Laptop Adventures and the Passing of Bones

Been mostly offline for a few weeks and haven’t managed to write very much due to the following confluence of events:

The garden sprang into life.

My laptop died taking passwords with it. It did very generously flicker back into life just long enough for me to retrieve most of my passwords, then passed away completely. I was quite sad. Me and that laptop have been on a right journey together. It was on that laptop that I started my creative writing odyssey, penned every flash, poured out my emotions, finished my MA. Wrote myself into better mental health. It brought me so much positivity that wee collection of metal and silicon, so RIP my worn-out friend.

My husband turned 60 and I organised a few little separate celebrations for him, as due to restrictions we couldn’t all meet at the same time.

Had to wait for cashflow to improve before getting new laptop – husband’s pension kicked in so I knew the money was coming.

Had loads to do with new caring duties now both elderly relies are back from rehab and settling into life at home post stroke and hip breakage. This has been ALOT of work. For example – this bank holiday weekend mum-in-law fell on Friday morning, banging her head and alerting her alarm service who, as well as despatching me round to sit with her, also triggered an ambulance which took 4 hours to turn up. She was then taken to hospital where she stayed for 3 1/2 hours and when we phoned to ask how she was (we weren’t allowed to go with her due to covid restrictions still in place) the hospital computer system had gone down and they couldn’t locate her with any greater detail than she was no longer in A&E. As she can’t speak very well, has limited movement on her left hand side and is doubly incontinent we were very keen to ascertain her whereabouts ASAP. After several increasingly strident and desperate calls from us, they found her and told us there was no transport to take her home so she’d have to stay in for the night. We of course collected her which was no mean task because she’s very heavy having put on loads of weight in rehab, and can’t walk more than a few strides and has only been in the car once since she came home (and then with 2 physios and me and husband to help her). By 9pm she was finally safely back in bed at home – and that was that for Friday. On Saturday morning another call. Dad-in-law had had an accident and could I go over. Three hours later after stripping bedding, aquavaccing carpet and remaking the bed, situation resolved. On Sunday we took Mum-in-law out for a long-promised drive as a reward for doing her exercises all month. This took most of the day if you include getting her ready, getting her in, doing the drive, getting her out and safely back in her riser recliner. Then on Monday, in a completely unrelated incident youngest son on his first trip to Leeds to see uni friend for his birthday, was in a 7 car pile up on the M1 on his way home. He wasn’t driving and no-one was hurt but it was very worrying and once he got back home, we all sat in garden having a glass of wine, toasting all the goddesses for his safe return, when the phone rang – mum-in-law had fallen again. Cue us all getting into Harry’s car (he doesn’t like wine) to sort her out and get her back into bed. (She wasn’t hurt). And all this is on top of cooking and freezing their meals for the week (they wont eat shop-bought ready meals); and doing their shopping (they don’t do online and even if they did they couldn’t unpack it, we’d have to do that). This weekend was particularly bad, but you get the picture – this new regime is very time consuming, emotionally draining and not conducive to writing . It’s like you’re always on stand by, waiting for the proverbial to hit the fan, so you can’t really relax or focus on writing. My brother-in-law is down now, staying till this evening so neither me or grumpy husband are on call should the alarm trigger again. This being the case grumpy husband has gone fishing and I am doing a live Q&A with lovely Gaynor Jones from Retreat West on Twitter about The Naming of Bones.

Everything about the Naming of Bones has gone really well, the launch, publication day, reviews and I’d like to say a huge thanks to everyone who bought, read and/or reviewed it so far. The feedback I’ve seen has been really heartening, and reading it all has given me such joy and a bit of a break from all this perpetual caring.

Anyhoo, if you fancy asking me any questions about The Naming of Bones, writing as therapy or anything else, I’ll be on Twitter from 6.30pm. In the meantime here are some photos showing the moments of fun I’ve been having offline.

Grumpy husband at Wells-next-the-Sea
Weeded bed and coppiced willows
Grumpy husband with hammerhead log

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