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Muriel On The Move

October 1, 2016

As we start our last weekend in the Cowley house (now known as the old Cowley house), here’s a few random recollections of the last three weeks.

“Dad – don’t forget to put Muriel’s Wedding in the box. Going to watch Bill Hislop shouting on Monday night in the new Cowley house”.

Life is so much easier when you can deal with someone directly. The minute you add outsourcing into the equation, you disappear into the void. The decorator, the gardener’s, the removal company, the TV aerial installation man are all one person businesses and dealing with them has been straightforward and human. On the other hand, take Argos (please take Argos). As is their style, they split my order into two deliveries. One delivery came on time to the right address. The other half was delivered to my flat. I wasn’t at my flat – I was waiting for it at the new house, so they left it with my neighbour. Except for one item, the microwave, which they decided my neighbour couldn’t be trusted with, so they took it back to the outsourced delivery firm’s depot. It took eight days, six phone calls taking 4 1/2 hours to track it down. Hopefully the microwave will now arrive on Monday morning.

” Dad – taking Mr Bean (the life sized cardboard cutout) to the new Cowley house on Sunday morning. Don’t want Mr Bean be squashed to death in Luke’s moving lorry”.

At 57, the time has come to accept that I’m crap at DIY. It’s not my forte. I freeze and imagine a Greek chorus laughing at me. I managed to assemble the new armchair (3 parts) and I could screw four legs onto Steven’s new sofa. But faced with a new wardrobe, it just seemed less fraught and less likely to be a Frank Spencer moment to leave Wayne and my sister to get on with it whilst I played Thomas the Tank Engine with my great nephew on the newly laid living room carpet.

“Dad – Chris and Alan will be Steven Neary’s moving buddies. Like Mr Potato Head”.

Roy the decorator worked bloody hard. The living room and my bedroom were in such a state, it took him six coats of paint before the walls and ceilings started to look reasonable. Even now, the temptation to add one more coat is very strong. Trouble is, with so many coats, two of the doors no longer shut. Cue one of the support team, who turned up yesterday morning with his sander and sorted them out. The support workers have been brilliant. I’ve hardly seen Steven over the past three weeks. But the guys have stepped up and taken so much of the pressure off. And they’re all coming in at 8 o’clock on Monday morning to do their bit for the move.

” Dad – they’re knocking the walls down in the old Cowley house on Monday. Don’t want the bricks to crush Steven Neary’s Proclaimers CDs”.

Some days the relentless bureaucracy of the world beat me. It seems like the OT has agreed to having a bath installed but wanted a “professional” letter to support my claim. Late last Friday afternoon, I got a call from the GP’s surgery to say the letter was ready for collection. I picked it up and was charged £30 for the privilege of the two paragraph letter. When I read it, it was all my own words. It was exactly the same words that I’d said to the GP when requesting it. I took it to the Civic Centre, only to be told they don’t do photocopying anymore. I’d have to go the library and queue up again upon my return. Even though the library is only about 600 yards away, I couldn’t do it. I gave up and went to the Slug & Lettuce and had a pint and steak & chips instead.

“Dad – say goodbye to Ranjt at the sweet shop on Sunday morning. Got a new sweet shop on Monday morning. With Frazzles. And a Milky Bar”.

I’m lucky to have my sister and Wayne. They just get on with things. They don’t laugh at me (well, not much). They don’t shout at me when  I pull the blinds they’ve spent hours putting up, crashing down. They dealt with the stroppy neighbour who thought 7pm was too late to be drilling six holes for the TV bracket. They just love Steven and are determined to get his home right for him.

” Dad – The Christmas tree. Dad – the Christmas tree. Dad – the Christmas tree. Put the Christmas tree box in a moving box”.

A few unanswered questions: Did I crack the TV screen when moving it from my neighbours (Thank you Argos) to the new house or was it already broken? What was that brown sticky stuff caked into several of the kitchen drawers? Will we get a TV signal eventually? Will my bad back survive packing and unpacking? Where will the Mr Bean cardboard cutout go?

“Dad – on Monday morning, Steven Neary & Mark Neary & Alan & Michael & Francis & Des & Chris will sing, ‘Oh bright new day, were moving away. We’re starting all over again’ “.

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From → Social Care

6 Comments
  1. Jayne Knight permalink

    At last your life has come around
    The crappy days are over
    And life’s a song!

    Well happy new days in your new home Steven
    Phew!

  2. Debbie Evans permalink

    Wishing Steven all the happiness in his long term home.May u both Hav many laughs hugs and smiles.

  3. frannie permalink

    Surely your GP did not charge for a letter for Steven, you should raise with him must be an administrative error by an unthinking admin member.I have never been charged for letters for my son when needed, disgraceful if so.

  4. Alison permalink

    Best of luck to you both. I have a rescue dog and we have our issues ( plastic, papers, anything left in reach and shoes, oh shoes) but we have had great support from classes. It seems there’s nothing there for humans despite the need? (my first class was all about positive reinforcement, we weren’t allowed to say no, all treat based and positive reinforcement, we could do the initial course and move on) We’re more than a bit out of step for people. I recently completed the Skills for Health positive behaviour support online training to see what it was like, which may help if management are on board. I think you need a positive work environment though. Here’s hoping that people get the recognition they deserve and the support to live fulfilling lives on their terms. How nuts is it that dogs have better and more easily accessible support than humans??

  5. best wishes for Monday , seamless organisation with tea and biscuits along the way or tears and tantrums from everyone from the outset , it doesn’t matter. As long as Steven feels his kind of cosy by bedtime and the snagging list doesn’t give you nightmares you should all sleep like babies.

  6. techiebabe permalink

    Just hugs and good wishes for “starting again”.

    I hope Steven is a very happy chap in his new home.

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