Thursday, 16 September 2010



Hi! Remember me – Leeta (aka Granny Grimble). It’s been a long time since my last blog and a lot of water has gushed under my bridge since I last put finger to keyboard, so I’ll just recap to get back in the swing of things.

The building work is finally all over (more about that later) and we are both coming to terms with Arthur’s Alzheimer’s. It doesn’t get any better, but he has been prescribed Aricept which is a drug that can’t cure or halt the disease, but can slow the progress down a little, giving us a bit more time.

One of the reasons that I have not been on the blogging scene is that looking after my other half, and running a home, and doing all the things that I’ve never had to do during our long marriage, takes up so much time and space , that there aren’t really enough hours in the day. I suppose being 79 doesn’t help, as I don’t seem to have as much energy as I did a few years ago. But we’re coping.

Arthur now gets taken out for three hours twice a week, by two lovely community workers, which gives me some ‘me’ time. He is also attending a six week course on ‘Living and Coping with Memory Loss’. This means that I have an extra three hours of ‘me’ time for a few weeks. I thought it would be a great idea to catch up with my blog and relax a little, so here I am!

Last Spring we were advised by our three children that we should literally get our house in order. The bathroom was very tatty and the shower cubicle was an accident waiting to happen withmy husband becoming more and more unsteady on his feet. The stairs were becoming such a trial that sometimes it just wasn’t worth the effort of climbing them! My kitchen had been inherited when we bought the house 15 years ago, and although a dream at the time was now falling to pieces. Two drawers didn’t pull out more than half way, and one fell on your foot if you weren’t mindful of its evil ways. There were lots more that I won’t bore you with. Putting all these things right was going to cost thousands and thousands of pounds, which we just didn’t have. The offspring persuaded us that the sensible thing to do was to raise some equity on the house. So we did. You will never know the amount of paperwork and phone calls it entailed, covering solicitors, insurance agents, brokers, builders, surveyors, fitters and installation men, suppliers and so it went on. All this and with no active husband to help me.

First we ordered a Stannah Stairlift, which was installed without fuss or problems, and then I set about choosing a new kitchen and a wet room. That was great fun, as for the first time in my entire life, I could choose what I actually wanted and not what I thought we could afford. I felt like I had won the lottery! Because my arthritis is now quite bad, I can no longer crouch or kneel down, so under worktop cupboards are no no. I set about designing a kitchen FOR ME. I am only 5feet two inches short, so I can never reach shelves and high cupboards. The first thing I decided was that I wanted the wall cupboards and work tops lowered by two inches. It took a lot of persuading to get the kitchen installer to come to terms with this! Then I insisted that the electric fuse box was lowered to my head-height. In the past it had been at ceiling height and when the lights fused (every time a bulb blew) Arthur had to climb a ladder to flip the trip switch back. Of course he could no longer do that, and I can’t climb ladders, so it had to either be lowered or we would have to live in darkness forever more! I had a fight over that. At first they chased dozens of cables into the wall and put the box half way down the wall. I would still have to climb a ladder to use the fuse box! The electrician was not a happy bunny, but it was costing us a great deal of money and I was the customer who is always right! They had to take it all out and bring it down even further. This time, hiding it in the wall cupboard, this was fine by me.

To be continued………