2007 — 24 October: the only good night is a good night

Time now (08:30) and I've just spoken to Her. I'm delighted to report She had an excellent night, and is sounding much more Her normal "chirpy" self. My own night, which got off to an excellent start in the bungalow fuelled by chicken and rice, cheesecake, and a glass and a tiddly bit1 of white, (thank you, Peter and Shelagh) tailed off some time shortly after 06:00 so although I determinedly dozed doggedly on for a while, I eventually clambered into the dressing gown about 30 minutes ago and made myself a cup of tea to chase the swig of pink grapefruit juice — I'm retired, you know!

Although the late Sibelius orchestral work (the second suite from The Tempest) currently playing on BBC Radio 3 is beautiful, as ever, tasks await my attention, including laundry, ironing, Dysoning, and some serious attempts to tackle and organise what is becoming a tidal wave of paperwork.2 I'm coming to the conclusion that running a household is at least as serious a job of work as anything that goes on in those unreal offices that I've spent so much time in. Since we started our first household back in 1974, I've decided it's well past time I started to take it seriously. While I may not be the time management expert that Christa is (and always seems to have been), I see no reason why I can't improve.

Today's driving forecast

As much, and varied, practice as I can. In as much local traffic as my nerves will take. Monitus es! Started at 10:30 with a trip to the pet food place, Asda roundabout, Fryern, Otterbourne, Poles Lane, Hursley Road, Hiltingbury Road, Bournemouth Road, Fryern, Central Precinct, and back via Chalvington Road in good time for the wheeled meal. (11:34 and Pork in gravy followed by lemon sponge has just arrived. Yummy.)

After ingestion, we shall go out again, and possibly retry that Sholing car park for some further reversing slo-mo action. Then maybe even call in at the General in the Yaris as She likes early visits to minimise the time She spends waiting for me to materialise. (I'm doing the best I can to learn as quickly as I can, my love; trust me.) Yep, that's exactly what we've just (16:15) done. Down into Southampton, along Thomas Lewis, past the Jurys Inn, off to Ocean Village, and up and over the toll bridge (yet another first). Then attacking two car parks down on the water front, and then girding everything to potter gently across town via the Cobham bridge, up to the Avenue, down Hill Lane, and thence to the narrow entrance of the disabled car park (we're entitled, you know). 40 minutes or so with my Best Girl, catching up on Life, the Universe, and just about Everything. Then back out into the traffic and home: 26.9 miles, just like yesterday.

In other news... department

Not much, unless you count the council's pair of noisy "last grass verge cutting of the year" lads roaring around on their miniature agricultural3 vehicles and destroying Shelagh's little holly bush. The day is still relatively young (unlike its 56-year-old scribe!) Just spoken to Her for the third time (11:43); She has the impression they are getting ready to think about letting Her come home. This is good!

But not quite yet, and not until the hospice team has had a chance to optimise Her pain medication so I can take over, I guess. This is the kind of learning experience I could do without but what else is a chap supposed to do? (If you know, feel free to tell me.)

Last phonecall of the day: She enjoyed Her leek soup, ice-cream and jelly, and is ordering prunes for breakfast. No pain. I shall try to drive the Yaris down again tomorrow; She is delighted by my progress (and says She is not surprised). I am. I truly never expected to be rattling round the innards of Southampton within seven days of starting this four-wheeled lark. I think my neighbour has a lot to answer for! As, of course, does the wonderful automatic transmission.



1  I'm working on your suggested solution, Lis! I also note that the advice on alcohol consumption is, to put it mildly, confused. Moderation in all things, say I (since that's what Dad used to say).
2  My nearly 91-year-old mother makes constant reference to "business letters" and I fear I'm starting to see what she means, though there is a fair amount of junk buried in there.
3  I followed one on my way to the Theory Test — its number plate was obscured, it wasn't flashing its amber light, and I suspect it was doing more than the 8mph it's supposedly restricted to on the Queen's highways. Perhaps I was a little over-prepared?