Thursday, 30 July 2015


Thank you so much for all the kind messages.  They are really helping me, and I really appreciate them.  I feel very blessed and supported.  I feel lucky.  

I still feel in the centre of a whirlwind, but I suppose that is normal.  I just made the lady at the funeral parlour laugh like a drain talking about eBay being my friend.  I cried a lot more in the few days before than I am now, but it changes.  I will just feel how I feel.  It is what I have told bear to do, and I am taking my own advice.

I have decided to start clearing father's stuff, as any momentoes will be needed to be handed on at the funeral as people will come from a distance and I won't be seeing them for ages.  To get to the memories I have to get through a lot of rubbish.  He kept every service sheet he ever had from the Methodist church, literally hundreds. Thank goodness when I was last on Approved Food I accidentally went crazy on black bin bags.

Apart from chasing the death certificate and registering father as passed, I am doing no admin now until next week.  I will worry about that later.  Now I am worrying about other relatives in hospital, cuddling bear and generally trying to get the house fit for people visiting.  Also DH.  He needs a lot of cuddles.

There are still bright sides.  I was remembering father's face when I told the really lovely lady at the funeral parlour about the time I got 20 handbags for a very reasonable price and I couldn't physically lift the parcel.  I could imagine father's expression when I was asked whether I wanted to have a set of silver fingerprints kept from him.  Even the rain means that I don't have to water the garden.  There is always a bright side.

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

A Piano Has Landed

The plush rat is bear's best pal and comfort cuddle toy.  Bear has needed a little extra support, even though it's from something that is a plush toy.  Ratatouille is still bear's best pal.  It took four men to get the piano into the house, came with an unexpected piano stool and is a lot louder than the keyboard.  It doesn't sound like it needs tuning.

I've spoken to funeral directors, who were lovely.  I've winced at the cost.  I've told everyone I can think of, I'm chasing various bits of paper.  I'm happier thinking about sorting out the vast quantities of stuff that got shifted to accomodate the piano than anything else.

Two of DH's relatives are in hospital.

Bear is doing okay.

Thank you so much for all the supportive messages.  They really help and mean a lot.

Just Passing Through

Father passed away yesterday afternoon.  So many reading this will know about the flurry of phone calls and bits of paper and confusion and grief that is happening here.  I was reading Ecclesiastes to father yesterday morning, and there is truly nothing new under the sun.

Bear is doing okay.  We all are.  I am not going to lie, I am bewildered and lost.  I shouldn't be, it was no surprise.  The doctors had been clear.  I am still working on it.  But we are doing okay.  Bear knows it is okay to be sad and okay to be happy.  He has no living grandparents now.  It is tough for him and he will be hearing far too many of the phone calls as it is in the middle of the summer holidays.  I suppose it gives him space to grieve.  Food, clean clothes and cuddles will continue to be provided for bear and DH and I will sort things out, small step by small step.  It looks like it may be several weeks before the funeral.  I'll be in limbo until then.  So expect random posts, crazed forays onto eBay, ramblings and, well, business as usual.

I found these two poems encapsulate the entire gamut of the experience for me.  Funeral Blues by WH Auden and Death in Leamington by John Betjeman

Thanks again for all the support.  It has been amazingly helpful and comforting.

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

I Suppose It's Normal for Me

I want to say thank you to all the lovely support and kind words - you cannot believe how much that means to me.  I feel very lucky.  I'll be posting a lot of rubbish, I am sure, and I hope it won't get too irritating.

I am being normal for me.  The Approved Food order just arrived.  If you remember, it is not that long ago that I bought 108 toilet rolls at an extremely good price and barely adequate quality.  This was followed by another 18 rolls because I wanted to get a really big box for bear.  Now I have another 18 rolls - it was £1.50 for 18, this day only, and quite reasonable quality.  They will still not last as long as the vast swathes of wrapping paper, literally hundreds of Christmas Cards and stacks of bottle bags.  There are also a lot of envelopes.  Yesterday I bought three packs of breakfast bars in the Co-op when I called in to get father a paper.  We don't need breakfast bars.  We have a sufficiency due to a very good offer on Tesco's own and to be honest I'm trying to get bear back on to cereal.  However there was a deal where if you buy three packs you can get a free gift. I have no idea what.  I need to take the plunge and use my new glasses to read the small print, but they make me sea sick.

Bear is at the house of the former Nice Mr Next Door, playing with their grandson.  He was there all yesterday and was apparently no trouble.  I've called the care home, father had a quiet night.  He is not drinking.  I'm going to call in to the food bank where I would normally be helping today to say that I can't really manage it, and I'll go and visit father.  I'll probably post some more witterings when I get back.

Monday, 27 July 2015

Made a very small start

I'm working on making a piano shaped hole.  I spent this morning with father - v poorly - but since then I have taken advantage of bear free time.  There has been some pleasant surprises.  I found a folder I used years ago before bear was born but when I was seriously depressed.  I used it to organise and it was awesome then.  I may have some shredding to do.

