Sunday, July 11, 2010

Washing line, sister and out.

We're not going to have internet access for about 10 days now, so posting will continue erratic until then. I will catch up on the missing days -- I've got them in my notebook.

1. We find the washing line hooks in the courtyard, and a washing line that Nick has kept safe for the 20 years since he left home. A load of washing out in the sun makes the place look clean and homey.

2. In this heat, the ladies of ward seven look iller than ever. They make Nick's mother, who is sitting up in her chair, look positively healthy. A dementia patient calls again and again: "Please, I want to go back in. I want to go back in." Two bays down, a middle-aged daughter pulls aside the oxygen mask and wets her mother's lips: "Mum, mum, can you hear me?" The son across the bed looks anxiously on. A too-large and too-cheerful crowd round the bed downstream drowns out our conversations. Then Nick's sister Sarah walks serenely in, calm and cool despite the temperature, and suddenly everything seems a lot better.

3. We spent the rest of the afternoon collecting the left-behind bits out of the old flat and giving it a clean. We've moved backwards to the front door on a wave of boxes, dust sheets and cleaning kit. Finally, it's all outside and the floors are swept for the last time. My parents come to drive everything down to the new house.

4. To serve a guest with an iced drink after two years of no freezer.