Sunday, 30 November 2008

Nothing Goes to Plan

The best laid plans etc.....

Things are not working out as they should. We had hoped to have the living room completely decorated today and intended to make an early start.

The first thing that happened was a ring on the doorbell whilst we were still in bed. Mike went to the door in his robe. Our next door neighbour but one had said his wife had heard our next door neighbour calling out for help.

We had heard nothing at all. As I mentioned yesterday, Mike is the key holder. Every morning he buys our neighbour his newspaper and gets shopping for him and he also lets all the social services people into the house. He is constantly "on call" so to speak. Mike hastily got dressed and he and Pete entered the next door property. The gentleman concerned was in the toilet - that is the far side of the house to us which is why we heard nothing. Luckily he had his toilet window ajar and that is how he was heard by the other neighbours.

They could not lift him because he said he had lost feeling in both his legs and could not stand so a para-medic was summoned. He did lots of tests and then decided our neighbour needed to be admitted into hospital - so that entailed a wait for the ambulance. The paramedic asked our neighbour why he had not pressed his alarm. Apparently, the alarm had been taken back by social services as they felt he no longer needed it! No matter that he is there alone, that he cannot cook, cannot bathe etc. etc and is very rocky on his legs having to use two sticks.

The paramedic then asked what help he received. Once again we found out none, the nurses no longer come. He is supposed to have physiotherapy but there is a long waiting list and he keeps being fobbed off. He told the paramedic his only help was Mike. The medic looked disgusted. He took Mike to one side and asked about the neighbour's family. Mike told him he has a son who only lives ten minutes drive away, another son somewhere else plus a daughter. They visit about once per month. They have been no help to him whatsoever and the property that was once so neat and tidy is now a pigsty.

Anyway, the ambulance came and took him away. Then Mike phoned his daughter to let her know. She did not seem in the least worried and when Mike tried to explain the circumstances and what happened, she put the phone down. If she knocks here, she is going to get a piece of my mind I can tell you.

Mike and I both agree he should no longer be living there on his own. He is only the same age as Mike and it does seem a shame but, in circumstances like his, where the family do not help, it is dangerous.

Suppose he has fallen yesterday and cracked his head, he could have lain their all night before Mike found him. He could have died. He needs to be in sheltered accommodation or in a nursing home where he can get the attention he needs. We cannot take the responsibility. Mike is always the first to help, never complains, he has had many a cold dinner being called next door and I know he is now finding it a strain. He looked very stressed when he came back this morning. The neighbour thought he had been in the toilet for around four hours!

After a cup of tea, we did get down eventually to opening the boxes that came down from the loft yesterday and did get a couple of things in place, then the problems started. We bought a new roll of blanket type artificial snow last year, that always goes in the fireplace with our fibre optic snowman sitting in the middle of it. It took ages last Christmas to cut it to shape. Yes, you have guessed it, we cannot find it anywhere. It is not in any of the boxes. Mike seems to remember bagging it up but cannot remember where he put it. After hunting for ages, we gave up.

Never mind I thought, we will put the small white fibre optic tree up on the mantlepiece and at least that will be finished. Wrong! We took the tree out of the box to find it had discoloured but only in patches. Some of it was pristine white and the rest had gone brown. I filled the bath, added some Vanish and threw the tree in there. I have washed fibre optics before so I knew it would be o.k. Well, the brown was not dirt, nothing came off it, even after a long soak. It has actually discoloured although it was sealed in its box. No way can I put it up, it looks horrible. It is only two years old. I went online to see if I could find a replacement from the site where I bought it. Oh yes, they have the same tree but the price has doubled. No way Jose.

So, now I am sitting here, tinsel and baubles all around my feet, boxes everywhere and Mike has gone off to see if he can buy more snow and a replacement Christmas tree. I said originally to the family, that I was not going to decorate this year. I am wishing now I had stuck to my guns.

These things are sent to try us!

P.S. Mike has just returned having had no luck whatsoever. He is going to try a much bigger place tomorrow, so, for the moment, all is being heaped back into the boxes and will have to wait for another day.


  1. I think its time to put the kettle on and have a cuppa take the rest of the day off put on a movie or the likes and take it easy after a very stressful day. Take care Love Joan.

  2. How very sad and unfortunately something we see all too often. I am going to do my award list today and thanks again for giving it to me and letting me put it off until after the holidays.

  3. Unfortunately that type of thing happens all to often. I feel so sorry for the people. I am doing my award passing on today. Thanks for letting me wait until after the holiday.

  4. I agree with Joan! I do hope the man will be OK, seems so sad that he should be abandoned by all those who should be caring for him. I hope Mike finds the replacements tomorrow, I think he needs a rest right now! Jeannette xx

  5. wow..lucky for your neighbour someone heard him..bless least he has your Mike..
    thanks for helping me this morning...
    ;-) ..I was having a panic...LOL

  6. It happens more than we think, unfortunatley. Will have to share a story about my Grandmother's aunt and uncle. It was truly tragic.

