Monday, 24 October 2011

Slight Distractions

You may have guessed from my last post that I haven’t had a lot of chances to do much on the wargaming side of things recently. Total wargaming output in the last week would be:

1)      One playtest game of “Fugitive!” – a partisan hunting PBI scenario now contained in the latest Peter Pig newsletter.
2)      Three Gothic cavalry completed (ie not even painted from scratch, - just highlighted, varnished and based)
3)      Miliput saddles put on 7 cavalry figures for the mystery army because the riders don’t fit.
4)      6 pages of an Osprey book read.

Apart from the game which took an evening I should think the rest is barely 3 hours of activity.

I shouldn’t really grumble, - the whole point of the blog was to highlight the sort of things that get in your way when you’re a grown-up trying to pursue a hobby best suited to teenagers and students with lots of time on their hands.

So in theory I have a lot of material to write up, only there’s not much time available for that either. I’m sort of trapped in the grown-up wargaming blogger world of older parents that sits behind and haunts bloggers more popular than me. Bob Cordery over at “Wargames Miscellany” has been chronicling the trials and tribulations of finding bungalows, homes and warden care for a while on and off now. Since the summer he’s at least been retired himself which makes more time available for solving these issues rather than trying to resolve them all in the evening and at weekends when the appropriate services mostly don’t work. For those of you out there who have parents approaching retirement my advice is that it is never to early to start planning things such as Powers of Attorney or sorting out clutter. I’ve just shredded 5 years worth of unfiled utility bills my father had accumulated in a bedside cabinet.

So that’s what I’ve been doing. Sorting out (with the able support of Mrs T & Miss T) interim respite care arrangements for my father and trying to work out if my mother can stay in the family home. When we say “interim” or “respite” what we mean is care until we all accept the inevitability of where we are.

After all we’ve gone out and bought a TV for his room in the care home, and arranged for his favourite chair to be disassembled and moved. Doesn’t sound very interim, does it?

And because I have the job in Finance I’ve been building spreadsheets with savings and pensions going in one end and care home costs we can afford coming out of the other. On top of that there’s the social workers* to deal with that mean taking a half day holiday to sit with my mother whilst she signs a pile of forms.

When we’ve got this done we’ll then have to sell my Father’s car, as it is unlikely he’ll drive again and as an asset it’s just deteriorating on the drive way. All of this involves a 50 mile, 90 minute round trip on country lanes just as the nights are getting dark after a full day in the office.

Having read that back it all sounds like a tremendous whinge, and I will now reflect on how lucky I am to have both of my parents alive and in their late 80s, and both still compos mentis, thankfully, and able to make decision.

What has thrown me particularly is that I was expecting to be very busy helping Miss T move to the South Coast to take up her new job and move into her new flat. Now what I was expecting to be a major commitment of weekend time is being squeezed into odd corners.

Where will it all end? I can’t say, but on the evidence of it so far it isn’t going to end up with a finished army in time for my annual SoA championship game with Phil.

*In fairness I’ve had to deal with two social workers over this. One was good and the other was excellent. This may have come as a shock to my parents who read the Daily Mail.


  1. Trebian,

    My heart goes out to you. My wife and I thought that we could manage to fit in a couple of days away in a hotel in Norfolk to give ourselves a break ... but this evening I have had a text to say that my father has a chest infection that is not responding to antibiotics and then a phone call to say that my father-in-law is in an ambulance on his way to hospital having had a fall. We are awaiting some information about where my father-in-law has been taken before we pack our stuff and leave the hotel a day early so that we can drive to Kent ... which will probably take four hours.

    Things can only get better.

    All the best,


  2. Bob,

    I shall stop feeling sorry for myself immediately! Went to see my father in his respite home, - he'd had a two hour ambulance drive to get 5 miles this afternoon, but was otherwise pleased with the room. I plugged in all the elctricals- TV, Radio, CD player etc without having them PAT tested, but I thought he deserved some small consolation after the drive. In this case it was some trad New Orleans jazz which my Dad loves and everyone else in the family is less keen on.

    Best wishes to you & Mrs C.


  3. Clearly there's a lot of this about! We (well mostly Sara, on account of her social housing experience) have recently helped my father into sheltered housing.