Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Normal for here

Father is still in hospital and looking worse, though I think he will soon start getting better.

Bear is being bear and decided that after a bad night what I really needed was to get up early.

I put laundry liquid into the fabric conditioner drawer.  I'm not really focusing.

Things could be a lot worse.

Monday, 21 July 2014

Pretending Things are Normal

Thank you for the good wishes.  Father on a drip but okay.

So, shopping.  I've weighed up deliveries for over the summer and shuddered.  There are large numbers of kids wandering in and out at weekends and I don't suppose the summer will be much different.

I looked at the different sites.  In the end I came down to Tesco.  Their delivery saver is £6 per month for a minimum of six months but I can get a maximum of one delivery per day at any time for that.  It means that I don't have to hold out for Tuesday lunchtimes and the £1 delivery slots.  I have booked a slot on the Sunday morning the day before bear's martial arts camp for packed lunch and that delivery slot would have normally cost £6 in itself.

I will still be getting the occasional deliveries from other stores, depending on the sale of things like Famous Grouse.  That is, if father can still drink.  DH likes a whisky now and again, so it will still be worth looking out for.  On balance I think that the lack of variety in offers will offset the convenience of regular deliveries and I really need to make sure I remember to cancel it as it auto renews and it is on the card, not a proper direct debit so it is like the way payday loans operate.

The other downside is that the minimum order needs to be £25.  I suspect that I will have problems reaching that on some deliveries so I plan to stock up on things like toilet paper when I need a lot of deliveries during the holidays and use up the excess over the winter months when hopefully I need fewer deliveries.

I am looking forward to the ease of the deliveries though, especially if father is poorly and I can't get out at all.

Bear is poorly and slumped down watching Ben 10 videos.  For 'hit things until the problem is solved' type cartoons it isn't too bad.  A neighbour should be able to watch him when I go to see father.

So I am pottering about with shopping and bits and things and not thinking about much.

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Father has had a Stroke

He was planning on going to the GP's surgery tomorrow when I found him.  I explained that he needed to get medical attention a little bit before that.  He is currently in hospital, barely able to stand and struggling.  He is nil by mouth as it looks like his swallowing has been affected.  It has been an issue for some time, hopefully it will now be sorted so he can eat soon.

Bear has D&V.  I also suspect tonsilitis but he is a lot brighter today.  However it means I can't take him to school tomorrow.  If I take him in and spread D&V on the last day of term, the other mums would rightly hunt me down.

It also means I can't take him to an acute ward.  I really understand this.  I think that one of the neighbours will be able to keep him when I nip into see father at the hospital.

Father was in good spirits and while he is struggling with words, he is still with it.  He is a bit worried, but I know he will be well looked after.

Saturday, 19 July 2014

Bearly at the End

We have two days left of term.  Bear has very red tonsils.  He is currently putting on a major performance that should at least get him nominated for a minor acting award if not the Oscars, but I have a sneaking suspicion that, despite the drama, bear isn't very well.  There is lots and lots of actual drama.  His performance of going up stairs while at death's door is amazing and one day I will film it and put it on YouTube (okay, just threaten to) and he has been pitiful.  He has also been too poorly to bother with chocolate.  He genuinely does seem to have no appetite, though, and as I also suspect he is in the middle of a growth spurt this is a bit alarming.

I mentioned to DH that I had been thinking about going out for the day by myself on Monday as it would be my last chance before the summer break.  However it is now looking unlikely.  DH suggested that I stop planning to go out as every time I did so bear was poorly, I am obviously making him sick.  Sigh.  I am having quite a bit of trouble getting out of the house at the moment anyway, so it is badly timed but I don't blame bear.

Bear also does a really amazing performance of desperately needing just a small sip of cool water.

Welcome to the summer holidays

Friday, 18 July 2014

Very Sorry

Sorry about the gap.  I am feeling a bit sorry for myself but will snap out of it soon.  I am actually a bit ashamed of feeling so sorry for myself.  Normal service will be resumed shortly.

The time since the last post has been, I suppose, normal for me.  Highlights are as follows.

I set the cooker on fire but DH saved it with amazing swiftness.  It still works so I am holding off buying a new mini oven.

Father has been using his sickle and is exhausted very quickly.  The church have persuaded my octogenarian father with his iffy knees, dodgy blood pressure and general lack of stability that he really shouldn't be the one replacing the drainpipes.  I have threatened to hide his trousers if I find him up a ladder after he volunteered to clean high coving at the church.  This offer was politely rejected by the lovely people at the church.  However father is still overseeing the fabric of the church and I am a little unimpressed.

