Moving To Ireland...Episode Two

I saw Roger the following morning and paid a deposit for the cottage...he gave me the name of a builder he said would be able to plumb the bathroom in was wrecked...and the same chap could arrange to have it re-wired.

Padraig drove me to the airport and I went home.

Now the fun began. We had a six-bedroomed Georgian house full of people...three adults with learning/behavioural problems...two children with severe physical and learning disabilities and a baby. We always had a baby somewhere about our person...because we lived out in the middle of nowhere, but close enough to the Special School and the Adults Training Centre...we fostered babies whose parents were liable to snatch them...the thinking behind that was they wouldn't be bright enough to find out where we lived...still had a hot-line to the local Police Station though...just in case.

Each adult had a Social Worker and we had a Social Worker for each adult...then the two little girls were the same and the baby usually came with an entire team of gormless girls who sat by the fire and drank all my tea while regaling me with tales of their respective boyfriends...

Everyone had to be found a new home.

You've never heard such a fuss in all your was quite bad enough that we were weighed down with guilt over the whole shebang...deciding to take early retirement was one thing...actually carrying it through was quite another.

One S.W. simply said...'you can't possibly leave...just who else will take on T.' I thought...well we did and he isn't anything like as awful as he was'll just have to look, that's all.

The 'phone simply never stopped ringing with heartfelt pleas for us to change our minds and they'd provide paid help and would we like a holiday perhaps and so it went on.

In the middle of this massive guilt trip came the Health Inspector.

He came to inspect the kitchen...a thoroughly unpleasant and officious young man who told me the 'residents' had to wear white coats before they entered the kitchen...the dogs certainly couldn't go in there and then he spied T's pet Hamster who lived on a corner of the worktop and I thought he was going to have forty fits.

So I took a deep breath and said the whole point about these small homes was that the people who lived in them were treated in every respect as family...G. liked the responsibility of feeding the dogs in the evening...the dogs ate from their bowls on the kitchen floor. T had saved his personal money up to buy the Hamster and it's cage...I kept it in the kitchen so it didn't get lonely...his eyebrows shot up when I said that, but then I was cross and beginning to show it...he told me my clothes were totally unsuitable for cooking in...I always wore long skirts...he tested the temperature in the 'fridge and looked seriously disappointed to find it reached his standard and then one of the cats strolled in...with a mouse hanging out of its mouth.

Precisely at that point, the front door flew open and G and T and K came hurtling through to tell me all about their day and G put the kettle on and K opened the biscuit tin and T pointed out the cat had a mouse in its mouth, loudly, T was a loud sort of a person...and G, who was quite obsessed with trains and train timetables stood right in front of the Health Inspector and began to tell him how to travel from Diss to Norwich...and K burst into floods of tears because she couldn't find any chocolate fingers in the biscuit tin.

He backed away towards the door and said he'd be putting a report in and he'd include the fact that I had an attitude I said to G...once I'd managed to stop his flow of travelling from Diss to Norwich...would you show the gentleman out G...and G who was very tall and sort of lurched when he walked, grabbed the blokes arm firmly and marched him down the hall to the front door...Bye-Bye he shouted...Come back and see us another day!

I sat down at the kitchen table and T made the tea and poured me a mug and said brightly...We like having visitors don't we? The cat still has that mouse in it's mouth...

20 Replies

  • Hi Vashti. Thank you for that amazing account of going home to sort out your move. It made me smile & forget my wrangle with a charming company called sapphire bit of a sad tale but I will bore you another time. However warmed by a bowl of hot soup and your wonderful account of the Health inspector. They do have some very special aptitudes and a knack of not seeing the obvious. I feel much better & look forward to the next episode. Your posts are a real tonic

  • You are so talented Vashti I love reading your stories. This is obviously "part two" I must go back and see what I've missed. Happy new year to you and yours and keep the entertainment coming. Suz xx

  • Vashti, I was getting engrossed and part 2 ended :( oh well look forward to a part 3 takes my mind off my own crap to slip into someone else's life xx Sonia xx

  • Thanks for part two, looking forward to part three.

    Great reading.

