Now I’m not saying that BFF’s latest visit was ….. erm ….. lazy ….. more relaxing, chilling, easy going, ….. okay okay alright sheesh, we were both beautifully lazy.
We asked ourselves two vital questions each day – first, what are we eating and second, what are we watching.
And do you know what …… it has been abso-bloomin-lutely wonder-friggin-ful.
Food highlights has been the Jambalaya with the super special, hard to get, I got sent from New Orleans, mix …. and the rib eye steak with haggis and chips 🤤🤤🤤 droolerific.
Watch highlights – we did The Crown. But we really got into the Netflix series Yukon Vet and nightly the joy of I’m A Celebrity.
There was stitching done too. We were not complete slobs. BFF is knitting a blanket with a gorgeous mixed yarn called fruit salad, it doesn’t grow fast but she got through two balls of 200g, back and forth, back and forth. I finagled the ghost pattern to make some Father Christmas gear nob covers, and BFF’s middle child found a cute Santa sock pattern, about big enough to pop a fun size mars bar in. I didn’t want to tackle them without my guru (BFF) beside me but it worked out well (so long as I concentrate and count)
One of my carers asked what I intended to do with them and I said give them away. She helps at the local food bank and asked if she could take them there for them to pop some Christmas chops in for the kiddos. So that’s my project for the next couple of weeks.
Now it’s 3:10pm, BFF is on the road to the airport to fly home 😢. This is the worst day, saying good bud and being the furthest from when she’ll return,
Still waiting for the commode shower chair, still waiting for a hoist sling, still waiting on my property completion, still waiting business organisations to update my address, still waiting for people to do what they said they would.
I’m jaded, very jaded.
The ‘here to help’ organisations are the ones who are failing me, dehumanising and degrading me, and all they offer is patronising hollow apologies.
Someone asked if I felt settled. I’m not really sure what that means, I am used to the new environment and have cobbled new routines, I’m getting used to the noises and sudden interruptions. I’m getting used to never knowing what day of the week it is or which carer will appear when I press the button, but does that make me settled.
All my possessions are around me, pictures displayed (okay I haven’t hung the wall ones yet, still pondering) but I still have moments when I think ‘I need that book’ or ‘I’ll watch that dvd’ or ‘that craft item is just …’, then remember that that item was gotten rid of.
There was a ‘lovely’ meeting with yet another Social Worker who has taken over my case. When she visited my gander gandered and that tiny flickering spark of me sort of ever so politely let rip. I reminded her that I’ve had no contact since Christmas, no reply to emails, no help with the forms, no help with the move, no help with the adjusting (I have had help, and I am extremely grateful to those who volunteered), I wanted to make the point that as an organisation, alongside OT, the systems are failing.
Now don’t be shocked, but as we’ve entered autumn with the (supposedly) cooler days I have been doing a spot of yarn twiddling. A friend tagged me in a post about glow in the dark wool – I know – which sent my down the Google rabbit hole of ghost patterns, that lead to some yarn being purchased and ‘Howl’ the ghost was crocheted into a new topper for her gear stick 👻
I’ve also made a few ‘mask mates’ for the carers. It felt nice to give back some too.
Just four weeks and a few days until BFF comes to play, I mean stay. We both crave some normality, some familiar, some escape, some laughter.
So I’ve been quiet because I’m still stuck, waiting for those here-to-help organisations and it looks like being another couple of months before the snail creeps an inch closer to any goal ….. so don’t go sprinkling salt anywhere just in case 😉
The quote above struck me as I was playing partial attention to the tv show that used it. Yeap, I’ve died a few deaths in my time but this one has been the most extreme. I could write a list long enough to paper the under-stairs loo of things I either didn’t know and should have or underestimated the effect of. But still, you either stay still or move forward. Thank you for sticking with the tedium of my move, I do appreciate the support, if I’m the lone dog barking in the woods there is someone hearing me.
Soooo……. what’s been happening these past couple of weeks. Well as I sit here in my sun baked lounge with the window propped open and the fan oscillating at full blast (as it has every day since moving in) it seems more than it feels.
