Sunday, September 23, 2018

Early start

Lorraine and I up and were at Janet and Ken's for 7:30 this morning, shortly after the overnight nurse had left.  Enthusiastic rain and very grey. Apart from a bit of food and drink for Janet, all quiet for the first couple of hours. And Lorraine and I did some work on the sofa, me on my latest French brief and Lorraine on school things. Then Theodora, a really nice woman who had been Janet and Ken's cleaner came, and gave the place a deep clean. The Age UK nurse came, and Lorraine and I got Ken up, gave him coffee, and Lorraine and I took him to the bathroom for a wash. I am copying Lorraine.

Then Hus arrived and we pushed off at around 11:30, and did a spot of shopping, and then had breakfast.  Looked at some work briefly, and snoozed briefly and did not much of anything, as the day brightened up outside. Spoke to Mum and Toby. Then Lorraine and I hopped on a bus and made off to Beth and John's flat, where Betty had cooked a roast chicken, and vegetables, and John had bought an apple pie which we ate with custard. All watched the final episode of The Bodyguard together, before Lorraine and I bussed home and went fairly quickly to bed. A really nice evening.

Saturday, September 22, 2018

A bit of a lie in

Wretched cats woke me at six, and I despised them for it. Back to bed after feeding them, feeling exhausted, and slept till 11. Lovely Lorraine bringing me breakfast in bed, including lots of fried tomatoes I had pilfered from Janet's garden yesterday. A bit of home lurking, and discussing what would happen to the Spare 'Oom, when we turn in into a wee workshop, and measuring walls and so on. I also called First Matie for a chat, which was nice as we hadn't spoken for ages. She has just installed a wood burner.

Then off to Janet and Ken's and spent several hours there this afternoon and evening. I felt like I had hit a wall this morning, feeling tired and feeble, however, I snapped out of it when I arrived at Janet's house, which was thronging when Lorraine and I arrived. Rod, Ken's son, and Clare his wife, as well as Georgie and Madeline. Hus turned up shortly after us. Lorraine Hus and I had a long chat with Rod and Clare, to discuss what will happen to Ken, once Janet goes.

Then Hus left and Lorraine left to sit with Ken, and Rod, Clare and I were continuing to talk. While she was doing so Ken asked her directly if Janet was dying, and Lorraine told him she was. On some levels he has processed what has gone on around him. Poor Ken, when I sit with him and he is singing, and sometimes when we are chatting it is like talking to him in the old days, till he asks you the question he just asked you thirty seconds ago.

Janet now has a pump, which means anti-emetics and pain killers can be administered easily.

Having handed over to the lovely Kim and Heather again, we came home again.

Lorraine got the oven on,  and she cooked a kind of eccles cakes (personal favourites of mine) which were not quite eccles cakes so we rebranded them Kenny Cakes, and a shepherd's pie, and some of her special seedy bread. Something about being with Lorraine in the kitchen and watching her do things is extremely comforting, because she really likes baking. We had a glass of wine and watched a TV programme about an indigenous Australian detective called Mystery Road which was unusual and different, and featuring the outback landscape. This is what I watch TV for: glimpses into other worlds. There seems to be an abundance of good TV at present.

Friday, September 21, 2018

The sweetest little rose the garden ever grew

Up and sorting a few things to do with work out, and then I walked across to Evolution arts to do stained glass for a couple of hours. Feels a friendly place these days. Yvonne texting me suggestions for horse therapy names during the day, as I'd mentioned this was one of my current briefs. I spent most of my time happily  nibbling bits of glass into shape with pliers. I have accepted slow progress, and no longer strain at the leash, and as a consequence enjoying the class much more. There was classical music on the radio and I said that it was like a rehabilitation centre for people recovering from a mental illness. One of my new classmates said she was an occupational therapist, and this was exactly the kind of thing they did.

Then zooming straight to Janet's place for one o'clock. Janet's nieces Kim and Heather had arrived, and Janet was very happy chatting to them. I liked Kim and Heather very much right away.  I spent quite a bit of time with Ken watching him smoke and treating him like a human jukebox, and being rewarded with lots of old time tunes, one on constant play at the moment is Sweet Rosie O'Grady, 'the sweetest little rose the garden ever grew', and Pack Up Your Troubles in your old kit bag, another with lyrics about an elephant's nest in a rhubarb tree 'and I climbed up to get some eggs, and all the yellow ran down my legs,' which seems a bit disgusting, but quite entertaining.

