I find that as I begin the task of moving house, that my mind strays to the Last and the Nevermore. This will be the last Halloween I even spend here and there’ll be no more Christmas, New Year’s or birthdays spent here. As the days count down, it becomes a huge wrench to pack away the familiar and the comforting treasures I have gathered over the years. This is the only home I have known in all my married life, as I came straight here from my grandmother’s house. Every room is filled with precious memories and despite the children having flown, the air retains their scent. They wafts from wardrobes as I open each door and my heart aches as I rifle through forgotten items left behind in their going. I know I have to leave, as it’s been over six weeks since I’ve written anything and that’s a huge thing to someone who sees the blank screen on the computer as a challenge. My creativity has been stifled and like the Wicked Witch of the West, I am fading, fading and need to be restored.
I lit the fire for the first time tonight. That’s a sure sign the winter is truly upon us. It’s stormy out, the trees bend under the force of the wind and the rain is beating against the window, like the tapping of dead fingers on the glass. Stay warm, my friends.
I have always held nurses in the highest regard, but after listening to the horrific stories from a terminally ill friend, I have to ask the question, what happens when carers stop caring? I believe nursing to be a vocation and have known some wonderful men and women in this profession, but surely even they realize when it’s time to move on to another field of work. Senior staff members in my friend’s hospital agree that many of the nurses have become desensitized to the suffering of their patients. It would be impossible to do their job without a certain amount of desensitization, but when they look at someone who is suffering and feel nothing, it does not bode well. I’ll give you two examples of what I’m talking about. My friend is having a very bad reaction to the chemo and continuously vomiting, after buzzing for the nurse, in the hope of getting some pain relief, she arrived in the room asking, “what’s the problem?”
When my friend told her she was in pain and needed something to help her, the nurse then asked, “What do you want me to do?
When she asked for pain relief and inquired if that amount of vomiting was normal, the nurse replied.
“I am not a doctor neither am I am diagnostician.”
The second example happened the following morning. My friend has chosen to chemo over surgery and when she rang the nurse for some pain relief, she was given it with the words, “If you had chosen surgery, you wouldn’t have to put up with this.”
I know the cutback are making life hell for hospital staff, but when they can look at someone who is suffering like my friend and not think, there but for the grace of God go I, it’s a bad look out for all of us.
This is my latest profile photo for Locating the Gothic. I’ve told you about the wonderful events we have planned for the autumn and while I know it’s hard to think about this when the sun is shining, the winter is inevitable. So don’t leave it until the wind is howling in the chimney and ghostly fingers tap at your window panes to have a look at the site.
Another day of horror as the story about the mass grave in Tuam, co Galway, Ireland goes on. For those of you who have not heard the bodies of over 800 hundred children were found in a septic tank at a home run by the nuns. How much more of these vile acts have to be uncovered before the government and the police do something about it? Everyone who took part in these atrocities should be hunted down like the Nazi war criminals and brought to justice. When I was researching my novel, Whispers, I just touched on the subject, but |I heard stories from those in the know that were too sickening to put in to print. Please share this post with your friends around the world, so the outcry is heard even in the farthest corners of the globe. Maybe, then those in power will be forced to act and those poor little children will get justice at last.
This is a modern ghost story that happened a week ago to a friend of mine who works in a nursing home. There was one patient, an old lady in her eighties who she was particularly fond of and would spend hours chatting with her during the night shift. This went on for many years. Each night the old lady would come in to the common room and sit in her favourite chair. Anne, my friend, knew she was on her way, as her arrival was preceded by a racking cough. The old lady suffered from her chest and the cough was a distressing and painful one. One night, last week, the old lady failed to turn up, so Anne went to check on her. Sadly, she had passed away. The following night, Anne sat reading in the common room. Every now and then she glanced over at the old lady’s empty chair and felt her heart ache with sadness. Around 4 a.m., when the wards were all silent, Anne was roused from her reading by a racking cough coming from the empty chair. In that instant her nose started to bleed for no reason. You can imagine her fright, as she rushed from the room. She has never suffered from nose bleeds, her blood pressure is normal and there was no one else around with a cough. Strange, of course, and something that makes one stop and think.
Just finished a marathon pancake making session. I don’t know if my family really like gluten free pancakes or they’re just too lazy to make their own. I had an order for six from my aunt Kitty, four from my dad and another mountain to make for Robert, who will try to eat his weight in pancakes. Luckily, I had two pans on the go and this made it easier. What’s everyone giving up for Lent? I was going to say wine, but we all know that’s not going to happen, so I opted for chocolate instead.