Monday 22 September 2014

My next novel?

I remember  pieces in The Observer telling the rest of us what it was like living with a parent who was dementing. I also remember a radio play revealing the madness brought about by an elder ( now known as Alzheimers) tap, tap, tapping all day long at her daughter's home. This was a revolutionary  story thirty five years ago.
Now, I wonder, do I keep a diary and produce a work - a novella? - relating to the care system from my point of view - the daughter of ... We have had a very difficult few days. We thought the Care Company's package - agreed in June with site visit, costs and timings - was agreed. Then, ten days before mum was due to live with us temporarily for two months - respite for my brother - I 'found out' the company had no staff. We have rung about thirty five nursing agencies, care services, NHS and social services since Thursday. We have contacted friends and friends of friends. We have a quasi package ready for Monday ... we think .

Finally my family will rally round on Sunday and help out -  it was either that or mum would have had to have gone in a care home in Bath - precisely what we have been trying to avoid.

I would like to hear from anyone who has experience of the care system for an elder - more specifically a stroke patient - especially in the Bath area. Apparently certain areas in the UK are under a terrific strain carer - wise. Bath is one of those areas, it seems.

Wednesday 17 September 2014

Mum update - mist to the grill

With a little good fortune, and the wind behind us, mum will be coming to live with us in Bath at the end of September. This isn't permanent as after two months mum will return to my brother's. She is eating and sleeping well! Mum is still enjoying reading the paper, looking at photos or watching her favourite DVDs. She tires easily - but at ninety, who cares? She says she misses her own home but has liked looking at the photos I've taken of her garden. We've spent three days with her this week and have nothing but praise for her carers from Bluebird Care. So far so good! No use in her left arm at all but mum's speech is good and she still has that sense of humour. We press on ...
I use the experience of living with a stroke patient in my novel 'Coming of Age' . Turn your own secrets into gems on the page. I paraphrase, but it's all grist to the mill ... or mist to the grill!

Monday 15 September 2014

First world war and all that!

My novel 'Coming of Age' begins in 1918 when 8 million women in the UK got the vote. The thrust of the story is the moving forward of women's lives but I could hardly not mention the war. In other words I had to look back too. As polling day 1918 was held on December 14th I couldn't leave out Christmas either. Of course not all homes in the UK wanted a Christmas Tree in December 1918. Not all the fit and able troops had returned, so some homes weren't places for celebrations, other families had lost loved ones through battle or disease, and of course the Christmas Tree was felt to be a non-British tradition.
I hope readers will feel I've engaged with the conflicts ( small c) of the time.
As for another conflict ( larger 'C'?) :-
Although I am a Scot by name I find I keep thinking of Alex Salmond as not the Old Pretender, nor the Young Pretender, but the 'New Pretender'.  All I'm going to say is  it's a dangerous world out there for a brand new country ...