As the afternoon went on Janet had a time, and was vomiting lots and in pain. We had to call for the district nurse, who came twice in the afternoon and early evening. She was phoning Martlets, however, getting them to bump Janet up the waiting list, as her case is now becoming urgent. Hus and I were left with her and she began complaining of pain, so we phoned Martlets who told us to give her another dose of pain medication. This made her drowsy and okay. A bit later she was sick lots. Lorraine came in the afternoon too, as I was a bit freaked out and thought for a moment Janet was going, and was looking very ill as Hus and I were with her. However eventually everything settled down. Janet's nieces returned, and Lorraine and I gave them a careful handover, and eventually left at around eight.

Bob and First Matie called today, but I wasn't able to talk to them.

Two rejections from agents for my children's novel today.

Home and to the Park View for fish and chips and a beer. Soon home however, to collapse on the sofa. A somewhat gruelling day. Lorraine very supportive of me and everyone, and Beth being a treasure this week.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

A big decision

Up and off in a cab to Janet's place. Got stuck in traffic, I asked him the Italian cab driver people were being horrid to him after the Brexit vote, and they weren't. We agreed Brexit was a stupid idea of course. In the real world the reality of this unworkable idiocy is beginning tell. Prime minister May humiliated in Europe today, and given some home truths by the French President Macron, that the people who had promised that Brexit would mean great things for the people, were liars and have all disappeared. I do feel sorry for May. She is in an impossible position.

So arriving at Janet's, Betty was there having come early. After conversations Beth told me that Hus had yesterday I wanted to talk to Janet about going into a hospice. Luckily she quickly told me she did not have to be persuaded that this was a good idea. She had a particularly rough night last night. I asked her to think about it again, and an hour later when Hus was there we discussed it again, and she was still firmly for it. It was a big decision. I then phoned the hospice to find out what the score was. Naturally there is a waiting list, for every part of the system, NHS and care services, and charities are overstretched. But they would make another visit to assess her. An urgent plan needs to be put in place for Ken, and a plan has to be there for Ken before they'd take Janet.

So a conversation with the Social Worker who for the first time returned a call, which was at exactly the right moment. I told her about Janet's new decision. Luckily Rod, Ken's son was coming down today, and as he has power of attorney for his dad, he met with the Social Worker in the afternoon, and the care routine was changed for Ken.

I then had to zoom back to do my day's work, I was cringing because it was half past eleven, and was picturing lots of red faced emails from my Paddington chums. Surprisingly they hadn't provided any work, and when chased, decided early in the afternoon that they wouldn't give me any today. No problem as I was already thinking about a naming brief from the French agency. I have to think up a brand name for the company, as well as for a range of products which is quite an interesting brief.

Took myself for a walk in the afternoon, and walked around the streets and the park, and settled in the walled garden. I was the only person in there for a bit, and sat on a bench under a tree by the oblong pond, and watched the shoal of black and gold goldfish under the waterlilies, and two large dragonflies darting about above the water. I stayed there meditatively for a while, and although the noise from the nearby traffic is loud, it was still a  tranquil moment.

Made meatballs tonight in a sauceand spoke to Hus and Beth again, who is being a boon. Lorraine home after a hard day, chatting lots about everything. Gave her meatballs, and she had a small bottle of beer. A couple of episodes of Killing Eve, which is very stylish and created by Phoebe Waller-Bridge, who did Fleabag, a show I liked a great deal a while ago.

Bed, and a couple of pages of The Secret Garden. The characters experiencing the magic of spring and healing, which are comforting thoughts just before bedtime.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Pinball and pizza

So more working from home on dribs and drabs of things from my friends in Paddington. Also lots of conversations about Janet and Ken, and I attempted several times to call the social worker in the afternoon without success. Beth at Janet and Ken as a kind of girl Friday, spoke to Beth several times, as well as Hus and Lorraine and others.

