Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Kooky Out and Wiggy Me

Great news. Couldn't find Kooky this morning, then heard a plaintive mew from outside. He had got out through the catflap - though, as yet, too timid to come back in the same way. I am hoping he will now learn these new skills and have more freedom when I am away or out of the house.

Good fun last night. Went to Selfridges with Julian and managed to purchase two wigs: one streaked blonde and the other a deep reddish colour, almost matching the dress I was wearing and both in a bob style, the blonde with one side longer and the red with a slight fringe. Trying the wigs on made me realise how thin my hair has become since I stopped taking HRT. Years ago, I took my mother-in-law to try some wigs, but none of them looked OK. I think if you have a thin face they tend to look very fake because the hair seems too thick unless they are specially made. Fortunately my worst problem was looking like Benny Hill until we had brushed them into order. A fat face can be quite handy sometimes. I definitely felt like Amy Lame in the dark one with my black glasses. I shall take a couple of snaps sometime. Julian took some last night to show Dorothy. I hope they had a good giggle.

Scary Squirrel and Clarissa's Indian

Heard a strange sound - kind of huffing squawk if that makes sense, opened the window and there was a squirrel on the fence making the noise and staring at something in the garden. I went down and there was poor Kooky, cowering behind a pot, afraid to move.

What it is to have a terrorist squirrel in one's garden.

Leaflet publicising the Ivory Arch Indian Restaurant just dropped through my doorway. 'Indian Cuisine cooked by award-winning chefs' above pictures of an Asian gentleman with both 'Michelin Starred Chef John Roberts' and 'TV Chef Clarissa Dickson Wright'I had no idea Clarissa Dickson Wright cooked a mean Indian meal. Perhaps the Walworth Road is going up in the world? Somehow it is quite hard to imagine Clarissa sweating over a hot stove at Elephant & Castle.

Tuesday, 29 September 2009


Rather tired this morning but soldiered on. Drafted some minutes and wrote a reference which, if I say so myself, was rather good.

Suddenly realised that no quote had arrived from the caterers, so spent most of the afternoon whingeing at them but finally an email arrived. Also sorted out a few other bits and pieces, then decided to leave a bit early and stay away until next Tuesday before any other horrible things happened. Since I still have fifteen days leave to use up, that will be handy. At least things have brightened up a bit this week.

Kooky has taken to sitting in the front window. This morning he whined pitifully through the window at me when I tried to slink off to work.

Ordered some more flowers and chocs today. Later they rang and offered to add a bottle of champagne to the next order free! Sounds like a bargain!

Sunday, 27 September 2009

Monday Morning

A worky day today. Not looking forward to it at all. Here's a snap of Lye Torng, opposite the end of my road. It's the white building on the left beyond the bright green trees.

Sunday Evening

Watched lots of Come Dines.

For pudding, poured a ristretto over vanilla ice cream. Mmmmm. Must stop buying ice cream.

Kooky Monster

Kooky managed to wake me up this morning by rushing around the house, leaping up and down on the furniture, dashing about on the hard floors etc, like a whirlwind.

It is his latest waking technique.

- and home again!

over the crossing turning left -

The hedging on the right has, I think, been put there by the Residents Association. It is very good, consisting among other things, of bay and lavender, very fragrant to walk past, and is quite attractive.

This five minute walk takes me about twenty minutes, stopping a couple of times to get my breath, particularly while coming up the ramp. When I moved here eighteen years ago it really was a five minute walk. In fact, for someone young and fit it takes about twenty minutes to walk into the centre of London from here.

to the crossing -

The Salvation Army place has been there for ages, but the aggressive signage and colours are fairly recent.

- past the graffiti container

I last commented on this when there was only one graffiti ?graffito on it. Now there are plenty more.

Finally Made It

- nearly there -

coming up the ramp

- coming out and turning right

The tiles on the sides were designed by someone at the College of Printing years ago apparently. They are very bright and look a bit like pixels. There was a bomb scare a few years ago when they blew up a bag which had been left on the ramp. I don't know whether there was an actual bomb in it, but I did walk past it quite gingerly once or twice.

light at the end

Going through

This tunnel is quite low and often smells of pee. It is slightly alarming, despite the artwork attempts on the side walls. One tends to quicken one's pace going through here.

