Our dining room table is right in front of the window, with a good view of patio and garden and the various bird feeders. One intriguing sight is the mouse that cuts across at high speed. If I blink I miss him. Sometimes all I get is an impression of something whizzing by. He takes the same route every day. I think he’s one of the three babies that came daily for birdseed last year. No longer a baby, he now ventures further afield. We thought it quite amusing when several times a neighbour’s cat followed the same trail. Coincidence? Or was he following the scent of mouse? It all happens in our garden!
It all happens in our road as well. The next door neighbour, Doug, an elderly guy of 78, going on 79, has started to tumble. On a few occasions he has fallen in his own home, unable to get himself upright, but at least once he was outside where Joe found him. One night was spent on the floor of his bathroom where another neighbour discovered him. She pops round to sort his washing and do some shopping so she, fortuitously, has a key. Joe and I have been key-holders for many years on a just-in-case basis. The poor man’s memory is not what it was and sometimes he has had to phone us to let him out when he mislaid his own keys. Note that... we had to let him OUT. How sad when the mind gets in such a state, something that can happen to us all. Fortunately, Joe and I still retain our faculties.
Things have been organised now, the doctor has arranged with Social Services to supply carers – much against the wishes of the man himself. Doug has always lived alone and it goes against the grain to have people in his home telling him what to do or generally keep an eye on him.
We are fortunate in the UK that our health service provides for us oldies, although to read the newspapers you would wonder, by the sheer numbers of ageing folk, how on earth the medics cope. But cope they do, and very well, at that. When I think of the speed and efficiency that went into caring for Joe I am truly grateful. It knocked us sideways sometimes with the amount of appointments he had but there was never any room for complaint, thank the Lord.