Monthly Archives: March 2009


How on earth are you supposed to be able to keep a birthday present secret when you live with someone?  When you share you life so closely with them?  When they’re your boyfriend, partner, housemate and friend, all rolled into one.  I would have managed it if I’d been able to buy it in town.  But it was impossible to get locally, so I had to order it online.  And if I’d known that parcels here always come before 8am, when I’m either not in, or am half asleep, then I would have arranged for it to be delivered to a friend’s house.  But no.  Sigh.  He doesn’t know exactly what it is.  He just recognised the label on the package, and my refusal to tell him what I’d been spending money on, confirmed it’s birthday essence.


When is it right to say ‘enough is enough’ and stop medical treatment?  There is a line.  Somewhere.

I had a discussion with someone recently about this – she didn’t want to ‘play God’ by turning off the machines.  Which I completely understood and respected, but there are times when the person is never going to be alive without X and Y and Z machine.  So, is it fair?  Is it ethical?  In a way, as I pointed out in this discussion, by using these machines, we are already playing God.  These people would have died already, if it hadn’t been for the machines that we’ve invented.  Which of course, in many cases is a good thing, but there is a line which must be drawn at some point.  It is possible to keep a completely brain dead person ‘alive’ with machines.

These are all issues I have to quite frequently discuss, and therefore ponder upon.  But when suddenly they’re being discussed about a member of my own family, it’s completely different.  My Grandad was taken into hospital today.  And it doesn’t sound good.

Every brain cell in my head tells me that he’s had a very good life – he’s 89 and he’s certainly lived a fulfilled life.  If he deteriorates further, my medical knowledge knows that there isn’t any point in massively up scaling treatment.  But my heart is still hugely saddened at the thought.


In the last few weeks I’ve started driving on the motorway, which surprisingly has been going okish.   I first drove on the M5 three weeks ago, and I only did about 60 miles before Mr B took over again.  After only slightly more motorway experience, I ended up driving on the M6, in the dark and rain last Friday night.  I thought I’d done alright, given the conditions.  The hardest thing was the fact that I couldn’t tell how far away the cars were, when I looked in my mirrors – all I could see was lights.  I’ve since been told that the central mirror has a fancy fitting which stops the light glare – nobody had ever told me this before!

I drove back part way yesterday, and got a bit flustered when the M6 traffic slowed down to an almost stop – I was in motorway driving mode, and was confused about what I should do with gears, etc on the motorway when driving so slowly.  I did change down, but then changed up too quickly when it cleared and couldn’t accelerate quick enough.  Overall it was alright – except when I got caught up in the roadwork signs and missed the signs which said my line was going to turn into the M42…  I have a history with that motorway, although thankfully we were able to turn around before we’d gone 20 miles in the wrong direction!

Overall motorway driving is going ok – I feel relatively confident about changing lane and coping with common motorway issues.  Where my confidence is severely lacking is parking and general maneuvers.  When I was learning to drive I was fine with it.  My instructor explained the logistics and I mostly understood it, and I didn’t have any major problem.  Now though, I just mess it up.  I know which way to turn the wheel in theory, but in practice I always do it wrong.  And I haven’t even attempted parallel parking yet.

I think I’m going to have to find a big, empty space and just practice reversing the car round in different ways.  And if that doesn’t work, I might have to get a couple of extra lessons.  I know all I really need is lots of practice.  But it’s difficult when I don’t particularly like driving and will do anything to get out of it.

I’ve also got to get over the hurdle of driving on my own.  When I do mess things up, Mr B is the one who tells me how to fix it.  So the thought of being stuck in a car somewhere, completely unable to park, just terrifies me.

The stupid thing is, I feel I was overall better at driving when I passed my test, than I am now, four and a half years later.  It’s what happens when you don’t drive for four years.


Can hang on such a thin thread sometimes.  You think everything’s going to be ok, you think he’s through the worst, you think you can see the light at the end of the tunnel.  Then BAM.  You get a phonecall that tells you differently.

The shock was the worst bit.  I couldn’t believe she was talking about the right person.  Then I just sat there.  Stared into space.  I had been all set to go to the allotment, but that didn’t happen until I’d stared into space for 20 minutes.  When I did go, I dug, and dug and dug, taking all my feelings out on the ground.  With Kate in my ears, I only stopped and broke down when ‘Canaan’s Land’ came on.

After a good old dig and a good old cry, I felt like I’d let out many of my clogged up feelings, and I went for a long walk, with some slightly cheerier music.

There’s nothing I can do now.  We did everything we could.