We’ve settled into a daily routine of helping look after my cancer-stricken mother. Unless something goes amiss, the days are now pretty predictable. But when something does go awry, it can create minor panic.
Yesterday, when Mom’s oxygen was inexplicably not flowing, my father started to “lose it.” I had to step in and reassure him, “Easy. Let’s check it carefully….” All the lights were on indicating correct functionality.
It turned out the line had been loose at the connection on the machine.
* * *
In other tech news, naturally the four year old (that’s right, four) G.E. dishwasher gave up about three weeks ago – before we got here and before her cancer diagnosis. $450 to fix, minimum, the repair guy said; better to buy a new one. “We call G.E. short for ‘generally expensive,'” he added.
Visiting my parents is at times like stepping back into a slower, simpler time. They prefer to use cash. They still write checks. They still do bills by mail.
While they do occasionally buy from Amazon and other online retailers, when it comes to MAJOR APPLIANCES they still go pretty traditional. At least my father does. I’d tried to help him buy a new dishwasher online, but he insisted on going to “old reliable” in person for a replacement.
Ah, trying to keep a secret when there’s Facebook…. and novelist uncles who forget and post things to your wall that you had made absolutely clear to him you didn’t want all of your family and close friends to know.
A very serious post to start the week. At a U.K. family get-together over the weekend, I witnessed (yet again) an ugly Irish chauvinism and excuse-making for Ireland’s “neutrality” during the Second World War. It had come up amidst chatter in “taking sides” during Saturday’s Rugby World Cup match between Wales and England, which was playing on the TV in the background.
Rooting for Wales, the London-born person of Irish descent declared snidely, “We’ve always fought the English.” That is the core position that underscores everything. If that was all, I could have lived with it.
It wasn’t. What followed was a descent into a Celtic supremacist blathering that drifted into bordering on pro-Nazi – in terms of Irish residents in England having been drafted to fight the Nazis when they were Irish not British…. and the British had been horrible to the Irish over the centuries (like no one knows that?), but the Germans, well….
When I first read a few days ago about what she had “joked” about, I knew immediately she would have to walk back the comments. And she did:
That Guardian piece also notes:
She joked that British people tend to look down on Americans….
I find it really irritating that she “joked” about that on U.S. national TV’s Jimmy Kimmel, because millions of Americans will take what she says as “lightheartedly” accurate. True, no one ever knows what people say about you behind your back. However, I can say that I have not experienced a sense of being “looked down on” by British people.
Our UK worldly possessions are now mostly in a storage facility near Bristol. (Where we had thought we would be moving. We were wrong.) This morning, we’re at friends’ in Bath (who’ve lent us their place while they are on holiday). Later, we drive to London to visit with my in-laws for a week or so.
This latest move got me recalling all of the moves over the years.
I know I’ve not even hinted at it, but we are moving house today. We’re relocating from just outside of Bath, temporarily back to north London. We suspect we may be living somewhere semi-permanently around Reading (pronounced Redding) in the near future – although that could well change. (This is all work-related. Yes, that awful reality. ;-) )
So the nomads are on the move once more. As a result, I may be somewhat “unsocial” on here for a few days. Right now, I’m sitting in a lounge that is, well, chaos.
My desk has been taken apart. Boxes are everywhere. The removal guys will be here in an hour or so.
A new chapter begins. Have a good day, wherever you are. :-)
It will be published no later than that date. However, it might appear sooner if I finish “touching it up” sooner than that. I don’t know if it’s available for pre-order at the other Amazons as well (I haven’t clicked around to check), but I presume it is (or will be within hours).