Backgarden Chickens and Other News from the Lost Corner

I have just picked up a book called ‘Backgarden Chickens and Other Poultry’ – you know, ’cause we’re livin’ the high life in this Lost Corner of Middleshire.

After studying the environment as part of my Open University degree I have become very interested in being more self-sufficient and having a less wasteful lifestyle. We’re planning to move again and will have a larger garden, so chickens might be a option. If you have been following my blog for any length of time, you will rightly consider the fact that we’re moving house again as slightly bonkers. Well, yes, I admit to the slightly – largely, in fact – bonkers nature of my life. But I’m doing great, thanks for asking. As part of this less wasteful lifestyle, I’ve also gone slightly nuts over crochet, though none of my projects are finished yet. But I found myself drooling over a crocheted jacket the other day.

Pssst! If I usually give you a Christmas present, you now know what to expect. Groovy 😉

Maybe I’ll post photographs when my projects are complete. Maybe I won’t. Ah, the delights of being a housewife-cum-mature <ahem> student – [aside: the other day the Eyebrow Threading Lady told me I looked great for a woman in her 40s. I am not in my 40s. Eyebrow (what’s left of it – she seemed to think I no longer wanted any) raised in irony.]

Anyway, we have been renting for the past two years and have finally made the decision to buy, although this time we shan’t be moving to a whole new area. Because, you know, when you’ve done that three times in two years the novelty wears off. This will be our fifth home since we married in 2010. But I’m so excited because at last I will be able to put pictures on the wall and redecorate when I want to and sledgehammer holes in the wall should the whim take me! Maybe not that, but hurrah! We have a second viewing of a gorgeous, slightly run-down Edwardian semi and I am beyond thrilled.

In other news – my son, who has autism and is now taller than me, still lets me know on a daily basis where my flaws lie. He’s very matter-of-fact about it. Sheldon Cooper eat your heart out. I’d just like to know when the writers of Big Bang Theory met my boy, because they do such a good job in recreating his mannerisms and concrete thinking. Still, you have to smile…

And in yet more news, my father-in-law is home from hospital for the nth time this year (which is good) and is with my mother-in-law in a nearby care home. It is a lovely care home with warm and friendly staff. We do our best to visit daily and to ensure their needs and desires are met. Yesterday I was ill and stayed in bed all day (I’m fine now, thanks). As a result, Frank took on the role of mummy and daddy and didn’t get to visit his parents. I visited earlier today and took my MIL out for two hours, looking round the shops, which she loves. On my return, I went to write in the notebook which she uses to remember things (she has dementia so this is her way of trying to keep track). My heart sank when I saw the entry for yesterday. It followed lines and lines of ‘when can we go home?’ ‘NEED to go home!’ etc.

“8.25pm Frank did not come

It said, underlined. And then, on the next page, I saw this:

‘CRUEL’

It is hard when you know that you have done all that you could, for months on end, for someone, and they still conclude that you’ve been ‘cruel’ (it’s not the first time that word has been used). Still, I guess that’s part and parcel of being elderly. They have become so focused on their own little world that the fact that other people might have other concerns, or things to deal with, gets lost. Also, I take comfort in the fact that five minutes after this was written, it will have been forgotten. Such is dementia. I tore it out because I didn’t want to leave it there, with my sweet little note about having been out shopping coming after. It just didn’t seem right, somehow.

If you know someone who is caring for a relative with dementia, please pray for them. It is not an easy road to travel, both for the sufferer (who cannot understand why people are treating them differently and conclude it must be for nefarious reasons) and for the family, who have to balance taking control, but still treating their relatives with respect and dignity. Some days, this is a very difficult task! Frank spent two hours trying to explain, gently, the reasons they can’t go home, two days ago. He has done this now more times than I can count.

I was praying about the situation earlier and ended up saying, “But God, it’s like banging my head against a brick wall!”

And God said, “So this is all about you, right?”

I laughed, forgot about myself, and prayed in earnest for the needs of my in-laws.

Who says God doesn’t have a sense of humour?

One thought on “Backgarden Chickens and Other News from the Lost Corner

  1. My grandfather past away from a form of dementia. I guess in a way I was lucky because I could not be there at the end of it. The last two months of his life he starved himself to death. Something in his brain decided that all food is poisonous. The doctor to us this was expected and told us the end was near.

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