Another life.

After a spell of really warm weather, then some torrential rain, we are back to the great greyness and it is cold. Cold enough to tweak the central heating on which comes as a bit of a shock three-quarters of the way through June.

It doesn’t help with dieting either; I was enjoying the barbecued meals with lots of salads and vegetable kebabs which are spot on for a low carb diet. Now I find my mind lingerering, be it briefly, on more wintry casseroles and soups but no, I will not succumb to these thoughts and tonight it is a warm salad which I suppose is a bit of a compromise. I have now lost 30lbs, another 6 lbs off will put me about halfway to my target which I am hoping to reach before my 76th birthday.

My cousin and his wife came down from Scotland for a few days last week and although I was a bit concerned about how I would manage, especially as with so many of our friends and relatives we have developed a culture of ‘wining and dining’ but it was fine and I even lost some weight. The G&T’s were definitely off the menu replaced with fizzy water with a slice of lime and lemon.

But the recent visits of relatives and our children with their families has all been a challenge, be it a lovely one, to not slip into old habits and so far, so good.

I really do feel that I am finally throwing away the shackles that have seriously blighted not only my life but the life of the LSO. It is two years since the AP went into the care home and it has taken all that time to get my ducks in a row. I still speak to her every week and sort her affairs out but in truth lockdown has done us a favour because at the moment we don’t have to see her, well only infrequently, which is giving me the time I need to mentally and physically heal.

Under Pressure.

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It’s difficult to explain the feeling of being under pressure. Something like a feeling of having your heart squeezed combined with being surrounded by an unseen fog. It feels like you can’t breath properly, you can of course because it is all in the mind. The AP continues to sail on like a galleon oblivious to the hurt and chaos left behind in her wake.

Not only have I a long suffering husband but I now have a long suffering friend who thankfully is a good friend and understands the problems because she also has a difficult AP of her own. She arrived on Monday and has been a breath of fresh air.

A horde of family descended on us last Wednesday which was really enjoyable and ten of us had a very chatty, noisy lunch out but the AP had to try and assert herself by as usual, being unpleasant to me. No, I hadn’t done what I was accused of but still had to take the flack. It did nothing to aid my enjoyment of lunch and if it hadn’t been for the pleasantness of the family, my stoic friend and the laughter it would have been unbearable.

The AP is still implying to all and sundry that I have as she puts it, ‘squeezed in another week’ of her staying with my cousin in Scotland. The extra week was suggested by my cousin and we have gratefully accepted his kindness. I really wouldn’t dream of asking him to have her longer than the usual three weeks but he, God Bless him understands instinctively how difficult things are for us. Given the year we have had both of us are really in need of a decent break. So why can’t the AP just accept the situation with grace instead of harping on and making us feel so guilty.

It is a hugely frustrating situation. A friend asked me the other day if we had expected her to live this length of time when she came to live with us and yes, we had hoped she would enjoy a hundredth birthday and felt there was every chance of it. No, we didn’t resent the situation in the very beginning but what we did not expect was that her real personality would be so different from the person we thought she was or that she would become so self centred and lacking in empathy. It brings up the question of course which is ‘do we really ever know our parents?’ In our/my case obviously not.

Eighteen days to go.