Joyce’s Blog: La Manche and La Familie

I have several things I would like to write about this month. My life has been pretty full lately, with looking after my grandson whilst my daughter is at work; the busiest time on my allotment and my elderly mother. My mum had a fall one evening about 8.30 pm and wedged between an armchair and coffee table, was unable to move.

She lay on the floor for 12 hours, until a friend in the sheltered housing complex where she lives in Cambridgeshire, phoned her at 8.30 the next morning. Receiving no answer, the friend contacted carers operating in the building, who then were able to enter her flat. Unfortunately, my mum was not wearing her necklace alarm, as she kept pressing it accidentally and had taken it off. She was badly bruised and dehydrated and was taken to hospital.

I wish they would bring back matrons in hospitals, wards were run like clockwork when matrons were in charge; and they were spotless. Nurses wore starched white uniforms with caps over there hair. All that’s gone, even the doctors don’t wear white coats anymore. Antiseptic hand gel is not enough to ward off germs. I noted most of the nursing staff were very helpful, even though they seemed short staffed, but there was a distinct lack of structure and communication.

Luckily, my mother had not broken anything, but she is 87 years old and although home now, she will take some time to recover fully.

My grandson on the other hand is just finding his feet; he has been walking for 3 months and now attempting to run. Isn’t it funny how toddlers always have to rush around? It’s a pity we can’t bottle all that energy and save it for when we are older. Think of the fortune one could make!! John is 15 months old and loves to dance to music. He is a happy little boy and when we take him shopping he sings along to the music playing in the big stores. We took him to the allotment the other day for the first time. He sat quietly in his pushchair watching my husband and I walking backwards and forwards with watering cans, watering the ground. When we let him out he followed me along the path.

My neighbour loaned him a toy watering can, which I filled for him. He knew what to do, but instead of tipping it forward, he tipped the can backwards and it went all over him. I’ll have to buy him one of his own and teach him how to use it. Of course, once he becomes accustomed to the allotment, he will want to explore the dirt and probably the plants. In our back garden he is very inquisitive and we have to watch him all the time.

Since my daughter first started weaning John last year, I was intrigued at the various snacks one can now buy for babies. It is handy if going out, because if he is a little late for his meal, a savoury or sweet biscuit, will suffice for a while. My daughter Emma gives me various little snacks to keep in my cupboard; cheesy biscuits, sweet biscuits and little boxes of dried fruit. I don’t use them that often, and usually only to round off a meal if John hasn’t ate much. I once remarked on how much I still had in my cupboard and Emma asked what I used to give her and my son when they were small. I replied that I never gave them anything between their meals, except perhaps half a Farley’s Rusk. I have since looked more closely at the snacks available especially for babies and toddlers; they call them finger foods. I wonder how long they have been on the market and is it a good thing to encourage snacks in young children?

I have one more thing I would like to talk about this month. How many of you have read about the new map that has been drawn up of the areas in northern France and the south of England, bordering the channel? The EU are calling this area la manche and want to make a special flag for this area, which town halls in the south of England will be obliged to fly on special EU days. This worries me immensely; is this the beginning of a takeover? Are we expected to accept this flag in place of our union jack? I am proud to be British, I want to stay British and that includes red post boxes, red telephone boxes, English road signs and the union jack. Do the British people have a say in whether we rename a large area of our country into la manche? According to the map this area covers all of the south well past London. Are we losing our identity? Isn’t it about time we came out of the EU? We need to take back our country before it’s too late. We no longer appear to have any say in our laws or how our country is run. I believe it’s about time we gave power back to our own Parliament for the good of our country and all those who live here.

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