What with river trips and oil tanks, it’s been a while since we’ve managed to get down to see my Mum.
Our last visit was when my sister was on holiday, and I haven’t heard anything from anyone since. I knew that the longer I left it, the more awkward things may become, so this morning we were up early and on the road just after 6.30 so that we could have a sensible amount of time with her.
It was a shitty journey. No other way to describe it.
The motorway driving was OK and we changed drivers at Chippenham, picking up the A350 as according to the traffic reports, there were no road works.
From there, it went downhill.
We got caught up in the ‘9 o’clock start’ rush hour, got stuck behind a hay wagon, and the idiots from Driving Hell had beat the message out on the tom-toms to get in our way.
We by-pass Blandford and go through a small village with a steep 1 in 6 gradient hill coming out of it. Our little car only has a 998 cc engine, and getting up it in normal circumstances is painful, especially as there is a 20 mile an hour limit now thus spoiling the chances of having a run at it. We didn’t get out of first gear thanks to not one, but FOUR HGVs in front of us, and the amount of traffic behind us was beyond the range of our rearview mirror.
Reminded me of this:
We eventually pulled into the obstacle course that is my sister’s back road at 10.30, and no-one appeared to be up yet. Mum answered the phone when I rang and said she was getting dressed but would be down to let us in shortly.
I think she forgot, as my sister came back through the front door ten minutes later after walking the dog and opened up. Not much was said.
Mum came down for her breakfast, and Sis collected her stuff to go to her Slimming World meeting. She joined a couple of weeks ago, but apparently didn’t qualify for a free 12 week membership as I did.
We made sure Mum took her medication and then suggested going out for a drive. She didn’t really want to go, but we pushed it, and ended up at Hamworthy Park where we used to take Maggie as a puppy.
She remembered where she was and went straight in the water (pictures from last year).
We had tea and cake in the little cafe there, Mum demolishing a huge piece of iced cherry madeira.
We got back to the house around 1pm having fought through yet more heavy traffic to find my niece and her daughter playing Guess Who with my sister. Sis was feeling pretty chuffed having got her half stone certificate on her second meeting, the same as I had several weeks ago. I was really pleased for her, though she made no comment at all about my efforts.
We didn’t stay long after that as we didn’t want to get held up in rush hour traffic going the other way, and went back via Salisbury (and wished we hadn’t as it took us over half an hour to travel 2 miles).
We changed drivers at Chippenham again, and were on the motorway just after 4pm.
There were holdups on both the M4 and M5, so we didn’t get home until well after 6pm.
It’s been a long day, and not one of our best.
Mum’s memory failed her every ten seconds or so and she wasn’t anywhere near as animated as when we last saw her. She’s had a headache for several days but hasn’t seen the doctor, has also been experiencing some breathlessness again and is still a little unsteady on her feet.
Having finished our teas, I’d helped her up out of her chair and made sure she was stable before we moved anywhere. We must have looked like an ad for Sticks R Us, as she was walking with one and Hubby and I were each walking with two!