
But the garden, and the wildlife, are very pleasant. Or should that be pheasant?