14/09/2012

Well, I was going to title this post “How to steal from elderly persons in two easy steps” but on further reflection I’ll keep to the date format. I’ll explain this shortly.

I’ve been back at La Darnoire for a week, following my trip to South Africa to see my mother. She’s unfortunately not doing too well, as she suffers from dementia at times. She’s in the “frail care” section of a care home. At first she didn’t recognise me, but then I apparently progressed through the stages of being my sister’s boyfriend, her husband, my father, and finally me. Still, she is 92 this year so it’s excusable!

So, as for my intended post title: quite a few of my mother’s things have been stolen since she’s been in the care home, including her gold wristwatch that she’d had for decades. Anything nice which my sister brings her disappears as well. Very sad. I suppose there’s some consolation in the fact that Mum doesn’t realise things have gone missing.

But I don’t want you to get the idea that thefts like this only happen in South Africa. Whilst I was away there was a theft from the aged FIL’s workshop here by one of the carers. The carer was male (the only male in the bunch) and knowing that I’d be away, had asked the FIL if he had some welding glasses he could borrow. Stupidly the aged FIL gave him the key to the workshop so that he could go and look. He then said that he had “lost” the key (so we think he came back that night). LSS went into the workshop to investigate as soon as she was aware that the key had gone missing – having first searched for and found a duplicate. She discovered that the chaotic mess in the workshop appeared even more chaotic. Fortunately the locked cash box which the aged FIL kept in the workshop was untouched (and in case you’re interested, it’s now no longer in the workshop!) LSS changed the padlock on the workshop door.

It was only last Sunday that I had a chance to visit the workshop to see if I could recognise whether anything was missing from amongst the piles of tools. Unfortunately something was missing. Probably the most expensive piece of equipment there. A petrol-powered Stihl branch trimming chainsaw, priced at around €800.

The aged FIL is unaware of the theft and we can’t tell him because it will, quite literally, make him ill. We can’t tell the police, because the theft happened two weeks ago. And we also can’t claim on the house insurance because the aged FIL had stupidly given the thief the key to the door! On a positive note, that particular carer is not looking after the aged FIL any more (he handed in his notice on that Friday – I wonder why!)

Anyway, that’s enough negative news. On the day after my return from South Africa I received a document from Honda Paris saying my motorcycle is actually road legal to use in France, so yesterday we went to the Prefecture in Blois, and after paying them just over €100, I was issued with a temporary Carte Gris. Next stop – new number plate! Then unfortunately I commence battle with sundry Insurance companies. Once the vehicle insurance is sorted out we can take the bike out on the road again for the first time in months.

Workwise, since my return I have installed an electricity supply to the loft (which is where the borehole pump controller will be located) – and this included the installation of a fluorescent light. Finally we can see what we’re doing without needing a torch or having to plug in a long extension lead! Next week I continue with the double-glazing installation, so hopefully by wintertime we’re fully insulated!

2 thoughts on “14/09/2012”

  1. It’s frightening, Rob, getting old. And there always seems to be someone around ready to take advantage of the elderly, one way or another. Watching your parents getting older, and maybe seeing yourself in 30 odd years time in a similar position doesn’t do your self confidence a deal of good. I mean, how on earth will we be able to get our legs over a ST1100s seat, let alone keep it upright or move it? Worrying.
    There’s a lot of truth in the saying ‘Live for today’, as you never know what’s in store for you. An active mind helps too.

  2. You’re quite right, Roger. Actually I’m starting to understand that quote by Shaw – “Youth is wasted on the young!”
    All we can do is keep as active as possible (sitting in front of the telly for example is not exactly good for one). Personally I’d rather do cryptic crosswords!

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