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Sunday, 5 June 2016

Bootiful Last Day!

I changed my mind about my plans for today – I felt guilty about not taking my sister Lucy out once in my entire two weeks off, so I decided to take her out. Also Lucy has not seen father since he has moved into the care home, so off we went to Heacham to visit him. He was sitting in his usual comfy chair in the conservatory and was roasting hot – even Lucy was amazed to feel that his hands were toasty warm. He seemed pleased to see us – well he can't see at all really, but you know what I mean! He gave us a little smile and I could tell he was especially pleased to see Lucy as he hadn't seen her for a while. The staff got him into his wheelchair for us and we took him outside in the sunshine. With the north east wind it wasn't exactly boiling, but the sun was warm in the sheltered garden. Wrapped father up in his blanket and then he was happy. It was so lovely sitting on the bench in the garden with him. We chatted about the latest birds and told him about the three Red-backed Shrikes in Norfolk yesterday and how I had found a Spotted Flycatcher at Burnham Overy Dunes etc etc. He enjoyed the chocolate and the Werthers sweet we had got from his room. There were Swifts, Swallows and House Martins skimming overhead in the blue skies and two Mallards and a Robin were feeding beneath the bird table next to us. There is a beautiful tiled mosaic on the wall of the garden, which I havn't really studied before – Lucy instantly noticed a cat playing a violin in the picture! The mosaic depicts life and times in Heacham and is quite fascinating.

Father is still confused as to where he is and why – and I have to explain the entire reasons why he is here, where he is etc etc, every time I come here. I can see why its confusing and probably quite frightening – someone that is almost blind, coming from a life of living in one tiny little room to being moved to a 26 bed house, with a huge dining room, a huge living room, a conservatory and a garden!!! It will take a while for him to get used to it all – with plenty of visits from family initially to reassure him, I think and hope he will settle in nicely. Anyway, we brought father back into the conservatory and staff kindly transferred him back into his comfy armchair and we said goodbye and left.

Lucy and I picked up three portions of chips from 'Sunny Hunny' and headed for Holme to see what mother was up to. She had been watching the tennis when we arrived. I gave mother some exercises that I printed off the Arthritis Research UK website – 'Excercises for Hip Pain' (scroll down to Exercise section and open the pdf: simple hip exercises.).

Mother allowed me to move the living room around, as it hasn't looked right since father left home. I moved the sofa back to where it used to be and had a good sort out, hoovered and tidied and it now looks far better and more homely. Mother has been using father's walking stick to get around and I was showing her the correct way to get up/sit down with a stick – felt like I was back at work! Lucy and I stayed until 8pm and then left.

After dropping Lucy off in King's Lynn, I drove to the docks and stopped the car along the road by the River Ouse on the way to Lynn Point. I sat here a while watching the sun set and then witnessed something spectacular! A seal was bobbing up and down in the river and when I grabbed my bins to look more closely it had hold of a huge fish in its jaws! It took a while to eat it – I can't recall ever seeing this before – it was magical to watch and with the sun's rays glittering over the water, it was a lovely end to the day. I could see one Peregrine sitting on the tower as I left for home.

So, that's the end to a very busy, but productive holiday! Back to normality tomorrow! To be honest, I'm quite looking forward to it!


  1. Hi Penny, these last weeks, months or years with parents are so important and I read your blog from time to time. What you do for both your mother and father is brilliant and it will give you strength when times get harder. Just lost my father and there is a difference between dementia and death. Hard to explain but I know you will be proud of what you have done in your care for both your parents. Met your Dad several times at Holme back in the days when Holme was just brilliant. Pointed out a lesser grey shrike to him on one occasion. I wish you well and will undoubtedly continue to be impressed by your care for others. Jono.

  2. Hi Jono - thank you so much for your kind and supportive words. So sorry to hear of the recent loss of your father. Life is very difficult at times, but happy memories will always remain for all of us.