Feeling very stressed out at the moment.

Just spent the last hour sorting out MIL’s latest crisis…

She’d managed to lose her keys and get locked out of her flat (am guessing she made it through the front door to the complex by following someone else). Given she will never carry her mobile, I found out from the care line which operates in the building, as MIL had used the intercom to them in the corridor to contact someone – which was some good thinking on her part, I have to say! (House Manager had already left for the day when all this was happening).

OH was in London with a client for afternoon with phone off and me at work here too.

Cue a flurry of frenzied calls between me / landlord (not answering) / care agency (no one on hand to come out in short notice) / locksmith / care line again to say they’ve now got hold of another manager who will come with the master keys and let her in / locksmith again to cancel etc.

Yes, I know it’s time to get a key safe in place (if assisted living will allow us to put one up).

She must have had the keys when leaving the building to have locked the door, and has obviously lost them while out on her travels to the shops and back…

Called her after an hour to make sure she was definitely through the door, and she is – asked her if she’d found the keys and she said “I haven’t looked yet”. Which is MIL code for “I can’t find them”.

The House Manager is going to blow a gasket when she hears about this.

The key was always a sore point with her even before this (she was worried about MIL losing it and someone using the front door key to gain access to the building), and MIL has only gone and proven her right there (to be fair, MIL has never locked herself out before in the new place or the old one before).

Now the only keys we have are the ones OH has, and he’ll have to hand those over to MIL tonight – it’s the sort of key that can’t just be copied on the high street (they have to be specially ordered), so that leaves a good few weeks before we have a spare back with us, and if MIL pulls this latest trick again in the meantime, we’ll be stuffed.

If we even get that far – HM will definitely be on the warpath tomorrow once she hears of this…

God knows what I’ll do if this happens in the new job…

Just not answer my phone to any numbers other than OH’s I think, and let the fallout lead back to him next time, whether in his own client meeting or not….

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Long time no post – life seems to have been very busy lately, thankfully in a positive (if stressful at the same time!) sort of way…

The massive task of house renovation is now complete, estate agents have been engaged, and (touch wood!) we should have a tenant moving in on Friday (subject to reference checks etc)! Which is a relief to say the least – MIL (not that she knows it!) could certainly use the boost to her income after all that expenditure we made on her behalf in both securing the new place whilst at the same time restoring her old one…

MIL has been relatively stable these last couple of weeks, and OH and I even managed to sneak in a quick weekend trip to Venice this week without her even noticing, which was absolute bliss – wonderful weather, beautiful city, plentiful food and wine, and all in all some much needed “couple time” for us both.

Sometimes it’s only when you stop and breathe for a second do you realise quite how much you were in need of a break – in short, just what the doctor ordered!

Buuuuuuuuuuuut the big news this end is that I look to have an amazing new job!

I’ve not mentioned the fact that I’ve been interviewing the last few months (just felt in need of a change), then as luck would have it ended up getting two offers on one day! It’s been a bit of a dilemma to choose between them, as they were both very good prospects – but in the end I have decided on the one on offer from a serious name in the City (can’t name which, but let’s just say a major player!). Quite frankly I was amazed to have even got an interview with them (particularly considering the level of the role) – let alone a job offer! It will likely be a lot of hard work and pressure, but at the same time a great opportunity for me to adrenaline boost my paycheck career and raise my profile within the industry.

Handed in my notice today, which was really hard (have been at my current company nigh on ten years now) and should be starting at the new one in about six weeks – just absolutely terrified now in case they notice their mistake and change their mind in the meantime!!!!

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Growing Soft…

Took MIL out for her birthday tonight. She was about as sweet as I’ve ever seen her!

She at one point she quite unexpectedly took my hand and thanked me for all I’ve done for her, and said how she’d be lost without us both – was quite taken aback at that! Although I’ve taken her hand several times before in order to comfort / reassure her etc, in all the time I’ve known her, never once as she done the same to me…

Interesting that she should choose my hand to take and not OH’s – or maybe I’m just reading to much into things, as usual!

While we were in the restaurant, I saw an elderly bloke arrive, greet the staff as a “regular” might do (they clearly knew him by name), seat himself in the corner and proceed to eat a meal all by himself…

Gets me every time I see something like that. He’s lonely, I’m lonely – I can empathise.

