Up and About

Sue, Lucas, Sarah and I drove to Newark yesterday. The weather forecast for the week was encouraging, though promised rain towards the weekend, so it seemed like a good idea to paint the outside of Charlotte’s house while there was a window of opportunity. We set off early, calling in at Jewsons Tool Hire in Balderton to order a set of ladders. Arriving at the house we discovered that Suraj had already left to visit Charlotte in the hospital. I had a key so there was no problem gaining entry. Fortunately, the ladders arrived soon after and I spent the day painting the outside of the house. After a fish and chip lunch from the local ‘chippie’, Sue, Lucas and Sarah left me to carry-on painting and they went to visit Charlotte in Lincoln.

The painting went surprisingly well, though I did have to purchase some sand and cement to repoint the chimney. The brickwork was decidedly ‘iffy’, with most of the bricks needing to be stabilised and secured before they could be painted. We had chosen a bright creamy yellow for the paint, at times the reflection from the sun made for hot work and it wasn’t long before I had to hunt out a hat to protect my bonce. The one distraction I had was when the farmer combined a field of wheat across the lane and thankfully a slight cooling breeze took the dust and insects kicked up by the lumbering machine away from my layers of fresh paint.

Partway through the afternoon, as I was on the roof, I became aware of loud knocking and banging from the attached house next door. Eventually, a lady appeared and asked if we have a leak as there was water pouring through their ceiling. Worriedly, I climbed down the ladder and searched the house from top to bottom, but everything inside was dry. Returning to the neighbour I told her we had no leakage of water. In a panic, she scuttled off to be seen again a couple of hours later with a man holding a clipboard appearing to be giving an estimate. He was wearing a very smart suit so I would guess the job he was quoting for wasn’t going to be cheap!

Painting the outside of the house was supposed to be a surprise for Charlotte when she returned home, however when Sue made excuses for me not visiting, she guessed straight away what I was up to. Sue and Lucas returned around 5 pm without Sarah who had decided to stay at the hospital and return to Harborough the following day with Suraj. He was being interviewed for a job in  Thrapston the following morning. I finished painting at 6 pm and we made an uneventful, sick-free journey home.

The word from the hospital is that Charlotte is now able to get out of bed and move about. She can pick up and hold little Ellis David and has managed to use the toilet unaided. Her legs and feet are still swollen but she went through the night and fed Ellis,  the nurses were there to take over if necessary, but were not needed. Suraj spends all day with her, but he finds the hospital atmosphere hot and overbearing and needs to take regular walks outside to cool off. They are in a ward where the patients in the other beds seem to recycle regularly, Charlotte is the only one there long-term. Suraj seems to think that she may be coming home on Thursday.

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