Emergency Room: Hello, Don’t Worry . .

So this is what mother Mary probably felt like! It’s 3am and still no sign or word of the little blighter. Then ***pring pring*** . . Hello, is that Mr Swanepoel? This is Andrew of Medical Rescue Emergency Services Shit! Worst fears and all that Don’t worry Thomas is fine Phew! I have him hereContinue reading “Emergency Room: Hello, Don’t Worry . .”

The Reindeer got . .

Mother Mary stumbled a bit through her 2019 rendition of Jingled Bowels . . She wasn’t up to her usual high standards. When she finished she turned to Sheila, who was filming her, and said: ‘The Reindeer Got A Puncture!’ I wondered if the reindeer hadn’t got . . . . stuck into the champagne??Continue reading “The Reindeer got . .”

A Fascinating Case History

I took Mom to the ophthalmologist in Pietermaritzburg. She’d had some visual phenomena and her description of a curtain falling over her vision against the wall made me decide she must be seen right away. My good friend and colleague Owen Hilliar gave me the duty roster and I phoned the surgeon on duty –Continue reading “A Fascinating Case History”

Earning Her Keep

Monica said ‘Don’t worry Mary you needn’t play today,’ but I protested: No Way, you have to play! How else will you earn your keep? So she gamely fired up her stootoot – isithuthuthu – and beetled off to the dining room where her friend ‘Mauritius’ was in her wheelchair, waiting for supper. She rockedContinue reading “Earning Her Keep”

Medical Rounds

7.30am Jessie to the dentist up the road in Westville. A filling dropped out. I leave her there – she can walk home. 10am Mother Mary to the ophthalmologist in Pietermaritzburg (PMB). R. 6/18 and L. 6/36 no worse than before; Pressures holding good with the drops; field loss very near to the macula. AllContinue reading “Medical Rounds”

She’s Ninety One Today; She’s Ninety One . .

‘She’s got the key of the door; Never been ninety one before . .’ The lovely ladies at Azania gave Mom a special cake and a rousing song. Maybe due to austerity measures each candle used has to represent thutty years. Also due to fire regulations, maybe? And ‘part thereof’ probably doesn’t count: you haveContinue reading “She’s Ninety One Today; She’s Ninety One . .”

The Goatitudes – 5. Say WHAT!

Mom has a bad spell so I visit her in frail care in PMB Sunday. While I was there she had a much worse spell, fading, then going far-away-staring-eyed and then collapsing, limp as a ragdoll. This after she’d played the piano then ate supper and drank a cup of tea. I caught her andContinue reading “The Goatitudes – 5. Say WHAT!”

Religulous Reminiscing

When Mom turned ninety schoolfriend Mariette van Wyk Greyling wrote and started a long, rambling and nostalgic back and forth between us, paraphrased and embellished here: She wrote: Goodness, you all look so good. I simply cannot believe your dad is in his nineties. He looks exactly the way he used to look when weContinue reading “Religulous Reminiscing”

The Goatitudes – 6. Duelling Banjous

As we left Mother Mary today – at the old aged home Retirement Village – he used to call them old aged homes and be very anti but now suddenly they’re OK and they’re retirement villages cos he has just made an offer on a cottage there, deciding at age 96 that it might beContinue reading “The Goatitudes – 6. Duelling Banjous”

Mary Thumps The Keys

The inmates in Azania – I mean Azalea Gardens – look forward now to new arrival Mary Methodist’s preprandial concerts. While we were chatting the guy next door stuck his head in and asked anxiously from his wheelchair, “When are you coming?” so we all hastened over to the lounge / dining room so MomContinue reading “Mary Thumps The Keys”

16 Ivy Road

Mom was on furlough from the home – Azalea Gardens. Sheila fetched her and Barbara, Linda, Tholo and the two terrors Mary-Kate and Dawie and I joined them at 16 Ivy Road in Lincoln Meade, Pietermaritzburg. What a lovely day – a great lunch, fun with the kids and ending with a surprise: ancient moviesContinue reading “16 Ivy Road”

Build-A-Boat

When we grew up outside Harrismith ca 1959 we couldn’t use the lounge. The lounge was filled edge-to-edge by an upside-down speedboat. The old man built his first speedboat in this lounge, shown below many decades later: Younger sis Sheila, in the picture with Mom & Dad, says he also built that fireplace. Then, afterContinue reading “Build-A-Boat”

Insomnia, Somnambulism & Theatre

The old man has good news about a great discovery for people who can’t sleep. He can’t sleep: “I only fall asleep around 2am and then sleep for a few hours” he complains. I visited overnight recently and urged him to take the sleeping tablets he had. Mom gave one to him and he carriedContinue reading “Insomnia, Somnambulism & Theatre”

Old Geysers and Wheelchairs

Me ole Mum has slowed down somewhat. Walks with a walker now. But she’s still young – only turns 90 in September. We were discussing mobility this morning as she had a friend visit her who ‘can hardly walk’ according to Mom. ‘It took ages to get her into the house from the car andContinue reading “Old Geysers and Wheelchairs”