Had a message from my granddaughter, Victoria yesterday morning. She, her sister Hannah and their mother, my daughter Angela, were on their way to Pugfest in Manchester. Would I like to meet up with them at eleven o’clock?
I don’t sleep well. A combination of various complaints and bone-idleness means I can never get to sleep until I’m really tired. So I didn’t go to bed until half past three in the morning. I crawled out of the pit at half past nine to find this message waiting for me.
Angela has Motor Neurone Disease (MND). It’s a terrible, progressive condition which will eventually rob her of her independence. Diagnosed earlier this year, she has already lost most of the power of speech, she tires quickly, has at least one weak ankle, and the prescription drug do provoke mood swings. I take whatever opportunity I can to see her.
Having had only about five hours’ sleep was no excuse. Quick wash and shave, and I was at the nearest tram stop for half past ten and on my way to Manchester.
I know people who when they get a cold take to their beds for days in a passable imitation of Camille. Not so my daughter. This girl is a determined not to give in to this disease until it really beats her. It’s the Robinson gene. We never give in. Not just not very often. Never.
And her daughters are amazing. Two young women who cannot do enough for their mother, they deserve a medal. They know far more about their mother’s condition and her limitations than I do, and Victoria is blogging about it.
If you’re looking for insight into the way it feels to work with someone suffering as Angela does, go to Victoria’s blog at: https://daughterofmnd.wordpress.com/
So I passed a couple of happy hours in Manchester with daughter and granddaughters and of course, the star of the show, Oscar, Angela’s 9-year-old pug, who takes an absolute delight in the way complete strangers fuss over him.
And the sun chose to shine on us, lending a quite continental feel to the heart of the city.
The only downside was Metrolink, the Manchester tram operators who, thanks to a council edict, do not allow dogs on the trams. They’re fine on trains, okay on buses and taxi drivers are mostly happy to carry them but you can’t have them on trams. Bleeding politicians living with head in sand again.
I got home about half past two with the grim thought that in order to catch up on the work I should have been doing while I was skiving in Manchester, I’ll probably be up until three tomorrow morning.
There’s no such thing as a free lunch, is there?