A day of busyness

A good night's sleep in my own bed, and cooler overnight too. Lorraine and I with a list of things that must be done. I had a work offer for the time I was on holiday to reject in a way that encourages future business, and to write to Robin about guests next season on Planet Poetry. We got on a bus together and I hopped off at the Stein and dropped of our 'wet' signed contracts with the solicitor in case we are able to swap them while we are on holds. Then I walked up to the vampire section of hospital outpatients. A ticketing system, with only one phlebotomist there. I was told the wait would be an hour or an hour and a half. Looked at my ticket and there were twenty people ahead of me. After twenty five minutes only three people had been seen so I walked down the road and found a cafe where I was passive aggressively served a cup of tea and a sandwich in the Portland cafe. When I returned to the waiting room there were three phlebotomists and my number had just gone. Argh

A little clarity

Up for toast and tea in Edgware with Mum. Got the trusty yellow notepad out and tried to work out next steps. Lorraine explained to me that the hospital should make a discharge plan for Mas, which may involve care. I had no idea what this might look like so I called Carl who explained that there would be a social worker involved and that the care was arranged through the local authority. This all very helpful. Then mum fished out a red folder on the table we were sitting at, which had all the contact details in the local authority and the care provider she had already been dealing with. This an amazing find as it gave me all the contact details. Mum also looked at her emails and I forwarded myself some correspondence from the care people from six months ago. Basically they had a bit of care, with people calling around to help Mas shower and so on in the morning, but they cancelled this in the first lockdown. The physiotherapist called mum, and clearly a discharge plan is being formulat

Hospital visits

A very warm day, and off to Edgware writing a list of things that needed to be sorted out.  Very hot and close in Edgware. But by the time I reached Mum she had managed to find out which ward he was in and make an appointment for a visit at 3pm. He was now in the AAU ward. Her lovely neighbour Maheena had offered to drive us to Barnet Hospital. Mum a bit shattered by everything. It is very stressful for her, not knowing what is going on.  Mum says Maheena is an angel and talks about her having feathers because she has been so kind to Mum and Mas. She helps them when she can and did shopping for them in covid times, and was happy to drive us to hospital. We arrived very early, but when I asked they allowed her in. There was a policy of only one visitor per person, but they let me go too.  Mas conscious and quite talkative. He has broken ribs, but they are checking for other stuff. His hearing aids weren't working so he when he told us the man opposite looked like a skeleton everyone

Mas in A&E

Took my poo sample down to the surgery first thing this morning, and got home and spoke to Mum who told me that Mason was taken to A&E last night. He had fallen face down on the stairs and was unable to move so she had to call an ambulance. Mum had spent the morning phoning the hospital and trying to find out where he was. I picked up the baton and after dozens of calls which are just left to ring out I was able to discover that was still in A&E and had had breakfast and was doing okay and that they were running tests on him.  I popped out in the afternoon for a quick haircut from Stacy, and on the way home went to the gym. The physical jerks helped me manage my stress a bit. Today, on top of yesterday's fast tracking for a cancer checkup is a lot. Home to more chats with Mum, till I had spoken to the A&E nurse at 8:30 pm, who said he would probably be moved to another ward tonight. After chatting to Mum I had a can of beer and watched Star Trek with Lorraine.

Thorn grasping

Dawn popped around this afternoon. So nice to see her, and so nice for Lorraine to be able to be able to sit and chat with her combing enough hair off Calliope to knit a jumper with. Dawn getting married next May all being well. Exiting! In the spirit of thorn grasping, I called the doctor because of weird guts. A conversation this afternoon created a swift response and I popped down to collect a kit for the poo doctors. Was called efficiently by the hospital the same day who will want a new blood test and probably a colonoscopy. Currently managing hypochondria but all this not well timed for the holiday. More thorn grasping with the bank. Because of my great Natwest business account saga of 2021 that lasted for six months I was left with having my business account not linked to my personal account on the same online page and so on. Fixed this at last (I hope) after talking to four people. New teeshirts arrived. Stripes! Lorraine and I finished watching Star Trek Next Generation, which

