Monday, 25 June 2012


Today we have a guest blogger, my sister Fabia

Fabia whisked mum and the dog away for the weekend so Sarah and I could enjoy a birthday surprise from her Mum; a weekend at the spectacular Thoresby Hall. 

I've just had a good weekend with mum, and managed to do most things about right so I've been inspired to make an appearance on Jon's blog.
Its always a worry when to let mum know what the plans are. Not too early so she worries about where she's going to sleep and so can't sleep, but not too late so that she feels she's never told what's going on. Some time in the middle seems to work so that even if she forgets where she's going, mum still has 23 pairs of socks and a sun hat packed and ready to go.
We'd had a chat about mum coming over to help in the garden and she was looking forward to it. I arrived on Friday and we did our usual weekday things: swimming; gardening; watching a film. Then I stayed the night as usual and in the morning suggested we go over to my house. The swimming the day before worked its magic and mum slept most of the car journey so we didn’t have the customary discussion around 'where are we going?' and 'I don’t know this place'.
Its was lovely for mum to wake up as we arrived and say 'Here we are' 'I know where I am'. She was straight into the garden and as there was lots of weeding my fruit trees and bushes escaped mum's extreme pruning skills. Although my unruly raspberry canes were inspected many times. Mum likes things to be in order so we worked solidly, weeding, cutting the grass, raking and tidying. I must say, after a nice Sunday dinner at the pub on the second day we could relax in garden chairs and really enjoy the fruits of our labours in a spot of unexpected summer sunshine.
As we relaxed and chatted in our normal wandery way,  I explained that Jon and Sarah would pop over to bring mum back a bit later, and then we chatted about what we might do on my next weekly visit. Mum said we needed to do the round things that we did last time.  I wondered if mum meant she needed to take her tablets but no that wasn’t it. She made the shape of little round things with her fingers. 'The round things, we did lots of them' She mimed walking and moving her hands in small shapes. I wondered if it was the broad beans which we had sat and shelled on Friday but no 'Not broad beans, they are green, yes beans'.
I guessed at the green beans she had enjoyed with her Sunday lunch 'Oh they were lovely, but not those beans'
We continued like this for some time with me guessing at every round green bean thing that I could and trying to imagine what we might have to do with them. I offered to plant some beans in the vegetable patch in her garden and then as I thought of jobs which needed doing it struck me……. Gooseberries!
'Yes Gooseberries! We have to pick the gooseberries' We were both so pleased that we'd got to the bottom of those bean things. Last year we had sat for hours topping and tailing the pounds of gooseberries from the two bushes in mums garden. We'd both enjoyed the simple task that we could happily do together. The mime was mum walking to the bushes and picking the fruit. I suppose with dementia the trick is not to assume that beans will be beans.

Mum and Snapper after a hard day gardening.

1 comment:

  1. Not bad for a beginner! We are full of admiration for the way you are all supporting your mother. I really hope she will be able to make the trip down here in September. Lloyd et Kay x