2007 — 7 November: Wednesday

Time now (08:46) and it's time to start thinking about breakfast again before my first trip out to the hospice. I had a lousy night's sleep, so here's hoping my Best Girl did better than me on that score. Report to follow.

Afternoon update already

Hah! I got sidetracked before publishing this as — basically — I didn't publish it! Let's see what's happened so far today. I drove in to the hospice, to find Her on the move to a side room as they need the 4-bed bay to slot four male patients into. Plus, the little bit of scrambled egg She'd eaten has blocked her tum's pressure relief valve or tube, and they now want Her to drink lots to make herself vomit, in hopes of clearing things, as it were, from the other end. (Pause here, while I bang what's left of my aching head against another brick wall.)

So, I leave Her to that, and drive back into Southampton and across town to the garage in Millbrook who supplied the new car. They need (actually, I need) to arrange a repair to the cosmetic hole I punched into the bumper last night while trying to reverse into a bollard-protected parking slot outside the Carphone Warehouse to buy the mobile phone that, it turns out, cannot actually see any network signal in the hospice. It's a good job the corrected Insurance Certificate showed up in this morning's post, I guess.

Repair will cost me the two lumps of excess (looks like £175) which is cheap at quarter the price for the replacement bumper and the gently cracked rear light cluster plastic. I can't have a courtesy car until I pass my Driving Test, however, so the cosmetic surgery is on the back burner — not that it's high up my priority queue right now in any case. I just wanted, and received, assurance that the damage is superficial, affecting neither safety nor roadworthiness. And that nothing was going to fall off and get me into trouble.

On another day, in a different galaxy, this might make me howl with laughter, but not today, and not on this planet.

Then what, Mr M?

Back across town to the hospice again, of course; check out the nice new room, stay and hold Her hand while She drifts off to sleep. Then back to the all-too-empty house. Check email and voicemail. Junior is flying off to Redmond on Saturday, returning next Thursday. "Take care" say I. Take four eggs and four slices of bread over the road so my kindly oppo can start our lunch while I tackle Toyota's insurance company and receive the necessary Claim number. Quick cup of tea to accompany the eggs on toast, Belgian choc brownie, ten minutes for some essential domestic stuff, and back to the hospice again for the afternoon visit. She is uncomfortable (to put it mildly) but really happy at the news of Junior's business trip. She is also very weary (both of today's glitch in particular and of this illness in general) and once again asks me that impossible question: "How much longer does this have to go on?"

Another section of my heart breaks, from the feel of it. She says She has to sleep, so I agree to return this evening with Heidi. That's my day so far; how's yours been? Bartok's sublime Concerto for Orchestra is on BBC Radio 3 as I type, and is some comfort. But I feel I could sleep for a month.

Night time round-up

Just (19:30 or thereabouts) back from the final visit (#4 today, if you count the fact that the first one was a "double" interrupted by the garage visit). Thank you, Heidi! Turns out the new room permits a trickle of mobile phone network signal through, but my poor Girl is so sedated that She is not really able to use Her newest toy. She has not had a very good day, to be honest. Oh well. I promised to see Her tomorrow morning after the driving lesson. Now supper, and let's hope these damnable firework idiots run out sooner rather than later.

Just (21:20ish) phoned my mother, but she's not really taking in any information. Still, I felt I had to make the effort. She and Christa never really hit it off, which saddened me over the years, and soured the relationship between our son and my mother too. And I have to say it really wasn't due to any lack of effort or willingness on Christa's part. Mothers-in-law are a funny species I think; I liked mine immensely, but Christa had much the poorer deal I fear. Families are such strange entities, with weird dynamics. Oh well, time for bed. I'm cream-crackered.