An ominous title but not a philosophical one. I found myself inexplicably humming the ‘Galaxy Song’ from the Monty Python film ‘The Meaning of Life’ . Goodness knows where that came from but I seem to remember that the opening verse was “Whenever life gets you down and things seem hard or tough, And people are stupid, obnoxious or daft, And you feel you have had quite enough.” The rest apart from the end is lost somewhere in my memory banks except something about the Earth evolving and revolving at 9oo miles an hour. That trips easily off the tongue.
You have to be of a certain age to recollect those hysterically funny films produced by the hugely talented Monty Python team and now we have at least twelve weeks of social distancing the LSO and myself might well download them to watch again along with a comforting glass or two of a fine wine of course. This is certainly a time when spirits need lifting and humour does just that.
I also seem to remember that Mr Creosote was in that film too. I think my sub- conscience is telling me something and you don’t have to have an exceptionally high IQ to know what that is; the danger of being trapped indoors and bored is the inevitable attraction of comfort food and overeating and that is something to be avoided. It’s just all too easy to snack on things that make you feel good and these always seem to be sweet or fatty snacks, never a nice light stick of celery or some carrot batons and a dip. No it’s the shortbread biscuit with the coffee, yum, the bag of crisps that is just at hand, that piece of homemade cake, the fine handmade chocolate, even more yummy and lo and behold another pound in weight on, followed by cries of where did that come from!
So definitely a warning and not just to the curious, beware the handy snacks!
Finally the last bit of the song. ” So remember when you’re feeling very small and insecure, How amazingly unlikely is your birth, And pray there’s intelligent life somewhere out in space, ‘Cause there’s bugger all down here on Earth!” There’s certainly a lack of toilet rolls, kitchen rolls, tissues, tinned food and flour to name but a few!
This last astonishing session with the AP has taken an emotional toll both on the LSO and myself. I have just spent a day with my own thoughts because the LSO has had a rare few hours away fishing with a friend, something he doesn’t do enough of these days.
There was a time pre AP time when we were both hugely busy and happily doing things and it isn’t important what these ‘things’ were, it was just the sheer pleasure of being retired and finally after a lifetime of working being able to use the time available to do what we wanted. In reality we still have that time but the constant battling with the selfishness, changeability and malevolence of the AP has taken away the joy we both had in life itself.
We feel trapped in our lovely home and have to battle with ourselves to do anything at all. I found myself today struggling to just prepare lunch. I used to love cooking and experimenting with lots of flavours, baking and bread making, pickling and jam making were a regular occurrence but now the will is vanishing and instead is being replaced with a sense of futility and frustration. The AP’s constant wittering has ground us down both physically and emotionally. I teeter on the edge of reason most days.
This whole situation is having a devastating effect on my need to lose weight and in fact I have put some pounds back on and am trying desperately to find a way back to my former determination. I cannot afford to go back to being diabetic but that will happen if I cannot reverse this situation. Another rather frightening aspect of this stress, because it certainly is very stressful looking after the AP, is that the LSO and myself use alcohol as an anaesthetic. We don’t drink to excess but do tend to drink each evening to soften the feeling of emotional distress we are permanently in and of course, that is another reason for the steady weight gain.
It is a fact that when you lose the will to live and you merely exist, you lose the will to overcome obstacles. It is simpler to have another glass of wine and relax; simpler but extremely dangerous and we need to pull back from this particular precipice sooner rather than later.
On than very serious note I will take another sip of my rhubarb and apple gin and contemplate starting a new regime tomorrow. It’s bit like giving up any addiction, you just have to keep on giving up not giving in.
It is eleven days since I wrote a blog and what have I done in that time. I guess nothing much of great interest. I called my blog ‘Shrinking Horizons’ when I began writing but really I should change it to ‘Shrunken Horizons’. The LSO and I live in this slightly surreal world and despite us trying our hardest to not become bored with our extremely limited existence, every now and then we are overwhelmed by a sense of futility. We really go nowhere and it’s sad to say that even a trip together to the bottle bank is a novelty. The picture on this blog says it all really, the door to nowhere, no glass, no knocker, no number. Its actually in the side of a barn, totally random.
The AP is becoming increasingly mentally challenging as she cannot recall anything she is told, only remembering when her bank statement is due or the payment of her tenant’s rent. She never seems to understand what is said to her either by us or anyone else. Tales become garbled and nonsensical and information relayed by others is mostly wrong.
Here we are, both in our early seventies and the AP shows no sign of flagging physically but I guess when you have nothing to do except cope with yourself it’s easy. If anyone is flagging it is us because as well as coping with ourselves we shop for her, wash clothes, towels, bedding changing everything as well as cooking, cleaning, managing her affairs, making her appointments then ferrying her backwards and forwards to them. It is exhausting both mentally and physically and is taking it’s toll on both of us. We are aware of time passing and the fact that we are not free to do what we want, when we want to.
I do wonder if the AP actually considers or even realises, how having her living with us has brought our lives to a standstill. If she does, does she care? I somehow doubt it because she has become totally wrapped up in herself and her levels of empathy and understanding have deteriorated. The AP has no idea what we do in the day tending to sit in her room or go to the summerhouse and assumes that we sit watching television. How she imagines everything gets done I don’t know.
We can never go far without her and truth be told we really don’t want to take her with us either. Conversation is becoming impossible to the point of irritation, with us becoming as confused as the AP as we try to make sense of what she is saying. If she was a pleasanter person I would feel some sympathy but the nastiness is always just under the surface waiting to break out.
We do have a break coming up thank goodness but I am trying so hard not to wish the time away. The AP is doing that for us very effectively. Am I bitter about the decision we made? I regret it but no, I am not bitter, just resigned to it all.