Handyman fixed the toilet seat and installed the cupboard shelving brackets and the house keepers put things away in the cupboards. They also found my drinking glasses (they were at the back of a high shelf in a kitchen cupboard), still no tin opener though, and the last box was sorted and cleared. The only box remaining has all the pictures that were on my walls, but I’m in no hurry, I cannot decide what I want where. When I moved into my beloved hovel it was eight years before a picture was put up, lol.
In general life has become a little more uniformed and routined, with the occasional hiccup, but those happen where ever you are. The daily unexpected interruptions slightly wrinkle, the come to get laundry/return laundry, ask if I need anything, has this been done, need to sign off your book, come to wash your dish etc etc pluck the irritation nerve somewhat. If I’m occupied in something on the iPad or phone I’m unlikely to give extensive details because that’s my personal business and unless it’s directly relevant to living here, then it’s ‘nunya’.
OT over the past two weeks has been joyously fantastic. I’ll let you read that line again because I know, dear reader, you’ll be going ‘huh!’. Yes, it has been a blissful delight, but there’s a very big reason ….. I’ve not heard a peep from any of them, no texts, no emails, no calls, no visits, no letters, nothing ….. of course the downside is that nothing has been done either, no word on when the correctly adjusted commode chair will be delivered, no finding a suitably supportive sling and useable hoist.
My beloved hovel was cleared of the things I left behind (some furniture, fridge, washing machine, general clutter etc). It knocked me for a doozy of a downer when the guy unexpectedly sent photos of the cleared rooms with his invoice. Oh gosh, it looked, neglected, unloved, so final. yes, change comes with melancholy, I have had to let go of so much, compromise on so much, both physically and psychologically in order to move, but I’ve gained nothing, yet. It’s hurting and I’ve not really started healing.
The Solicitor’s forms have been completed and signed, all the supporting documentation passed over, it’s moving at its own pace.
Some have asked if I’ve settled in. I didn’t know how to answer that, my things are more organised, although the dishes never get put back in the right spot and I rarely have the same mug each morning. There’s no routine as to who works when so I frequently don’t know what day of the week it is. Experts say it takes three weeks to develop a new habit and 12-18 months before somewhere feels home. I doubt I will ever call here home, it’s where I live, the flat, possibly my flat but never ‘home’ and all the connotations that brings up.
What’s next …. once I have a sling and hoist sorted I can go to the wheelchair center (haven’t been out on my own this century 😲) and be assessed for the powerchair, I’ll need to pass an indoor and outdoor driving test and an eye test . Plus various seating types can be trialed to ensure maximum comfort, even potentially have something specific moulded. Okay so appointments are booked four weeks ahead and it could be another 4-6 weeks before chair arrives, but it seems reliable.
My dumaflache is still without its thingamay but the doodah widget copes, kinda.
Unusually for me this is something of a struggle to write, maybe it’s the sleep deprivation, the overwhelming change or the utter stressed frustration but I am trying to carefully consider my words and tone, after all it’s still early days. Did I expect problems? Of course. Did I expect tears and despondency? Without a doubt. Did I expect difficult adjustments? Definitely. Still, my dry sarcasm screams I’ve moved to hell!
The carers are a fun bunch mix of personalities and I am going with the flow, giving concise instruction or direction, injecting a little humour, learning as we go. It’s slow progress.
If you suffered my previous post Boxed In And Sticky the OT thing is on-going without improvement. The tea trolley commode is still here awaiting collection, another arrived but the alterations ordered by OT were not done, it was returned awaiting adjustment kit ‘sometime soon’. The system is severely flawed, it feels like the disability has to adjust to fit the standard kit instead of the equipment being adjusted to fit the disability. ::sigh:: OT and the suppliers have been a daily issue. Calls, emails between me and them, between them and others meaning plans changing constantly and at the end of it, I’m done, broke.
