Wednesday, 5 August 2009

So, what happened to July?

So, what happened to July? Well, it was freezing, wasn’t it? At least, in London, UK, where I am: windy; cold; grey; raining, and with shake-you-up thunder storms thrown in. I didn’t have to go out but I felt for those who did. It was horrible. Depressing.

And I’m worried. Because here I am, most of the time humanly alone, not moving much and depending on one toy poodle and a couple of spiders to generate any heat, other than what comes out of my – can’t afford them – oil heaters. Honestly, who was the mad fool who, first of all moved here when things weren’t organised enough, and then decided to have the gas disconnected (I’m not allowed to have it put back unless I have a new boiler – away from the sitting-room where my bed is – installed. Mad! It took me years to get it “right” at the last address)?

It wouldn’t be so bad, but I’ve now offered to pay a local woman a few pounds a week to help me: eat when Tom’s not around; shower, etc. In other words be a kind-of “carer”. Oh boy…

You see, just after my last post here, I got a new social worker (s.w.) – after all those months! – and so, all the talk (T.!) started again about what was I going to do (because he wasn’t going to be around – wasn’t willing to be)? So, I put an ad. in “Gumtree” (classifieds online) and offered a room, and thought I’d get replies from people who wanted a bit of extra money but, most of all, just to be in London, working or studying.

But what I did get was a constant stream - from all over the world eventually - of some very good people with (often) very good CVs and references, wanting, not just the room but to, genuinely, be my carer. Excellent candidates. The thing was – oh, naive me! – they also wanted, and expected I realised when I did my research more thoroughly (thank you, Google!), around £400 per week!

What a mess.

And yet, there was one glimmer of hope: one of the respondents was a woman who lived down the road, was Catholic, had grown-up children and a dog and didn’t seem too bothered about the pittance of pay; she also thought we could be “friends”. Perfect.

T. and I arranged for her to come here when he could show her the ropes (as it were!) and, even though I was very nervous, I was going to go ahead because, at that moment, it seemed the best option (still does, really)… Well, she came early, knocked quietly – by all accounts – we didn’t hear her or answer; Lucy (not a good watch-dog as poodles are meant to be – it depends on her mood!) didn’t bark and, “feeling nervous about the new neighbourhood” apparently, my new “carer” turned back and went home!

Well, when we did speak later and she told me she was having severe dental treatment the next day, I figured she didn’t want to come and ignored her for a while. Till this week when I emailed her again. And she said she would still be pleased to be my “carer”.

But this cold weather is taking all my money. And it’s meant to be summer and it certainly doesn’t bode well for the winter…

It had to be done, if only to be polite: I talked to the new s.w. today and she did seem nice enough, but you know me, I get the heebie-jeebies, I’ve put her off for a few days while I “think about things”. (Do I tell the truth, I ask [as someone who prides herself on not having lied since the age of 18 when she vowed never to again]? Somehow, I think it might be more to do with wanting to get on with some writing before submitting to the claustrophobia, perfumes, etc. of strangers in the house.)

Ah, I’m not a nice person! But I can’t help it, I get physically sick. All I’m actually thinking is, please, no!

And T. (the initial is his choice) is throwing out his old double-bed, from his “old room” in the morning and, in the afternoon, a new single bed will arrive. He’s organised all this and paid for it and I know he has an ulterior motive (it’s not just “tidying up”). I know he really wants a live-in carer to move in. But he doesn’t admit it. And I’m sad.

July… Named after Julius Caesar (100BC-44BC) in 45BC (see Julian calendar). The consul/dictator of Rome who himself, chose to turn back from Britain (first attempt to “come, see and conquer”) when stormy weather in the Channel wrecked half his ships. It was late summer 55BC and I have read (sadly can’t find the reference) that this, probably greatest military general of all time, said he “wouldn’t want to visit such a cold country”. Good man!

Anyway, talking of Barbarians (well, Caesar was!): I’ve also had a helluva month with marauding bureaucrats!

No, not really… Well, yes: it was (oh, I hope not ‘is’) all to do, again, with those threatened “Decent Homes” improvements - c/o my user-friendly Registered Social Landlord (RSL).

And this time, because it’s bad for my health (nothing but stress, exacerbating symptoms), I’m not going to dwell on it. Only to say, that I’ve reminded my housing officer that these works are not mandatory (either by their standards or those of the European Convention on Human Rights [Article 8]) and, thank you, but I will be (am) declining their offer of same to my home.

Well, he chose to argue for a while. You know, tried to “liaise”. But I think – and hope and pray – I’ve persuaded him to leave me alone now. All will be, unintruded upon, in my bubble!

As for the writing… Well, I’m still, intermittently, working on my sci-fi (more “speculative” than science) novel and I think it’ll get there (“The End”) eventually. But, oh dear, it’s very slow going, due to all the research I must, keep stopping, to do.

What has actually been flowing – in other words, is much easier to write – is some stuff I’ve been doing on MS (not too much research needed there!). A couple of short pieces I wrote for this blog and MS – My Scene, which I’ll try to post very soon, and - more interestingly from a writing point of view - two fictional stories I thought I might contribute to the MS Society.

At the moment though, I’m not absolutely sure that’s what they are: short stories. I think at least one of them might make a novel. Ha, but who’s got time?! … I know what: I’ll try and whack one out for NaNoWriMo this November! Golly gosh, I’m always in a rush!

Yet, still maintaining that air of calm composure. Whenever Lucy’s around, anyway. Well, I try…

Ho ho ho! I’m only saying what I know the great Cesar Milan (C.M. [aka “The Dog Whisperer” (see the National Geographic Wild channel on Sky TV, etc.)]) would want me to say. And be: “Calm, assertive!” If I want to be “pack leader” in this canine/human relationship, that is.

And, of course, I do. But look, there’s the problem right there. Who did I put first in that description? The “canine”. The dog. Lucy!

That’s why I sometimes (actually, mostly when T.’s here!) have a spoilt, demanding, yapping/whining (but still gorgeous) little Lucy. And why I’m glued to Cesar (the name [note spelling], for me, is a coincidence in a post where I talk about Julius!) nearly every night. It would help if T. would listen when I try to explain the disciplines and put them into practice. But then, T. is still at the stage where he equates “having rules and boundaries” (C.M.) with lack of love. Bless him. He just wants everyone to love him and thinks they won’t if he’s firm. He’ll learn!

Suffice to say, when we’re on our own, Lucy couldn’t be a better friend – or more loving. I adore her more now than I ever did.

And there, isn’t that a nice, chirpy post for a change?!

P.S. Ah, well it was, anyway, before 30th July, when I heard/read about Debbie Purdy and her Law Lords’ court ruling, making it easier for someone to assist your suicide in Switzerland (at “Dignitas”). And now I’m depressed. And I did start to add a piece here about it but, on second thoughts, think I’ll either put said piece on MS – My Scene, or do my very best to forget it.

You all know my feelings about/opinions on ethanasia (see “The obligatory SAD piece” and elsewhere): I think it’s wrong; bad; murder (suicide, self-murder) and, therefore, a sin. I also think life in this world should, and could, be kinder so that PPMSers (like Debbie, 10% of all MSers and me) aren’t made to feel like that. No one should ever feel their life is not worth living.