Here comes the tunnel..

Going towards the tunnel

walking home from the shopping centre

-just coming out by the roundabout. This is the main entrance at the front. The whole place will eventually be pulled down. It was apparently the first indoor shopping centre in England.

my studio

Sunday Morning

Here's a rather embarrassing little offering - a Spanish landscape with mountains in the background mainly done with enormous brushes to keep it rough - hardly necessary in my case. Became somewhat carried away with colour etc. Oh well.

On a brighter note, Nibby has sold eight more paintings including a large one for £1000. This is wonderful news, and I hope this success continues as I am sure it will.

Had a fry-up this morning: crispy bacon, tomato, egg and mushrooms on toast with a cup of Lapsang. Followed later by a double espresso poured into half a mug of warm milk, coffee chosen was Ristretto, nice and strong. Excellent.

Saturday, 26 September 2009

Friday Night and Saturday Morning

My brother had sent me a very funny email - lots of snaps with the title 'I fixed it' - each item showing a ridiculously appalling 'repair' - which I forwarded to a few people. Romy replied from somewhere in Spain. Unfortunately she has a cold, which I hope the sunny weather will improve rapidly. I then had a call from Pierre in Canada who had been very amused by the email.

I hope Nibby is selling a lot of paintings - it is the official opening today.

No particular plans for today unless I get the urge to paint: four little canvases await me, though I have been uninspired recently. Watching the last episode of The Choir with Gareth Malone has cheered me up somewhat.

I really am falling to bits physically: though the hip is improving slightly, I still have rather uncomfortable nights, and, probably caused by having to drag myself about, I seem to have some kind of RSI in the right hand, which I am now trying to rest a little. Old age eh? I suppose I am at least conforming to expectation that old people whinge on about their health all the time. Wouldn't do to be too chirpy now, would it?

Friday, 25 September 2009

Friday Morning

Dorothy around for a shower this morning, since there is yet another power cut in the London Bridge area. I am wondering if anyone will go into the office today. The door has an electric blind, which presumably won't open. I do hope all is working by Monday since I have a meeting then.

Today I have to take a dress and my new mac to be altered. Slept rather better last night. Email from Nibby - it had taken her three hours (normally two) to drive to Sydney and she spent all day hanging her exhibition, only to get a parking fine. But she sold a painting before the start of the exhibition, which was good. I do hope she sells plenty of stuff, she is so talented and deserves success. She said she is coming over in May next year and will stay with me for a couple of days. Something to look forward to. Poor Stephen didn't manage to get up here - had to return to Belgium - but I was so glad to hear that he is doing a Master's in music at last.

Thursday, 24 September 2009


Same pain in the night but only had to get up twice during the night, so less disturbance. Because of this I also slept better.

A resignation arrived in the post today dated 18th but not posted until several days later. Hmmm... I do hope things will now calm down a bit and a normal service can be resumed. Sent out the invites for a musical lunch in October, with a couple of singers which Romy found. We are having a proper lunch to test out yet another new caterer, so hope they come up with the goods. All we have to do is find a few more raffle prizes. Will send out the Turkey and Tinsel break invitations next week. Romy is going to try and get some rather more able-bodied helpers since there are two coachloads of people. I will see if I can get a feeder for the Kookster in case my feeble services are required. Then all we have to do is organise a Christmas shopping trip or two and we have the theatre in early December. The next challenge is the New year party, before we are into next years' round of events.

Julian is coming to Selfridge's with me on Wednesday to have a look at the Vidal Sassoon wigs, which should be amusing.

Wednesday, 23 September 2009


My upstairs neighbour has accepted an offer for £385k on his flat, subject to survey etc. Of course he hasn't seen a house he can afford so it could all be a bit slow. No further poisonous emails, but my chairman has been very upset by this unpleasantness.

Did not arrive home until 6.45pm today. Kooky was sitting in the window, waiting for me. He mewed pitifully until I gave him a small tin of catfood.