The tiger and cubs ornament has been found but the can opener has gone mia, along with my drinking glasses, they must be in the last remaining couple of boxes. Can’t put thing away in the airing cupboard until handyman fixes the extra brackets needed after they replaced the water heater. The loo seat is still broke, so can’t invite visitors.
Awesomest nephew installed the phone extension cable and plugged in the router and phone – reconnected to the wider world, streaming services, emails, social media and music! Well some, my computer has not been booted up and added to my network which has hours, days, weeks of music to go through. New habits being worked on, less tv more tunes.
Hmm…. the niggles that over time drive a person mad. Behind my bedroom wall there is an electrics cupboard which must have a cooling system or fan because it sounds like a washing machine stuck on the spin cycle endlessly, constantly throughout the night. Next door to that is the cleaning cupboard complete with squeaky hinged door, I can ignore that but the banging and clattering of trying to fill a metal bucket at 6:30am is harder to ignore. Next to that are a couple of toilets (opposite the communal dining room and lounge) it’s like thunderstorms over Niagara when the chain is pulled!! Thankfully the bucket and bogs are not an everyday occurrence. Then there is something else that buzzes throughout the night, it stopped at 8am, ears think it’s in my hallway, but I’ve no clue, yet. For an erratic sleeper, it’s taking longer than liked to adjust to these sounds.
As my bedroom window faces the main entrance the glow of the lights brightens the room considerably. The curtains are very thin, I need to invest in some darker maybe thicker ones. As it’s an assisted living complex the front door of the flat opens onto a wide hallway, it feels very much hotel like, and as everyone else’s main doors (which are fire doors) open to the corridor you hear them slam shut and the empty carpeted corridor amplifies the sound.
Still, could be worse, there’s debris from a Chinese space rocket falling to Earth, and as the odds of being hit by that is more likely than winning the National Lottery jackpot, I might just go sit in the corner in my tin foil hat, just in case, you know, with my luck.
Pre-move day two delightful chaps arrived with boxes, bubble wrap and paper, oh and a pint of milk so they could brew up. They set to and during our chats and anecdotes made two remarks, one that I was organised and had made things straightforward for them and two that I was a ‘character’ (what, who? Moi! Well I say). After a bustling three hours the twenty five boxes were taped up and marked and things were ready for the next morning.
Move day – while still in my pit I went to use the house phone but my provider had already disconnected the service (charming) thankfully my mobile was at hand and I booked a wheelchair taxi for 12:30 to take me to my new digs. After a tearful goodbye to my last carer I had a few minutes of quiet reflection in my hovel of thirty years, two months and ten days. It looked worn, dusty and unkempt which was a sad sight, both of us suffering from my deterioration. Before long the big red van pulled up and the two chaps cheerily arrived ready to start the lifting and shifting. After a few false starts I sort of otched on the slide board into the wheelchair and the movers kindly oiked me into a comfy position and parked me in a corner. It seemed to be endless the stream of boxes and chests of drawers that were carted out. Then the big sofa and the big desk.
At about noon my mobile rant, taxi had to cancel because his airport run had been delayed and he wouldn’t be back in time to take me. Bugger, oh well, something had to go wrong. I had saved another company in my phone and called them and they said they would be there is about 30/40 minutes. That was that sorted. Time for me to vacate and wait in the hot sun. After a final brew up and a walk through check, the door was locked and keys put into my bag. We waited and waited. I called the company back to their profuse apologies they’d forgotten me (is that even possible!) and a car would be there in five. Hmm, yeah, a car arrived not a wheelchair car so taxi driver called and a wheelchair car was dispatched. I told the movers to head off as the assisted living complex were expecting them and had keys, they reluctantly set off but within a minute the wheelchair cab arrived, I was loaded and off we went. My throat choked but I kept it together, just.
Somehow it only took half the time to unload. Furniture was put in place, boxes were organised and BroInLaw started unboxing the kitchen ones putting stuff anywhere so it was somewhere. A couple of carers arrived and made up the bed. I said thank you and goodbye to the movers and made arrangements for how the boxes and packing to be collected. The front window doesn’t stay open so a tin of tomatoes has been deployed as window stopper, it’s a South East facing window so the strongest afternoon sun doesn’t bake like my previous West facing window.