I've organised a pick up by Emmaus (who are brilliant) and I've found a ream of paper that I knew I had somewhere but couldn't find so things are good.  There are around 50 rolls of wrapping paper, mostly full but some half used.  I can proudly say I paid full price for none of them.  I also have a plethora of bottle bags, due to father's habit of giving bottles as presents.  I stocked up and then forgot I had stocked up.

I need to get it together.

I am pausing now as I have various bits of furniture half in and half out, piles of stuff and general chaos.  Bear is due home soon, as is DH.  DH likes order and lack of clutter.  He is feeling fragile as well.

Off to get a wiggle on.

Thank you for all the good wishes.  I know so many people have gone through this stage - many in far worse circumstances.  I am very grateful for the support I am getting.

Sunday, 26 July 2015

Awful Weather

It isn't really bad weather for October, it's just a shame it's July.

Bear continues to enjoy his holiday.  He is away tomorrow at a friend's house so I plan to clear a load of stuff out and visit father.

On Wednesday, all being well, we are getting a piano.  It is free to a good home and we were recommended, to my surprise.  We will have to pay for the man plus man plus van and for it to be tuned, but it is still extremely inexpensive when you consider that we are getting a real piano instead of a keyboard.  We will look upwardly aspirational.

Before we can pretend to be the sort of people who casually have pianos I have to do some serious furniture shifting.  The current plan is get rid of the two display units that are either side of the fireplace.  They are not big enough for the things we want to display and the one that father brought with him is falling to pieces.  It is also filled with dozens and dozens and dozens of envelopes that I got at an extremely good price and some remarkably good bargains in stationery.  The 700 Christmas cards and the large quantities of wrapping paper a stacked nearby.  The other display case is lovely but just the wrong size.  I am going to try and donate it.  Then we will go to IKEA and get a large display case (ouch - how much!) and chairs for the dining room.  The stationery can go in the old sea chest which is full of stuff that hasn't seen the light of day since before bear was born.  I can't wait to find out what is in there.

So I am planning on moving two display cabinets, a sea chest and a keyboard.  I will be installing (all things being equal) a display cabinet and a piano.  For the display cabinet to work I need to get rid of the CD storage tower and move two large, very well filled bookcases about six inches to the left.  There is also a two drawer filing cabinet I am considering donating, but I'm not planning to replace that - and besides it is in another room.

I also have to sort through a sea chest, a smallish display cabinet, a two drawer filing cabinet that I can't currently open properly as it is full, two bookcases, a CD storage tower and, well, the entire room, including the third bookcase as I may as well while I'm at it.  There is a very large desk that bear has colonised and has large drawers full of miscellaneous that may as well be full of bear's miscellaneous.  This is a tough target if I want to get most of it done by Wednesday.  I do not have a good track record on following things through with plans.

On the other hand, father was discharged from hospital for end of life care at his care home.  He was sent home with morphine.  The hospital did not think that they could do anything for him.  I can hope, as father has fooled us before, but it doesn't look good.  So I am fairly certain that I'll want to be doing something and it may as well be constructive.  I will update.

Saturday, 25 July 2015

Want Will Be My Master

I want a new dishwasher.  I want a new cooker.  I want a new fridge.  I want a new freezer.  Want will be my master.

To be fair, of the above, the dishwasher has given up and needs to be taken to the tip.  I am finding it embarrassing just how much better the dishwasher was than my 'by hand' efforts.  The new cooker is desired because the one I have was one we got second hand in 2007.  It had been my Mother in Law's and it came to us when she passed.  It has never worked well.  This is less to do with a dying curse and more to do with appalling gas supplies and pipes that are the wrong dimensions.  The oven is notoriously ineffective and I would love to have an electric oven that actually worked.  This is especially true now that the mini oven is gone.  The fridge is looking battered, the door is missing its shelves and it is getting long past the estimated lifespan of a modern fridge.  The freezer, well, it is far too creaky.  Also I wistfully crave 'frost free' and never, ever having to defrost ever again.

Regardless we have just replaced our halogen oven after it stopped getting hot.  It is relatively inexpensive to run, relatively easy to use and not expensive to buy.  The rest will have to wait.

In theory, we can wait until the Black Friday sale at AO at the end of November and sweep in with a mass order.   Whether I'll be able to get the money together for it is another matter.  I haven't been too random so far with eBay and while the Approved Food order does contain some spray on food colour, it could be worse.  I will prioritise the dishwasher (which will need a new sink unit to accomodate it, so extra expense) and work from there.  When it all comes down to it, I can work around all of the 'wants' especially as I have a halogen oven and a microwave.  None of them are necessities, they really aren't.  The fridge and freezer are useful, but we could still work around it.  We could just pick up stuff as we needed it, just like my parents and grandparents had to do.  We can wait until November 2016 for all of the 'wants' if we didn't have the money, and we may have to.

Father is still described as very poorly.  He is still on oxygen.  He is still on a drip.  He is still not getting much food in him.  DH is in bits, bear tells us he is sad, and to be honest I am not coping as well as I thought I would.