  • Vashti, I loved reading about your home and family. It isn't so very different from how ours was and we always had an extra baby or two in the house. Sometimes pregnant teenage mothers in addition to our five children, dogs, cats, rabbits, tortoises etc. I loved it, if only I had the energy now to do what I did then! Happy memories....

  • Enjoying the story...thank you. Audrey.

  • Reading your posts is my morning fix. Love them x Joyce

  • Oh my goodness what a day.!!! How did you ever cope,no wonder you felt it time to retire,but at least everyone sounded happy to be in your home,and your care. Just had to smile at the cat,had visions of the cat presenting its present in front of your unwanted visitor,would loved to have seen his face,Lol

  • Morning Vashti, Part two, fantastic,G,T,and K were so lucky to have you both, as were the children and babies that came and went thru your life, I can imagine your life story appearing on our TV screens one day, Looking forward to more, Best wishes to you and himself Bulpit

  • Hi vashti, love the dopey girls and the cat. Roll on episode three

  • Oh thank you Vashti, what a light you shine on life! Will look forward to the next part.

    Take care

  • Lol, had an attitude problem Vashti did you? don't think so m'dear.

  • Oh Vashti, that was priceless! I think if you could cope with all that, you could cope with anything! sounds like Fawlty Towers with the Health inspector - what do they know about real life? I remember visiting a friend who had just had a baby, I was tidying In the kitchen and found on the work top a bundle of fabric which revealed a dirty nappy! Nobody died of food poisoning as far as I know. keep writing, we love it. Iris x

  • that was a brilliant story thanks made my day

  • My goodness, it was a bit of a struggle getting here wasn't it ? How long have you been here now ? I wonder would you have got better medical support and treatment from the NHS, given how bad things are with the HSE now. I get very envious of the UK members here when they talk about their 'respiratory nurses' and the access they have to that sort of support. Here, as you know, it's a visit to the GP for every little thing and often they really can't help at all as it seems to be the consultants who diagnose, change meds, get beds in the hospital etc. do you think it would be any better in England or is it six of one, half dozen of the other ?

  • I honestly can't fault the HSE in any way...I've always been treated with such care and kindness...because our hospital is so far from us, the rehab nurse gave me afternoon appointments to see her for breathing exercises and advice once every couple of weeks...she was brilliant.

    I see the consultant every four months...she's so clued up and I never feel that I'm wasting her time asking daft questions...

    In England? The hospital was foul...the nurses too rushed and the consultant so lofty he could barely bother to speak...waiting times were appalling...once had to wait for five hours to see a specialist who gave me a couple of minutes before showing me the door...

    Here I can see my Doctor whenever I need Norfolk I'd have to wait ten days for an appointment...perhaps we're just lucky here? I honestly would find it really hard to think of one single complaint...apart from the food when an in-patient, but no-one minds in the slightest if visitors bring food in.

    I've always felt that everyone genuinely cares here...whether it's the consultant or a student...the woman who cleans the wards or the nurse in our surgery...I don't worry anymore...if I have an infection then I don't panic the way I used to in England...I know I'll be safe here...from the lovely ambulance men to the nurses in the acute admissions...

  • That all sounds excellent Vashti. I don't have access to any rehab nurse and have to go to the doctor with any problem. But I get embarrassed if I have to go too often and end up doing a lot of self medicating. The hospital I go to is fairly good but getting a bed there is a bit like trying to get a place in heaven. It's always overflowimg with patients on trollies, overworked staff and general mayhem. I went to a private hospital until 2012 and you could always get a bed when you needed it. But I changed to the public system to attend the consultant I'm with now. Then It became impossible to see him at clinics so I changed back to private. At least I can now see him when I need him ( at a hefty price of course) but the hospital bed situation is the same for public or private. I do worry about the situation for people like us with chronic illnesses, given the pressures that are on the medical service. Hopefully the new minister for health will do something to improve the situation. Anyhow, glad you have such good medical care and long may it last.

  • Brilliant, as usual, can't wait for part three. you tell the stories so vividly, really makes me feel I am there with you.



  • Lol, another brilliant read Vashti and interesting to know something of the valuable work you've done over time. Thanks for sharing ~ Lovelight x

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