There are times when being a grown up is less enjoyable than it normally is. I have written periodically how being a grown up wargamer is so much fun as you have access not just to the toys, but also all the accoutrements of an adult. Like power tools and an enormous shed. And, mostly, a regular income to pay for the new toys.
Alas with all the of this comes responsibilities, and to be honest, I've almost had enough of being a grown up recently.
My mother, who will be 87 this year, went into hospital with gall stones the weekend before Christmas and has been pretty much in hospital since then. She was initially discharged, and then was taken ill again and had to be treated on a stroke ward. She's quite small and has become increasingly frail. Her desire to be independent and stay in the family home seems to be inversley proportional to her physical well being.
All in all she has been hospital for 6 of the last 8 weeks. She was discharged again last Monday, complete with a re-enablement package (that means care workers coming in three or four times a day to help with getting up & preparing meals). This package hasn't always met with her expectations, - as I remarked last week our game was cut short by some difficulties she was having and she'd only been back home for 12 hours. By Tuesday it was all too much for her and we were looking for space in the care home in our village.
Well, I say "we" but it was Mrs T doing the all work. I was stuck in London, being a grown up.By Wednesday the assessment had been done and we were waiting for a move date and shoving numbers in a spreadsheet to see if the expected fees and existing savings stack up. And hoping we can move my father to the same place.
Since then we've had a lot of calls about the inadequacy of the home re-enablement help and increasing pressure from her to move as soon as possible. Eventually it was decreed it would be this Tuesday.
So the weekend is spent going through the house and working out what she needs ("I must have that chair, - and that, - and one of those" "Mum it's just one room you know"). So we are rooting through the house like everyone's died, looking for things and trying to work out what we're going to do with everything and who in the family needs a dining room suite or that nice bureau we all like, and what about the contents of the freezer, stuffed full as it is with ready meals. Now we're wondering if we should rent it out, either furnished or unfurnished (the house that is, not the freezer. It's big but you couldn't live in it).
All very grown up stuff and not at all enjoyable.We just hope this is the right solution and she'll be happy. After all, there is no alternative as far as we can see. The only silver lining is that we may get some of our free time back and we won't be constantly wondering if she isn't answering the phone because she's taken her hearing aid out (again) or whether she's fallen over. And we'll be able to spend time together because we want to, not because we have to.
Everyone, pretty much, looks up to their parents and as you go through life you wonder how it is that they seem to know what to do about things in general, - whether it is cars, insurance, buying a house and so on. Then you get to the point where they can't help anymore and it is you who is expected to know how all this works. I spend my life in a quasi-legal environment, reading contracts and service proposals. Crumbs, - I've even read and understood rules by Phil Barker and Martin Goddard - but even the "simplified" fact sheets from Age Concern are incomprehensible. I can work out how to shift billions of dollars safely round the world but I haven't a clue as to what happens with attenadance allowances worth £50. Thank goodness for my sister in law who used to work in a local authority social housing department.
All of which is not very much about wargaming, and is overly self centred and self pitying. Probably just better grow up and get on with it.