Post Operative Care – Daughterly Duties

Spinster (fag in mouth) applies eyedrops...

Spinster (fag in mouth) applies eyedrops…













No I haven’t died I have been engaged in daughterly duties in Derbyshire; Ma had her first cataract operation and needed patient transport followed by the administration of eye drops (one lot every two hours, the other four times a day). A chart had to be created for the purpose of monitoring the process – what seemed like a simple prospect of course became convoluted with a less than satisfactory outcome (for me that is; the table messily had extra columns/rows which grated but I confess not sufficiently to rectify the situation)!

Had I thought I could have taken the one I’d already created for Auntie; the phone call at 845 am when I was about on schedule to get out of the house for a meeting/appointment, the one when she asked if I was busy as she had a favour to ask. I was not best pleased to find the sense of ‘urgency’ in her voice related to needing a table to tick (four times a day for seven days)! Hmm Auntie is obviously not fully briefed on the Clan protocol relating to the timing of phone calls specifically those made before 9 am or after 9 pm; these times are SOLELY for matters of life and death which in the Spinster’s book DO NOT include IT/technical (incompetence) matters! Perhaps I am being harsh on the Silver Surfers who are new entrants to the world of the ‘computer’ or ‘internet’…

Given my now permanent in built vibrate mode – (the ‘in control’ dexterity option required to perform fine motor movements is no longer available in the May 1969 (Malawian Born) Spinster Model) – the wisdom of entrusting me with the post operative care is questionable but in the absence of my more competent sibling (currently working in Azerbaijan) Ma didn’t have a lot of choice! On occasions I was reminded of the work of Jackson Pollock albeit my modest creations (on Ma’s cheek) were sadly invisible as the drops were clear! Still on the bright side I managed not to inflict further damage and this week’s check up gave a pleasing report on progress; only 6 weeks until we do it all again when the same attention is paid to the right eye.

After a week the eye drops administration was ‘safely’ in the hand of Pa who seemed to manage to negotiate his varifocals sufficiently to wet the surface of the eye and I flung myself back into the Welsh bosom that I call home. The garden specifically the new Clematis I had planted before I left had burst into life ditto the wheel barrow load of tulips buried last autumn; why it surprises me that the bulbs have bothered to get their act together, cast off the ‘warm’ shrug of soil and thrust their leaves skyward I don’t know. But I’ll say it again Mother Nature is BLOODY MARVELLOUS! Another elder female statesperson with whom I have an inconsistent relationship; but so far 2013 is shaping up to being a two way botanic conversation long may it continue.

bulbsEntre nous the Spinster thought it prudent to hedge her bets by (over) loading her Ikea trolley with 12 (or 13) pots of narcissus and tulips at the weekend; just in case…but hey I can proudly say I actually left the Swedish megastore without a single scented candle! (Boasting about this to a visitor yesterday he confessed that he and his partner had managed to put said candles in the trolley at both the entrance to the Market Place AND the exit by the tills! Why oh why are these jars of wax so utterly alluring?

easter cactus 2The Easter Cactus  is a revelation to me; the flowers are like none I’ve ever seen before. So taken was I that I gave a white one to lovely Mrs Pepperpot I swim with and a red one to Ma (on the understanding that it was to replace the anaemic one in the downstairs loo; a reluctant agreement was secured although the sad previous specimen was still in residence when I left).  I am trying not to look at the red one in my lounge as whilst its blooming the colour of the flowers jars (visually) with the colour of the walls; it may have to be moved to pastures new although quite where it might blend tastefully with the decor heaven only knows!

It’s bit an odd few weeks since I got back from holiday; it always takes a while to get back into a routine I find especially when the weather pops random spanners in the works. The joys of global warming; the clarity of the sky in Mauritius made me realise just how much light pollution there is in Barry a combination of the proximity to the airport and my own teeny contribution from my troupe of tortoise solar lights.

Tiny Tortoise Patrol

Tiny Tortoise Patrol

Decorating the outdoors is becoming a competitive sport in the West End (of Barry), I myself have some plain old plastic ones that resemble space ships on sticks and various multi coloured specimens too. The lunar space ships have reached the end of their useful life it seems as when the Spinster was relocating them at the weekend a muffled crunch was both heard and felt when pressure was applied. The nice (once) clear dome yielded under the newly laundered gardening glove; secretly I was rather pleased as it retrospective justifies the purchases of the new ones!

My neighbour has acquired – from Home Bargains (I patronise Morrisons myself) – a strand of pink flowers; rather hilariously these blooms caught my eye whilst in the downstairs loo. You know the drill as standing up to do up once lower garments things appear in your peripheral visions – cobwebs, smears of bird poo on the window, squirrels nibbling at the bird nuts etc. Because said neighbour has had some considerable success with a Camellia bush of the same colour I assumed that the plant had somehow spread; of course it’s not actually a spreading kinda gal; blousey camellias may be but they ain’t minded to indulge in more energetic growth behaviour than absolutely necessary. I was very very intrigued but wanted to have a closer look without being observed; well I practically put me back out attempting to peer through the window through the dense clematic mass! It was only when I repeated the same downstairs loo procedure later that evening and saw the lights ablaze that I realised they were artificial!

New neighbours on the other side are taking a wee while to settle into the new abode; I confess I don’t envy them having to shoe horn a family of 4 into a house with only one tiny bedroom more than mine. The mum and dad do a nice line in public disagreement with a spectacular display out the front only yesterday. As I also get the exchange out the back I can see both sides – I feel for her as she told me she’s only in her 20’s – her mum had said ‘yes but think about it by the time your 40 they’ll be off your hands’. She’s got a point but still I can see why she looks perpetually exhausted and wears her jim jams pretty much all day. But Barry is known for its residents being seen out in dressing gowns; when I’m getting back from swimming around 745 am the man down the street is often getting out of his car in his dressing having been to get the paper. Thankfully my Pa gets himself showered and dressed before going to collect the paper – whilst on Post Operative care duties I asked him to polish my shoes as you simply can’t beat the shine from an army trained shoe polisher!

Yesterday new neighbours could be heard engaging in lively conversation out the back – she and I have got to know each other when she’s having a cigarette – when I took a sneaky peak they were attempting to put together a hammock style swing seat (his birthday present from her – £65 from Home Bargains)! This amused me hugely because he was off work sick (she had told me apropos of nothing in particular); by this point the two of them and her sister could hardly be seen under a heap of cardboard, a metal frame and a canvas tarpaulin cover. It occurred to me that had this been me and a couple of girlfriends we would have been reduced to hysterical laughter; introduce a dollop of testosterone in a male body and the alpha effect injects stress on a massive scale. Shouting, blustering, red faces, flouncing, stamping and a whole load of other random unhelpful elements collectively known as the Flat Pack Scenario!

Once finished and arranged next to a chiminea with barbeque built into the top it looks pretty acceptable. Perfect for his Gin and Tonic she proudly informed me – he is a teacher in a secondary school so I anticipate seeing him out the back pacing on his mobile frequently. And this evening the fire lighter fumes are drifting over the hedge as the BBQ is being given its first outing; given the size of it I hope at least some of the supper is being prepared elsewhere as it’s more a vanity than a family size! And given that he is the only one fully dressed – curiously the school uniform is exchanged for the PJ’s for everyone else – I hope the children are kept away from the hot coals especially the 2 year old who has an aversion to keeping his pants on…now why it chipolatas come drifting into my head?




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