Dreading going to bed tonight, since last night was total agony. We shall see.

Oh dear, the chairman rang at 9.15 tonight for a chat. He rang after 10 last night. This will have to stop. I missed most of Midsomer Murders and my hip suddenly started hurting badly. I need to go to bed at about 8pm, but then I can't sleep anyway.

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Overnight Agony

I don't quite know what has happened. I got up from the sofa to go to bed and had an absolutely agonising pain in the left hip and buttock. Such that I let out a yell and fell back again. Eventually I managed to get up and creep down to bed, only to spend the whole night in pain. I had to get up three times to go to the loo, and each time was torture. The most comfortable position is to sit in an upright chair. I am hoping that I will be OK because this is not the best time to go off sick.

I had gone to bed at around nine, and was just managing to drift off occasionally through the pain when my chairman rang and woke me about yet another unpleasant email addressed to him this time, but of course, copied to all trustees. I do hope that none of them respond to this.

Monday, 21 September 2009

Miss Piggy, Chat with Dorian and New Mac

Back to work, but no poison post. Pottered about and a journal of events up to the current situation. Will be back properly tomorrow. Definitely over-eating through neurosis about events. Life is so unfair. If only I were one of those people who cannot eat at all when worried - then I could be thin!

Cut back a few bits in the garden as it was a lovely day and had an afternoon rest, before emptying the dishwasher and refilling it. Must do some more washing.

Madeleine sent an email asking about my workplace disaster. Had a long chat with Dorian this morning. I have purchased a black mac, to add to my navy one so will have at least one smart one this winter.

Sunday, 20 September 2009

Sunday Afternoon and Evening

In his autobiography I see that the 'society' hanger-on Nicky Haslam claims to have shagged both Anthony Armstrong-Jones and Roddy Llewellyn, according to a review in the Sunday Times. Dear me.

Matthew popped down to collect all the large pot plants he had left in my garden. They had done very well. He has received quite a decent offer for his flat and he may sell if he can get a couple of thousand more, so things are hopeful. Apparently the possible buyer is a doctor - not sure if GP or hospital. Would be handy if the quack was a geriatric specialist!

I shall go in to work for a bit tomorrow to see if there is any more dreary email.


Nibby not at home, which was a pity. I could have done with a chat. Went to Elephant & Castle to pick up a paper from WH Smith. A lot of activity and noises inside the old Woolworths. I chatted with the girl in Smiths about how long it would be before they pulled the shopping centre down. She was surprised that someone might be opening something next door. I said I had lived here for 17 years, and they were going to demolish it when I came. I added that if they turned the whole thing into a building site, maybe I wouldn't be too sorry to pop my clogs, rather than live in the middle of it, which made her giggle.

Ocado arrived early, so it was a good thing that I was at home. I do feel rather better generally today but will definitely go to the office for a bit tomorrow. I can't concentrate well enough to start another painting, but at least I have four little primed canvases ready for when I do feel up to it.

Had another delicious cappucino from my new machine this morning. It really is very good coffee. I have purchased about a year's supply of pods for it. Lovely and sunny outside today, which is good and probably helps to cheer me up.

Saturday, 19 September 2009

Saturday Afternoon

Spent the morning at work, tidying a bit and getting stuff in order. Have just ordered groceries to arrive tomorrow from Ocado - Sunday is a surprisingly popular day for deliveries. Amazing. Means I am not the only saddo hanging around the house on Sunday with nothing happening.

Primed four small canvases in red, like Nibby. I don't suppose my red is very good as it is not her 'Matisse something or other' and is acrylic anyway.

Dorian is another possible ex-friend. He appears to have fallen out with me because I have done what is, after all, my job. I am not quite sure what is going on there at all. Oh well. Never mind, I was going to treat him to a good meal at Simpson's or somewhere nice, so it will save me a few bob anyway.

Hmmm, he's back. He must have read this and fancy a decent meal out. I have had a very long chat and I think he can now see my point of view, so cautiously, so long as he behaves himself, he will be reinstated as a current friend and we can go out for a jolly.

