A Big Adventure

24 Jan

Mum was born in Scotland but before she was a year old she had travelled south with her mother and big sister to South Africa where her father had bought a fruit farm.

She lived there until she was 8 and WW2 broke out… and they made the journey back north to Scotland again. And at the end of the war they took that journey south again.

This pattern continued, back and forth from Scotland to South Africa pretty much until she married dad. I grew up hearing stories of the whaling ships she traveled on and it all sounded like such A Big Adventure.

No wonder we love the swallows that make that same journey every year.

The above was written on the Day Three of the 100 Days. I knew at the time that I should keep a diary, to remind me later what happened when, and how I was or wasn’t coping. But I didn’t. I just couldn’t commit anything to paper. It was easier to stab the fabric, to process things as I slowly stitched.

But, thanks to modern technology, I can look back at the messages I was sending my brother, and recall some of what was going on.

On this day, I discover that we were working out a new rota, given that we could now spend time together in the same house. The plan was for one of us to have a week on our own at Mum’s, followed by a handover week when both of us were there together, then a week with the other one going solo. I drew up the rota for the next few weeks, and took a picture and sent it to James, not knowing that none of it would actually happen in that carefully planned way.

I also noted that morning that there had been no nocturnal wanderings overnight. We were living in the house next door to Mum and had set up a motion sensitive camera to capture movement in the sitting room (so alerting us to her wandering around the house at night, rather than just getting up and going for a pee). At this point we noted that she was ‘one night on, one night off’ in the nocturnal wandering stakes. I was worn out, I’m sure Mum was too.

The District Nurse showed up mid-morning, to re-dress the bandage on Mum’s leg. She had fallen some weeks earlier, and had skinned her shin. Mum’s skin is thinner than tissue paper and also takes forever to heal. Another factor was the water retention in her legs, so the wound was literally seeping, soaking the bandage. The advice was to take advantage of gravity and for Mum to keep her feet up (we had tried water retention tablets earlier in the year, but Mum did NOT enjoy how they made her need to go to the loo very suddenly). So, each afternoon Mum would have ‘quiet time’ in her comfy chair with her feet up, and a blanket wrapped over her legs to keep her warm and cosy. Mum’s quiet time also gave me time to focus on work for an hour or two.

If you want to read more about the 100 Days Project, and to know more about why I’m embroidering a smock, go to Taking Smock of the Situation.

Thank you to all who have already donated to my associated fundraiser for Alzheimer Scotland, you are absolute stars! And if you feel moved to donate again, or for the first time, then today is a good day to do just that. Thank you all, you already support me in so many ways, so I REALLY appreciate you digging deep and supporting others when you make a donation.

Mum, with her big sister Jennifer

One Response to “A Big Adventure”


  1. Taking Smock of the Situation | Shewolfinthevalley - February 28, 2022

    […] A big adventure […]


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