An evening's respite with Anton, after we met in the Great Eastern, we went to Fatto a mano pizza in its new outlet in the North Laine. Great to hang out and chat about everything, and drink the beers that needed drinking in a few local pubs. With Janet's situation it looks like I must shelve going to Guernsey with Anton, which is a great shame.  However we played a few games of Batman pinball in which both Anton and I scored enough points to get free replays. We parted company after an absolute bloody final in the ever faithful Batty, and I walked home, and went straight to bed.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

A small harvest of pears

Lorraine off to work, and I got up to start work, having lapped up the tea Lorraine brought me in bed. Stressed first thing, however, with the client changing overnight what time the morning's teleconference would start.  I was up far earlier, but only discovered everything had changed overnight and the meeting was underway, and I couldn't load the necessary software either. The rest of the day fine though, working for the agency.

Also caught up on some emails relating to Janet, bill my lovely French clients, chat to mum and send off a few emails.  I also had a long chat with Rod, Ken's son. Mum's car has passed its MOT, although the number plate that she had refreshed with new paint had to be replaced. Also chatting to Betty about going to Janet's house tomorrow morning.

A couple of short walks too. Lorraine having an evening governors meeting so home late. I watched a documentary about early humans and tried to draw designs for stained glass windows. I can't seem to face thinking about poems or writing anything creative, and I have very little time at the moment.

During the day, while getting a breath of air and a cup of tea outside, I leaned over our back wall of our little garden, and picked some more pears from the garden that is completely overgrown out the back.  They are really nice, if small. I wondered how much fruit must be wasted like this across the country.

Lorraine home late. To bed, I read her two pages of The Secret Garden, and she was spark out.

Monday, September 17, 2018

Another day in Hove

Spoke to Carl this morning, asking his advice on the Ken and Janet situation. And spoke to Mum as I was walking over to Hove to meet Beth in Caffe Nero. A quick coffee there before buying Janet an Ice Chocolate Mocha and taking it round. Lots of people about today, Hus there as well as Ken's son Nick. Plus various nurses and carers visiting, and someone to take Ken out for a trundle in the sunshine on his chair. It was exhausting for Janet and Ken. Beth and I, in between talking to people, running various errands and so on, got a few things stuck the walls, such as key phone numbers, medications and a timetable to note who is coming when. I also spoke to the social worker. Very pleased to talk to the very chatty Nick, who is town crier of Axminster,  and discover he said he had no intention of having Ken far from him after Janet dies.

A deluge of emails later from Ken's family trying to find ways to help. Hus now has to focus on getting work. It all feels somewhat overwhelming.  Beth, who just lives down the road, will be popping in from time to time, to offer some extra help. Having Beth there today was a breath of fresh air.

Home and as I was stepping indoors Clem next door who has been replacing the roof tiles on his house and has scaffolding up, stopped me said that he noticed we had cracking in our firewall, but he could fix it for us for a small sum. I readily agreed, for the likelihood of me clambering about on the roof with a can of glass fibre paint is remote.

I sat in the garden when I got home and drank a small bottle of Corona beer in the sunshine. I am viewing the situation with Janet and Ken as an opportunity to help old friends, and am accessing my higher self. It is a heavy responsibility, however.

Lorraine home, and we at outside for a bit chatting about our days, before supper and a bit of rather stylish TV, Killing Eve.

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Snail trail

Up a smidge before noon, having had tea and breakfast in bed. A few bits and pieces around the house, and then Lorraine and I bused into town to go to Marks and Sparks to buy some bits for Janet. Then we walked along the seafront to Hove, where we popped in for an hour. Hus, sleeping in the spare room, but Janet and Ken both up.  Janet in good spirits today and Lorraine helped her onto the chaise lounge that her mum Maggie, who I knew well, had bought her when she passed her PhD.

By the time we had reached Hove the clouds had gone and it was a perfect blue sky.

After seeing Janet and Ken, we went around the corner to Caffe Nero where we met Beth for a coffee and a catch up, before jumping on the bus home.

There we discussed plans for reorganising one of the bedrooms into a studio, where Lorraine can do embroidery, jigsaws and so on, and I can do stained glass and art. It's part of a vision that is an alternative to sitting about watching TV in the evening. Sometimes TV must be watched, but it can be a thief of time. We also moved CDs around the house.

