Sunday, 24 October 2010

Warning: The Unseen Hazards Of The Big Society.

What an awful night that was! I've never had such a terrible night's sleep. I hate staying at other people's houses, especially older people's.

Why on earth are they so attached to the concept of sheets and blankets? It's fatally flawed. And bloody dangerous, too.

First I had a  nightmare in which I was being made to wear a straight-jacket. (Keep your thoughts to yourselves.) Then I thought I heard Mum calling and, when I went to climb out of bed, I got horribly tangled in the sheet and ended up falling on the floor.

Mum heard the crash, and came to see whether I was okay, so our roles got a bit muddled, to say the least.

There's a bloody great lump on her head by the morning, poor thing - and all because she was trying to do her bit for the Big Society.

It turns out that the reason she stinks of gin - did I mention that last night? - is because she was carrying a bottle of the stuff when she fell. It smashed and the contents went all over her. This is a relief, as I'd been wondering whether she'd taken to drinking in secret. (She was married to Dad, after all - so no-one could blame her.)

The gin was for an elderly neighbour, who has persuaded Mum to do her shopping and deliver it to her house. (Given that some might consider Mum to be fairly elderly herself, I think she should be given credit for her community-mindedness.)

The contents of the neighbour's weekly order never vary: gin, gin and cigarettes. She'd make a perfect date for Greg if she wasn't in her nineties. Anyway, it was while crossing the road to deliver the goodies that Mum buggered over her skirt.

Not that the neighbour seems particularly grateful. When I pop over this morning to tell her about Mum's accident, all she asks is whether the cigarettes are still dry - and when Mum will be well enough to go and buy another bottle.

Honestly, the woman's as much of a party animal as Annoying Ellen, albeit in a rather solitary fashion. That's probably why she keeps passing out in the bath and having to be rescued by Ted.

Bugger, now I've lost my thread. It's probably due to spending too much time with Mum, who could give Kevin Turvey a run for his money any day of the week. Or to sheet and blanket-related sleep deprivation. Now where was I?

Oh yes, keeping tabs on the elderly. When I finally arrive home this evening, after Ted's got back from his fishing trip, Dinah rings.

"Heard from Dad?" she says. Oh, for Pete's sake. Does it never end?

"No," I say. "I've been on Mum duty. What's up?"

"Thought I'd better check on him, but I can't get any answer again."

"Well, when you find him, let me know," I say. "I can only monitor one parent at a time. Our family forms far too big a chunk of the Big Society all by itself."

Now I could really use a gin - but my bottle turns out to be empty too. I bet bloody Josh has drunk the last of it. Maybe I'll go back to Mum's and try licking up what's left on the pavement.

No comments:

Post a Comment