About Me

Larbert, Scotland, United Kingdom

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Happy Families....

Can I start by saying that my family is fairly normal, they are all fairly nice people, and they all mean well in their own way.


This weekend has been interesting. I saw both remaining grandparents and both my own parents in one weekend, and it is amusing to see the traits of my parents reflected, or is that inherited from, their parent.

My grandad is due to get an operation soon, it was due to be last Friday (see other posts) but was postponed at the hospital. My Mum had gone down to look after him (he's 94) after the operation, because, being retired she's nothing better to do (yeah right). So I got a train down and had Friday with my Dad, which was unusual and involved going for coffee and a long drive, including some of those great father-child advice talks which are 'advice' on the surface but underneath are actually "this is what I would do, and thus I expect you to think the same". But I'm used to that by now.

Mum & Dad's car had been (apparently) making a strange noise for a while, and the fan kept running loudly even after it was parked, an the in car heater wasn't working properly, which I noticed on Friday.

After Dad had played Golf on Saturday, we were supposed to be going down to join Mum & Grandad for the rest of the weekend. However, Dad came home and said that he thought the car was overheating and thus not really safe to take on along drive. I decided that sicne I would quite like to see both Mum & Grandad, and had had a day with Dad already, I would go down by train if I could, and started looking online for the prices.

Dad then phoned Mum to ask her to ask my uncle (who is an engineer) what he thought. He called us back and said to Dad to check the engine/ radiator coolant level and the oil level, and top them up if necessary.

Dad went and got the car manual book, and muttered about the radiator being a sealed system, before finding the correct filler cap in the car and discovering that the coolant header tank was not at the mimimum level, it was so low that there was no fluid in the header / expansion tank at all. The oil was also off the bottom of the dipstick scale.

Aha, I think we had found our problem! After filling the two tanks up (water in the coolant, and oil in the oil), and topping up the windscreen washer bottle, which was also low, we went to the Halfords-type place to buy some more oil, and some antifreeze for the coolant tank. During this the car behaved normally, with no overheating and no loud fan.

Thus, two hours late, we set off to go and see Mum & Grandad. Where Mum & Dad took it in turns to claim that neither felt it was their responsibility to check such details on the car, as the last 5 cars had all been new and changed after 3 years, and this one is now 5, and they were unused to having an older car etc, etc.

Grandad has been feeling a bit tired, and low with all the investigations, and medical issues recently, and has found peeling potatoes for his tea quite difficult, and he's taken to just having a boiled egg toast and bovril on those days. So yesterday, Mum & I went on a hike, to the local big Tescos, which was mobbed (due to the bizarre 6hour trading limit for Supermarkets in England on a Sunday). We bought a selection of nice looking ready meals, and some potatoe croquettes to have with stuff he already has in the freezer, some pre-made jellies, and some Cranberry juice and then hiked back again. Then I had to transcrbe the cooking instructions into thick black text so he can read them, and then put them all in the freezer.

Hopefully this will mean that he gets to eat better and more regularly when he's not feeling well.

Then today (Monday), we came back up from Birmingham to see my Gran (Dad's Mum) in her care home near Hamilton - the car was again behaving itself - and took her out for a drive. Her dementia is getting worse, but she seems to like the home, where life seems to revolve around mealtimes, coffee, tea, and singsongs. Today they were having a St Patricks Day singsong, in a Christian (protestant) ethos Old Folks Home, in the west of Scotland, where most of the staff in the home are Indonesian....it was all a bit odd I felt.

Gran seemed less confused today, and was doing less repeating of questions, and seemed to have a good idea who we all were and who we were related to, which is better than at Christmas.

I'm almost glad to be back home with just Revision to thank about for the next 3 weeks, then the phone went, and my sister wanted to know about sorting out her phone line and broadband, and can I find a way to sort out her TV so she can have it upstairs even though the aerial point is downstairs.

All in all a busy weekend.....

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