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Friday, October 14, 2005


So much for quiet week. Dear Psychiatrist Friend's son is demolishing cupboard in granny's temporary bedroom, in order to make defunct boiler accessible. Currently sawing - loudly. Previously using electric drill - even more loudly. This follows various attempts by Granny all week to get boiler functioning; she is usually quite good at things like this, but problem here is beyond her. Also beyond plumber who arrived finally at three o'clock and claimed problem could be any one of a hundred, but given the fact boiler sits against wall with less than two feet of space in front of it, no way could he identify it. Granny sympathises. She has spent week crouched to the floor, vainly trying to start boiler, switching it on and off, pressing restart buttons, all at cost to her two sore shoulders (remains of neck problem on right, destructive surgery on left.) Her one successful attempt, enabling a hot bath led to every red light in sight coming on. This was when she decided to suggest plumber. Text messages flying back and forth added to sound level. As did unexpected arrival of Dear Psychiatrist Friend's brother's friend, all the way down from Bradford on business, bearing set of keys and expecting to spend night in empty flat. He was as disconcerted to find her ensconsed as she was to hear unknown male voice in hall. So much for precious solitude. Fortunately he was out, mostly.

Tomorrow plumber will come again - at equally vast expense. Let's hope he can fix problem; Granny doesn't care for washing in cold water. In the evening Dear Psychiatrist Friend arrives home; so that's the end of that.

Meantime she has been seeing to her physical state as ever. Flu jab, anti-pneumonia jab, all on offer to the aged now - aren't they generous. Pneumonia jab left her with sore thigh, to go with sore shoulders from supposedly therapeutic head and shoulders massage, part of her free package from nice pastel-coloured centre. It was performed on her yesterday by nice but heavy-handed lady whose other job when she is not massaging necks and shoulders is looking after people's plants. She handed Granny a card boasting 'Pampered Pots.' No Granny is not a pampered pot, even though this had been her second massage of the day. The first was a much gentler kind, recommended by Australian sister for sore ex-tits - lymph massage - and given her by an equally nice but much - much - plumper lady who turned out to be the retired keeper of textiles from the Victoria and Albert Museum. This meant she and Granny could and did converse about Turkish carpets and the problems of displaying them - difficult - making for endless complaints, the ex-keeper said. This was much more interesting than the discussion of Granny's problems offered by other practitioners. 'Your shoulders are in a terrible state,' complained the Pampered Pot lady.

This Granny didn't need telling. Between trapped neck nerves, frozen shoulders, and the attentions of the Royal Marsden Hospital her shoulders have been in a bad state for months. A worse state than her really, inasmuch as she can separate herself from them; as she can some of the time.

She did, yesterday, at last, manage to sort out how to get Radio Three. Good. And the river still goes up and down, the gulls etc continue to disport themselves. Yesterday a heron - such a grandparently bird - stood looking at the water for hours. Now and then she still gets to enjoy all this. In silence. Praises for that. As for the fact she is not sitting under a landslide in Kashmir. She has nothing to complain about really. No she hasn't.

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