That Was Then, This Is Now

In the strange parallel universe that is ‘What I would have been doing if Covid-19 hadn’t happened’, this is the weekend I should have had two of the grandchildren to stay.

I would have been picking them up today, and returning them on Sunday, so that their Mum and Dad could get a well-deserved and much needed couple of days away.

Instead, I have four days off from work to do with as I please.

Today I’m off to see my parents. Mum hasn’t been well, and I need to just go and have a look at them to see if they’re still coping. As I’ve said before, I’m the only child, so I have to rely on my own judgement. In the past they were adamant that when the time came they wouldn’t want to come to live with me (my mother had her father to live with her for a while – and vowed that she would never ‘do that’ to me). They’d even found a care home that they liked.

But with everything that’s been going on in care homes, I would never ‘do that’ to them. So, when the time comes that they’re not coping so well, there are basically two choices – we buy in services to help them. Or they come to live with me.

I’ve been looking at my house, wondering how I could make that work. It’s a decent sized house – there should be room for them to have a whole floor to themselves – but it’s not that simple. I could make them a decent flat – bedroom, sitting room, bathroom – on the first floor, but they would have to get up and down the stairs if they wanted to cook or go out. The attic is all set up with a kitchenette, because that’s where the lodger lives – but that’s up two flights of stairs. And also, I’d have to give notice to the lodger, which would reduce my income.

I’ve even thought about converting the garage in the basement. It would need tanking, and a window putting in where the garage door now is. Also, there would be no natural light in the back part and I’d have to have a loo and a shower etc plumbed in. The utility room could be made into a kitchen quite easily. But the whole thing would be a major undertaking, I would lose my garage – where else would all that stuff go?

And not forgetting, at some point I’m going to have to sell, to buy my ex out. That makes things a bit more complicated. Would I end up having to move house with two old folk in tow, probably to a house much smaller than this one? If I converted the garage would it affect the value and/or saleability of the house?

So – all in all better to keep them in their own home for as long as possible, I think.  

And time to have a serious conversation about what they want.

Many years ago, when 90 seemed a very long way off, my Mum said that if she ever got that old we were to shoot her. Now, with only a couple of months to go, I suspect she may have changed her mind…

And that’s just today’s job!!

Tomorrow I’m having the front path re-laid. On the theme of ‘eventually I’ll have to sell’, and looking at the place through someone else’s eyes, the path is a mess and needs to be sorted. They’re coming first thing tomorrow to remove the old tarmac and they should be able to lay down the new stuff in the afternoon. The weather looks reasonable, so hopefully things will go according to plan.

Also, the front door is awful – I’ve never liked it. So as soon as the path is laid I’ll be looking to replace it. I’ve already chosen the one I want, and I think I’ve found someone who can hang it for me. I’ve watched Location Location Location and Homes under the Hammer often enough to understand the importance of kerb appeal!!

There are no plans to put it on the market just yet – but if I get the work done sooner rather than later (and it’s something that I’ve been wanting to do since I moved in seven years ago!), I get to enjoy it for a bit myself before I have to sell.

So that’s the Thursday and Friday of my four days spoken for. I’ll leave Saturday for my next post – suffice to say I’m quite giddy with excitement…

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