  7. Your poor neighbour thank goodness he has Mike ,but this cant continue ,the family must become involved now ,and to have the phone put down on you ..well !!What did Scarlett O Hara say ? when she tried to put her Christmas decorations up ,and things kept going wrong ? 'Tomorrow is another day' ...enjoy whats left of your Sunday Jan xx

  8. Poor man, I feel so sorry for him. Bless Mike's heart for helping him. He really needs to be where he can be taken care of all the time. It's such a shame that his family doesn't care what happens to him. That was bad his daughter hanging up on Mike. She just didn't want or care to hear about it.
    I hope tomorrow that mike can find what he needs to make your Christmas look pretty. To bad the tree changed it's colors.
    Hugs, Helen

  9. So sad about your neighbor. I will keep him in my prayers. I guess you all were meant to take it easy today and decorate tomorrow. I haven't found my Advent Wreath yet and am off to church in a few minutes so will continue the search when I get home. You remain in my prayers always. 'On Ya'-ma

  10. keeping your neighbor in my prayers.
    take care & have a blessed day.

  11. so sorry to hear about your neighbor.. I do hope his family steps up to the plate and does something it is so unfair of them to assume it's ok for you and Mike to be responsible. Sorry about your decorations.. maybe a rest and a cup of tea .. start over another day

  12. What a start to your day...poor Mike it really isn't right for the family not to care...but it will continue like that as long as Mike is on hand...he might have to visit the hospital to explane to the staff there the true situation as I am sure the old man will want to get home asap.
    As for the decorations...well I hope you have managed a few up and then just sit back and relax for a while. Love Sybil xx

  13. Awww, too bad about the tree - how awful for it to have discolored. We just looked for a smaller tree this morning and found none :( I will have to wait until I get into the city to get one now.

    How awful for your neighbor. Bless his heart. I do hope he can recover, I bet it would be hard on him to have to move into assisted living. His children should be ashamed as well as the system for letting this poor man down so.

  14. Your poor neighbour and he has family that's what makes it worse, disgraceful that she put the phone down on Mike like that, and as for scocial services can they not see that he needd assistence. Sorry about your tree, but they are expensive, even the small ones.

    Take care


  15. aaOh Jeanette you and Mike are earning brownie points in heaven for helping others the way you do. I just wish I had neighbors like you guys. I hope that your neighbor improves, it's just awful to have children who do not care whether you live or die. Shame on them.
    Sorry to hear about your Christmas tree, I haven't decorated in three years now...we celebrate at my sister's she has a bigger house. This year for Christmas I am headed up to New York to visit all three of my youngest is moving from Washington State to NY next I will have all three together for the first time in a long time...I am so looking forward to it...take care, hope you find a reasonable, Sandi

  16. Will say a prayer for you dear neighbor! God bless Mike for his obedience to His command, love thy neighbor as thyself!

  17. So sad for the neighbor and God Bless Mike for being able to help him.... sometimes family isn't what we wish.... too bad. I hope they can help him and things get better for him..... the tree can wait.... we still have time before Christmas. i remember the time when we decorated Christmas eve but now I wonder how we did that and put the packages all under wrapped and all...

  18. Hi Jeannette, Sorry about your neighbour, hope he will be ok. That's my worst nightmare. Growing old alone and sick. At least he has good neighbours!
    Sorry about your tree. Do you have any of those Home Bargains places where you live? or Dunhelm Mill? Have a nice week. Ciao. Antonella

  19. and you wonder why i get so het up over social care?lol its same everywhere jeannette.trouble is,if someone like mike is willing to help,like me with mum,the case gets "forgotten"and nowt gets for his family.words fail shutting up.i found my white fibre optic tree did same,i think its just disgusting they last such little time.not putting much up this year.take care mort xx

  20. (((((((((((((HUGSTOYOU))))))))))))))))This is so sad,I do hope He is ok,He shoud be taken care of by His children.I am glad to hear Mike found Him.I see you got the award to,I added you in my Blog for the award.

  21. What an awful event for your poor neighbor. The kids will be there to get whatever stuff they want out of his house when he's gone. You can count on that. Bless Mike's heart for looking after him. Sorry about your tree. Can you cover the brown spots with ornaments? That's as bad as me with the orange srip down the middle of my blog that I can't get rid of. Linda in Washington

  22. I feel so sorry for your neighbor and hope he will get the help he needs. Good luck with your decorations :)......

  23. That's so sad. I can't believe his daughter doesn't care. I can't even imagine my children deserting me in my time of need.
    Hugs, Joyce

  24. How awful about your neighbour........I cannot understand the attitude of his children either. Hope you have luck with a new tree and can get your decs up. I am not feeling very festive this year as we have family issues, but I have been told that we have to go out and buy our tree by the weekend at the latest. Eileen x

  25. Oh it was so sad reading about the neighbor and his health situation and home situation. Thank goodness hubby was there. Sad his family isn't there for him. Really sounds like he needs to live in a facility that can help him regularly. Sorry about the tree, sounds like you both had one stressful type day....take a breather, relax a bit.

  26. I`m sorry for your neighbour Jeannette but its a huge responsibility for Mike. Seeing as the man has family nearby they really need to be at hand to help their father. It seems unbeilievable that they are happy to sit back and let poor Mike deal with any emergency that might crop up.

    Love Sandra xxxx


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