I wanted to give him my card and say that next time he should join us (we take MIL out every week, and another face round the table would be more than welcome from my point of view!), but OH said I was being a sap and wouldn’t let me.

I did smile at the man as I left and he looked surprised and smiled back.

Feel really bad now that I didn’t reach out…

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Happy Anniversary!

Happy Anniversary! Congratulations! Still here!!
Standing strong despite all the shit over the years,
We’ve come through redundancies, health problems and the rest,
And when it comes to dementia, have risen up to the test,
Survived those car accidents and also your breakdown,
Sure many lesser couples would have by now run aground…

Faced more problems in three years than some in a lifetime,
Kept one another afloat – each other’s buoy, raft, lifeline,
We’ve both faced down dementia, driving dramas and debt,
We’ve had times that were hard, but we’re not beaten yet!
Live in state of constant crisis – and yet we’re still content,
Can only conclude that we’re for each other meant…

And yes, we have our moments – but know they never last,
Happy memories of good times both in present and past,
We still both love to snuggle and make each other laugh,
This love of ours will be written in our epitaphs,
We’re seven years in now – three of those spent as wed,
Here’s hoping for many a happier year still ahead….

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House is Done!!!

Just been round to see the work completed on MIL’s house, and also meet an estate agent with a view to getting the ball rolling on the rental front.

It is truly amazing how much has been achieved in just two weeks!! Especially given that it started out as looking like an episode of Hoarders, with stained carpets, peeling wallpaper, clutter and decay everywhere etc – basically a huge mess that truly had to be seen to be believed.

Very happy with the results – especially my wallpaper choices! ;)

This property and the hugely daunting prospect of both a) prising MIL out of it in the first place, and b) getting it all cleared and restored afterwards has been hanging over my head for literally years – pinching myself now that we are finally there!!

Never thought this would have been the case at the start of the year – it’s been a long and hard two months sorting this whole move to assisted living, but the house is now finished and MIL settling well (in the main) at the new, smaller, safer, streamlined place.

Estate agent reckons it’s very marketable and hopefully will be rented out soon.

Am going to enjoy this rare moment of optimism and relief while I can – I know it won’t last!

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Stick in the Mud

I think I must be getting old,
Late nights these days just leave me cold,
Clubs and concerts just fail to excite,
Went to Fleetwood Mac the other night,
No offence – but not my cup of tea,
(Am more a hip hop music devotee),
But husband still dragged me along,
Though I only knew three of their songs…

Oh, Fleetwood Mac – it’s me, not you!
It’s just that I really hate the O2,
Too noisy, hectic, far too loud,
I get a bit edgy in large crowds,
And annoyed at people quite full-grown,
Still filming whole thing on their phone,
The queues for toilets far too long,
Concert on a school night just feels wrong.

Spent night wishing was at home in bed,
With Britain’s Got Talent on instead,
I’m a homebody – and that’s all good,
But when did I get such a stick-in-the-mud?
Sorry Lindsey B and Stevie Nicks,
This is just not how I get my kicks,
And with husband I’m now again vexed,
He’s gone and booked bloody Neil Diamond next!!

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Be Silent

Husband – why not just follow my lead?
Constant correction is not what we need,
Your mum can’t learn, she can’t recall,
Challenging her on this won’t help at all,
I know that what you just said is true,
And I’m afraid that will just have to do!
It’s not her fault – please do keep that in sight,
My sweets – be silent and be right…

She can’t know that you visit her each day,
Contradicting won’t help in any way!
For in her world, you haven’t been,
It’s been days since you have her last seen,
Have to accept that’s her reality,
It can’t be changed by you, by me,
The subject’s just not worth a fight!
My love – be silent and be right….

If she broke her leg tripping on the cat,
You’d not demand she fix it just like that!
Or just heal a hole inside her heart,
This is not a failing on her part,
She’s got amyloid plaques inside her brain!
You can’t fix that – it’s all in vain!
So keep your cool and your tongue bite,
My dear – be silent and be right….

Just copy me and smile, nod, chat,
You’ll get a much happier mum like that!
Just subject change and show patience,
Disputes just put her on the defense,
Keep it simple – don’t over-complicate,
Compassionately communicate!!!
Save your breath – carry on the good fight,
My sweet – be silent and be right!!!

