There days when life is a bit more of a challenge; irritatingly these days are dominating of late. My manual dexterity is shocking; ditto my co-ordination and general ability to grasp things firmly (no pun intended). My familiarity with the skirting boards, the bottom of furniture and floor surfaces increases daily. Before engaging in close contact – otherwise known as bending over/crouching – I generally attempt to worry things with the end of my crutch. This strategy works well to shut the front gate behind me (as long as both feet as firmly on the ground i.e. not reaching behind me whilst standing on the doorstep which is just a little bit too far away (but I regularly test myself of course – why? Because I can!)
And there’s the weekly Thursday morning green food waste caddy retrieval scenario; empty I can lift it up and manoeuvre it towards me. That is if I concentrate firmly maintaining eye contact with the receptacle – no I haven’t given it a name nor do I quietly mutter ‘come to mummy’ – rather I need to be able to see that the crutch is in contact with the handle as I can’t always judge where I am in relation to it (spacial awareness issues meet sensational weakness i.e. I can’t sense pressure/weight properly).
You may recall my musing on problems with my short term memory; as if to illustrate the point as I write this I remember a friend passed on a ‘grabber’ pincers on a long handle designed to help elderly/disabled persons to pick up ‘things’. Has it been helpful I hear you ask? Honestly I don’t know because it’s still in the car as when I left said friend’s house I went somewhere else and so the pincers are still in the boot. Now I distinctly remember storing it carefully on the shelf that lifts up when the boot is opened and presumably that’s where it is now. Must remember to get it out next time I remember its there!
The other day I spent a not inconsiderable amount of time poking something on the kitchen floor; I try to remove the most obvious ‘bits’ from this area before my Friday fairy comes. It’s a bit like another friend who always has a quick tidy round before her cleaner comes; no-one wants to be considered a complete slut in terms of the state of our houses! Guilt is a terrible burden me thinks unless it’s of the order necessitating a few minutes in the cleansing confessional of course. (Confiding with a girlfriend over a conspiratorial coffee works just as well for me; the ‘ironic’ raising of the eyebrow is sinister enough of a deterrent to not repeat whatever I’m confessing).
Only after a few minutes of crutch poking when I bent down for a closer look (at the kitchen floor) did I realise the bits on the ceramic tiles were pock marks chips where I’d obviously dropped something substantial on it! Why is it that cream/natural tiles are dark grey inside – how superficial is a veneer? Ha ha should have put real slate down but that would no doubt have brought on a Lorraine Pascale baking habit resulting in a liberal dusting of flour which would have been most attractive as there is only so much that can be mopped up with a robust pair of bed socks!
If you add in the challenge of carrying things around the house when on two crutches then a solution is required; a necessary adjustment to ones attire must be seriously considered – (don’t even think about suggesting a housecoat with roomy pockets). Would you believe there is so much choice?
I confess that pockets are the answer in part as long as they are deep ones; the embellishment style pretend ones empty all of their own accord when bending over or sitting down. This is my preferred mode of transferring breakfast items upstairs after swimming as I’ve usually got my £3 in Peacocks Sale X years ago boys black padded waistcoat on. Plenty of room for a banana, yogurt or similar wrapped items leaving hands free to carry coffee/porridge and one hand to lever one’s body mass by holding the handrail the breakfast items not in pockets have to be lifted up a few steps at a time which is a tad tedious not to say slow!
As breakfast tends to be more of a process than an event it can take several hours to actually consume as these days I am easily distracted. The other day I put on the aforementioned waistcoat to go swimming only to find a yogurt still there from the previous day! Multitasking has been part of my busy life; an approach I guess I must have taken for granted to the extent I did it without thinking – as I think is the case with most women. But gone are the days when I could simultaneously successfully complete these multiple tasks; it slipped discretely and gradually away. I never noticed it happening; never had a chance to say goodbye, nor negotiate the manner of it leaving and yes I do mourn its loss. Damned inconvenient if nothing else!
So the question is, having retrieved them from the car, will the grabbers be a helpful addition to my life and should I invest in a toolbelt from which to attach the various items I need to carry? I have been practising around the house seeing what I can pick up and surprisingly I can pick up bits of shredded paper that escape when emptying into a black bag. Although I can’t pretend it a speedy resolution to tidying up this particular kind of mess! Or should I take to wearing an apron whilst at home? Even the Cath Kidston floral number isn’t quite right with the positioning of the front pocket getting caught under the tie which I tend to wind round securing with a knot at the front – besides its a bugger to accessorise with!
And suddenly it comes to me in a flash – the answer is obvious – one of those trays that Cinema Ushers used to wear to sell icecream with straps around the neck leaving hands free to hold crutches! You see the fifties were the right age for the disabled Spinster; the Margaret Rutherford style cape has been a godsend – except for the day I got caught in the wind and it was touch and go as the air whipped up the woollen fabric – it was very nearly a Mary Poppins moment!