I was in ….. rather smoothly if somewhat stickily.
A couple of the carers came Wednesday and unpacked a number of boxes with me directing where I wanted things for now. They chuckled at the stories, marvelled at my antics and adventures and were pleased my instructions were clear and followable. I tried bribing them with a chocolate biscuit but they declined. It really helped make the place look less like box city. There are still boxes in the bedroom and bathroom and it’s curious the things that haven’t come to light. I have a tiger mother and cubs ornament and a tigger drinking beaker yet to be unearthed but they were the lad things packed in a box.
There is a handyman who is available for small jobs I’ve pre-warned him that I have a lot of pictures to go up. That was all the easy bits.
OT had ordered a different style of shower/commode chair to be delivered last week, it was not there. Trying to shuffle from my old chair onto the loo with very few hand holds was sweat inducing and exhausting, shuffling back was even harder. On day two, just as I expected (and had remarked back in May) the loo seat broke. The new shower chair arrived sounding like the tinniest hostess trolley and as hard too, as well as about an inch and a half higher, after sheer brute force and belligerence on my part I got onto it. During that time I crunched bones, pinched skin, stamped circles on my thigh courtesy of the hole where the removed arm slots into, bruised my butt because the boney bit of my butt is against the hard uncushioned plastic. I still cannot defy gravity and slide up hill (how very rude of me). The concerned carers are all remarking how intolerable it is for me, how undignified (please, I lost that many years ago) that something else has to be done and urgently, also amazed at my ingenuity, fortitude and strength. The manager initiated an ‘urgent’ OT visit, but that’s days. I left messages on my OT’s phone but the whole system is not geared up to create solutions, just to provide the cheapest, standardised kit to sort of solve a solution. We’ve botched a new method, using my old cushioned shower chair, standing commode bowl on the floor beneath and hope it catches everything. Sorry TMI??
Anyway, I survived the packing, the move, the heat and the hottest day of the year. But I might not survive OT, they bring out the very worst of me and I don’t like it.
On a much lighter note, I’ve had some very sweet cards from my carers wishing me well and saying they will miss me, I will miss them. They all helped me transition into this world where I need personal care.
Things have moved on a pace since the last update. I think my snail has had one too many energy drinks!
A final ruthless rummage of my accumulated clutter was done and the charity was called to collect my donations. Along with the seven stuffed banana boxes, a couple of rammed gym bags there was a box of glasses and a couple of bags of oddments. Mixed feelings as these things were taken out my door, relief that it was gone, a touch of ‘should I have kept that trinket’ but mostly I was comfortable with the things being gone. The hovel instantly felt less disheveled and a snip of progress had been made.
A fantastically generous gal pal had offered to eBay some other items and after bagging and detailing those she came and collected them. It surprised me that something like a Cape De Monti trinket box barely made £5 where as two boxes of DMC embroidery silks fetched enough for a decent dinner for two! The Wedgewood Jasperware is worthless but a Disney cross stitch kit made double figures! How tastes have changed.
Slowly all the various drawers and cupboards have been gone through and cleared. Yesterday in a drawer it seemed I was a hoarder of post it notes, playing cards and staple removers! Who needs four staple removers!
The fridge freezer was ordered, delivery within ten days but the email confirmation said something different. I’m hoping madly that it’s there in time!! Profiling Bed. The tale is woeful and quite a debacle involving OT so in the end I just ordered my own, that’s being delivered and installed today (note to self – order new fitted sheets).
Phone and internet has been sorted. We’ll sort of. The switch over will take no more that 24 hours … but … the white socket is in the most ridiculous place. The door in the kitchen opens against the side wall, that’s where it is, there’s no power socket along that wall, no shelf to put a phone on nor room to wall mount a phone. The socket can be moved after the line is active, which is after I’ve moved in. Not figured out how to plug a phone in to tell them to come move the socket.
The list of change of addresses has been made and a few have been ticked off. That reminds me, did I put the electoral register on.
