Saturday, 29 September 2012

The Family Business


I am going to try hard to be positive in this post, but - as the old saying goes - 'a burden shared is ... er... well, lighter'.

I went downstairs to collect the mail this morning and found the hairdresser from downstairs coming upstairs with it and, saying that she was glad that she had bumped into me, began complaining about the delicious smell of freshly prepared food from the new delicatessen which has opened next door, saying that it filled the stairwell.

Obviously angling for some moral support with her imminent complaint against the new business, she asked if I had noticed it. I said that I had not, but this was probably because of the unbelievably powerful stink of hair-products emanating from her establishment which we can even smell upstairs in our compact but adorable city apartment, and which drown out everything else. She said that her stink was only 'perfume' and I said 'so what?'.

In as good a humoured way as I could muster, I too took advantage of our chance meeting by asking her to stop stealing all the free local magazines that come through the letter box every week, because I have a couple of friends who write columns for them, and wouldn't mind reading them every now and then, even if they are an unrelenting outpouring of inane shite. Three come through the letterbox, and she - if I don't get there first - takes all of them.

There was one envelope addressed to me, and it contained a cheque from the auction house for £52 from the sale of a pair of candlesticks I had paid £130 for about a month ago. I didn't get where I am today by having a good head for business.

I have a very strange sort of headache today which is sitting doggedly just behind my right eyeball, and I blame it directly on my grand-daughter.

I was sitting in the pub garden with her last night and was - unusually for me, honest - having a bit of a moan about my life in general. I was observing how things all seem to go wrong at once, rather than interspersing themselves evenly throughout the year in a manageable fashion, and her advice to me was to 'go home and roll myself a good, stiff, hash reefer' and get a good night's sleep.

Well, I did the first bit, but the second bit elluded me and I woke up with the lop-sided headache.

I think it is tomorrow looming over me - that and being completely broke - which is casting a shadow over this sunny weekend. Tomorrow I am driving off to pick up my niece and visit my sister who is in hospital about 100 miles away and hanging onto life with the help of a cocktail of medication which is precariously balanced to keep her heart beating (even if it is at 120 beats per minute) at the same time as retaining as much fluid in her body as will not drown her in her own bed from the inside out.

My sister is over five feet ten inches tall, but now weighs 6 stone (that's 84 pounds for anyone who does not know what a 'stone' is).

I know that all things must change, but when you are in the middle of a tunnel, it's difficult to see the light at the other end sometimes.

27 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Forza means 'fart' in Italian. "Forza Italia!"

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    2. Well that wasn't quite the message I intended to convey but perhaps a good forza might relieve your headache?

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  2. So sorry to hear of the tough times that you are having at the moment Tom .......... they really put the 'smell's from the deli ' & the free magazine situation into perspective.
    Hope that things pick up and that your sister's situation comes to a peaceful conclusion.These times are very hard to deal with and to see your sister so ill and so thin must be very difficult. Hopefully there are some happy memories that you have of her and, you and your niece have each other, which will help you both.
    Thinking of you. XXXX

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    1. Nah - she used to bully the shit out of me.

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  3. More Beer, more Ganja. It may not help with your problems, but it'll be more enjoyable coping with them. Sorry to hear about your Sis.

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    1. I'm going to leave out the latter tonight, but probably a good idea.

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  4. What can I say other than I too know that dark tunnel. Thankfully I'm not in it at the moment. All I can say is that whatever it feels like it doesn't go on forever and life does go on once you're clear of it.

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    1. Does that mean a cheque is in the post?

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    2. Sorry Dominic - I do appreciate your comment, I was just feeling a bit flippant yesterday.

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  5. Tough, tough, tough. Just hang on. Life's a constant up and down. Hopefully, an 'up' is coming your way soon.

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    1. Thanks Iris. I would like to say 'up yours' too, but you may get the wrong idea...

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  6. That's a great deal wrong, Tom, on many levels. I hope the things that can look up will do so, and that the others will go gently on you.

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    1. That's like crime in a multi-story car-park: wrong on many levels. (apologies to Milton Jones)

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  7. I was once given advice about lopsided headaches which has served me pretty well. Take a face cloth and put into water as hot as you can get it and still managed to wring it out and then bathe/mop your face with it -- especially around the eyes and sinuses.

    I am sorry to hear that life is so difficult at the moment. I am sure you will hang in there and bring comfort to your sister and niece, which is a great thing.

    Peace

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    1. Thanks, Broad - I may try it if it's still there tomorrow.

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  8. I haven't had enough gin, nor is late enough at night for me to make my usual long-winded irascible response. But your post struck several chords on several levels. Hang on in there Tom. You're not alone. Cx

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    1. at least here, you have a group of people that care what you say, how you feel and what happens to you in that lovely little apartment of yours...
      chin up old chap

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    2. Thanks to you for that and keep up with the G & Ts.

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  9. Tom, everybody else has said what I'm thinking. For what it's worth, sending healing vibes for your sister, your niece and you, of course, that things go OK for you tomorrow.

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  10. It doesn't get any easier as we get older, does it. Jx


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    1. It certainly don't, Rusty. We also had a card from a friend (50 year old woman) in London yesterday, who has now relapsed after a year's worth of chemo for ovarian cancer.

      Like I said to H.I. these events will accelerate as we get older, I am afraid.

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  11. Sorry to you all that this post is so bloody depressing, but them's the breaks eh? It\s a full moon tonight as well, which doesn't help.

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  12. I've just looked out of the window here in Barnes and no sign of a moon. Just the landing lights of aeroplanes from all corners of the earth heading for Heathrow. If I could fly away...

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    1. It was blasting through our windows all last night. Must have been localised.

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