Cheery winners

A massive sort out of wardrobes today, which was extremely cathartic. Lorraine positively happy today, in the knowledge there would be no nasty work surprises tomorrow or indeed ever again.   Alongside dead sea scrolls and the skeletons of assorted Narnians we discovered that I had a new pair of black jeans and an unworn pair of stylish blue shorts. Lorraine had a serious quantity of clothes. She is going to sell or give to charity some that remind her too much of work. Having cleared away lots of clothes, and vacuum packed (this a Beth idea) winter clothes we have now lots of space. Vacuum packing is ace. You put it all into a bag with a hole in it, attach your vacuum cleaner and suck all the air out of it, reducing its volume massively. Great for storage. As I had all this new shelf space, I ordered some holiday teeshirts and some German ear plugs for swimming. My ears react violently to water and I want to swim lots in Greece.  Still run down, with dubious guts so I didn't go to

Brighter later

Shortly after I woke up, I got the migraine spangles and felt wussy. Lorraine brought me some breakfast and then I went back to sleep till the afternoon. We had been invited to go to Andrew and Jess's place for a garden party but we pulled out of this. I gradually felt more like myself this evening. Often I get migraine when I am beginning to relax -- so I shall take it as a good sign.

Grasping the wrong end of the stick

Stressing this morning trying to work out what we needed to do about our deposit. I spoke to Natwest (useless as usual), but Lorraine got a clarification -- the money was notional and the deposit would simply pass up the chain. Not having to find tens of thousands down the back of the sofa is a relief. I got the wrong end of the stick like an utter chump.    Nice to have Lorraine working from home today, and I happily did a few bits and pieces of writing. In the evening I met Anton for a few beers, starting at the Batty. A good deal of breeze shot, and we stopped at The Windmill for a bite of South African food, and then dropped off at the Crescent and The French Horn where we played a card game called escoba in a spirit of harsh competition.  Sauntered home across the park in the dark and after munching some toast crept into bed. Below the purple magnolia tree outside Anton's house mysteriously blooming for the second time this year. Anton playing escoba. 


So a gentle start to the day, Lorraine working from home today and me with no work. We had a 'business meeting' this morning and we chased the Estate Agents and the Solicitors over cups of tea in the kitchen.  No reply from the award winning Estate Agents, and we chivvied the award winning Solicitors. At the end of the day the Estate Agent got back with the promising news that our buyer's mortgage was approved and they were in a position to move. Yesterday Lorraine spoke with the Estate Agent in Seaford, saying we wanted to move sooner rather than later. After the call, however, it occurred to me that we may have to pay a deposit when we exchange contracts -- and we might need a short term bridging loan. Cross with myself that we hadn't clarified this earlier.    Otherwise a lazy day. Lorraine not feeling full of pep, so had an easy day. I went to the gym, and did a workout while listening to Stephen Fry read Sherlock Holmes's story The Man With The Twisted Lip . I&

Jolly Badgers

Lorraine off to school to let workmen in and so on today. I got up and did a bit of writing before heading off to the Jolly Badger at Mill Hill to see Mum and Mason. An enjoyable train journey, reading Jia Jiang's book Rejection Proof . Most writers often have to deal with rejection of course. One idea hit me with some force. Although I am finding my acceptances/rejections ratio has distinctly improved recently -- but always have the sense editors choose what seems to me safer work. There is a temptation to write in that way to see more of your work in print. But if what you are writing is safe, it will never be remembered.  A big difference to going to the Jolly Badger from the last time I was up here. Not the sweltering heat, in fact although it is still warm, the day was overcast threatening rain that did not come.  We were shown to the same table as before, and the guy even remembered what we all drank too. Mum and Mas on good form. It works really well me zooming up for a coup

Lovely Monday

A lovely Monday. I got up early, worked at a bit of poetry and sent off a manuscript, received a letter from my accountant which was very helpful and then I went for an overdue work out at the gym. I feel much more relaxed after doing something physical. Meanwhile Lorraine had gone to school early to let a workman in, and have a day of finalising things in her office. However she was back by four having been to her personal trainer, and I was done for the day. I cooked dinner and Lorraine baked some banana bread and a rhubarb crumble. It was weird to have her back so early and so relaxed. It makes me very happy. I kindled a book called Rejection proof: how I beat fear and became invisible by Jai Jiang. I watched his Ted talk and found it amusing and inspiring.   Called mum briefly to confirm I was seeing her tomorrow. Anton has had a mystery bug which laid him out for a few days but didn't test as covid.

