A new year begins.

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But sadly the AP continues to sail onwards and the old ways and attitudes are still as prevalent now as they were last year. Someone asked during our New Year’s Day lunch if I had made any resolutions for the new year and my response was a most definite and resounding ‘no’.

There can be no point in any because nothing will change until we are no longer burdened with the task of looking after the AP and that despite her advanced years does not look imminent. It’s a really depressing thought but sadly the truth.

We decided two years ago that if we had to be trapped in our home at least we can make it a lovely place to live in so rather than save money we have planned a series of renovations. First off it was the complete and much needed redesigning and renewing of the kitchen, then we redecorated four of the bedrooms followed by the living room, that completed we are more than half way through the refit of the utility room. All is looking good and in April, when the AP goes to Scotland to stay with my cousin and his wife for a month, we are putting in a boiler house complete with new oil boiler, a water tank and a pump to have the pleasure of some water pressure and a decent shower. The month of May will bring the redecoration of the hall, landing and stairs although the carpet replacement will have to wait a while. All this is costing a great deal but it will be worth it.

The AP is somewhat bemused by our activity but doesn’t really want to know because she fears it may cost her some money. Although on the other hand, she is curious enough to want to know just how much we are spending on everything. We don’t feel it’s any of her business and equally we prefer not to have her financial input as we are then beholden and reminded, when it suits her, about any small amount she has given us. Once again the problem lies with how many times we are expected to say thank you, a word that has disappeared from her vocabulary. We decided some time ago that the best way to deal with her attitude is to remain fiercely independent and to do our own thing as much as we possibly can.

On that final note and despite my opening paragraph we WILL be going out on the odd evening or two and on our own so I guess I have made one resolution for this year.

What is the point?

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This is a question I find myself asking more and more these days. Today is my birthday and although at my age it is just another day I suppose I still would like it to be a little special. Well I have my wish, it has become special but not in a way I would have liked. The AP has upset the LSO and the whole situation is trivial but it highlights, once more the growing problem we have looking after the AP.

She asked the LSO to choose and buy a birthday card for her to give to me. This was done by the way, in her presence whilst we were all out on a day trip . Now, I don’t know about anyone else but I always choose cards to suit the person I am sending it to, conveying the right message I would hope. The LSO chose one he knew I would really like and showed the AP who wouldn’t have seen it clearly in the shop but will have pretended to see the image. She was duly given the card but once home it appears that the AP didn’t like the card chosen and told me today she thought it inappropriate and it wasn’t a reflection of her. It was a beautiful painting of a hare and I love hares. What did I get instead, a glittery, sugary Christmas card with a wreath as the illustration, in fact the same card as I got last year. Does it matter that that is how she sees herself or even that it is a Christmas card? No, of course not but the LSO is a little put out and on top of that he got no thanks! What’s new there then?

Yesterday we took the AP to the Shuttleworth Collection at Old Warden and had a lovely lunch in the Hare and Hounds pub in the village. This is all part of our attempting to make life better for all of us and when the birthday card was purchased. It was a good day out, enjoyed by all but getting out of the car I noticed the AP had a small hole in her tights and commented that perhaps she could do with me ordering her some more. Her response was that she couldn’t see a hole, although there was one in the knee apparently but her trousers hid it and then she proceeded to the front door muttering under her breath that I was basically talking rubbish. I am beginning to feel that I am living with the local bag lady and a vinegary one at that but if that is what she wants, so be it.

I must admit I do have trouble equating the vanity displayed by the AP with her refusal to buy a pair of tights. She can’t see herself but resents it when helpful suggestions are made by those who can still see.

Last Monday was the AP’s annual visit to the Health Practitioner at the surgery and it was suggested by the nurse that the AP should have a personal alarm. ┬áHer response to this suggestion was classic; she didn’t need one as she has the LSO and myself and didn’t I agree with that? I certainly did not and pointed out that in nearly four years the LSO and I have been out, on our own, at night twice although that is not counting the 5 weeks a year my cousins have her staying with them. No, just the other approximately 190 weeks and it would be a real treat to just go to the cinema and not have to worry. Leaving her alone for one hour is difficult enough but anything much beyond that is not possible.

It was also suggested that there are various places she can go to meet people and enjoy cakes and biscuits and a chat but that fell on stoney ground as our conversation during the trip home in the car illustrated. But there is a glimmer of light on the horizon, a lady will be coming to visit the AP at some point to explain what is available.