Well, another week has flown by and as usual I haven’t managed to do half the things I meant to. I really have no idea where the time goes – however we have managed two outings to the cinema, I went walking with my village ladies group and met up for my monthly dinner date with my two university mates, managed to go to orchestra practise, went swimming twice and made several teddy Christmas decorations. During the same time, poor old Mum has just sat in her chair in her room doing nothing.
We had a beautiful drive over – autumn is in full swing and the trees are all looking magnificent as they prepare to drop their leaves for the forthcoming winter. We didn’t arrive until 13 15 and when I asked Mum if she had had lunch she replied that she had but was not sure what she had eaten. She did however readily agree to go out to Webbs ( a wonderful garden centre in Wychbold) to visit their Christmas decorations. She seemed very well mentally and sat patiently watching and listening to Robert’s narration of the final half of our holiday slides and asked appropriate questions. However at 13 45 one of her carers arrived with her lunch! She decided that she did not want any but was happy to go out for coffee and cake. I helped her to the toilet which as usual was a bit of a struggle as she cannot get out of the chair herself and her mobility is very poor with her walking frame. She let me apply some make up and soon we were on our way.
Robert drove us through all the country lanes and Mum was delighted to see all the beautiful colours and the little ducks which were swimming in the ford we had to cross. She did not talk to herself at all but talked to us about the scenery and how beautiful everything looked.
Unfortunately when we arrived at Webbs it was teaming with school children. I had forgotten it was the school half term holiday! However we managed to find a disabled parking space and some how extracted Mum from the car and into her wheel chair. It is usually a bit of a struggle and she often stops mid way saying she ‘can’t do it!’. ‘ No such thing as can’t I say, reminding her of what she used to say to us as children which usually makes her laugh.
In the entrance of Webbs there was a wonderful Christmas display with larger than life animated reindeer heads looking out of stable doors and singing! Mum really enjoyed looking at all the displays and Christmas decorations and enjoyed her coffee and cake even though the café was very noisy and busy. I tried to persuade her to try on some more supportive slippers in an attempt to try and help her mobility but she refused point blank!
At 4 00pm exactly, whilst I was looking at the paints in Hobby Craft and Robert was pushing Mum around she suddenly started talking to herself. This continued all the way back to the car and the whole of the journey home. The conversation flitted from subject to subject and on occasions she was Joan, then her husband Howard, then a friend and sometimes she was her mother. A typical burst of conversation:
‘ Joan, you must have a very unhappy marriage’
‘ why do you say that?’
‘ because you are always out with these two shopping and Howard is always left at home.’
‘That’s because he likes his own company and shopping is his worst nightmare.’
‘oh, is that right? Why doesn’t he like shopping?’
‘ Because he would have to spend money!’
Other conversations involved Howard going off to the pub and drinking all night ( something he never did!) and Mum saying that she only liked going out drinking as long as someone else was paying! There was also a conversation about them getting into a taxi and realising that they owed the taxi driver money from a trip before but he was so impressed by their honesty that he let them off the fare! One of the weirdest conversations was about a man who had become depressed about money problems and had ‘cut off his head above the shoulders’. He did however have it sewn back on the following day in hospital!
She kept the chatter going continuously for at least 25 minutes and arriving back at her home, once again she refused to get out of the car stating that she didn’t live here and wanted to go back to her old home. It took us a while to convince her but when we finally managed to get her out of the car I realised that she had lost one of her shoes!! This must of fallen off whilst we were trying to get her in from her wheel chair which is always a struggle. Robert then remembered that he had thought he ran something over when we were leaving the car park!
We eventually bundled her into her wheel chair and wheeled her back to her room minus one shoe passing by all the wonderful Halloween decorations. I reminded her that the clocks go back at the weekend and she said that it must nearly be November. I gave her a glass of port and she wished us both a Happy Christmas.