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Saturday, 12 March 2011

The stormy seas of Surrey life

Two weeks into my almost new full time job, I am enjoying my first proper weekend off (apart from holidays) for almost 2 years. It was a novel experience for me to have a lie in at the weekend, and not to have to rush to get up and out ready for work.

I am pleased to report that the transition to full time has been relatively smooth. The 7am starts have not been nearly as bad as I thought they might be, aided no doubt by the time of year, as it begins to get light earlier in the morning. I have settled into it so well that I wonder how on earth I used to do the job without that extra hour. It makes a big difference and enables me to do the job much more thoroughly, finding time to do those extra tasks that I never had the time for before.

This week I have been working upstairs, which was a novelty for me, being used to working downstairs. I had to find a whole new routine, getting to know many of the residents who do not normally leave their rooms, and washing dirty laundry instead of dishes. Next week, starting on Monday I will be downstairs again with Thursday and Friday off, and then have seven days in a row to work until the following weekend when the rota starts all over again.

I find the days go so much quicker when the mind is occupied and relish my afternoons off being able to relax and read. Once the nights begin to shorten and spring turns to summer, I look forward to some afternoons at the viewpoint, relaxing on the grass and enjoying the sun without having to rush off back to work in the evenings.

Sadly not everything in my life is smooth sailing. Just as we thought we were finally going to get some peace, on Wednesday night, we had another call from my sister, three calls to be precise. I picked the phone up, not recognising the number and thinking it might one one of Corans clients, so was surprised to hear her voice, in the usual accusatory tones asking why we had stopped ringing her and why we had palmed her off on the care team. Attempts to explain were as usual fruitless, with my sister becoming more and more agitated and accusatory with every breath. In the end I was forced to tell her that I was unable to continue the conversation and I put down the phone. Five minutes later she rang again, and this time I let the answerphone pick it up. She left a message saying more of the same, why won't we talk to her, she needs us and we need her, blah, blah, blah. Well actually, no we don't need this at all.

One hour and one phone call later, with Coran home from his evening at the meditation group, the number was barred. The following day, calls were made to her new CPN, the local CAB and the Police, asking what the hell we can do to stop this once and for all. As fast as we block her numbers, she gets a new phone and calls all over again, leaving angry and abusive messages, failing to listen to one single word that we say. After the last meeting, two weeks ago, we really thought that this was it, but no, the message has still not sunk in, so this time, with the advice and support of her new CPN, we have written her a letter, setting out in no uncertain terms that we will not entertain this behaviour anymore and that she made the choice to walk away from us, knowing full well what the consequences would be.

She has to understand in the words of J Michael Strazynski, that the problem is not between her and us, but between her and herself. If the message still fails to get through and she continues to harass us, for this is what it is, we may have no alternative but to seek an injunction. This is not something that either of us would choose, but we have run out of other options, as everything else has failed.

Against the backdrop of this, I have then been very pleased to be at work, as it has meant that I am busy there and not sitting at home brooding and mulling things over. On a brighter note, the deposit has now been paid for my trip to the Isle of Man (I am going on July 2nd for 2 weeks), staying at a former boys boarding school in the south of the island). I have three months in which the find the balance, so all I have to do now is save the money and book the flight.

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