We made it back from Scotland! The journey up took a leisurely four days, as we stopped off at any tourist attraction that looked interesting and vaguely en route – the David Livingstone Centre, J M Barrie’s Camera Obscura, Brodie Castle, and probably other places I can’t remember. Then we spent the next few days visiting granny.
Granny has been old all of my life life – she was 65 when I was born and already had diabetes and probably other things too. At one point she was taking 43 different pills each day. In that respect she is a lot better now, because the staff at the residential home take really good care of her, monitor her diet and keep on top of her medication. She’s lost weight and her blood sugar doesn’t reach Medical Miracle levels any more.
The granny I remember is still there, but she is obscured a little by the difficulty walking and the memory problems. It broke my heart to hear her asking us when she would be going home – even after several months in the home, and nearly a year out of her flat (she spent seven months in hospital waiting for a space to come available) she still hasn’t accepted that she isn’t going back to living independently. It just wouldn’t be possible, she can barely stand up but she still wants to.
Her foul language and sharp sense of humour are still there though! And she knew who we were every time we went to see her, and enjoyed going out for an ice cream and to the aquarium. On the whole I feel like she’s in the best place possible, and still getting something positive out of life, but I wish we lived closer and could go and visit her more often. There’s a very real possibility that we won’t see her again – but on the other hand we’ve been saying that for the last fifteen years.
You can appreciate just how far away she lives when I tell you that Xander and I caught a train out of Inverness, about an hour south of her town, at 9.18am and got back to mum’s house at 6.30pm. Other than an hour in Glasgow, we didn’t spend more than ten minutes waiting for trains anywhere, and we weren’t delayed. Nine hours is a lot of time to spend travelling!
And now we’re back, with a huge amount of laundry to do and a bag of secret chocolate bars (chocolate is rationed in this house). I’m planning an exciting programme of visits to various places while Xander is here, but for today we’re recovering from our epic journey and Xander is fixing the computers.
Last night I booked a whole load of National Express tickets to get me down to Bath for the choir course and then from there to Whitby. Foolishly I hadn’t registered that there was a two-day overlap, so I’m having to miss two days of Whitby and one of Bath, but at least I still get to go to both. National Express are doing £9 tickets anywhere if you book by tomorrow, so I took advantage of that – the train isn’t much quicker and tickets cost anything from £60 to £120. Somehow the computer managed to book me two tickets for the same journey, so I’m hoping they’ll refund me – fingers crossed.
Sorry for a rather dull post, I will return with photos once I’ve sorted all the email and post that has mounted up in seven days.