Week 47

8th November, 2009

Man. U. were robbed this afternoon. Did you see it? They were definitely the better team.

9th November, 2009

Still the requests for references roll in from ex-staff. We spent part of the day planning our trip down to Kent next week. We think we will stay in Maidstone and then spend one day looking around the Ashford, Folkestone, Dover, Sandwich, Canterbury areas and the second day looking round Rochester, Gillingham, Chatham area.

Spent a couple of hours swimming, steaming, jacuzzi-ing this morning and then Pauline went for a Facial (£55.00!!!) at the local Beauty Parlour. I got the job of taking rubbish to the tip. It was such a beautiful day I didn’t mind. I still had time to take some photos over the Colne Valley from the front of our house.

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10th November, 2009

Pauline’s Mum has been desperate for a new chair. At 95 she is rather flat-bound. Any chance to break out is an adventure. We were going to a shop in Dewsbury where she had seen a chair advertised. Unfortunately, we had only got her down to the ground floor of her flats when she couldn’t go any further and we had to take her back up to her flat. It was all too much for her. She said that the Spirit was willing but the flesh failed her. Pauline & I were delegated to get the chair.

We drove over to Dewsbury to a shop called HSL Chairs. A long established chain of shops specialising in ‘comfy’ arm chairs.

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Pride of place in the showroom were Parker Knoll chairs. Do you remember those? The two, green, wing backed chairs in the Front Room at 81 High Street. Some of the younger ones, perhaps, won’t remember that not only were we barred from the Front Room but, on the exceptional occasions, we definitely were not allowed to sit on the Parker Knoll chairs. They were distinguishable by one have a black and yellow striped panel in the head rest position. I can’t quite remember the other one. The Front Room had a fairly undistinguished bookcase with remarkably few books for a Mother who prided herself in literacy and Art. There was a highly polished small table by the french windows with a highly polished wireless on it.When the inglenook fireplace was replaced with a coke stove, the hearth was fronted by a lemon yellow mat the we were told not to walk on. You wouldn’t believe the memories a trip to a chair shop can evoke.

Pauline’s mum had seen the chair she wanted, she knew exactly which colour she wanted. We had our orders. When we got to the shop we were confronted with ‘Special Offers’. Unbelievably, the very chair we had been despatched for was half price at £300.00. The same chair in a different colour was £600.00. We were able to fit it into our car with the seats down and rush the 30 miles or so over the Pennines to Oldham with it. A 95 year old lady was very pleased when we took it up in the lift and placed it exactly in her lounge.

12th November, 2009

The days are so dark and uninviting but Pauline still gets us up at 7.00 am. There’s no time for breakfast now. Just a huge cup of tea. Then it’s off to the Health Club. Thirty minutes hard swimming followed bu Jacuzzi and the Steam Room. Home for coffee and toast with The Times before catching up on correspondence. Before you know where you are, it’s lunchtime. Pauline’s Mum fell last night and sprained her hand. After breakfast Pauline had to drive over to Oldham and get the doctor to check her over. She might have cracked a rib but there is no treatment for it only painkillers which upset her stomach.

We have also upset her. We have an awful dilemma. We have a Greek house and the plan to spend six months there. We have our house up for sale and want to move to the South of England. Although Pauline’s Mum knows all this, she doesn’t really believe it. Recently we told her we were going down to Kent house hunting. This has thrown her and us in to turmoil. Should we give up our lives and wait for her to die before we start to live again? Should we try to persuade her to move South to be near us in the Winter and Phyllis & Colin in the Summer? At 95 that will be a difficult trick to achieve. Should we try to build up a network around her so we feel free to go our own way? This latter is what we have been doing but it feels treacherous.  What should we do? Answers on a postcard.

13th November, 2009

Diabetic Clinic at 7.50 am with the gorgeous Doctor Judith. This is the Lindley Street Practice.

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Doctor Judith said she had never seen me looking better. I should have retired years ago, she said. I couldn’t disagree.

14th November, 2009

Off to Leeds at 8.00 am today. Pauline has her hair done at Vidal Sassoon’s there.

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It’s only £90.00 to have your hair cut there. Here I am saving water by not washing and she blows the entire savings on a hair cut. Thankfully my haircut has been free since 1969 so I’m just about breaking even.

In the three weeks we have been on a meter, we have used 12 cubic metres of water – 4 cubic meters per week. Is that reasonable for two people, do you think? According to Yorkshire Water, that is the equivalent of 132 baths in 3 weeks. I am getting Athlete’s Foot. Maybe I’ve just been too wet! We have been measuring our Gas consumption for the past six weeks and, in that time, we have used 61 KWH at a total cost of £18.06. It is the electricity which is charging away. From the end of August to the middle of October and empty house (lights on timers, Fridge, Freezer) used 544 KWH and, to date, we have used another £17.38 worth of electricity per week. I hope you’re keeping up with this.

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