No more vileness today so far, let's hope it continues. I do hope Romy has survived the trip with the punters and that it was OK.

Worky Weekend

Romy off with the punters today with some help from one of the more active trustees and a wheelchair pusher, employed for the day. I do hope that they all have a great time - they did last year on the same jaunt.

I shall go into the office to monitor the emails (yet another day's overtime) and will take advantage of this to have a further tidy of my filing system which has been greatly improved. I think Romy and I need to make a visit to IKEA or somewhere to purchase some large boxes for storage of our 'archive' files, or there may be a need to find a storage space for some of the very old stuff. We shall see.

Friday, 18 September 2009

Beginning of Horrible Weekend

Well, here she is, Her Maj. My hand was wobbly with stress when taking the snap.

A very supportive email from Romy early this morning. Kooky has been funny, rolling onto his back and throwing himself from side to side, in between yawning widely and a bit of desultory cleaning. I gave him a small tin of catfood earlier, and will give him a little more later.

Dark Days and Night Depression

Oh dear. I have awoken at 4.30am feeling very depressed. Having done my job to the best of my abilities, I am now being harassed and bullied by some trustees. Things have gone from bad to worse, and continue to deteriorate hourly, it seems.

Dorothy has helped me, Romy has been supportive, and Kooky has allowed me to de-stress a bit by stroking him . Even the Queen has inadvertently helped me a bit too, since my latest painting of her, done in between all the drama, has been helping me de-stress.

I have been connected with my workplace since 1997, when I became a trustee, and have been running the organisation successfully for the past five years. Apart from the current trouble with trustees, from the operational point of view, things have never been better, as the beneficiaries frequently testify.

The strong temptation is to leave, as I really do not need the pressure. The problem with that is that it makes me look as though I am backing down and leaving under a cloud because I am in the wrong, which is certainly not the case. I feel ill enough to justify taking sick leave to try and de-stress, but it will give the same negative impression. Since blatant lies have been told about me I am inclined to seek legal help. It is a difficult decision.

Oh well, I think I shall just have to plod on and try and be brave, despite being a bit of a natural coward. Lots of people I have heard about recently are being harassed at work - a friend of mine who is a senior nurse is being pressured to retire early as they could employ someone younger more cheaply, and these kind of bullying tactics seem more and more widespread in the workplace. Someone else close to me is also suffering due to a power struggle from above in the office - office politics eh? So at least I know I am only one of many in this unenviable situation, nevertheless I absolutely shall feel sorry for myself, so there!

I really am a bit fed up.

More Drama

on the workfront, the story runs and runs!

I have achieved everything today apart from doing some washing and painting. A bit tired after running around a lot.

Oh dear, they are going quite mad, I am afraid. I may have to go and lie down.

It has become even worse - not sure the last email wasn't libellous. I certainly feel stressed and bullied. Immediate retirement beckons!

Thursday, 17 September 2009

Thursday Evening

Things have perked up a bit - sorted out masses of filing and stuff so feeling good. Romy very supportive as usual. Collecting altered clothes, banking cheques and putting paintings in for framing plus collecting those framed, plus sorting out winter clothes and changing bedding this weekend. Hope I will have time to do some painting - found a good image of the queen on the telly which I shall attempt - but it will end up looking deeply unflattering and vile - a bit like that snap of her that recently won a photo portrait award - complete with every line and vein lit up by a flash camera in a completely unnatural way - perfectly awful imho.

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Dreary Work, Tarty Kooky and New Caviar

Things rather tiresome at work, but purchased a lovely little flower painting by John Whitlock Codner who used to teach at my college many years ago. I seem to be quite keen on still lifes and sea views. Can't wait to get the place decorated and get some of them on the walls. If I am too impatient I may replace some things already on the walls, just to get a frequent look at my new paintings.

Kooky is being tarty tonight again. He really is quite funny.

I have been reading about a new caviar company called Mottra where they don't kill the sturgeon to harvest the caviar. Seems that the caviar are kept in very good tanks at specific temperatures etc, and when the caviar is ready it is kind of massaged out, after which the fish goes back in the tank for another year etc. They say that the caviar gets better as the fish gets older. It is sold at Selfridges and Waitrose and is cheaper than other caviar. May try some when I am feeling rich.

