Thanks for popping in. It has been a while since I switched on my computer. In fact it’s been a while since I set foot in my art room above the garage, which has been our communal Shac Shac home for so many months.
This morning I woke up and thought about you; it’s time to explain to my pals why I have “disappeared”, gone off the scene, stopped blogging. When you usually live your life so openly and visibly as I do, you can’t just disappear off the face of the earth without some kind of explanation.
I know. You think we’ve been having a family reunion. The kids are finally home after 2 years , and we’re enjoying being a close family again after so long. Which is true in part. But as we know, things seldom run smoothly; Life has a way of changing the best laid plans.
Grace and Mark did make it home from the States. And we did get to hang out together in the sunshine in the garden for a few days whilst in quarantine. We even managed a pottery afternoon together!
It has been great to see them!
But what we didn’t see coming round the corner was that my Dad would get so ill – and so suddenly. He had a very bad turn, was admitted into hospital 3 weeks ago today, and is still there. So I have been driving back and forth, between Mum’s house, the Hospital and the kids at home since then. It’s a full day’s outing, and my little Audi has seen more action in the last month than it’s seen in one and a half years! My brother Steve has been taking over on the weekends, but with the Clarity Members Sale falling in the same time, he has had to keep production going, so we’ve juggled priorities.
Mark had to go back to San Fran – unfortunately, he wasn’t able to see his Grandad because of COVID rules at the hospital. But we got to hang out together a fair bit in the evenings. Grace has extended her stay till Friday, and is going to stay with her Oma, but whether Dad comes out before she leaves is up in the air.
Hospital COVID rules restrict visits to 2 named people. So that’ll be Barb and Steve then. I get it. I really do.
How’s Dad doing? Just when we think things are improving, something else flares up. Just when they raise his/our hopes and tell him/us he can come home, something else is flagged up and he has to stay. You want him home, but you know it’s critical he stays put.
How’s Mum doing? Fine. Thank GOD she had the two hip replacements when she did. Thank God for that.
You know the situation. So many of you have first hand experience of this. I know. And there’s nothing you can do except be there, right?
He’s a fighter is our Dad. Tough as old boots. It was touch and go there for a while, but he’s out of the Critical Care Ward now. The nursing staff are amazing, brilliant. Having spent 3 weeks, hours at a time, sitting with Dad, watching them work, graft and run around, getting to know the nurses, the people in the uniforms, I must tell you, the gratitude, respect and admiration I have always had for the NHS staff runs even much deeper now. They are so patient and kind to the poor people on the ward. It’s also quite harrowing to see the suffering all around. But there we have it – it’s real, and it’s happening in every hospital in the country.
So our own family situation continues. Tomorrow I shall pack a little basket of Dad’s favourite food and head over to Gills again. who’s Gill?!? Gillingham!! I have been granted unlimited visitation, which is good for Dad. A familiar face. A family face. Then of course, I head over to Mum, to make sure she is okay too.
Ever optimistic, I’m sure Dad will be home this week. And then – there is so much to consider, so much to plan.
I am sure you understand now why I still won’t be around much, in the Shac and on the Blog. As things settle down here, you will see more of me again. But one day at a time, the priority has to be my parents and their well being right now.
Dave, Paul and the Clarity team are running the business perfectly well without me – which is a huge relief, I must say! I do phone in daily, and they know where to find me if they need me for anything. But they have got things under control.
So yeah. Not quite how we planned our big family reunion. But it is what it is. We did manage an afternoon at Hever Castle..
..and the obligatory Fish n Chips at Tom Bells in Edenbridge…
We even had a run out to Pevensey Bay one evening…
Thought I’d explain why I’ve gone off the radar anyway, and will be for a while yet.
Paul and Linda are doing a cracking job on Facebook LIVE in the Pergamano Summer School, and – provided things stay calm, I shall be doing a TV show next Sunday 2-4. I’m sure I have your understanding and empathy.