More power outages today. Over two hours of non-productivity in the workshops. However, the Lads took it upon themselves to mow and trim the lawns in order to stay busy and earn their wages. I didn't even have to take the whip to them and give them twenty lashes each!.
The Mummies, on the other hand, were more concerned with not being able to shower, flush toilets and make baba bottles. Fortunately, we have a gas stove, so we boiled a saucepan of water and made tea and coffee.
Oh, and a couple of bot-bots.
A phone call from Granny (of "The Grands" fame - my mam), answered by Sarah, as I had baby Lyla on my hip, watching and waiting for a pot to boil.
"Hello Sarah, is your mum coming through today?"
"Yes, Gran" - as she looked at me, enquiringly to confirm
"What time is she coming through?"
"I'm not sure, Gran, as we currently have no electr...."
"No what did you say?"
"No electricity. The power is out"
"Your mums gone out? Where's she gone?"
Sarah and I share the same routine with the Grands when we (separately) go through to see them on different days each week. They like to take a break from their "dailies" at the residential care home, book community transport and meet us late morning in the mall. We usually start with a weekly "news" or "show and tell" over cups of coffee. Then a bit of window shopping, (but usually buying). Perhaps a banking errand. A trip to the local chemist. Then lunch in the food hall.
After lunch - a trip to the supermarket for treats and those 'extra's' that are so personalised, of which are dependent on moods, fancies and wants - differing from week to week.
And rightly so. Why not.
Maybe another tea or coffee. Usually the time to plan or make arrangements for the week to follow. Hearing their concerns or complaints (sometimes whims) and deliberating how we can help them.
Usually, this routine can take up to five hours, when trips to the toilet, slow movement due to aching arthritic or gouty joints and breathlessness, meeting and greeting of friends and acquaintances and other unforeseen distractions are taken into account.
Today, for instance -
Mam and I were sitting on a bench - just outside of the supermarket entrance. An elderly chap, pushing a wheelie-walker came to join us.
"I can sit here with you ladies, can't I?"
"Most certainly you can", I assured him
"Mine [husband] has just gone to the loo, but you can sit there in the meantime.."
"Oh, ok. Thankyou"
The chap told us all about his experience with a faulty phone, and Telstra's incompetence and the long queues he had to wait in to get his new phone fixed. The conversation then changed course into the general lack of public privacy and the protection of personal credit cards.
As it happened, I had only just (today) bought two - yes two - not one, but two - credit card holders which claim the ultimate protection from credit card number theft. I reached into my bag and gave him one.
"For me? Are you sure?"
"Yes, please take it. I bought it as a spare"
"Can I pay you..."
"No. Honestly. You're welcome to it..."
Grandpa had returned from the loo. He was waiting - standing up against a wall - and I could tell he was getting impatient, as Granny, with her head tilted to the side was enquiring of the elderly chap where he had left his wife....
We said our goodbyes, got up to leave and I automatically grabbed Granny's wheelie-walker and proceeded to walk towards the coffee shop. She was left standing, holding my purchases, staring after me in disbelief. I was steering the walker as I would a baby pram - weaving it in and out of oncoming human traffic. But today, there was no baby and it wasn't a pram.
Chuckling, I turned to see where my mam was.
She was doubled over, laughing.
Grandpa was way in front. His long black with hot milk on the side could wait no longer.