a day in the 73-ring circus

When Mood Music
2012-06-13 00:26:00 my brother’s mortgage paperwork and my sister’s laptop’s fans

Bear in mind that I’m self-inflictedly deprived of my lovely better half and my preferred chemical relaxant and I’m currently in a mac-free zone, having knackered the backlight in my TiBook and not having an adaptor to attach its video output (DVI) to any of the monitors here (all VGA).

Much tweeting helped.

This morning I started by downloading from my Crashplan backup the records I keep for my sister’s finances, followed by updating them: logging into her bank and 4 ISA providers (and a convoluted phonecall to one of them) to update things to prepare for a meeting with her bank tomorrow. (Amongst other things, there’s a matter of them explaining why a withdrawal of £90 has occurred without it being recorded in her passbook.) That took an hour.

Then we scanned (I keep electronic copies of as much as possible) the documentation that had come her way since my last visit but which our dad hadn’t had time to scan and email to me: he has his hands full a lot of the time looking after our mum. For the record, it’s bloody amazing how this 84-year-old bloke just keeps going – so stoic it’s a lesson I should learn! (There was a preparation stage: referring to Crashplan to see what I had and hadn’t received.) Sic transit another hour.

We just had time to file stuff before sister had to go to to her session as an Oxfam volunteer. (She does this on Mondays and Tuesdays. The rest of her week revolves around working at a supermarket about 12 miles from here. This is not without problems: the busses can’t be relied upon to get her there in time for 8am shifts so dad’s day starts at 6am in order for him to be ready to jump into the car and take her.)

I’d hoped then to be on the trail of the missing megabytes (sister’s slaptop has only 5GB of stuff in user areas, plus the usual Windows and app stuff – yet the 134GB hard disk is near full) and to even think about doing some work. However, my parents then returned from the doctor (mum has a pressure sore that needs to be dressed daily) and said that their next thing was a visit to the hospital in connection with the hip that was broken over a year ago and is still far from healed, giving mum lots of pain (in addition to arthritic pain almost everywhere else). I enquired if I was needed. Worcester’s hospital has a drop-off zone: we’d need to stop there, load mum into a wheelchair and then get her to the appointment while dad looked for somewhere to park.

However, first I needed to post something: hence this mad dash to a post-office. I’m quite please I coaxed Lev up to 17mph on the flat and averaged 15mph. Then off to the hospital to attempt to be there 15 minutes early. Some tweets describe what happened:

  1. Just now at Royal Hospital, Worcester where mum has appointment. It takes 2 attendants: dad to park car while I wheel mum from drop-off…
  2. … Mum at appt, dad still looking for parking space. People parked, reading newspapers in drop-off area. Hard for ambulances to drop off…
  3. …let alone others. Have photoed malparked wankers, will email hospital authorities.

I think mum was in her appointment for 30 minutes while dad was circling the hospital looking for a legal parking space. He spoke to some security people – I think they made some effort to sort the situation.

Some emails to my lovely lady describe the next disaster:

I got a cup of tea while dad was accompanying mum in the x-ray room. Dad and mum emerged, so I left my tea with them while I went to fetch dad a coffee. I returned to find dad was wearing my tea on the arse of his trousers: he’d sat down on it.

Dad and I took mum on to another stage, then I returned to the waiting-room to look after his coffee. I sat down, only to find I’d sat on the chair into which dad had knocked my tea. It had been absorbed into the chair’s sponge, so when I sat down **my** arse got wet. I have a wet arse, no clean trousers within 350 miles and no tea!

My lady offered to courier me some trousers but what I’d said wasn’t strictly true: I had two pairs of cycle-tights in the house. Also

No worries: Excuse to wear bike shorts around house 🙂

Later, back at the car:

Dad: do you want a mint?
Me: (mock pointedly). No, I want a cup of tea.
Dad: Then you can kiss my arse!
All: General laughter

This had been preceded by me having to work hard to explain that the best way to get mum to the car was for me to push her there: bringing the car back to the drop-off point would take ages and block the way for other folk arriving. Had it just been dad and mum, bringing the car to her would have made sense but when there’s a 90% able-bodied Bruce-chimp about, why not use him?

Next, another cycle-spin to relieve stress. (There’s a lot of mal-interactions here due to deafness I’m missing out.)

Back at the house, cooking potato curry with sister. She cuts herself on a lid from a tin of tomatoes. I’m steering a narrow line between explaining 3 times that bhuna-style curries require a lot of slowly caramelised onions and having flavour without heat and trying to time it to fit with brother’s attempts to sort battery on mother’s car. Anyway, folk are duly fed, brother paying me the great compliment of having seconds. He’s been suspicious of my cooking since I tried to feed him ‘deep-fried crispy flip-flop’ (i.e. tofu).

Next, back to sister’s laptop to download more stuff needed for tomorrow and to check that the draft of her tax credits claim I’d done while at the hospital. Then off with brother to see a house he’s thinking of buying and to take drinks-cans to Tescos where they can be recycled for clubcard points. Recycling machine non-functional, so we drove 8 miles for sod-all. (We dumped the cans in the normal recycling bin outside the house to avoid conversation about having failed to recycle, how bad things in Worcester are, etc.)

Then lovely chat with lovely lady, this blog and soon (I hope) to sleep. Tomorrow:

  • finish tax credits claim
  • do sister’s  tax return
  • start dad’s tax return
  • meet sister in town for lunch and then meeting with her bank
  • show sister that she’s not lost emails, she’s just hidden an email folder by clicking its enclosing folder’s disclosure triangle
  • maybe finish dad’s tax return
  • sort a stocks and shares ISA for sister
  • maybe do some research work

Feeling fairly shite: mother’s constant pain and ailments wrench my emotions. I don’t handle emotions very well and just throw myself into activity to try to attenuate them.

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