Wednesday, 28 July 2010

We did it!

We bought our flat from Belle Mere and moved in. We spent 12 years doing it up and then we bought it! It’s marvelous. I was worried I wouldn’t like being out of the West End and refused to say goodbye to anyone but now we are here and unpacked it’s good. I planted up a window box with old bits of found compost and some lettuce seeds and was amazed to see seedlings emerge, most of which now appear to be from dormant grass seed but some daily weeding in a micro-gardening way is proving to be quite therapeutic.

Belle Mere had two parting shots across the bows and has now gone eerily quiet. We have been here 2 weeks. I was angry to the point of daily inner conversations at the time but thankfully that has passed. Time is a great healer and all that. The first of the final blows was our solicitor ringing up on the eve of completion saying Belle Mere had just cancelled the buildings insurance on the flat and would he be wrong in asking if she was a difficlut woman?

“You’re asking if my MOTHER-IN-LAW is a difficult woman?’’ I replied.

We had to chase around trying to find insurance at the last minute, no one wanted to insure just part of a building, it being a flat without the consent and signatures of all other owners. Eventually we went to our lenders who had a vested interest in insuring the building and did so whilst the completion was on hold. Panic over. We completed. Belle Mere rang and told me she was leaving Erbie’s toy cars in the flat, and how worried she had been about us finding insurance…

On the day of moving in, I went on ahead to retrieve the keys and check that nothing bad was waiting in store for us. The keys were where they were supposed to be with a scrawled note saying a friend had a spare set and she would get them at the weekend, these still haven’t materialised.

I went upstairs to see if anything was not as it should be but all was well. Breathing a sigh of relief I put Erbie down to play with the cars, but he didn’t once mention ‘Grammy’?

I did a quick sweep of the cupboards and found a box of my stuff Belle Mere had been storing in happier times and a pile of pictures. These pictures were The GR’s photographs from an exhibition he had when we lived in France. They once hung in the Belle Mere’s bathroom and now here they were, no longer wanted. I was devastated, no matter how I tried to look at it, it came back to not being good. I hid them away and put the bottle of Johnnie Walker black label I had got The GR as his moving in present on the table. This is from a standing joke from when he had moved his mother previously and they had found a bottle of Johnnie Walker left in a high cupboard. He had joked that it might be his reward for helping move his mum but she had refused and ended up giving it to her brother for doing nothing! Every time we visited The GR would jokingly say: ‘Where’s my bottle of Johhnie Walker?’.

When the removal men and The GR arrived all smiles and isn’t it a lovely flat, I bit my tongue. He saw the bottle on the table and said: ‘Ah perhaps that is a welcoming gesture, a peace offering, things might be looking up, that is a significant reference’. I bit my lip. A hour later he started to tell me the story of moving his mother (I know I was there I thought to myself, …and she obviously bought me that as a…. ‘I bought it for you’, I said almost inaudibly, but my lamb heard me loud and clear.

We heard through the grapevine that the really useless brother and girlfriend had beenflown over to see the Belle Mere’s new house that weekend and they all had a house warming BBQ in the garden. (Down the road!) How nice.

No one can touch us now, it may take a while to unwind but we keep smiling and saying it’s ours, it’s ours. Well, technically it is the banks but lets not pour water on the fireworks eh.

My balcony garden is coming along I now have a herb box of basil, coriander, mint and thyme; two red geraniums and a white cosmos. And I’ve been eyeing a dwarf olive tree on the internet for my birthday at the end of September.

Thursday, 1 July 2010

Broken Collarbone or Clavicle in child

I’m sad, and I’ve broken Erbie.

I have been rushing around like idiot, trying to fit in one last this and one last that before leaving W1. One of last time excursions on my agenda was taking Erbie to Corams Field (on what happened to be an event and therefore very busy day) to play in the sandpit and have a swing. I’d just managed to change him out of wet, sandy clothes and we were on our way to the swings when he ran ahead, towards them completely overexcited. I grabbed at the sandy items and ran after him shouting ‘Stop! Stop!’, which he always has done previously, only this time he didn’t and the father pushing his child on one of the swings didn’t see him. The swing hit Erbie full on and knocked him flying.

I comforted him and he cried a bit longer than is usual but seemed okay, we had a swing and left. He seemed very quiet on the way back and when we got home I sat him in front of the telly and studied him, I noticed his eyes flutter and he shivered. Worried that he may have a head injury I whisked him up, out and into a taxi to Accident & Emergency. The taxi driver didn’t even switch his meter on, bless him. A and E at the UCH on Euston Road is the same as any A and E the length and breadth of this country, ie a couple of bleeding drunks and a full waiting room. A paedriatrician spotted Erbie on the monitor whilst I was signing in and ushered us straight through to the childrens ward. 

Erbie kept touching his shoulder and lay his head against me in silence. He had gone very pale. They checked his head for bumps and were very worried by the size of one until I mentioned it was always there, as my family are predisposed to corners on our craniums. I got asked routine head injury questions, like: ‘Was he knocked out or did he cry right after? Has he vomited?’ He was still very pale and hadn’t eaten anything and as he kept touching his shoulder they suggested an Xray to be sure nothing was wrong.

The Xray was the hardest part, I had to put on a large green insulated apron so that I could help hold him down on the bed. He didn’t like that. We had to lay him on his back, he didn’t like that. A male nurse had to hold down his legs, he didn’t like him. He cried out over and over: ‘No, no, don’t like it, don’t like it.’ He went red in the face and squirmed with all his might. They managed to get one Xray image and didn’t try for the obligatory second one. When I eventually scooped him up his bottom lip quivered and he said: ‘Bye, bye, bye, bye over and over until we had left the Xray room.

After about 5 minutes they came to me and said what Erbie had been trying to tell us all along, he had cracked his clavicle. I saw his Xray showing a fine white line running through his right collarbone. I felt sick, I’d just picked him up using his arms - twice, no wonder he had winced. The reason his little eyes had fluttered and he had been so pale was due to the pain he was encountering. 

They gave me a bag of painkillers for him and we tried to get him in a sling which caused him to wave his arm around more than not wearing one. I’ve since bought some arnica cream and pilules to help the healing process and the bruise come out. I have to watch him like a hawk and try to stop him using his right arm, luckily he is left handed. 

It happened 6 days ago and I haven’t been able to write about it until now. He is much better but still needs help getting up from laying down.

I feel like a very bad mother.

Other nonsense

Quote of the day

‘They tuck you up your mum and dad...’
Anon - after Larkin

“Philately will get you everywhere”

“It’s not the despair, I can handle the despair. 
It’s the hope I can’t deal with”

“Each new friend represents a world in us, a world not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born.”
Anais Nin

‘Come on Dover move your bloomin’ arse’.
Eliza Doolittle