Sunday 31 August 2014

It would have been easier to move house!

August for us has been a hardworking month - yes another of those events. I'm glad it's over and really pleased it's now September. How fortunes and priorities change! I wouldn't have welcomed September when I was still trundling to 'the institution' i/c SEN teaching.
As well as sorting mum's house and garden I have made my study at the top of the house- that meant two strong men carrying my bureau up two flights of stairs. I have cleared said bureau and my old study has also had paperwork &c moved to the new study. Moving documents and files - plus chucking a great deal - took two or three days alone. The old study has been transformed into a new sitting room. Furniture has been painted, new curtains & paintings hung, shelves tidied, a new sky box installed today and, finally, the room looks like a living room. The walk in wardrobe has had the paintings in there moved back to Richard's studio. In order to get into said studio even more paintings were successfully lifted to a waiting car for a car boot sale over the bank holiday. Books and paintings ain't light.
I washed Richard's numerous paintbrushes and stored his non framed works in big shelvings which lean with the excess weight. But there is space on the bookshelves to accept some of dad's books 'Europe in the Seventeenth Century' , Toynbee's histories etc. Yes I managed to sell paperbacks at the car boot too. That made space!

The downstairs sitting room carpet has slices of duck tape stuck over it so we know where to position mum's all singing & dancing bed and hoist when they arrive. Our sitting room now has a trolley with various creams & potions on it - so it looks more like a sideward than a dining room - and the downstairs bathroom shines with its fresh coat of paint. Our bedroom cupboards house all the necessary bedding leaving the wardrobe at the top of the stairs for mum's things. Yes that was another major sort out.
We await the mini fridge - when it arrives it will go in the upstairs galley kitchen. Even our main kitchen has been organised today. Every cupboard cleared, wiped and replenished. I don't think one room in the house has got through August without a new lick of paint, furniture being moved in or out of it or some other sort of reorganisation. Roll on September. I need a change of pace!
Thank goodness we are in Devon soon - I need a good rest - so there will be no more blogs for a while. There will be no more moving of furniture either!

Monday 11 August 2014

A room of one's own

Now that mum is living at my brother's he is having a new gas fire installed in one of his sitting rooms - so last winter was the last cosy coal fire in his house. But the change will give him family time and privacy when the carers are with mum or she's having physio.
We don't have a granny flat like my brother so I've had to create 'a room of our own'. Mum will be in our dining room - on an 'all singing - all dancing bed' next to her hoist and our new improved downstairs loo and shower room. Some stylish screens will give her some privacy.  Hopefully - in a practical sense - she'll have all she needs and she can watch the television with us when she wants to and share with us at meal times.
But we also need ' a room of our own' so I've opened up the small kitchen upstairs and created another little sitting room too. We now have a nice white toshiba flat screen upstairs, so we can watch the box while mum has a sleep. Friends have helped moved the bureau to the top floor in the house - so I can 'get back to my desk' as a couple of agents have said to me. Yes - I am still working on my novel - but researching and preparing rather than writing. After all - when mum is with us - I truly will need a 'room of my own' away from medical needs and television. It takes some planning! And mum's not coming to us until October!

Tuesday 5 August 2014

Well done mum!

Mum is now out of hospital and living at my brother's. He has a granny flat - bedroom with shower room& loo, a  lovely sitting room and kitchen - and a hall lined with books - from Philip Hensher to Primo Levi. My brother has brought mum's TV and favourite box sets over to her new rooms.She no longer mentions the house which was her home for fifty years. It must be very hard to give up one's independence and home, to say nothing of making do with a paralysed left side. However she can see her grandchildren and her carers are very good. Mum is eating well and we hope to raise a glass for her birthday.
Next week is her ninetieth. There was a point a few months ago when I thought we wouldn't have her with us for the big nine-oh. But - fingers crossed - she'll just about make it! Well done mum!