A bit of a bob

We got up and made a list of things that need fixing, which we counted as progress. Listening to music together, including Grace by Jeff Buckley. What a voice that guy had. Also more sleeping on the sofa. Lorraine beginning to claw back at the tiredness. Late afternoon we made off to Hove again, this time to drop in on Rosie and Innis. A few peanuts and refreshments before going down to the seaside. Walking along Hove lawns with Pippi sprinting about. Innis telling me that he is going to join the coastguard. We went to the bit of the beach that allows dogs, and and Rosie, Innis and I had a bit of a swim and a bob in the slightly wavy water. Lorraine and Pippi stuck to the shore, Lorraine wearing my panama hat and looking excellent in it. The water was warm after the heatwave. Back to Rosie and Innis, Lorraine and I mooched up the road to buy some more food and some beer and Rosie and Innis cooked and we had dinner together. They are off on a holiday from tomorrow. Lorraine and I drove

An interlude with Beth and James

Unhurried teas in bed. Up for breakfast. Lorraine driving off to pick up Calliope's medicine then off to Paul in Hove to get her hair done. I stayed at home, to sign off my accounts, write a few emails and then walk to Hove (where I was almost run over on the pavement by two brats on an e scooter) to meet Lorraine, who I discovered browsing in a shop called Velvet. Not able to see her,  I called and heard her phone from one of the changing rooms which made me smile. She eventually emerged with silky hair, which as tradition dictates, appears longer than when she went in.   Drove back having a judicious nap, then called Mum to arrange seeing her and Mas next week, then made ourselves ready to go out. James collected us in Betty's lipstick coloured car and drove us to their place. From there we walked down to Shoreham harbour to a place called The New Port Arms where we sat outside for a bit, then went in to have food. Heartwarming to see Beth and James. They are obviously very m

Confidential waste

I got up early, Lorraine lying in a bit, and made sure Sam was up as he was travelling up to Scotland today to see Jade. Took Mrs Kenny a cup of tea, then got to work with Keith for a few hours finalising the concepts we had been working on. This done, Lorraine and I drove off to Bolney, my lightning tracker app going off in my pocket as the rain started to fall, and went to her office, and started clearing out the many presents and flowers and cards she had been given, then spent some hours throwing things away, and feeding the confidential waste bin, a bit like the Fall of Saigon but with fewer helicopters. It was  therapeutic for both of us. We broke off for a late lunch at the Eight Bells across the street. Felt strange to be going for lunch with Lorraine on a weekday. Then we went back to her office until she'd had enough sorting out, and we drove home. The slow dawning of Lorraine's new freedom still has some time to go, she'll have a lot of work to do next week, but

Dawn of a new freedom

Lorraine's last day with children at Bolney school. Apparently she ended her time on an outpouring of love for her, and her office is an Aladdin's cave of presents and tributes, and at lunchtime she got to watch a video that Beth had helped the school put together, with children sending her love over the soundtrack of Colors , by Black Pumas, which is a song she loves. She arrived home with plants in pots and bunches of flowers, feeling tired but happy.  She did amazingly well, considering she has felt queasy for much of the week. I had wondered if this was due to all the excitement and nerves of her final couple of days, but today I felt distinctly nauseous too.   For work, Keith and I were asked take our elegant fresh concept which everyone loved, and spend the day removing anything that was good about it till it became utterly generic. A bit more work tomorrow needed on this.   Sam and I were discussing helping Lorraine to celebrate tonight, but Lorraine drained by the day,