Bear had a truly stupendously brilliant report and his SATS for the end of Year 2 were excellent.  He was treated to a visit to the York Chocolate Museum.  The museum is amazing but the toilets are horrific.  They were very clean but so narrow that even my skinny bear struggled to get in and out and if you breathe in too deeply you set off the hand dryer.

Nice Mr Next Door is still on iffy ground with the cars on the street and there may be bad happenings.  Someone official with a clipboard and hi vis vest was around again today.

Bear has been under the weather and has had a nasty cough.  He sleeps through his nocturnal coughing fits but I don't.  I'm on my knees.  He was off school today, and while I hate him missing the fun stuff at the end of turn, poor bear was just laying around half asleep.  His tonsils are looking lovely and red.  I got told off by the doctor last time for missing them.  They are not yet that bad, but I think the first week of the holiday may be looking a bit bad for bear.

Father has started getting very drunk very quickly.  I am a little worried as normally he could drink most people under the table.  This talent seems to have faded.

Bear has been watching maths programmes on YouTube.  You would not believe how grateful I am that he hasn't asked me to explain anything.  One of the programmes is Dara O'Briain's School of Hard Sums.  I'm not sure exactly how much bear understood and I suspect very little, but he seemed happy enough.

Father had a fall in town when he was checking train times for trips out.  He glossed over it very quickly and mentioned it only as an aside.  I am a bit concerned that other falls have happened when I haven't been looking and have not been mentioned.

So things continue very normally.  Sorry to have let this lapse from self indulgence and I am sure I will be wittering on regularly soon.

Now off to try and sleep through the outdoor party next door.  It's not that bad, and it is nice to be outside in this weather, so I don't want to complain.  However what with one thing and another I just hope I can get off okay.

Sunday, 6 July 2014

Sunday Lunch Again

When will I learn?  I bought a pancake maker.  It is a little pan that is supposedly non-stick and you pour pancake batter into it and then turn the pan.  Having bought that I added some packets of pancake batter onto the Approved Food order as my batter is almost as bad as my pastry and you can tile a roof with my pastry.

Epic Fail.

First of all the 'nifty dispenser' did not 'nifty dispense'.  Instead batter overflowed the pan that it was designed to niftily dispense' into and overflowed all over the stove.  Then the alleged non-stick stuck and it all went horribly wrong when I tried to turn it over.  I had an overdose of batter clinging on to the 'non-stick' part of the pan and gently smoking in the over heating oil on the other side.

I got out my flat griddle.  I had a bit of a fail then as I was looking at the timings of the pancake pan which apparently is a bit of a delicate flower and can't take high heat.  A griddle is designed for heat.  All I really can say is that the smoke alarm definitely works.  DH got us burgers from MacDonalds.

Now all I need to worry about is the pork steaks that I am currently defrosting.  They are not defrosting very quickly, and I can't bung them in the fridge for tomorrow as tomorrow is fish n chips after bear's martial arts lesson on the other side of town.  I may try microwave defrosting it just before I start cooking but I always feel a little nervous about that as it is pork.  There isn't even an 'r' in the month.  However at least I have some nice tinned ham in reserve with plenty of veggies fresh and ready to go, so hopefully that is safe.

Now off to clean the cooker.

Saturday, 5 July 2014

Washing Machine

There are lots of good places to get a washing machine.  There are places like Gumtree and Freecycle, there are stalls on markets and some shabby looking shops.  There are small ads and cards in windows - all of them very inexpensive.

I admit that I prefer to buy anything electrical new from somewhere vaguely reputable.  If I can scrape the money together then I think it is safer going through channels that are less likely to be positive if there is a problem.  Fortunately I think I can scrape some money together to buy a washing machine.

I have been browsing my favourite places to shop - ebay, amazon, Topcashback - and seeing what was around.  I have just picked up the last bits of bear's uniform from Debenhams' shop on ebay, and I saw the perfect washing machine for me in a similar sort of outlet shop.  It is a Beko, it has an okay energy rating of A+, and most importantly it has variable temperature.  I was told that the most expensive bit of running a washing machine was heating the water, and UK washing machines usually fill with cold water and heat the water in the machine.  All the decent washing powder brands will wash okay at low temperatures and despite bear's best efforts none of our clothes are that dirty so I like to do a longer wash at a lower temperature.  I had a look around at the same model on different sites and it looks a good deal - at least fifty pounds cheaper than elsewhere.

It's from Argos.  I have bought a washer from Argos before.  I was threatening to take them to the small claims court at one point.  It was not a happy transaction.

Regretfully, I'll keep on looking.  I would rather save that amount of anguish and mental strife than the money.