Keep on smiling.

There is no doubt that laughter is the best medicine and some hysterically funny jokes, videos and stories have emerged from this lockdown. They certainly take the mind off the seriousness of what is happening here and around the world.

We try not to watch too much news on TV but inevitably the late afternoon briefing has become compulsive viewing which is no doubt the same for many thousands of people. The AP is tucked up safely in the Care Home and can’t seem to get a handle on this pandemic and according to her no-one is taking it seriously anyway. When I spoke to her this week she asked why had I not been to see her so I explained again that no visitors are allowed. This elicited the response that she had heard me outside in the corridor on several occasions recently and she gets quite distressed and upset when I don’t go to see her. I explained that one of the Care Assistants must have a similar voice because I haven’t been to see her for over three weeks because of the lockdown.

The whole situation left me feeling a little bemused and then of course I realised that she was just reverting to type and it was the old ‘trying to control me’ bullying technique coming into play. Had I really forgotten the dreadful years the LSO and I suffered looking after her? Her utter determination to control and manipulate us whilst telling everyone how wonderful we were. No, I guess that will take many years and it may be that I will never have fond memories of my mother but lately has been easier in that we cannot visit so that dread has gone. Mind you it isn’t something to be thankful for since it is because of the coronavirus that I feel the way I do which is ironic to say the least.

It is interesting to note that for the LSO and myself being tied to the house is not too much of a problem. We had up until last August been forced to socially distance for over five years, unable to go anywhere or do anything for most of that time. So although we had begun to really enjoy our freedom, we equally have been able to settle back into a routine that had been a habit but at least we don’t have the AP causing us grief. She really was a huge black cloud hanging over us, definitely a large bat in the attic.

I am thoroughly enjoying cooking and baking again and have managed a couple of inches of my sweater while the LSO has produced some wonderful lino prints which is good to see again. The AP slowly ground us down, knocking any sense of creativity or love of life out of both of us as we fought to survive her vindictive and malevolent nature. This was something we never saw at all until she came to live with us but bit by bit our love and appreciation of life is returning along with a sense of humour which has always been a huge part of our relationship.

Although I am not lighter I feel lighter but just have to endeavour not to end up being rolled sideways out of the house when some form of normality eventually returns.

A muffled world.

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I woke up the other night to find myself wide-awake. It was perfectly quiet apart from the even breathing of the LSO and the gentle swishing noise of the vaporiser. I had been dreaming about bubbles and suspect that it had been triggered by the comment made earlier in the day by a friend who has had an operation which has kept her housebound now for several weeks. She described her existence as living in a bubble and I thought, yes, welcome to my world but while I lay awake I realised my life is slightly different, it is more like being behind a semi transparent, self healing film.

Everything outside is a bit muffled but every now and then something causes a tear in the surface and noise bursts through in the form of a visit or a telephone call. These occasions are hugely welcome and help us to maintain our sanity but they also highlight how our lives have changed since the AP came to live with us. It’s a fact that although it is not the AP’s fault she continually puts pressure on us and we cannot relax and just be ourselves. We can’t even be a bit miserable because that is questioned and with the best will in the world we all have our down moments. Yesterday was a case in point, we were heading out to a friend’s birthday dinner party when the AP asked why we were so miserable. We weren’t miserable just busy sorting everything out, making sure everything was locked, putting dogs in their right spaces, putting lights on, as you do. What the AP forgets is that all she has to do is get ready whilst we have everything else to sort out including ourselves. The evening turned out to be very pleasant and it made a change to be with different people, chatting and laughing.

No moods are helped by the continuing grey damp days. I am sure everyone will welcome Spring as this has been a particularly long, dismal and cold winter. In the meantime we have twenty-five days to go to have a month of no pressure. Well not entirely pressure free because we are putting in a new water tank and boiler and that week will create another set of problems but at least we can solve them without any interruptions from the AP and her multitude of appointments.