Thursday 5 April 2018

Candle Carnage Continues

I went out today to reluctantly buy shoes to drive in.  The thick soled trainers I wear are no good for feeling the pedals and I can't find the one pair of shoes I own which I've worn three times - to a wedding in 2014, father's funeral and the funeral of uncle last year.  I picked up some ballet flats from Marks and Spencers and grumbled at paying £35 for shoes.  Unfortunately my feet get so swollen that it's a relatively cheap pair.  When I got home bear had five tealights and a scented candle lit.  He appears to want to run down the stock. 

A lot of the tealights belonged to father.  He loved them, often had them lit in his room, and used to light one and just let it burn out overnight as he slept.  The thought of that horrified me.  I bought a very inexpensive bulk pack for him not long before he was taken ill, so a lot of the 143 (or however many are left) come from that.

Father did not have a good sense of risk.  In the days of conscription, he was a regular in the army, in the Royal Engineers whose unofficial motto was 'First in, Last Out'.  Father loved the army and took every opportunity for adventure.  I believe he did some bomb disposal, though I'm not sure of the details.  He was part of the squads sent out to deal with the arms dumps left from WW2 and was in Egypt in the 1950s.  We have a hand grenade with a pin in sitting on our hearth which he brought back from his adventures - it had the explosives drilled out long ago, but he liked the souvenir.  He would go up ladders even though his knees were bad, and just before his last illness he was wandering about the back of the church, away from where anyone could see him, sorting out the weeds and shredding the nerves of anyone who worried what a frail octogenarian could do to themselves with a scythe in thick undergrowth.  When they were discussing his discharge from hospital and deciding whether he would need a nursing home, the nurses and social worker were concerned that father could no longer make a sensible risk assessment after his stroke.  I tried to explain that he'd never managed a sensible risk assessment in his life, but they didn't believe me.

The one area father was very risk aware was fireworks.  He was the designated firework guardian after he moved here.  He was very cautious  and meticulous about safety.  I suppose he had seen enough bangs to be relatively respectful. 

The comment from Sarah reminded me (Sarah, please check the reply to your kind comment) that I am a little more safety conscious.  I have a fire extinguisher in the kitchen after I set a chip pan on fire and there is also a fire extinguisher in the living room.  Years ago, before we lived her and when we first got malevolent cat, she didn't knock a candle from the top of the tv onto the curtains but it was a close call.  No candles were ever put there again! 

Most of our candles are now put on the iron casings of the gas fire in the living room or the electric fire in the study, and these fires have marble hearths.  I've been clear to bear that you can't leave candles on an edge and you have to put all candles out when you leave the room. 

Also, bear may have made a list, but I don't think he's keeping it up.  He is, however, more organised than I.


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