The Berlingo is facing its MoT this morning.
God help it
That's all I can say.
My nephew who is a mechanic and garage owner is well used to the state of the car
He didn't batter an eyelid when he spied a clutch of goose eggs on the back seat
He's seen a great deal worse.
It is another beautiful spring day here in North Wales, and before I dropped the car off I noticed a group of old ladies ballroom dancing together in the grounds of local nursing home....
A carer in green overalls was clapping out a tempo as the women shuffled around the lawn in their woolly cardigans and floral dresses.
It was a charming if slightly incongruous sight which reminded me of little incident from my student nurse days in Mental Health....
I have blogged about this way back in 2008 , but I think it is a story that is worth repeating,
As a student nurse working in the last days of asylum care, life was sometimes a little tough! My elderly placement was on an ancient blue painted institution called Dunham Ward. The place was a bleak Victorian prison like building with a Nightingale dormitory for 24 senile men and had a staff of five per shift to care for them. Early shifts were a never ending slog of washing,toileting,changing, feeding and bed making. It was relentless and at times soul destroying, but generally the staff were upbeat and friendly and placements were survivable as they were usually only 12 weeks long!
One day I remember making the patients' drinks in the kitchen. I was tired and fed up, so was carelessly slopping tea into the variety of nhs cups and feeder beakers.Our kitchen was shared by our "sister" ward called Daresbury, which was the female version of Duham ward, and as I brewed the tea I could look out from a serving hatch into the ward's day room, where 20 old ladies, all of whom were suffering from the end stages of Alzheimer's , were slumped in their chairs which were all set up against the walls!
As I stood there, I could see one male visitor sat presumably with his wife. He was drinking coffee from a flask and she looked as though she was asleep. I remember she had her grey hair in a small tight bun. Slowly he put down his drink and holding onto her hands, he eased the lady to her feet. I thought he must have been preparing her to go to the toilet, but he didn't call a nurse or do that thing that carers have to do from time to time,and that is to check for wet spots!, he just pulled his wife to her feet and held her close before he slowly started to dance with her.
The woman staggered at first and then like stiff little robots they both tottered around for a while. But ever so slowly muscle memory kicked in and the couple started to waltz gently around the big room , in front of 20 pairs of unseeing eyes. It was an incredibly moving moment and one that remains with me nearly 30 years later! In just a few precious seconds, I had learnt an incredibly important lesson about human dignity