Monday, 15 August 2011

House and Granny Sitting (Part 2)

I have been home for 36 hours.  It has taken me that long to even begin to recover from last week! As you will have seen from my previous blog, I have been house sitting for my bestest friend while she and her family were away on holiday.  At the end of the two weeks came the bombshell that her mother was being discharged from hospital following a hip replacement into my care at the house.  I've known her all my life.  She was my mother's best friend.  I have always spent Christmas with them. She is a formidable force and approaching her 80's. Cosy Granny she is NOT!

With 24 hours notice, I had to find the correct medical aids AND get them delivered before she arrived.  We are talking raised loo seat and frame, zimmer frame, shower stool and non slip be honest not exactly a forte of mine!!  But I did it and it arrived within 5 minutes of her arrival the following day.  Not that she seemed impressed - or indeed grateful.  It was expected to be there, was there and therefore she felt no need to add to that.

Having spent the most part of the last two years in hospital as a patient, the care and nursing of her was not a problem. I was happy to do it.  I was happy to help her on the loo. I was happy to clean her.  I was happy to cook lovely meals for her (too much, not enough, more fruit, less fruit, where's the salad, why cant we have....) her husband and my BFs husband now that he had returned home.  I was even happy to get in the shower with her (to hold the soap and flannel) (yes yes I kept my clothes on but covered them with plastic!). I was happy to help her stand, sit, walk (too many cushions/not enough cushions, too high, too low, too fast, too slow)  Me?  I'm a happy happy bunny. AND CLEARLY A BUNNY THAT HAS THE WORDS USE ME TATOOED ON MY FOREHEAD.

No matter how sweet I was, how hard I tried to please her, it was always wrong.  Her words would lash at me like being hit by a wet tea towel.

My day would start at 7.00 taking a cup of tea in to her (too much, too strong, too weak, too hot,,,) and would end at about 11.00 p.m. having put her to bed. Shattered and battered I would crash and burn, up bright eyed (not) and bushy tailed (also not!) the next morning to start all over again.

Bearing in mind I was doing all this as an act of love and not as a paid carer (someone told me today that Agency live-in carers charge £250 a day - frankly that's too little!!!), I found her behaviour extraordinary - especially as she is an educated, articulate lady. 

I am back home now - and will cover for my BF during day times only -  tomorrow, Wednesday and Friday.  MUG that I am!!

In peace and love people!


Friday, 5 August 2011


So, house sitting comes to the end of the second week. I do it willingly and with love for my best friend and her family while they holiday in Portugal. But OMG the stress of running someone else's home!

First there are the dogs - which I talked about on day 2 of my house sit. Remember? The ghastly neighbour who complained the dogs were barking (shock! horror! dogs bark??!!) Well  a couple of mornings later she came to tell me she had not slept a wink that night because the dogs had barked non-stop from 11.30 p.m. to 4.00 in the morning. NO WAY!!! I would have heard them and anyway they are locked up so cant get out to bark. I found myself smiling sweetly at the old bag and saying how sorry I was she hadn't had any sleep but, seriously, it couldn't have been my dogs. It then transpired that she called my friend's husband on his mobile at 2.00 a.m. to complain. Thank God he had it turned off. So I then found myself having to justify my working practices to them!

Because hunting is banned (and there's another blog in itself!) there are plenty of foxes around here and I often go to wake the chickens up (fortunately penned in to their chicken
coup) to find the mutilated remains of pigeons.

I hate birds, let alone having to remove a dead corpse of one. On Sunday the cat didn't appear. Nor Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday.  Just typical, I thought, on MY watch the cat has been eaten by a fox - or run over. I fretted about it all the time when, suddenly, in yesterday's pouring rain, the cat walks nonchalantly back into the house asking for food without a care in the world. I didn't know whether to hug it or smack it!!

I continue to do daily chemical tests on the pool... sciences were never a strong point in my education. So, I see what the chlorine reading is and the PH level.  And now what?? How much do I add to make it better - or worse?  


This morning I put the hose in as the water was below "the line" and promptly forgot about it so now the pool is so full it's about to burst its banks.

So, with the husband back tomorrow, I was beginning to start packing my stuff up to return to the peaceful tranquility of my little cottage when I get a phone call telling me that my friend's mother is being discharged from hospital tomorrow following a hip replacement. She is being sent here because there is a ground floor bedroom and I am to look after her for another week. Cue me frantically clearing out their son's room which he left upside down and inside out as he ran out of the door last week to go round the world for 3 months, trying to find bed linen, towels, measuring bed and loo heights so she can have adjustable fittings to make it easier to sit down!! So, in addition to three dogs, a cat, two chickens, a pool, a large house, thousands of tubs of plants that need watering, a greenhouse full of tomatoes that also need watering, I now have granny to stay.
Oh and did I mention the freezer leaks all over the kitchen floor..........!!!

Yours, stressed and exhausted,