Slight technical snaffoo with the tenancy signing. After all the paperwork was signed and I paid the one week’s rent, when I logged into my association account I discovered my account was in arrears, huh, wait, what, how can that be, I’ve only made one payment two days ago!! Turns out there is a set up fee no one told be about. Great.
There are two items I am having the most quandaries about. One is a four foot bell rope, complete with brass bell and fittings. I cross stitched it for my Mum in single strand embroidery silk on Irish linen. I had looked online and these were selling for £80+, yikes. Heart and head are in full war, I made it, but it’s £80, but it was for Mum, but it’s £80! I’m packing it to continue pondering. The other thing is my front room curtains, they’re just curtains but I really really like them, but they’re full length and would need turning up for the new place, but I really like my thick lined curtains, I’d need to get hoops as it’s a pole rail at the new place and what’s already there is not my choice, but I really really really like them and my sister chose them for me. ::sigh::
The mind is hopping from one thought to another, it’s draining. There’s an item in my house I’m searching for, but I can vaguely recall having to throw it out but I’m not sure I did but the damn thing is eluding me and every nook and cranny has been searched, every drawer and cupboard gone through and it’s not there. Hmmm…..
Did you know that snails move quicker when in direct sunlight? Well this bugger has been getting a shift on as if he were in the Sahara or Atacama at high noon!
Last week was another phone call to complete another form, which resulted in another call to reiterate for the third time something blindingly obvious. After that the lovely Housing Association lady said, “Right then, this all goes to Lettings and they’ll draw up the tenancy agreement and we’ll arrange to visit to sign it.”
I asked the impossible question – how long ish will that be? The answer was not too long, but soon, hopefully. (Now dear reader is that one day, a week, a month??? 🤷♀️)
The answer is, two working days. Today I got ‘the call’ wanting to set up an appointment to sign the agreement and take the first rent payments, would today be convenient.
Now, slow ye ‘orses!! I can’t be ready to move in a few days, OT need to get on board (better chance getting Boris to speak clear precise truth) and equipment delivered. I explained that I’m not comfortable being forced to pay a still unknown rent on a property I cannot move into because a third party can’t get its arse involved. They graciously conceded that it was a problem and an issue, and as my OT will be visiting the flat next Wednesday we’ve agreed a sign up date of 1st July.
PANIC!!! - There's the charity stuff to finish boxing (awesome gal pal volunteered an hour tomorrow morning), - charity bods to collect stuff (volunteer doing that before the end of the week) - Packing removal quotes to get and decide - Phone/Internet to sort - FridgeFreezer to buy and get delivered - Profiling bed to source and order - list the list of lists, that list the other jobs that need doing, things that need to be not forgotten, and general thoughts.
Hello happy (bored) readers…… time for an up-date??
BFF’s first day of her holibobs was to push me to the new place so we could see first hand the area, complex and take some photos and measurements of the flat. She’s an awesome walker, I Google street viewed the route to make sure there were no nasty surprises like no dropped kerbs etc, we set off in breezy sunshine and before long the mile was done and we were there. (BFF is awesome because we wandered to the high street for a subway lunch on the way home).
The complex manager and deputy showed us the flat, the wet room is more than double the size of mine, the bedroom is big to allow a wheelchair to get a round the bed and there are three floor to ceiling built in cupboards. The lounge is slightly longer than mine but not as wide however the alcove is comfortably sized for my desk and office drawers unit, I’m thinking of putting the tv on the wall too. The kitchen is well fitted out with a space for an upright fridge freezer.
We were shown the communal dining room (hot meal available for a fee at lunchtime) and the large lounge that leads to a sunny courtyard. It was quiet, airy and comfortable. My particular flat is south-ish facing over looking the carpark, I will be ‘that’ nosy old biddy looking disapprovingly at the late arriver, with glasses perched on the end of my nose lol.
