This chair is very uncomfortable…

Comments Off on This chair is very uncomfortable…

That’s the primary thought in my head. Well, uncomfortable and not designed for laptop computer usage. It’s a wicker chair, with a cushion on it. It’s all lumps and arms that are too hard and too high. I’m not a big fan of wicker. It looks nice though.

That’s all a lie of course. The primary thought in my head is about my mother whispering “I do so love you” to my father, who despite his continued externally healthy appearance – he’s healed incredibly well from his ileostomy – is dying from the inside. You can see the shadow appearing on his skin where the cancerous, dead colon is. His colour has gone from his normally pale white to a pallor which screams unwell. And a lesion the size of a 2p coin (um, err, a dime, maybeish) hidden under his hair causes him pain when we move him.

But most sad of all is his slowly dissolving brilliance. My father was probably the most intelligent man I’ve ever met in my life; which is not to reduce the intelligence of those around me, but to be honest. He designed maths co-processors in the days when designing computer chips was something you did by hand; he could repair anything, and I mean anything. When we moved into this house, almost all the window frames – the original 1900s window frames – needed replacing. But rather than replace the rotting frames – because they were original sash windows and nothing modern touches them, he cut and let in new wood to replace the rotting window frames. It was beautifully done. The windows, none of which worked when we moved in now all work perfectly, and only now, four years on is the paint starting to need renewing.

He’s the one who taught me that engineering is beautiful – that’s how you know when you’ve got the ideal solution. Who taught me to see maths and science as an art. Who introduced me to programming. Who used to take me on bike rides and allow me to crawl around scrap yards.

This person who helped my sister with her degree level maths, who helped me build a go-kart, who designed a music keyboard for the BBC Music 5000, he’s now increasingly confused. Sometimes he’s completely with it, and a little of the wit and sarcasm returns. The humour with which I faced my life, when things got bad that was always there for me, and it came from him. (Incidentally, some of the things I got from my mum include driving fast, being painfully efficient, liking the house clean).

But most of the time he’s confused. He’s wandering between a dream like state – a place where he spends much of his time – and the real world, but having difficulty distinguishing between them. Rolling over takes time to explain as he wanders ceaselessly. His limbs are no longer his willing servants. They wander and shake.

I swing wildly; how long will he be with us; should I just stay a while longer; should I come back next week; how long should I stay. I help my mother wash my father; I help with moving him around the bed. Today though, I spent most of the day washing the paving outside (it was slippery enough I was seriously concerned about my mother falling) and cutting down the Wisteria from the front of the house. Every year it’s my job to cut it down, and every year I get more blase about climing up a three section ladder to the second floor of the house and cutting great chunks of bush down.

Although it was made more challenging this year by not having my mother to help with the disposal and the fact that I’ve pulled a muscle shifting the tumble drier. I’m also manky ‘cos I don’t like showering here; it leaves my skin completely dry and flakey (the water’s both incredibly hard and very highly chlorinated); and so, given that it’s 2 days without a shower, I can manage (technically, one day, ‘cos I’ll shower when I get home tomorrow, and I showered before I left yesterday).

I also did something I found very upsetting. I went through my dad’s tools – taking those I wanted / needed / which were convenient. Leaving some for Andrew (brother in law). I did find something fantastic – which I should post a picture of if I remember… the nuddie screwdriver. Turn it upside down and voila, the girlie becomes nekkid girlie! It’s very60’s and pretty dirty from being in the dirt at the bottom of the tool box, but it made me laugh a lot.

But mostly it was sad, taking things which… I don’t feel I’ve got a right to. But my mum wanted me to have first go – since I’m the poor one – and Andrew can have second go, and I’ll probably take any left-overs. I’ve also said that Andrew can have any duplicate tools I’ve got – if there’s something he particularly wanted that I’ve taken.

But you can see, going through the tools, the things he bought as future project items – especially as he was getting ill, I remember him buying things on the basis that when he was better he’d use them. So the un-used angle cutter, the un-used window clamps… boxes of screws… it’s so fucking sad. I feel so wrong trawling though his things while he’s still here. I’ve got no right to do that. They’re not mine…

…but I’ll look after them.

…tears come so easily.


…I hate this.

Tomorrow, we’ll help my dad wash, my mother will go to her allotment and grab veggies for me to take away, I’ll load up my car and head home. I don’t know how often to come, she needs my help and support. But I can’t afford 30 quid a trip. I wish my bike was working. I could come on Claire… but she needs welding and I need to do that. Goddess it’s fucking hard. There’s so much I need to do. And so much I need to do for my mental wellbeing. Fuck. Never has the phrase “Life’s a bitch, and then you die” seemed more apt.

I miss Trey.


Kate's a human mostly built out of spite and overcoming transphobia-racism-and-other-bullshit. Although increasingly right-wing bigots would say otherwise. So she's either a human or a lizard in disguise sent to destroy all of humanity. Either way, it's all good.