Monday, 14 September 2009

Party People

Painted this morning. A bit of fun.

Queen Mum

Painted this yesterday. 'Nuff said. I shall have another bash at it some time. I blame the artificial light. Of course it could not possibly be my crap painting.

Sunday, 13 September 2009

Purchasing Paintings

The hair survived. Must put much less oil on it in future, but will persist with the stuff since it cost a lot, and my head has been itching a bit less today.

Just purchased a painting by Angela Burfoot. A still life of flowers in a vase. She sounds to have lived an interesting life. I have been told off by Julian for buying the painting of an old woman in overall, sitting peeling an apple, and thinks I should buy prettier things, though Julian admits the old woman was a good painting. I hope the Angela Burfoot still life will meet the case. There are a couple of paintings I need to clean before having them framed. Must buy some cotton wool balls tomorrow. Eventually I shall have my bedroom and the hall painted, before arranging and hanging my new purchases. These are rather eclectic, but there are recognisable groups emerging: a few seascapes, both watercolour and oil; a few still lifes of flowers; and the old lady portrait and a still life of fruit and vegetables on newspaper - these last two good 'kitchen' paintings. In addition I have a couple of landscapes and some slightly dodgy Australian paintings on board which I need to decide about whether to frame or leave for a bit and think about them. Also my Ken Moroney still life of which I am very fond.

Sunday Morning Scare

Dear me - purchased some special oil and shampoo for psoriasis on the internet. I put the oil on (very oily) and left it for about an hour, then attempted to shampoo it off with the special shampoo. My hair felt like a crusty bird's nest and went into a horrible clump, so put more shampoo on to separate it and showered vigorously before putting masses of ordinary conditioner on, which made it slightly better. I used a brush through it and have left to dry. I hope it is OK. A bit frightening - I thought it was going to drop out! It is called M-Folia. Maybe I put too much oil on - it was very messy stuff. Oh well, wigs next!

Saturday, 12 September 2009

Terrible Twosome

All my post came today apart from some snaps. Had a bash at painting a portrait of my first husband and me from a snap taken by a theatrical photographer in 1963. I look kind of matronly, and my ex looks very po-faced.

Friday, 11 September 2009

Kooky, Painting the Past, Mavis and Wigs

I was awakened at 6am as usual by the monster, whingeing for food/escape/whatever. I got up and am pottering about to hopefully delay him a bit. He has abandoned the constant whingeing. He started doing some stir-crazy rushing about for a while, and is now playing the tart, rolling around on his back. An arch manipulator. Wonder what he will try next.

In an Alzheimer's way, I may well have mentioned this before, but painting dead relatives and friends does so much remind me of them, with all the details of their faces, that I almost feel they are back with me again. It is a sad, but good feeling, and sometimes, slightly uncanny. Almost as though the act of painting them is bringing them back in a way.

I am feeding Mavis, my neighbours cat, for the weekend. Poor little Mavis has become fed up with all the people viewing the flat since it is for sale, and my neighbour tells me she has started 'spotting' whatever that is. She is a dear little thing, absolutely tiny like a large kitten, but apparently quite elderly.

Julian came around last night to play with Kooky. Julian suggested I buy some wigs from Selfridges just to wear on special occasions, i.e. when dining out etc. I suppose. Julian says they have very good wigs. The idea is that I wear very different ones, so they are seen as 'fun wigs' rather than wigs to cover my hair with my awful scalp psoriasis which seems to get worse rather than better. I have just sent off for some more and different treatment for this meanwhile. I quite fancy the wig idea - it will take me back to the sixties, when everyone wore them.

More Flowers

It's quite sunny outside. Finished a rather over-vibrant vase of flowers. Studio still a bit of a tip from the flood.

Kooky is lying beside me, asleep as usual. Oops - just woke him up by stroking him.

I shall have to hang around until all the post has been delivered as I am having a couple of paintings redelivered, hopefully, though seeing the news, there appear to be letter and parcel mountains in offices all over the country.

