Sunday, 22 September 2013

Chapter Seventy Nine

Yesterday would have been my dad's 87th birthday. Still miss him a great deal. It would have been lovely to have brought him down here to Cornwall for holidays and the like. If the driving was to much, he could always have used the train or the plane.
It would have been good to show him around the area; I could have even taken him to the lookout.
We had our weeks holiday at the beginning of the month and really enjoyed ourselves. The first few days were spent down here before we took mum back home. Linda and I then stayed in the sheltered accomodation that mum lives in. They supply a double room for visitors visiting family up there. Its a lovely room and laid out very like a Travelodge or Holiday Inn place. The only thing missing is the TV.
Linda feels it is good for me to stay in a place like that as it gives me a taste of what it will be like when she finally puts me into a home. Charming...Oh how I laughed... saucy bat.
Mums nebulizer never did arrive down here and I had to get her one on loan from our surgery. When Linda chased up the delivery of the item to us the delivery company...sadly NOT Royal Mail...confirmed that the item had been delivered and signed for at our address.
Very odd that; especially as our home overlooks the road and mum was home all day. We all know what me mother is like. There is no way anybody is going to go by, that she wont spot. What was even more strange was the delivery man confirming to his bosses that, "Yes, I delivered the item to a bungalow in Ruan High Lanes". They took that as proof that it had been delivered to us even though Linda pointed out that we live in a 'HOUSE' in 'RUAN LANIHORNE'.

Once again excellent work from a private courier company. I know we're not perfect at Royal Mail...but we do things better than that.
Linda had loads of work to do at home on the Tuesday so I took mum down to St Mawes before taking her across on the ferry to the Lizard. I managed to drive right down to Lizard Point and we had coffee and dessert in the little cafe overlooking the sea. It is lovely down there and Linda and I do pop down here when we can. My Uncle Tom's ashes were scattered here by my Auntie Shirley, so it has a real meaning for me.
There is also a little island just around the point which is called 'MULVIN'.
Mum did ask a chap down there if he knew how it got the name. He had lived there all his long life and told her it had always been called mulvin, but he had no idea as to why. Our information about it being our family name from Ireland was news to him as he had never realised that mulvin was a surname.
He speculated that perhaps somebody of our name was washed onto it from a wreck years ago; or perhaps somebody surveying in the area had named it after himself. No nearer to finding the truth about it though.
The Wednesday saw us driving up to Surrey and settling in at Farnham. The few days up there went so quickly but we managed to catch up with all members of the family and that was good. We seemed to eat a lot with people this time. We had dinner with Fiona and Lucy; lunch with Katrina and Oscar; dinner with Ray and Carol; coffee with Fiona and Woody; birthday lunch with Roxanne and all the family; and finished off with dinner with Grahame and Julie.
It seemed to be a full week of catching up...and eating.
I was delighted to meet two people who are very dear to me. The first was Sandra Ellen. We bumped into her in Forest Lodge. She is an old friend of mine and it was great to catch up. I have to say she looked great as well.
Then a few minutes later and looking equally as good; there was my old mate Graham Bonner from Farnham Post Office. That was great to catch up with him and we had a real old chat. The rest of our rota at Farnham used to refer to us as 'The Old Farts'...or 'Statler and Waldorf' from the muppets. Charming people to work with I must say. When the Royal Mail Territorial Army unit called in to the office on a recruitment drive...even they referred to us both as 'Dad's Army'.
So much for any form of respect for two old work horses. Ha Ha.
I took a walk early one morning while up there so that I could get a couple of photos that I wanted. The first one was of a plaque that Woody was asking me about. He had seen something about it up at Westminster and mentioned it.
 The other thing was I picture I wanted before some clown decides to get rid of it. I managed to prevent Royal Mail ripping it off the wall about twenty years ago. The building's manager at the time came into our office and said they wanted to get rid of it. I pointed out that it had been a gift to the company by the former West Surrey College of Art and Design. I also pointed out that it was a modern art representation of the town and was completely unique. Much arguing later...he pushed off and left it alone.

While up in Surrey we did do a couple of things that we were pleased with as well. We visited Susan and Dads grave and cleaned and tidied that up. We got cleaning stuff from Dyas's and bleached the grave back to cleaness again. That was a little job I had planned on a while ago. Fiona always takes flowers down there for me at Christmas , and so I try, when I'm around, to keep it clean for everyone.

We also went to Rays old yard to see the final demolition of everything. Ray has closed the business and sold the site. Its the end of an era for the family, but he felt the time was right. Sad to see it go though. I managed to get a photograph of the last sign up on the place before this bit to got knocked down.

On our return to Cornwall, Linda instigated the biggest change of all to our living down here. She has finally resigned from the Alzheimers society and is now just working out her four weeks notice. It is a good move for her to make as the society has not been a highlight in her working career. The job they employed her to do...she was not allowed to do for the first year as they wanted her to do admin work.
Then she finally got out amongst the community only to find that the more she did of her job, the more barriers got put in her way. Told to do this, or told to do that; she would do it very successfully and then be told she was basically to successful and was going beyond her remit. There comes a time when you just realise that banging your head on a brick wall is doing nothing except harming yourself.
Then she and a colleague fell victim to a Machiavellian volunteer who has the company ear...and it seemed best to leave. By this time the choice was quite simply...'you had better jump because we are pushing'.
Thankfully it has meant that Linda can now go and do exactly what she does best. She has found work in the community and has now got the chance to expand her own ideas as well. With her skills and enthusiasm she is hoping to set up her own company and devote herself too helping and caring in the worlds of dementia and alzheimers.
Personally, I think she will do well at it.
My work too is going on a pace and I am very happy at the moment. The very real threats of strikes and the even more bigger threat of being privatised is shaking Royal Mail to the core...but I am keeping my head down and rolling with the punches. I know it wont make a scrap of difference whatever I say or do, so I am just enjoying my days at St Mawes and trying to keep out of trouble.
The weather is still quite good at the moment and the summer is slowly turning into autumn. I walked down to Sett Bridge the other evening to see the high tide coming in. It was pretty good and the water was over the road again. What did catch me was the roar of a combine harvester bringing in the last of the harvest.
They have been very busy down this way and the tractors and farm machinery have been rushing around the lanes getting their work done.
All hours of the day and night you can hear and see the work going on. A week ago when the weather was threatening to break, they were working in the fields under lights. Everyone is doing a great job.

I saw this combine working in the field just behind us. It sounded like it was actually beside me, the noise was so loud. When it came into view it looked like a small house on the move. Its brilliant to see it all though.    

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