I’m sitting here on the bed in the only room seemingly without half a kitchen in it, with the sound of sledgehammers crashing into the soon to be gone kitchen wall ringing in my ears. I’ve found my little corner and for the time being, I’m staying here. We are, as I’m sure you know dear reader, in the middle of the #accessiblekitchen craziness so whilst my dear P is away having his weekly respite (ie. playing cards with the boys) I’m trying to get my head around the last week.
It was the week of “The Beast from the East” and we were so smug; we knew it was coming, we’d had loads of ‘retirement time‘ to go shopping and stock up so we were all set. Or so we thought……
So yes, we had loads of bread and milk safely stored in the freezer
Yes, we had extra logs and coal for the fire just in case
And yes, we had extra bottled water and the obligatory big box of wine (obviously!)
But did any of that help when we had two frozen pipes, a flooded shower room and water dripping through the bathroom ceiling……??
Of course not! All of our smugness turned to complete panic and what do you do, when you’ve just moved into the area, you’ve got major building work going on and you don’t know where the stopcock is???
You go running to your neighbours of course! The poor devils didn’t know what hit them when they were faced with P’s ‘I’m trying to look super normal but actually we’re panicking next door‘ appearance at their door. And being the fabulous people that they are, they came up trumps. We had someone in the attic doing clever things with a wrench, another in the shower room trying to stop the fountain coming out of the wall, one in the garden defrosting the pipes with my second best hairdryer in a crazy blizzard and lil ole me being the “yes it’s stopped” or “NOOOOO, it’s STILL coming” person.
Then there were the offers of showers, baths, jerrycans of water, hot meals and even eggs from their chickens (yes, really!)
They were nothing short of tremendous, especially considering the fact that we’ve only been here just over 11 weeks. Simply magnificent and it really restored my faith in human nature; of how kind and willing to help they were and all with a huge smile on their faces.
I have been so lucky in the last three years to have friends who have reached out and helped both me and P and it was that kind of friendliness and care that was on my mind in my routine visit to the Pain Management Clinic last week. After doing my usual medication review, as usual my consultant, the wonderful doctor B asked me how I was doing. And as usual I put my best smile on and said my usual “not too bad thanks” to which he raised an eyebrow and as usual, without another word from him, I blubbed all over him again as I have done very single time I’ve seen him. Why is it that a friendly, caring eye can reduce someone to tears and in my case, to total howling? Why is it that we all do that thing, the “don’t be nice to me” thing when someone who genuinely cares looks you in the eye and asks how you are?
This has happened so many times lately. A kind word of support from a doctor, a “you ok?” text from a friend, a “just ringing for a chat” phone call from a sister or even the “don’t panic, I’ll sort it now” from the builder. All of it has made my throat tighten and my tears flow. I must be turning into a real softie in my old age I think.
But one thing is certain, I value my friends more than I ever did before my fracture; before, I would happily claim to have a lot of them and wouldn’t have given it a second thought. Now I’m much more sceptical and certainly a lot more cynical about people which is a bit sad really but it also increases the value of the few friends who did stick around.
Thankfully, the weather has now changed back to its normal self, the plumber has been and stopped the leaks and our wonderful builder has fixed the shower and we can all get back to what we should be doing.
So, that means a hot shower for me, I can wash my hair, make myself look beautiful(!) and count my blessings – that’s if these lovely builders pipe down for a minute…….!