Thursday, 10 September 2009

Thursday, and Friday Early Morning

Feeling better today. A chance of a temporary helper with the totally chaotic filing at the office. Will know next week, or it will have to be an agency person. Things vile as predicted last night but had some helpful advice this morning which may have saved a lot of cash.

Kooky so awkward. I shut him in this morning and came back early after doing the draft minutes and let him out again.

My internet was not working until now because of something the cleaner does every time she comes. Suddenly it is back again thank God.

It is Friday morning, 6.15am. Kooky has squawked at me continously since 5.45. I think he may want to go out. I am feeding Mavis from tonight, last feed Monday morning when my neighbour is back from his weekend break, so I shall have two mouths to feed this weekend. Bought a few more paintings which they always attempt to deliver when I am out, so expecting two or three deliveries today and tomorrow.

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Bath Story

Last time it was the overflow, this time it was the waste pipe connection to the bath. The plumber put lots of gluey stuff on it and tested it. I shall start showering from now, since that way, if it goes wrong again, less water will escape at one time. Studio an awful mess. Julian has pulled more soft furnishings away to dry. So much for being able to sit about and paint.

Horrible meeting tonight, and not very ready for it because of bath disaster. Kooky still refusing to use his cat door so pushed him out of it, then in, this morning. Even breakfast didn't lure him back in. He is now lying flat out on the floor, having gorged himself on cheap Kit-E-Kat, his preferred food.


has struck. Was painting a small vase of flowers last night and went in this morning on my way upstairs to have a look at it, then heard a dripping noise in the room. Water was dripping fast from the ceiling on to lots of small paintings, the sofa corner and the floor. Must be the bath drain leaking yet again. I have put towels all over the place, removed the paintings to hopefully dry out and called the plumber who is in the middle of fitting some gas pipes and can't come, probably until later on this afternoon. I shall go into work for a bit and await his call.

This is really awful, happening the day before a committee meeting when I have work to do - it will no doubt continue for the next few days while parts are purchased, etc. I hope the room dries out properly.

Monday, 7 September 2009


Ocado shopping arrived. I had rather inadvertently ordered a huge quantity of cooking apples and two punnets of blackberries. I cooked the apples and blackberries and put three lots in the freezer to make crumbles etc in the future. As I was peeling and coring the apples, it suddenly occurred to me in these hard times to boil all the peelings, cores etc. and make some apple juice. I did this and added a bit of sugar, then rubbed through a sieve, making a litre of delicious apple juice to put in the fridge. Tasted much better than the bought variety when I had a glass this morning.
I have done about six loads of washing, and am still tidying up and moving cases around today.

Dorothy and Julian back from Paris and came around to pet Kooky, who responded in a positive way. He is much more affectionate now. Seems that Dorothy was on a course - 'like being at school' - rather than pleasure-seeking. I think they did manage to go out for a dinner or two while there. Dorothy enjoyed a cup of coffee from the machine he bought me and was impressed by the quality of some of the i-photos I had sent off for - which he had also set up to order prints.

Sunday, 6 September 2009

And Here It Is

On googling him, I saw some of his other images, but this remains my favourite.


with lots of good stuff in it. Among which I found a painting or two by an Armenian artist called Martiros Sarian, one of which I particularly liked.

Another Find

at the car boot sale. A funny ceramic shoe with the legend: " A Present From Hunstanton" on it. Apparently made in Thuringia which sounds like somewhere from a fairy tale, but googled it and it is somewhere in Germany.

I also purchased a catalogue of works in the Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow, a continental silver card case and notepad, and a large collection of wooden spoons. Oh, and a Wedgewood type of green plate with a bunch of grapes and leaves on it in relief.

Queen Mother 100th Birthday Mug and Box

Couldn't resist these for £1 each at the boot fair at St. Peter's Church last Monday. I shall feel quite ladylike when I drink my Lapsang out of the mug. I may even extend my little finger, though I am assured this is quite vulgar. Not a good snap of it, but the Queen Mum looks very lovely in her pearls with a pretty flowered hat, all in delicate blues. I feel a painting coming on.