Wrote a few emails to Janet and Ken's friends and family, and talked to Ros. Lorraine prepared her assembly for tomorrow, and then we settled down with a late dinner and watched The Bodyguard on BBC. Reluctant to go to bed tonight, because it means the new weeks starts.

Below there are lots of art snails in Brighton at the moment, here's one of them in Churchill Square. They have do not climb signs on them, but children seem to find them irresistible. Here is a view of the old west pier taken while we walked to Janet and Ken's house, just noticed another snail in the shot too.

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Spending time with Ken and Janet

Up fairly early this morning, I made breakfast and we had a spot of pottering about in the garden, which was immensely good fun.

Then off to see Janet and Ken. Met Janet's pal Sonia there, and then  Spent some of the afternoon and evening with them. Janet had been up this morning, but was back in bed. A hospital style bed had been delivered, which can raise up and down. Lorraine and I chatting with them, and running various errands. Later Lorraine made food for Ken, and I emptied Ken's pee bag, which was a new experience. Ken chatting quite a bit, although asking us the same thing over and over. But he is still full of surprises, and his ability to remember songs and foreign languages is undiminished. He sang old music hall songs, including a song called, I discovered today with google, She was a sweet little dicky bird which concludes with the lines 'We parted on fighting terms/ she was one of the early birds/and I was one of the worms." Also he sang a song called Isabella in Norwegian, to the tune of Daisy, Daisy.

An evening carer was due at eight, but did not turn up till somewhat later. It transpires they are launched at eight from another part of town, but must find their way to the venue. L and I left at nine, and went to the Hove Giggling Squid for a bite to eat afterwards and some wine, and then hopped on a bus home, fairly tired.

Ken tucking into a fish pie.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Some good news

Lorraine working from home today with me, which made me feel much happier.

I spoke to Hus who had some good news. The District Nurse was like a whirlwind today, she is going to get a bed at home for Janet, and much greater support now, thank God.

I spoke to Janet at lunchtime, and she has asked me to sort some stuff out from her tomorrow, which I will do when I visit her. She was also pleased the District Nurse recognised the help that Hus and his girls had provided. Janet has been in bed now for two days.

Working all day too of course, on the job with my pals in Paddington, but able to drift downstairs to see Lorraine and have a cup of coffee with her outside in the afternoon. Worst thing is that I thought I was working four days this week, but I learned at 5:20 that they want me tomorrow too, which means I have to negotiate time to do Janet's things in the afternoon, and miss my stained glass class again.

Brian the cat released into the outside world again, looking a bit of a sight with his shaven side and throat. Also he is eating more than normal, so I think he is definitely on the mend.

Typically wordless email from Toby forwarding one from the Romster with holiday destinations in Sicily for next year. Sat looking at the links, and Lorraine said she felt all sunny.

Lorraine and I mooched off to the Park View tonight, and had a bite to eat and two beers. I feel extremely tired at night due to the emotional pressure, so sat there somewhat non-verbally, but nice to have a date night with my lovely wife. Home and a bit more of The Secret Garden. Lorraine reading again, and making me laugh with her bizarre voicing of an old an Yorkshire gardener. It is a lovely story.

And so to sleep.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018


Up early and working from home, but a very difficult day dominated by Janet even though I did not see her. She was unwell today. I had calls with Hus, Georgie (a friend of Janet's), and Rod, plus sent various emails. I am finding the experience stressful, as all the practicalities are new to me, people seem to be looking to me to know what to do, and obviously I feel very sad about Janet.  I feel as if I am wearing a heavy greatcoat all the time.

Not much other news, other than having to work on stuff from my pals from Paddington. This was a bit fraught too as items I'd sent them hadn't been received, and I thought they were demanding another piece of work I had not yet done and so on.  I am writing about events in an internal conference of a pharmaceutical company. It seems so trivial at the moment.

Brian seems much recovered, and flinging himself desperately at the front door when I opened it in an attempt to escape. Thankfully he seems much better. Calliope sitting on my lap while writing, and biting my arm if I moved too much.

Managed to slip out for three short walks. The parks beginning to turn a bit for autumn, and a bit of rain and general dampness today. This is my favourite time of year. Conkers under the conker tree was a nice thing to see.

Heard from Carl today, he is feeling optimistic about the future, and changing how he works, which was good to hear.

