Eldest:- Crisis – Job contract is coming to an end. What is the next step in life?
Middle:- Crisis –Job is taking its toll. What is the next step in life?
Youngest:– Crisis – ill and needing to get home somehow.
Me :- Mini crisis – keeping on top of everyone else’s crisis.
Other Half:- Crisis – still coughing but also anaemic. Having scans and tests to find out the problem.
It’s that time of the month I have to get the accounts for the company done. O.H is out visiting building sites. House is quiet. Ideal time to get my head down sort out these invoices, or so I thought.
Youngest is in Newcastle with Hand, Foot and Mouth. Feeling very sorry for himself. Understandably. With only a couple of days left before the Easter break he’s changed his train to struggle home.
The problem is he cannot be separated from his precious DJ mixing decks.
Cocooned in three flight cases these, a speaker, plus a bag of washing have to be transported somehow from his halls at University to the south of England. It’s too far for me to go and get him. I can only drive to 3-4 hours at a time before I’m exhausted, so a seven hour + journey is impossible. His father is still coughing, exhausted himself, going for blood tests, chest x-rays and scans so there’s no way he will be able to help me drive to go and get him, if this was what was needed.
So, to enable Youngest to bring the beloved decks down I ordered him a trolley to be picked up from a store in Newcastle. A kind friend has gone to pick it up for him because he’s feeling too weak and poorly but now we have the dilemma of how to attach the decks do the trolley as they’ve only supplied one bungee clip. My phone pings as I’m entering the data on the expenses sheet.
Youngest: – ‘Don’t know how to use it.’
Me:- ‘Open it up. I’ll send you a link to the page.’
Youngest. ‘I have opened it up.’
I managed to share the link to the trolley information page onto his messenger.
Me:- ‘ I’m so impressed I managed to do that link.’
Youngest :- ‘Yeah I’m impressed too. But where does the rope go? ’He’s obvs not as impressed as I am.
Me:- ‘Have a look at the picture on the link. You should have a bungee, springy, ropey thing to attach stuff with’.
Youngest :- ‘Yeah I do. How do I use it?’
Meanwhile the phone is going in the office from the supplier that I’ve been trying to contact about an order but the phone battery is dead so I cannot pick up the phone and take the call. I curse at the phone as it continues to ring and send O.H. a quick text with yet more cursing that we MUST get round to getting new phones for the office as these are shite and can’t hold a charge. Supplier will just have to ring back.
I returned to my work but can’t match up any orders with invoices. We had a slight blip a while back where we had to do a lot of purchases while we were out of the office. One was on the way to the funeral. ( See last post -Into Each Life Some Rain Must Fall.) All part of the joys of working for yourself. Things didn’t get recorded properly hence I’m now at sea with what’s going on. O.H. has it all in his head. The pile of my inquiries on his desk is getting bigger by the minute.
Youngest. ‘I’m stuffed. It’s all rubbish.The train goes in an hour and I can’t get anything to stay on.’
Me:- ‘What about more bungees? Anyone going to town who could pick some up for you?’
Youngest:- ‘No one is going to town.’
The office phone goes again. I still can’t pick up the call as the phone battery doesn’t have enough in it for even a ‘hello’. I returned to my invoices which I still cannot match up. It’s amazing what you learn when you start a new job. Who would have thought there were so many different types of sand ?
Before I started in the building trade I knew of only 2 – wet or dry, and that the right combo is vital for building successful sand castles.
Youngest:- ‘I don’t know what to do.’
Me:- ‘ Okay if the trolley idea’s no good you have to bring what you can carry.
Youngest:- ‘Which is basically nothing. Because I’m feeling so weak.’
Talk about milking it. What is it about men and illness!
Me:- ‘ You don’t need clothes you’ve got some here. Prioritise. Do you need all three decks? Your priority is to get home safely to recover. Anything else is a bonus.’
I need a coffee.
Youngest:- ‘There’s no point bringing any if I can’t bring all three because they only work together.’ He’s definitely not going to let this one go. ‘I just won’t bring any pants and socks.’ Great. The thought of him going commando for a month doesn’t thrill me.
Me:-‘ Find a way of attaching things to the trolley then. I can’t suggest anything else.’
I take a slurp of coffee. ‘You need to find a way to transport them. If the trolley idea doesn’t work I don’t know what else will. Can you wrap the bungee tightly around the sides to hold them on?’
Youngest :- It doesn’t stretch far enough.’ God give me strength.
Me:- ‘ Have you got a clever mate who could help you think it through. Two heads are better than one and clearly yours is not working properly.’ That was as kind as I could put it.
I return to my invoices. The phone goes. It’s Eldest also feeling ill and having a day off work to recover.
Youngest is still messaging. ‘How would I get it up and down the escalator anyway?’
Me:- ‘Balance it on the step like you do a buggy. Or find a lift. Or ask someone to help you.’ Or use your initiative. Is it me? Have I done too much for him over the years that he now can’t think for himself or is it normal teenage behaviour?
I return to the invoices. The phone, which now has enough charge and is working, rings. It’s O.H. asking if I’m busy as he has another order to be placed. I reply ‘Of course. What do you need me to do?’ You know that was through gritted teeth with my professional voice on, don’t you?
It’s now midday. I’ve reconciled zero invoices. Completed zero accounts. I haven’t walked the dog. The dilemma of how to get the decks down on the train isn’t resolved. I now have an appointment with the chiropractor who is trying to get rid of my reoccurring headaches (Youngest springs to mind) and go to the supermarket on the way back. I gather my things and walk towards the door.
The phone goes again. O.H. needs a phone number. Number dispatched, I turn my mobile to silent and walk out quickly.
I thought life in my Empty Nest was going to be quieter. More restful. I had visions of floating through the day at my own pace. Mostly on slow. I quite fancied being one of those women who has a day bed for the odd moments when the pace quickened so I could lie back and be calm. If someone wanted to bring me a coffee while I lay there, so much the better.
Youngest made it home. He had to take the packed trolley apart as he couldn’t get it in the Uber. Getting on and off the trains he must have looked pathetic as people kindly helped him.
He will have to travel back after the holidays. So if you see a 6ft 3ins, strapping lad struggling with a trolley loaded with 3 flight cases while dragging a bag of dirty washing, please offer him a hand, as it could be Youngest.
It seems there’s a lot you can do with duck tape.