‘We’re here to talk to you about your Fire Action Plan’, one of them said.
My what plan?
‘What you would do in case of a fire?’
Wasn't that rather obvious?
‘Well, I’d dial 999 and ask for you guys!’ I said.
‘But what would you do between making that call and us arriving? How would you make yourself as safe as possible until then? And what measures have you taken to prevent a fire starting in the first place?’
I realised I didn’t have a clue.
At the end of the interview Phyllida was asked whether she had made plans for her own old age. She laughed and said ‘Well, I have two daughters, who are quite helpful already’. The interviewer agreed enthusiastically. ‘Yes, yes I’ve got two daughters too, so…fingers crossed!’
‘If you don’t take care of yourself, how are you going to be able to take care of someone else?’ is the oft repeated mantra.
So with that in mind I booked a short break to visit friends in Italy last November. I also took out insurance which was just as well because this was the very week that Dad was rushed into hospital.
I made a claim and, with the help of Dad’s very accommodating doctor who filled in a lengthy medical declaration form, I got (most of) my money back.
I hadn’t had much experience of caring for the elderly at that stage. I only ever really knew one grandparent and, although we saw him often, I was shielded from any discussions about what to do when he started to decline.
In the end Grandpa went into a kind of sheltered accommodation, but not for very long. He died in hospital when I had just turned 20 and my biggest preoccupation was finding a fake fur Cossack style hat for the February funeral.
I’ve been part of Shona Brown’s Soundroutes choir which meets in a room above a bar in George Square – I still can’t get over being able to drive there in about 10 minutes and always find a parking space. And that it’s FREE to park after 6pm. (Note to Sassenachs: George Square is the Glasgow equivalent of Trafalgar Square.)