Lorraine home late and hangry after pilates. Fishcakes for tea. After supper I was a bit of a zombie. Early to bed, and a bit more of The Secret Garden, enlivened by Lorraine's unusual Yorkshire accent.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Life of Brian

Up with Lorraine and the sparrows. Breakfast, and then dosed Brian up with painkillers by rubbing his gums. This a two person job, although Brian seemed unusually philosophical about it. He sits about like a smack head afterwards, and stares happily into space. By evening he was moaning at me about wanting to go out, and is gradually seeming quite a bit brighter.

So working at seven in a bit of a frenzy to get stuff sent off to my friends in Paddington. They were kind enough to give me time to taxi over to Janet's house. Due to a glitch on the Taxi app, a second taxi arrived at my house while I was in the first. Driver two phoned me angrily, but I had none of it.

I arrived at Janet's the same time as Hus. Long meeting with the palliative care nurse from Martlets, and the social worker.  I left feeling the wheels were turning. Janet has a tendency to downplay her need at crucial times, so I am pleased Hus and I were there. While everything wasn't completely sorted out, Ken's care is doubling. I discovered there was yet another team, the continuing care team, who will provide cover for Janet. Turns out they met with Janet a couple of weeks ago and she refused care. So we got that reversed, and I kept pressing the need for round the clock care. The social worker very nice too. Poor Hus is exhausted and very stressed by the whole thing, having done the lion's share of looking after them till now.

A bus home. A quick chat with Mum while I snarfed down lunch. I keep having to bump seeing her, which I feel bad about. Lunch followed by a concentrated work frenzy, then a long teleconference with Ash and Dan who I was in Vienna with last year among others. Lots of info, despite the brief from the client being woolly. So happy to be at home however. Deleting four hours of pointless commuting from the day is an absolute boon.

After work I had an hour's walk, some of it while chatting to Anton. Lorraine out this evening with the Friends of Bolney. Lazily, I bought fish and chips, which I shared with Brian, who ate the fish hungrily. At least he is eating a bit now, although he is a bit dubious about his normal food, which the vet said he might associate with feeling ill.

I had more emails about Janet with her friends in the evening, which I answered.

At the end of the day I sat with Brian and watched Life of Brian. He seemed to think it was nothing like his life at all. I felt I had already seen the whole film in clips, despite never having watched it.

Lorraine home late. Soon we sloped off to bed. I read a few pages of The Secret Garden to Lorraine, but she was fast asleep in no time. And soon I was too.

Monday, September 10, 2018

Eating duckweed

So off to Paddington, feeling very yawny and tired. Slightly early arrival, so walked momentarily by the canal. A small part thickly carpeted by duckweed, and a man on a strange boat apparently designed to scoop stuff, like duckweed from the surface.

Work fine, and nice to see some of the folks there. Took a vague brief this morning and then was then allowed to go home, as I had negotiated working from home. Worked in the afternoon at my desk.

Meanwhile Brian taken to the vets this morning by Betty. He is very poorly indeed with they think, pancreatitis and is in lots of pain. He has not eaten in three days. Spoke to Betty about him and Lorraine.  However when Lorraine brought him back from the vets (he had to be put out for the tests as he wasn't having any of it) he made straight for his food and had a few mouthfuls. He has shaved bits, and I held him down gently as Lorraine rubbed some kind of pain killer into his gums.

Hus called me this evening, worn out with looking after Janet and Ken. I also spoke to Hus's daughter May, who has been following up with the carers. This is an arduous task. She is a credit to Hus.

To bed, feeling rather stressed and tired.

Below a chuggy duckweed eating boat.

Sunday, September 09, 2018

A strange outburst of singing

My thoughts very much with Janet today. I had a call about them from their old friend Ros this morning. Lorraine and I called around to see her and Ken this afternoon, and we spoke to Hus and May. While we were there another friend of Janet's called Georgie called around. In the evening, I sent a note out later to several of Janet and Ken's friends and relatives with the latest news. They have requested 24 hour care, during a conversation this morning with the district nurse.

