11 October 2020

A Hard Rain

I heard 10,000 whispering as no one was listening

A hard rain is coming - it's going to fall.  We've all had enough of everything, whether it's SPADs or viruses... Lock downs, masks, and closures....

I heard one person dying, I heard many people laughing....

The woods are calling.  The selva oscura beckons, with all the attractions of darkness and tangle.... The sinewy ranks of hornbeam welcome me....

But....  it's not time, it's not time.  Whatever the lure, responsibility hauls us back.  The web is sticky....

The comforts of home.  The glass that is more than half full.  There are things to be thankful for....

I cut Amanda's toe nails this evening.  After supper.  Watching tv.  We've been married some 36 years, and I think this is the first time I've done that.  I was thinking, the other morning, after I had clipped her finger nails.....  I wonder if her toe nails need attention?  Then, I realised, when I was bathing her earlier, that they needed cutting.  Never occurred to me before.  Like I only started washing her hair some months ago.  After the swimming pool closed.

Funny how time plays tricks like that.

Funny how roles change.  Life changes.  Life kinda runs out.....

Or maybe it's not funny.

I'm not laughing.

We're all caught in the web.....

Or perhaps we aren't?

Today I read The Observer.  John Lydon (aka Johnnie Rotten of the Sex Pistols) is the sole carer for his partner, Nora, who has dementia.  He is quoted as saying, I understand that there are instances where people just can't cope, they don't have the capability.  But at the moment, I do, and I'm doing the best I can with that.  I'm actually quite happy.....

This is love, the hard years, the big test?....  Everything is a test.  You've got to solve these problems. You can't just run away and hide.  You've got to meet it head-on, get on with it.  Sorry, there it is.  These are the cards handed to you and you'd better play the game....

He has reason.  As is said in Italy.  You can't just run and hide.

He also says, when asked if he has lost his life partner.  I haven't lost her, no, no, no.  She's going through some traumas.  Bits of memories are fading, slowly but surely, and will probably all be gone eventually.  But I'm making sure it's a happy journey and not a sad one.....

Good for you, Johnnie.

Someone who works for the Alzheimer's Society once told me that they have a saying. When you've met one person with dementia......  You've met one person with dementia.

We are all pretty vacant.

Or perhaps not?

Amanda is 66.  She first saw a doctor about her memory difficulties about ten years ago.  Various people asked her numerous questions and eventually she was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's disease.  She was 'treated' with Donepezil for a year, but 'we' were not satisfied with the diagnosis, and eventually the doctor agreed to refer her to a neurologist.  So, after various people had asked her numerous questions, and her brain had been scanned, etc, her diagnosis was changed to Fronto-temporal dementia, semantic variant, and put under the supervision of the National Hospital For Neurology and Neurosurgery, Queen Square, London.

It is possible that her dementia was triggered by an auto-immune infection, but it is now too late to test for this.  

It is also possible that Donepezil made her condition worse.

But all that is in the long lost past.

It is possible that she will have another ten years deteriorating.....

As with John Lydon and Nora, we have to be grateful that things could be worse.  Others with similar conditions to Amanda spend their days running up and down stairs, or binge eating, or making noises.  

Amanda likes walking, and dancing. She is a sweet natured girl. When we see others out walking, she says, Oh you have a nice, happy time, thank you....  Yes you have a nice happy time....

To everyone we meet.

And the other thing she says, is: Those little things over there - not too bad.  Not too bad.

And that's it.  Pretty much the whole range of her speech these days.  

There's no point in asking
You'll get no reply
Oh just remember I don't decide
I got no reason it's all too much
You'll always find us
Out to lunch

Oh we're so pretty
Oh so pretty
We're vacant
Oh we're so pretty
Oh so pretty
- vacant

Glen Matlock / Paul Spencer Cook / Steve Jones / John Lydon

Get thee glass eyes, and like a scurvy politician, seem to see the things thou dost not.

William Shakespeare
King Lear, Act 4, Scene 6


  1. WSC, in his inimitable fashion, had it right: keep buggering on...

  2. Love is all that matters. Johnny & yourself and many others feeling 'vacant' but your heart is full, your glass half full. Beautiful. <3