As it was cloudy all afternoon, we had to light the boiler stove for the first time in three weeks. I actually saw LSS at lunchtime today. Due to her heavy work schedule (which includes Saturdays), she now only comes home for lunch on Wednesdays.

Also, because of her schedule, she has not been to see the aged FIL since Sunday. On that day he did not say a word to her. In a later telephone conversation with the head washer (who telephoned on Monday evening to inform LSS about the abusiveness of the aged FIL), it transpired that he had told the carers, “It’s all LSS’s fault. The reason I am being put in this chair is because SHE is making the decisions. Well SHE’S not making decisions any more. I AM THE BOSS! I MAKE THE DECISIONS!!”

Er, actually, no. LSS did not have anything to do with the chair; in fact she didn’t even know such a thing existed. It’s the medical profession who made that decision. The doctor wrote the prescription, and the head washer ordered the equipment, oversaw the delivery, and trained the carers in the use of the chair and the engine-hoist-type contraption for lifting the aged FIL out of bed. Oh, and by the way, when I say “head washer” I don’t mean someone who washes heads; but the trained nurse in charge of the team of washers. And, for further clarification, there are two teams looking after the aged FIL: the carers; who get him out of bed, feed him, change nappies, and put him in the chair; and the washers – who give him a bed-bath each morning. And yes, I did say nappies. (Or diapers if you’re reading this in the US).

LSS is actually quite relieved about the aged FIL’s silence, because this means there are fewer shouting matches, and less stress on her. She just drops off his shopping twice a week, and sorts out his daily medicine dose using one of those weekly pill boxes (a plastic container with separate trays for each day).

Wildlife diary: A kingfisher. This is not actually such a rare sight here; we have frequently seen them fishing in the pond. They’re extremely fast – you normally just see a flash of electric blue. But they like to perch on the bonsai display table, which provides them a good vantage point for observing the water, so we’ve managed to get a good look at them through the binoculars. However, today’s kingfisher was not on the bonsai table. Nor was it anywhere near the pond. I had left the barn door open, and went in again to fetch something. I heard a fluttering above me, and saw it perched on a roof beam. It had obviously got slightly confused, as I’m fairly certain there aren’t any fish up there. I left the door open hoping it would find its own way out; which it eventually did.

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