After our visit, Lorraine and I went down to the seafront at Hove, where we sat on a bench listening to the sea for a bit in the sun. However and exuberant Hare Krishna parade terminated just behind us, in joyous singing and the distribution of fruit from a large cart. It was rather surreal, but made me feel suddenly quite cheerful. Odder was the life-size model guru they passed reverentially into the passenger seat of a car. It looked so real it could have given someone a nasty turn if found unexpectedly.

Home and Lorraine worked, and I sent out the note about Janet.

I also chatting briefly in the day to Mum, and to Toby.

Meanwhile Brian is beginning to worry us, having been off colour for a couple of days, he is not improving and not eating and seems very ill. Off to the vet with him tomorrow.

Lorraine and I drank some wine this evening, with our evening meal and watched The Bodyguard, which is rather compulsive viewing.

Below the Hare Krishnas.

Saturday, September 08, 2018

More work, and dinner with Dawn

Up and after breakfast, worked on doing concepts for the French agency till one o'clock. All about Lyme disease in dogs, so I had to put myself in the shoes of someone who loves dogs. Feeling sluggish and with a general disinclination to do anything. Lorraine and I discussed going shopping, till Lorraine went shopping and I felt asleep for an hour on the sofa.

In the evening Lorraine drove us off to Dawn's house in Steyning, we'd not seen her for ages. She has broken her elbow having stumbled on the scree on Ben Nevis, while walking there with her sisters and nieces. Then she had to be helicoptered off the mountain. Luckily there had been mountain rescue people ten minutes away, one of whom kept her warm in a tent and fed her her painkillers and jelly babies till the helicopter came. She has a nastily bruised arm and a plate in her elbow. Dawn now going back out with David, so lots to talk about over  Thai curry and plum crumble. I always enjoy being in Dawn's cozy house, which looks at the back across fields up to the Downs.

Friday, September 07, 2018


Annoyingly the agency in Paddington were expecting me to work for them today, till around 10am.

They did not, so I was able to zoom over to the stained glass window class. Spent a couple of hours there picking up the pieces of my window, and cutting new bits of glass. Ben had a new influx of students, plus the four I had been with last time. Had a quick coffee afterwards with classmates, or should that be glassmates, Chris, Yvonne (she of the father with a pet crocodile) and her pal who has joined the class, called Adele. Loved escaping into thinking about glass.

Then I went to Janet and Ken's house and I spent the afternoon there till early evening, running various errands for Janet and just generally doing what I could to help. Janet had been in bed all day. Lorraine came after work, and warmed up some food for Ken, then drove us home a bit later when Hus arrived. There was a night care organised by his daughter May for the evening.

Once home Lorraine and I decided to buy a takeaway curry, and had a fast pint in the Park View while we waited for it.


Brian woke us up by vomiting watery stuff on our bedspread first thing this morning. Up early and working on the French work, brain working a bit better today, and I was able to send the  work off after lunch, to wait for feedback.  Unable to go to my stained glass window course this morning but emailed Ben to tell him I had signed up for it again.

I slipped off the desk manacles, and went down to get a hair cut, and tried unsuccessfully to buy  yellow note pad with yellow pages in A4, which suddenly are not to be found. I got some on Amazon eventually. Even finding those was a bit of a job.

I spoke to Janet at some length on the phone, but had to return home when mes amis had sent me some substantial feedback. Home and looking at this work with little enthusiasm till I had to accept that I would have to do it tomorrow.  Very pleased to see Lorraine when she got home. Both tired, we ordered a takeaway from Red Chilli and had a cheeky beer in the Park View while we waited. Then home and a fairly early night.

Thursday, September 06, 2018


Somewhat stressful day. Up early after a poor night's sleep and working on concepts, but finding it a real struggle, while feeling pressurised to deliver fast as I have now negotiated a bit of work for the next few weeks, but much of it can be done from home, which is a great news. 

Spoke to Mason who was talking about helicopters, and texted Mum to say that Google was working. Went for a couple of short walks in the attempt to become less antsy. Lorraine came home early like the cavalry, and helped me become less stressful very quickly. 

Part of it was worrying about Janet, and so Lorraine drove me over where we met Hus and his daughter Reem whose 21st birthday it is tomorrow. I spoke to the Martlet's nurse who told em that the GP and district nurse were all in touch. Lorraine warmed up some food for Ken and diluted Janet's morphine in water so it was easier to take. 

