After having been away Thursday night, I’d caught up with Thursdays Soap’s on Friday afternoon, then gone out for a meal with the Swindon 105.5 FM ‘Girls About Town’ team last night (photos in this tomorrow’s blog).
I wasn’t feeling 100% (and as I knew I had two hours-worth of Friday’s Soaps to watch before I left for my office at 6.00 am Saturday morning), I decided not to have a drink. I got home at 11.15 and went to open the front door to find that my dad had put the chain on and I couldn’t get in (this is despite me reminding him as I left that I wouldn’t be late and that I had work to do).
As his light was still on, I tried throwing little stones at the window but a) I’m not a very good shot and b) he’s deaf and had clearly taken his hearing aid off for the night, so that didn’t work.
Plan B was – luckily (?) – he’d forgotten to lock the side gate, so I got the ladder off the wall, and found three thin lengths of metal piping which I stuck together. I then climbed up the step-ladder (a big one, and I have no head for heights) and held on to the guttering as I banged on the window.
That didn’t work, so I moved the ladder and attempted to push the pole through the tiny gap in the tiny open window. I rattled the venetian blind that much that the dust-cloud alone ought to have alerted him, but – alas – nothing. In desperation by that point (knowing how much work I had to do), I moved the ladder to try and get the curtain open. I managed to move one a little.
Any non-deaf/non-83-year-old could not have failed to notice what would have looked like a poltergeist rattling their window, but next second, the light went off. At that moment the ladder collapsed and I fell backwards onto the path. My neighbour came out in her dressing-gown and – to cut the rest of it short – my other neighbour was called and I spent the night in my clothes in her back room.
I got up at 5.45 to stand in the road because whenever my dad gets up in the night he always looks out of the window before he gets back into bed (he’s so noisy you can’t help but hear him), so I figured that if I was stood there he’d see me and come down and let me in.
The pain in my hip made leaning against the side of my car uncomfortable but as I’d had no sleep it didn’t matter that much as I was just glad to ‘lean’. Luckil,y it was really mild, and sort-of I saw the dawn break (but couldn’t look anywhere else other than the window in case I missed that split-second when the slats of the blind moved).
My phone battery died, and there I stood … and stood … and stood, until 7.15, when I saw his fingers poke through the slats and his beady eyes appear. I waved manically – like a castaway on a desert island when a ship appears – and he came down.
As is my dad’s way, it ended up being MY fault because I’d written in the diary on the hall table (I write everything I do in there so he always knows where I am) that I was out on Friday night. I did point out that we’d had a conversation as I’d left where I told him I would be back, and that I had work to do when I got home and that I was driving myself etc, but it was still my fault.
When I’m away overnight I write (in big letters) AWAY OVERNIGHT across the bottom of the page. When I’m out but coming back I write ‘Out tonight’ in small letters at the side of the page. He simply forgot, but blamed me. That’s what I’m most fed-up about. He’s 83. He forgets things. I forget things, but he blames me …
Anyway; I made a mug of tea, watched the Soaps, had a shower, got changed and came to my office. He did say sorry when I went down to say I was leaving (and I wasn’t ‘cross’ with him as such), but the end result is that I’ve lost half a day.
I’d been planning to work really hard this morning and knock-off early to enjoy a wander round the park or something later (before having to watch four hours recorded TV tonight for my TV Times post), but now I’ll be here all day. I’m tired and fed up. When people say to me ‘Why do you work so hard?’ it’s because I want to be able to earn a living and not have to live like I do.
I’m nearly 53. I got locked out by my dad. That’s the tip of the iceberg of how tough it is living with him. I’m grateful that he lets me live at home, as I can’t afford rent anywhere (and lost one of my two cleaning jobs recently), but there’s a big price to pay. That’s why I work 90 hours a week. That’s why I’ll do this week’s blog today – and not just go off and spend the day out in the sun enjoying a weekend off, like any normal person would
My dream is that I’ll be able to look back on all this and not only laugh, but feel that the struggle was worth it, but – sat here right now – it doesn’t feel very funny!
This was more than fitted in 140 characters, so that’s why I’ve written it here.
Right. On with the blog …