Something’s got to give…

“Yes, of course I understand. Family comes first!” said one of the people I work for. “Now, about those statistics…,” and she proceeded to give me an extra couple of hours’ work. I’m going to have to tell people that I’m not going to be able to fulfil all my commitments, and I just hope that some of them are a little bit more understanding in practical terms.

Still, I’ve done what I can this week. On Monday I caught up with the emails up to Thursday the week before and spent a long time on Artlift work. I had a call from the occupational therapist who has been seeing my mum, which was helpful.

And I had a bonfire. I really had to do this, while the weather was good; I had all the bits from the broken plum tree to get rid of, plus a lot of other stuff, and I burned the really bad bits from the shed, bits that would fall apart if I tried to put them in the car to take for recycling. It was a very good bonfire, neatly burned down to a small mound of ash.

On Tuesday I had a good session at Cheltenham hospital, and got up to Sunday’s emails, and did more Artlift work, and gave blood. This time I wasn’t anaemic at all, and they took it with no problem. In the evening I went to see a film, but I have completely forgotten what it was. How strange. It obviously wasn’t that good.

Wednesday was Hereford hospital; another good session, and a strange experience – someone recognised me, someone I didn’t know. He had borrowed one of my books from Hereford library and enjoyed it, and looked me up on the Internet. Almost fame, I suppose. I did yet more Artlift stuff, and wrote up the hospital things, caught up with emails up to Tuesday this week, and had a long phone call with my brother. I made some cakes to take to my mum, but I burnt them. Not good.

I wrote a miserable poem on Thursday morning, but then finally caught up with all the emails. Hooray! And, leaving behind all the things that I haven’t done and ought to have done, I went up to Hull again. My mum was much better; her speech has greatly improved but her understanding is still very limited. She did start complaining, though, which is a sure sign that she is getting better.

I stayed overnight, but I didn’t get much work done; on Friday morning I had to go out and buy stuff my mum needed. In the afternoon I made her do the Daily Mail crossword with me – something she used to have a go at every day – and she did mange to get a few clues. It’s important to exercise the brain when you’ve had a stroke, but I think I tired her out. The OT came in, and he said that she will never drive again. She took this much better than I would have expected. I bumped into the consultant afterwards, and he said that she will not be able to manage her financial affairs again, and so my brother and I will have to take everything over.

Travelling on a Friday evening is never a good thing, and I was tired when I got home. I spent most of the weekend feeling a bit oppressed by the thought of all that needs to be done. On Saturday I was doing pop-up poetry at Croome, and this went really well. And on Sunday The Bloke and I went to play crazy golf at the indoor course in Stroud, where all the holes have been made by local artists. Daft, but fun. It was all very Stroudian.

And then finally in the evening my little travelling laptop died. I’ve had it for seven years and I’ve been planning to replace it; it’s what I use every weekend and when I’m away to work, and it’s more or less essential that I have another one.

And now I’ve got to do as much as I possibly can to catch up with the things I haven’t done, so I can have time to go up to Hull again this week. Something’s got to give…

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