2007 — 1 November: "Rabbits!" once again

Time now (08:05) and I've once again just spoken very briefly to a staff nurse who tells me Christa's notes describe Her peaceful night, and that She is still asleep this morning. As yesterday, I'm focussing on "peaceful night" and "still asleep". I'm sure my reader will understand. My own night was similarly peaceful, I guess, (I was asleep, at least) though it came to an end a couple of hours ago.

The nurse promised to let Christa know I'll be in to see Her later today. (Probably after my co-pilot has had his flowing locks trimmed down in Ferndown; he needs to give his car a good run this morning as it's been idling away on his drive while mine's been getting all the exercise recently.) I'm sure I can find a few tasks to keep me busy!

Solveig's song

Has just reduced me to a brief flood of tears (thank you, BBC Radio 3). It was one of my Dad's favourite pieces of Grieg. What on earth is it about the power of music, particularly in minor keys, to trigger1 such a powerful reaction? Perhaps it's just because, as I fully realise, my predominant emotions2 currently include the "natural" ones of sadness and melancholy, but I'm determined to minimise my bouts of self-pity.

Enough, Mounce! Time for breakfast, followed by a brisk walk in this delicious sunshine. There's a paper bill to be paid. More paper work to examine. And at least one cookery manual to be contemplated — studied closely, in fact. A chap needs a nutritious new hobby from time to time, and we have a shelf of the things that I should now dust off. (Don't laugh; my domestic ineptitude is no joke.) Man cannot live by "ready meals" alone, my son tells me.

So, having showered and trimmed the bits I can reach of my own locks (mostly, I admit, the bits adhering to the chin rather than the scalp) I have now cooked, and my co-pilot has helped me consume, a wok oil stir-fried chicken breast with colcannon, red onion, soy sauce, and a pinch or two of some 5-spice Chinese mix. It was both fairly easy, pretty quick, and reasonably tasty.

Welcome afternoon news

As an appetiser, I was about to serve our lunch when a staff nurse at the General rang to tell me that (on all of 20 minutes notice) Christa is now off to the Countess Mountbatten hospice in West End, right by Moorgreen hospital. This is such a relief for us as we welcome the opportunity for just a little more peace and quiet time together. Hospitals are all very well, but... So, I suspect you hardly need to be told what and where my afternoon driving session will consist of, do you?

Spent an hour or so with Her just after She'd settled in. It's a very peaceful place, I must say.

Evening news

If you're reading this over in Norway, son, I shall be driving Bill and Pauline over so I can see Her again this evening — I need all the practice I can get, and Bill says he knows3 the way. I got spectacularly lost earlier this afternoon because I lack your grandfather's bump of direction (or, to put it another way, you've got my sat nav kit, haven't you?) See you tomorrow!

She's resting peacefully, perfectly lucid, and pain under control. That's my Girl. Sleep tight, don't let the bedbugs bite. Time for supper, methinks. And now (21:40ish) with eyelids about to slam shut, time for some sleep so I can be fresh and alert for tomorrow morning's second official session of driving instruction. Lunch is decided upon already, so it will probably be an early afternoon trip out to the hospice. Anyone want me to drive them there in the evening?! (There is a phone there, by the way, but it's a mobile that they walk over to whichever patient is being called. Better if you speak to me if you have a message for Christa — seriously. Just don't wake me too early or too late, please.)



1  It would be comforting, in a way, to suppose it's more than complex neurochemistry.
2  Trust me: I've read and re-read a helpful little pamphlet called Coping with loss, and I can still recall what I said in the short IBM "Mole Report" I wrote myself on the same topic in the mid-1990s. Anger, numbness, anxiety, helplessness, you put a name to 'em and I've felt them. I also know that in time they will pass, or at least fade and recede. I know perfectly well that life goes on; it will be (for me and my son, at least) on a different vector. But it goes on.
3  He certainly does — it matched the printout I got from the RAC just before we set off. And I still prefer driving at night. Isn't that weird?