Another one of those days where things have not gone according to plan.
Trying to gather documentation for Nick's housing benefit claim. I need things like insurers' confirmation of the relocation rental and various financial details. It's been over a week since I contacted everyone but no-one is getting back to me. Why, I ask myself, can they not just pick up the blinking phone? I dial a succession of 0345 numbers. On hold. La la la. Sorry, call back later, in-box is full.
No word about Nick’s housing situation; we are unable to log in to the property shop website so last week’s bid is obviously progressing in some way – or is it?
I have left messages with the housing officer and the OT, who was going to assess whether the property would be suitable for Nick. They are both out of the office. Not heard anything yet, I tell the landlord when he asks again. When I see his car outside the flats I want to turn around and run away.
Meanwhile a blip with the mortgage on his house in the north east; the lenders have not accepted his latest payment. Why not? There was enough money in his account, I checked, so what has gone wrong? I ring to find out. It eventually transpires that when Nick signed a letter some months ago to confirm that I was his attorney and he was happy for me to discuss the account on his behalf, his signature did not match the one he made when he signed the original papers twelve years ago. Therefore they had put the whole account on ice, they just hadn’t thought to mention it to us.
Give me strength!
“He has a progressive and debilitating illness,” I explain. “He can’t write his full name any more but the initials should match his former handwriting. If you like, I can send you medical evidence of his condition?”
A little check with the supervisor and then, yes, very sorry, the account will be re-instated and they will accept me as a representative. Apologies again. They don’t offer to waive the charges though!
On days like this I can end up with a thumping headache, madly resentful of the time spent achieving nothing, shouting at Nick for no reason and just - arrrgghh.
But. It’s the most beautiful day – the kind of golden autumn sunshine that just lifts your heart. The cats stretch their long bodies across the window sill, basking in the warmth, Nick is eating croissants without coughing, and is ripping through the latest load of audio books I brought him. It’s such a delight to see him enjoy “reading” again – even throughout his years of carousing, hotel life and womanising, he was such a bookworm.
The morning carers have, unasked, put a load of dirty clothes in the wash and it’s all ready to hang out on the line in the garden; on a glorious day like this it will be dry by evening.
And this afternoon his old school friend Dave is coming to take him out with the rest of the old gang.
Just for a small while, the busy world around us just goes on its way and there are many loose ends and things are left undone and we are fine.
I feel immensely calm and grateful.