2010 — 27 July: Tuesday

I drove back from my cousins in Birmingham this morning, and was delighted to see that moderately high-speed steady motorway cruising (I once again failed to dodge the six miles or so of motorway expressway a couple of miles out of Four Oaks, thus paying £3-70 for the dubious privilege) does wonders for my petrol consumption. I didn't lose the first "blob" on the gauge until I'd done 88 miles... Arrived here at about 10:40 with a car stuffed full of bits 'n' bobs that will accompany dear Mama into her new home, but I await Big Bro's arrival from High Wycombe at about noon to help me unpack it since he's the one who loaded things.

The next move will be a spot of lunch somewhere, then a gentle drive over to the care home for our meeting1 with the Kamp Kommandant matron this afternoon. This will complete Stage 1, as it were. Then all dear Mama has to do is behave impeccably for four weeks or so to clear the "probation" period. Then, if everything goes according to plan (Big Bro loves a good plan) it will be time to do something about selling her little house. The Power of Attorney registration is now in progress, thanks to our delightfully helpful solicitor (who also happens to be our cousin). She will also handle the house sale in due course.

I was pleased to have been able to persuade John to go along with my own cunning little plan (that is, use our local in-family expertise), specially as it meant I got to have an evening meal with her, spend the night, and get waved off full of a fine cooked breakfast2 of the kind my NZ sis-in-law abhores. Result!3

Could Scientology possibly be, erm, stupid?

I'm only asking because I find myself in utter agreement with this delicious blog entry. I guess one has to expect man-made religions to be stupid, particularly those (I suspect) kicked off by not very good SF writers. But what do I know?

It's 11:42 and my next decision is a simple one: is there time for another cuppa before Bro shows up?

Nearer the end of a long day...

Where was I? The afternoon started with me stuffing Big Bro round the outside of a fillet steak — gotta keep his strength up; he faces 24 hours in a tin tube full of recycled air on his way back to NZ which is unenviable, to say the least. We had our pre-admission assessment interview, which went swimmingly, and then were allowed to park dear Mama's bits 'n' pieces in a medical store in the care-home. Then John followed me back to the M3 where we diverged, as it were, as he headed back to his brother-in-law in High Wycombe and I returned to Technology Towers.

My word! What an incredible range of driving behaviour you see on the UK's roads in the course of a day. Anyway, I then chilled out with a cuppa over the road for an hour before drafting a set of notes to myself of the diminishing (but still vital) list of things to be done next. Then Brian popped round (before he disappears for a while to strange places like Leeds and the Shetlands) with the audio cables he kindly obtained for me, and to hear the effects4 (subtle, granted) of the snake oil slathered on my incredibly costly audio interconnects — compensation for a faulty pair of loudspeaker cables that were themselves both replaced and upgraded.

It's 21:12 and the eyelids are already beginning to feel droopy. Is this what it feels like to be getting older, do you think? Brian also introduced me to Schwenk's dice. Fascinating. One still lives and learns, it seems.



1  If all goes well, dear Mama will be beamed down to her new home next Tuesday, which will have made the whole post-hospital process incredibly slick.
2  Having first, of course, been driven out of bed by Katy, the little terrier who (for whatever reason) seems to be mad keen on me despite all the stairs she has to ascend to my attic eyrie.
3  Drawing a veil over my horrid misadventures with my in-car dominatrix as I battled across Birmingham in the rush hour yesterday evening having declined her helpful suggestion to join a completely jam-packed, static, M6(S) and struck out more or less at random trusting to Linux technology and U.S. satellites. It's fair to say I discovered a whole new North East passage. Just call me "Marco".
4  Neither of us can, as it happens, hear said effects, but then nor can we explain why the things should require "running-in" in any case. However, he agrees with me on the pleasing performance of the new Rotel stereo power amp.