Last night, my wife and I had a date night. We’d planned it for the evening after we’d been to the shops, so while we were out we picked up some goodies.
Since last week, I have been looking through the programme guide and recording all the decent-looking movies I could find as they aired.
Monday, I raided the wine store and found a 20-year-old bottle I picked up from the producer while staying down at the bottom of France. It had been in the fridge since then. Ever the clinician, when I finally poured it, my wife said it looked like a dodgy-looking specimen, but there was 20 years of deliciousness in each glass.
Come 7 o’clock, we prepared just a frozen ready-meal, mushroom risotto. We have one of those good-frozen-ready-meal shops in Salisbury, so made a quick detour while we were out. We’ve had the risotto before and it too is delicious – and vegetarian! So we settled into our date night, settled in to watch Jason Bourne. It was crap – my wife and I have rarely agreed on what constitutes a good movie, but never mind.
The highlight of any meal is, of course, the pudding and we each made our choices at the supermarket. She had what tasted like a mixture of fruit, meringue and cream, whereas I had a delicious chocolate-and-salted-caramel torte. Mine was only a couple of inches in diameter, but it was so rich, that was enough. The beauty about both desserts is that they came in pairs, so we can try it all again soon!
There was one sad sign of our ages, however. Where we’d once have got up to all sorts of canoodling afterwards, last night, by not long after 9PM, we were both tucked up in our (separate) beds, snoring soundly. Because I seem to tolerate rice quite well, my sugar was also low, when I measured it this morning (that tiny torte wouldn’t hurt anyone, plus I was careful what I ate yesterday to that point).
So, a second date? With a decent movie on offer, who knows? Just provided those puddings last…
My mum and dad both died in 2012 (separately). My dad has a sister, who is now in her early/mid seventies. She emigrated to Australia back in 1970, when I was just a toddler. She got married out there and remains there to this day. I have three cousins who I’ve never met. I do, at least, keep in touch with the aunt via a weekly email exchange.
My mum was the middle one of three. She had an elder sister, and a younger brother. I haven’t seen the brother since I was a teenager – actually he is an interesting guy because he was a lowly market trader, who one day had an epiphany moment (think St. Paul!) and then became a church minister! I’ll tell you more about him one day, but this post isn’t about him.
My auntie – my mum’s elder sister – is somebody with whom I have been in regular contact, especially since my mum died. She was born three years before my mum, and is 79 now. She lives up in Greater Manchester – halfway up the country from me, about a five-hour drive.
Since the stroke, my own mobility has of course been restricted – I posted about this all the time, especially a couple of years ago – and I have not been able to visit her. We make do with a phone call every couple of weeks. When I last spoke to her she hadn’t been feeling well. Her eyes had been hurting, her head was aching, etc. I made sure I called her daily for a few days, as things eventually wore off. She has a daughter (my cousin) who still lives nearby, so I’m not really the primary contact anyway.
A week ago, the cousin contacted me, to say that my auntie had been taken into hospital. Where I’d laid off calling her for a couple of days because I thought she was getting better, she’d actually become bad enough to be admitted to hospital. All I could really do was to call her daily. When I spoke to her, there was a noticeable difference – she had become very anxious about things. She was convinced that she had done something, and that this was her punishment. She was convinced that her cellphone had been tapped, so she would not speak for long. Imagine the secuity services analysing those phone taps – what juicy material our conversations must have been 🙂. She apologised for even knowing me, in case it had somehow jinxed me. But, to her this was all real, and nothing anybody said could convince her otherwise. I mean, it sounded very stroke-like to me, almost a switch flicking in her brain. I wouldn’t claim to be an expert, though, and in my years volunteering with stroke survivors, I never came across anything like that. She did have an MRI scan which didn’t reveal anything – but I took that with a pinch of salt because mine was negative too, and now look at me!
Anyway, Fandango issued the prompt of amount, and I’m getting there. It won’t have escaped your notice that there is a little health scare going on at the moment. In the UK, the peak is expected in the next 2 weeks, and the NHS is preparing for it by kicking as many people out of the hospitals as they can.
This can mean things like cancer patients not receiving urgent treatment. Some hospices, too, have been closed. In my auntie’s case, she was discharged on Tuesday, complete with 7 days of anti-psychosis meds and an urgent outpatrient appointment booked for tomorrow. When I spoke to her Tuesday night, she was convinced that she had not been discharged properly (although she wouldn’t know the difference), that she had effectively run away, and that my cousin was about to be arrested for kidnapping her. So, judge for yourselves how cured she was!
Amount, okay. I heard on the tv tonight that this is very much a deliberate strategy by the NHS, and that some hospitals had brought their occupancy rates down to 80%, in preparation for the onslaught. I don’t particularly blame the NHS – this seems like a no-win situation. People without COVID-19 are not being treated, or not being treated properly, and they are the collateral damage. I wonder whether these people will appear in the final Corona data? I suspect not.
Our media is expressing shock, horror, that our medics might have to choose who to treat and who to ignore, as they have done in Italy. It sounds to me like that choice is already being made!
As a postscript, I spoke to my auntie a few hours ago. So far, so good. Actually she sounded better tonight at home than she had all week in hospital, but I guess that’s not surprising.