Two Queens

A bit of coolness in the gentle breeze on Preston Park as I strolled down to the gym this morning. Although down on London Road it felt hotter. The gym still a sweaty business, and I sprang onto a 5b which had stopped outside it to speed me home. Faffing about this morning, ironing, tidying up and other time wasters. Then the hard work of making myself look presentable for my final outing in my Dennis Thatcher/Prince Phillip role as Mr Kenny at Lorraine's school.  Lorraine home at noonish, and after she wrapped some presents and took five minutes to revive herself, we made off to Bolney with the stained glass window Adele had made, and other presents Lorraine had brought her staff in the boot. Into Lorraine's office, which was crammed with gifts Lorraine was giving people, and many she had received and drawings from children and so on.   Then out for the main business of the day, which involved Lorraine and teachers and the the school all standing in front of the school buildin

Hotter than July

The hottest day ever in England, with the temperature reaching 40.3º only in WW2 have we had more outbreaks of fire in London. This heat really horrid. In Greece you can plop in the sea or retreat to your air conditioned room to cool down, not pad about on carpets and sit on warm sofas, even my office chair I found too hot. Having no urgent work, I did what had to be done from my phone on the gold sofa. Sam, meanwhile, finding novel ways to keep cool including putting a hot water bottle in the freezer.  Lorraine of course, off to work. I sat at my desk for a while, and thought of her. She did so well. I spoke to Mum and Mas and they seemed to be doing fine. I was worried about them as the heat up where they are was worse than down here on the coast.   After an indolent day, at tea time I had a shower and changed into my lightning strike teeshirt, entered the room where Lorraine was wrapping presents for her staff, and my lightning tracker app on my phone signalled a nearby strike with

The heatwave becomes serious

Hot night. Lorraine and I up early, having luckily being able to sleep with our bedroom doors open to the air, which was quite nice as the night wore on. But too hot today, as part of England's hottest ever heatwave. Noticed falsities on twitter and other social media saying that it was hotter in 76 and this is all being exaggerated. It is easier for some people to go into denial when scary stuff happens.   Find myself reminded of occasional visits to Greece when it has been too hot to do anything, and Chad of course where I spent the eight or nine of the most uncomfortable nights of my life.  Lorraine off to school on her last ever week. Parent rumours about the school closing had to be quashed over the weekend. I felt the familiar sense of unease as she set off for school. I will be pleased when she is done with it.  Working with Keith again today. Met up early and pressed on. Fairly relaxed day, although by the late afternoon my north west facing office was getting too hot to wo

An elegant garden party

A chat with Sam today, talking about how he is feeling a good deal better these days and is looking forward to moving back with Jade at the end of the Summer. We are really pleased for him.   Exceedingly hot.Lorraine drove us off to Robin and Nick's garden party this afternoon. Very elegant, with two young folks serving Prosecco and alcohol free Nosecco to assorted poets and musicians. Robin and Nick have an enormous shared garden, the size of a small park. Robin was wearing a dress Lorraine almost wore, plus the same Panama hat as mine she bought from Mad Hatters too.  People sippingo in the shade. I enjoyed catching up with Janet, Jeremy, Antony and Stephen. Lorraine particularly chatting to Stephen lots. He lives in Newhaven which is the next little town along from Seaford.  Drove home with the air conditioning on in the car. Watched a bit of the Tory leadership debate, and watched the tumbleweed blowing through the voids where the ideas should have been. Spoke to Tobs, who had

Hot heads

Stayed indoors for most of the day, then late afternoon, Lorraine and I mooched off wearing hats, into town centre. I am enjoying my new pricey Panama. Having bought a few bits and pieces, mainly to do with Lorraine leaving school (although I bought myself a mould green notebook) we went to a pub called The Walrus just across the road from Petit Pois where we we would be meeting Penny and Steve.  Sipping a cold, if pricey, lager chatting cheerfully, when Lorraine took a call from Angie, who we are buying from in Seaford. Unfortunately she is going to have another operation. They are such a nice couple so we feel very sorry for them. However this means our move must inevitably be contingent on her prognosis -- and we both feel a bit gutted by this.  Meanwhile some boisterous blokes had come drunkenly to the pub, loud but fairly cheery. When Lorraine finished on her mobile a drunk woman t hammered on the window just near where we were, came into the pub and seemed to catalyse trouble. It