After this we popped into see Rosie and Innis, and swapped Euros for pounds as Rosie is off to Greece tomorrow with her mother. A can of beer here and some nibbles, before we slipped home for supper. Pippi the dog being rather cute.   

Anton and I still unable to pin down when we can go to Guernsey due to work demands and so on.

And so to bed.

Wednesday, September 05, 2018

A day of friends

Quite motivated this morning, sent my children's novel off to a U.S. literary agent, entered Sin Cycle into the Magma pamphlet competition, among other stuff. Then walked over to see Janet in Hove, as there was a respite carer in to look after Ken.

Janet somewhat tired, so she hopped aboard Ken's wheelchair and we trundled up the road to a restaurant called Third Avenue, where we had a bite to eat, and two glasses each of a non-alcoholic berry and crushed ice drink. Service was snailish, but we had a good chat, and Janet is wisely getting her affairs in order.

Back at Janet's house we sat in the back room, as Ken and Janet shared a crafty cigarette. I saw that the tomatoes Janet had put in were full of fruit, and she asked me to pick them. She has always had green fingers, and her new little garden was full of  stripy, and red, and yellow tomatoes. When I picked them, the smell took me back to childhood. Janet gave me a big bag of them to take away.

I hopped on a bus home, and just as I got off, I was called by mes amis in France with another urgent job, and as the Paddington people hadn't got back to me I agreed to do it. This one about dog diseases.  Home and a long chat with Mum, who I am having to bump tomorrow as I have this new French work to do. I will see her next week instead.

Then down at 5:30 to the Preston Park Tavern where I met Robin, Sarah and Stephen for a good gossip about poets and poetry and a drink (although not Stephen as he was driving). Lorraine joined us after a couple of hours. After another half an hour or so, the poets all left, and Lorraine and I had a bite there, although Lorraine had to take back her food twice, and wasn't happy with it.

Home, early and into bed soon. We are still reading the childhood book, The Secret Garden, but it is a beautiful book in many ways, and focused on healing and growth, good things to think about before it's time to sleep.

Tuesday, September 04, 2018

Walking on the edge of town

Completed an essay about waiting rooms (just a small part of the top secret waiting rooms project) which I mainly did to get my thoughts in order about the subject, and I also sent it into an essay competition which I have had my eye on. I've not written an essay as such for many a year. I think it turned out well though.

Spoke to Lynne up in Paddington about another chunk of freelance work. While this is good news, I have my finger in lots of pies at present, so it will take some juggling. One of these is trying to arrange a few days walking in Guernsey with Anton.

Having started work this morning at just gone seven, and having not stopped till three, I took myself out for a walk on the edges of Brighton for a couple of hours, up into the top of Stanmer Park woods, and round the far side of the Hollingbury golf course, listening to podcasts, one about the literature of trees, which I listened to in the wood.

Then back to do a few bits of work, before cooking. Lorraine was home fairly early, having survived the first day with children in it fairly well. She was genuinely happy to see all the children, which was nice.

Spoke to Mum to arrange a Thursday meet up with her in London.

Below cows and rabbits in Hollingbury, with the outskirts of Brighton in the background.

Monday, September 03, 2018

Making a start

Monday then, and Lorraine off to school for the inset day, before the children all pile in tomorrow. The alarm going off at six, and back into the new routine. I like getting up early and stealing a march on the world.

So making what seems like a new start. A new list, which looks a lot more practical and balanced than the lists of summer. I spent much of the day working on my Waiting Room project, getting in touch with the French Bloke who has agreed to let me bounce it off him, as he has a large and different brain. I also billed mes amis in Paris, and made a few calls, including to Janet who I will see on Wednesday all being well.

Off for a walk this afternoon around the edges of the golf course, not a massive walk but enough to stir the blood. I find you can have a short walk, but if lots of it is not on a pavement, this is more demanding. At the moment I am preferring walking outdoors to going down to the stuffy gym. When the weather turns wretched, I shall gym it a bit more.

Lorraine home and we watched an episode of the BBC's very tense indeed new drama, The Bodyguard before sloping off for an early school night, after Lorraine talked to Dawn, who recently broke her elbow on Ben Nevis, and has had some sort of plate put in.