Before leaving the manager said she was going to chase up the person/department in charge of getting the tenancy application paperwork process under way. That was three and a half weeks ago, still no ‘official’ word from the Housing Association. The manager emailed me on Wednesday to ask if I had heard anything (nope) and must have been able to poke the right bod because within an hour an email had arrived and shortly after my phone rang 😱.
Remarkably the online application form was reasonably straightforward, all rather techy nice. I answered the questions from the drop down menu selections offered. The difficult bit is always the financial bit, the thing is I have income that is paid two-weekly, 4-weekly and calendar monthly, some of my direct debits are monthly or quarterly, and the form asks for weekly figures. So ipad1 had for form, ipad2 had bank account screen grabs going back a few months and the smartphone became the calculator. Checking everything three times I hit the submit button and got an automated reply including a pdf of my completed form – all very wizzy!!
So……we wait…….boxes to tick, decisions to make, tenancy agreement to be produced before the next stage! Yikes!! Nobody Paniccccc
I’m bagging the bagged bags that bag the bundled bits – I know, it looks like organised chaos, it isn’t, it’s sort of round about semi topsy turviness with a hint of disarray.
This is just the one drawer of my bedroom chest of drawers where historical sewing, crafting, cross stitch detritus has been stuffed. Oh and a box on the book shelf. For some unknown reason whenever I finished a cross stitch piece I kept the scribbled on paper pattern as well as the kit packaging, why? 🤷♀️ just why?? Not like I was going to do it again! I kept the unused silks, they’re always useful for anything I created from scratch or decided to add/switch from other left-overs. I’ve amassed three boxes of residue silks, two are all general colours, all wrapped round the little cards, filed in number order, organised and neat; the third box contains the specific silks from the multiple All Our Yesterdays series of pieces I did, I’m thinking of bundling that with a book of AOY patterns and aida cloths. Ahh, I forgot the smaller box that has all the special sparkly shiny metallic colour threads.
Our local hospital has a group of volunteers who make the dementia comfort cuffs, so any oddments of yarn, ribbon, lace, buttons etc I am bagging up to go to them.
It’s time consuming and mildly frustrating as my dexterity and arm movements won’t just ‘comply’ with my reasonable mental request. But it does make me feel that I am actively involved with this blessed move malarkey, rather than barking orders.
So there is the chuck bag, the recycle bag, the dementia bag, the cross stitch accessories bag, the bag of kits unopened, the bag of completed pieces, then the bag of bundled bags.
We’ve all seen the adverts over the past few years, simply scan your item’s barcode, box it up and the courier chappy with a cheery smile will collect it and ping, money appears into your account. It’s a great way to sustainably handle your unwanted items, it’s easy to use and sounds all very shiny.
Yeah. Right. Now regular readers will know I am highly dubious of anything that describes itself as ‘easy’, ‘simple’, ‘quick’, ‘straightforward’ etc. with my impending move, knowing I will have to be ruthless with the cull, I thought using these options would make disposal of my books, cds and DVD’s reasonably pain free.
I should have trusted my gut 🤦♀️
I am already in an emotional turmoil, feeling overwhelmed with all that has to come together before this impending move. While BFF was here we went through my assorted clutter and I downloaded a few apps to use. It was a nightmare! The first hurdle is that the scanner works so quickly, without realising I’d scanned the same thing multiple times because you’re not sure whether the darned thing had scanned the bar code or not (some apps are better than others). Then there are the number of items it rejects because either it doesn’t recognise the barcode or it announces with sniffy attitudes “We are not interested in this item at present”. But by far the most utterly diabolically demoralising aspect of the process was the pittance they offered.
More than half of my collection of media was rejected. What it did accept they were offering prices between 4pence and £1. Out of 70+ items it graciously accepted I had amassed the grand total of less than £15! The potential for insult doesn’t end there, because when you box and send off your goods they then check and ‘adjust’ the offer (downwards) depending on condition. So utterly not worth all the efforts – it’s all going to the local charity shops.
My curiosity got the better of me and went deep diving about the internet. One of my pristine unwrapped DVD’s specials was being sold for £12 and I was offered just 27p……..that’s taking the ‘p’.