I am delighted to be able to invite you to join me for coffee in my kitchen in the brand new virtual home of Nerd in the Brain. We must all thank Emily for taking over the reins and Part Time Monster for founding this society back in January 2015 and keeping it going for so long. Thank you both!
When I say that it has been a mixed week, I mean that it has included a few challenges but I am coping. That’s why I have added the option of a glass of Merlot to the usual choices of tea, coffee, ginger snaps and pastries. I just feel like I need a bit of indulgence, and I’d like to share that with you. There should be enough to go around.
My sport and fitness has gone well this week. Last weekend I was able to tell you that my veterans’ hockey team, Andover Diamonds, beat high-flying West Wilts eight-one with the final goal being slotted home by yours truly. A glowing report appeared in the Andover Advertiser on Friday and I was delighted with the final paragraph. Take a look.
Unfortunately, we couldn’t quite follow that performance this week when we visited Chichester. Although we suffered a four-nil deefeat, we accounted well for ourselves and felt that a more reflective score would have been a draw or a 2-1 defeat. To make matters worse, somebody locked the gate to the car park, not realising that my friend and I were still in the changing room. We had to wait about half an hour for release.
I have also enjoyed my running this week, and I just love Andover parkrun. I am addicted! I feel great if I can jog around the 5 km course with over 200 friends on a Saturday morning, and follow that up with a hockey game with fourteen or so even older, in both senses of the word, friends in the afternoon.
So far, all positive. So why was my week “mixed?”
Well, my father and my grandson, Taran, are both in dire straights.
Those of you who have follwed me for a while will remember me telling you about how my Dad left my step-Mum and eloped at the age of 83. I had mixed feelings about this at the time. I still do. He is now 85 years old and is living in a residential home which is run by the Sheffield Royal Society for the Blind. His macular degeneration has made him almost blind. His Parkinson’s Disease has made him almost immobile and has affected his memory. He finds it difficult to concentrate. He becomes irrationally angry because, having once been a globally respected and eminent professor of medical statistics with many active interests, he is now incapable of the most trivial tasks and he struggles with intelligent conversation at times. This is understandably frustrating. What annoys me slightly, is that he cannot remember anything of his elopement, not even the name of his lover nor the time that he was homeless and I was helping him to find temporary accommodation and dealing with his hospital visits. He blames my Step-Mum for his predicament, “because she did not want to look after me any more.” This is unfair.
At least he is being well looked after in the residential home, even though is is expensive and I don’t know what we will do when the funds are all gone.
Taran has been suffering from mental has suffered from menatl health problems since he was fourteen years old, and has been sectioned several times. He has not recieved the best of mental healthcare services, to put it politely, but things have been looking up for him. He met a lovely young lady, who understood his problems, and moved in to a house in Southsea with her and her Mum, and even became engaged to her. He acquired a beautiful dog who has become his best friend. Unfortunately, my son, Taran’s Dad, shirks all responsibility for him.
This week, Taran and his fiance split up and he found himself out on the streets at midnight, crying down a phone line to Joy, my wife and his Nan. He had no money and was hungry. His dog was locked in the house with his fiance. I won’t bore you with the details but, despite him losing his phone while we were trying to deal with the problems, we have come to som sort of temporary resolution. The worst of it is that, having found local mental healthcare professionals who were actually helping him in Portsmouth, Taran may end up back in Basingstoke, where the mental healthcare services are literall worse than useless. I say that from experience. They actually make matters worse rather than provide support.
So there has been good and bad in the past week. Life will improve for all of us.
So settle down with your tea, coffee or wine, and tell us all how your week has been.