Saturday, 5 September 2009

Hotel and Gardens

A snap of the hotel from the gardens.

They have just acquired a pair of peacocks: Ginger and Fred. I assume the staff will expect to see some dancing at a later stage. They are being kept in a large pen until they are more familiar with the place, but no doubt they will eventually be strutting their stuff and freely roaming the grounds.

Home Sweet Home With Kooky

Steam train.

Reading my 'full and frank' previous post it does seem rather hectic, but in fact the holiday was a great success. The hotel is very good indeed, catering excellently for people with disabilities. The food was fine and the entertainment pretty good too, with a full programme of activities during the day and evening. Sailing, archery, decoupage, watercolour painting were all on offer, there was a giant chess set outside, also croquet, bowling green and mini golf. The gardens were lovely and there was an outside and inside pool and jacuzzi and beauty salon. As it is a little isolated for those with mobility problems we kept the coach with us so that the punters could have shopping and other trips, as being Londoners, they are very enthusiastic shoppers.

Kooky has been very affectionate and has learned to come in through the catflap, though not yet able to get out. We shall see. I am so pleased to be back with him again.

Friday, 4 September 2009

Back to Kooky Again

Lovely view from my hotel window.

Julian kindly found me a larger suitcase and brought it around, which was a help.

On the day, there were two latecomers and two who didn't turn up for the coach - seems they couldn't find a cab and decided to drive down, but caused some anxiety and delay in our departure. At a comfort stop on the way, a diabetic remembered leaving her needles at home, so I rang the GP who arranged to fax a prescription to the hotel. On arrival I cabbed it to the chemist while Romy reallocated rooms - usual hotel mistakes - mother and son put in a double rather than twin - people needing showers given baths and vice versa. The chemists said they would need the GP to send a signed prescription by post, but had the needles and after ringing the GP finally handed them over. I shot back to the hotel and found my room.

On the second day, someone else had left her drugs at home. Romy stayed at the hotel to sort out this problem which eventually took all morning, while I accompanied the others to Chichester for a shopping trip. At the end, someone's portable oxygen supply had run out. We hurried back to the hotel where she had a piped supply in the room.

On the third day we went into Southampton, and the starter motor for the coach broke, so our return was delayed for an hour, but generally people enjoyed the trip. A message was passed on our return that the oxygen patient had been taken to hospital, but sent back later to the hotel.

On Monday, we went to a car boot sale which was good and there were no mishaps there. Later on our return, we had a message that someone had been ill with gastrointestinal symptoms and had been confined to her room by the visiting doctor and given some medication.

Romy and I were contacted by the son of the previous patient, who had decided that despite being sent back to us by the hospital, his mother was really ill and had not eaten or drunk anything for 24 hours and was very breathless and confused. We decided on consultation with the London GP to call an ambulance. She was then admitted to hospital. We received regular progress reports from her son: she was likely to stay in and later be transferred to a London Hospital. Meanwhile Romy contacted a private ambulance company for a quote, just in case she was discharged locally, as we knew there was not enough portable oxygen to bring her back on the coach.

Wednesday passed without too much trouble - in the afternoon we had a very pleasant rail trip on the Watercress railway, with tea and scones on the train. It was a great adventure despite the rather dull weather, but it started raining heavily just as we got back into the coach. That evening, someone tripped over and hurt herself, but called a nurse who dealt with a bruise and was fine later.

Thursday was the last day - we went shopping in Portsmouth. It was a lovely day and some people went on a boat trip around the harbour, while we looked for bargains. I had decided to take our former Treasurer, who lived on the island, to dinner with his wife and Romy. He had given us dinner the previous year. It was good to see them again. We returned to the hotel at about 11pm and all was well.

Back again today. Kooky was fine, and I settled back in to do the washing and unpack. Apart from the few hours 'off' on Thursday evening, I estimate that I have worked about 13 hours a day. Romy has worked even longer since she joined in all the social events after 9pm in the evening, after I had wimped out and gone to bed. It will take me some time to recover.