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This illness is bad, but how perverse,
That admin involved feels so much worse?
So many loopholes and pitfalls,
No help from anyone at all,
Should we rent house out or should we sell?
Good intentions pave the road to hell…

I can take the illness, come what may,
But not SS, AA, LA!
Just one more form and I might snap,
At every turn, so many traps,
Makes caring even more so tough,
Every request for help rebuffed…

All these obstacles come into play,
Like they put up hurdles in your way,
Like navigating through a field of mines,
Or fighting behind enemy lines,
Just one small foot put out of place,
The whole thing blows up in your face…

Deceit, denials and delays,
Lost in this bureaucratic maze,
Try so hard just to do the right thing,
Each and every act entails a sting,
Officialdom just feels so sordid,
No good deed goes unrewarded…

With each purchase, a hidden price,
No trust in solicitor’s advice,
No wonder we lay people crack!
Government will stab you in the back!
For all that you thought right to do
Ha! Jokes on you! We’re going to sue!

Fight each battle just to lose the war,
Whose side am I on anymore?
When “allies” hinder – never help,
They push you to destroy your self,
The State screws you and it screws me,
It’s all just a conspiracy…

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Feeling lonely in a crowded room,
Constant grind, continued gloom,
Life bearing down upon my back,
No matter what – I must not crack…

On one shoulder there’s mum-in-law,
Been perching there five years or more,
And on the other – hubby dear,
Close to a breakdown now, I fear…

Mental illnesses on either side,
Plus my own which within me resides,
Family dynamic here is sick,
And when you’re down, another kick…

In my head, there dark thoughts lurk,
I haven’t even touched on work!
Been attending all these interviews,
On tenterhooks – there’s still no news…

Seems I spend my whole day to day,
In wishing this whole life away,
Case of ‘que sera sera’, I guess,
But how did I end up in this mess…?

Too long I’ve walked this lonely road,
Alone shouldered this heavy load,
But on I plod – I must, you see,
For everyone depends on me

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MIL in Meltdown…


Just as I was relaxing this morning (baking a pie) and thinking to myself it’s been a whole week with no MIL / House Manager issues at all

Then OH gets a call from MIL “completely flipping out” (in his words), basically saying that where were we / didn’t we live there anymore / weren’t we on holiday / weren’t her two weeks up and wasn’t today the day she was moving back home etc etc…?? I.e. not making sense and totally all over the place… He asked me to go over there with him, as he felt out of his depth with all this emotional stuff and needed a female presence to help calm her down again…

Bit of a bolt from the blue, as these last six weeks she’s seemed to settle very happily down there…

She was in total meltdown when we got there (shaking / crying / putting head in hands etc – about as bad as I’ve ever seen her) and kept saying she thought she was only there for two weeks “holiday” and today was the day she would be going home. No idea how that idea got into her head. Kept saying that she realised the problem was her, that it just hadn’t sunk in, and she was so sorry to be such a nuisance and taking up our time like this. She didn’t object to staying there at all – just kept insisting that she hadn’t known that it would be for good and not just a holiday. All a bit heart-breaking really…

Managed to calm her down eventually – big hugs from OH, while I kept stressing the “so lovely that she’s just five minutes away from us” aspect, which always goes down well. Then, once she was more herself, took her out to a cafe in town for a slice of cake and coffee, where she was all smiles again. She didn’t bring up the subject again when we returned her to the flat afterwards – in fact she was on at OH to please put some of her photos up on the wall for her…

Have put up all her ‘New Home’ cards again from when she first moved in as a reminder that she really doeslive there.

It’s all a bit worrying, as usually, despite the memory stuff, she is able to apply logic to a situation still – for example, she would normally know that for a holiday you don’t take all your furniture and stuff with you or put pictures up on the wall of a hotel. And also that you don’t go on holiday to a different flat in a not particularly lovely London suburb!

My first thought was UTI – she said she hadn’t had any waterwork troubles and doesn’t have a history of ever having had these, but have had her take some cystitis medication anyway on the off chance.

Have a horrible feeling that this might be a recurrent theme over the next few weeks – once an idea like that gets into her head, it’s remarkably hard to shift…

Not sure “love lies” are appropriate in this case (we do employ them for other things) – she’s understood perfectly well until now that she lives there for good and could presumably understand that again…

So bizarre it should all just explode out of the blue like that today.


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