So I’m here in Portugal with the ever reliable Gina G. Also we have this time with us, Laaminlin, who’s here on a jolly really ( unpaid but not with any qualification in caring that I can tell ) She’s company for Gina at least. There’s something unique about the chitter chatter of ladies that men can’t / won’t ever understand.
It’s been quite hot really, for late October, and thankfully the alcohol here is cheap.
We have been every day to the supermarket because that’s a pursuit that ( mystifyingly ) the ladies seem to enjoy.
3 fellas would have gone once, 10 minutes after arriving, bought everything for a week, and then only had to go back on day 4, having run out of beer because having bought enough for 8 days it was too irresistible to last more than 4.
The other night, unfamiliar with the bed I’m in and the rail I pull on to move a bit, I actually fell out of bed, onto the floor.
Now that’s a first, and not one I’m in a hurry to do again. I’m there on the floor, it’s absolutely pitch black, and I’m shouting for help. The mattress has fallen off, as has the bed rail and the pillow, and the sheet is actually over my head. I can’t get it off because it’s also underneath me. When you can’t feel most of yourself it’s very weird to fall out of bed in a pitch black room. It must be like that in zero gravity In space.
Just like in Space, no one could hear me scream – but that’s because both Gina and Laaminlin are both a bit deaf.
Eventually Laaminlin enters the room. I can’t see her because it’s too dark. I say ‘ turn the bloody light on, I’ve fallen out of bed !’
Where’s the light switch, she says. I’m on the floor with a sheet over my head, and she’s asking me to direct her to the light switch.
On thé wall, of course, I shout, near thé door, where all bloody bedroom light switches are!
But I haven’t been here before, so how do I know, she says….
I feel like im in a bizarre dream, and I might wake up.
After a long wait, the light goes on. I can’t see anything because there’s a sheet over my head.
I hear a shriek, and a ‘ OH MY GOD!’
Followed by an ‘ OH MY GOD!’ again.
Very helpful, im thinking, shouting that… and that’s all. Never mind me, on the floor unable to move, With a sheet over my head.
For Christ’s sake get Gina, I shout, longing for someone helpful to arrive.
I hear different footsteps and Gina’s voice. She pulls the sheet off my head. That’s a help. I was beginning to wonder if I’d just gone blind.
Now here’s a stroke of luck ( aka me being bloody organised ). I had bought a mobile hoist 2 years ago, for Portugal, but the bloody thing stopped working after 2 days.
I reasoned it was most likely to be the battery that needed replacement. Obvs if you buy from the Disabled sites they are about a hundred thousand pounds… but a search on Ebay for a battery of the same spec got me one for £28.
Well I’d got one and brought it out, this time, and connected it to the hoist that morning. On charge all day, I hoped it would now work, because Laaminlin and Gina combined aren’t strong enough to lift a frying pan, let alone a paraplegic stiffened with metal rods, that is on the floor.
Hallelujah it works! Thank God ( principally for my afore thought) and for Gina being experienced in the ways of hoisting. As Gina did everything useful and helpful ( accompanied by some more OH MY GOD’s from Laaminlin ) I was lifted like Cleopatra ( by her slaves ) into the air.
That enabled the putting back of the mattress onto the bed, with the pillow and the bedsheet, before I was lowered gracefully back into position. Laaminlin I think did some minor sheet adjustments, no use to anyone, but I imagine she felt it was ‘ making everything nice ‘ ( or something lost on me ).
No more dramas.. I hoped. Whatever else can go wrong?!
Read on, dear Reader.
The next day I bought a bag of chestnuts. They seem to be a diet staple here in Olhao.
I asked Laaminlin if she could ‘ cook ‘ them in the oven. She confidently took them from me, put half of them in a baking tray, and slid them skilfully into the ( preheated ) oven.
Now there’s a woman who has experience of roasting chestnuts, I thought.
Well I thought wrong, clearly.
After about 5 minutes, there’s a bloody great BANG! Then another, and more!
Laaminlin runs into the kitchen.
Now here’s a thing. What do you do when they’re something in the oven that’s clearly highly explosive?
Well obviously you turn off the oven and just wait for it to stop happening. At least it’s all self contained in the METAL BOX THATS THE OVEN, right?
Ahhh but that’s what logical thinking peeps do.
Not Laaminlin… she OPENS THE OVEN IMMEDIATELY FOR A 👀.
By this time i too am by the kitchen door.
There are brown chestnuts shooting across the room, their contents going in EVERY DIRECTION.
Laaminlin is cowering in a corner.
Literally the whole room is being covered in small fragments of chestnut.
Now I’m just thinking ‘ why oh why did she think opening the door was the best plan?!’
3 days later and bits of chestnut are still on the walls, windows and the doors.
Mind you, heaven forbid I mention it.. because here’s the thing.. I SHOULD HAVE TOLD HER NOT TO JUST PUT THEM IN THE OVEN…! I should have known what to do with chestnuts, so it was clearly all my responsibility. That they were taken from me and confidently slid Into the oven, without first having the first bloody clue how to actually roast chestnuts was ….. MY FAULT!
Ahhh if Only i was less of an idiot.
Laaminlin was in charge of only tea making for a couple of days, then revealed herself to be ok with fruit salads as well…. but not crunchy nut breakfast cereal ( that in her world need the milk put on it around 3 hours before you eat it, so that it was like mush ). I pointed out that the clue was in the ‘ crunchy’ part of the name, but that was apparently me being demanding.
Tomorrow I see my dear friend, Lee, that will always be my best ever carer… even tho my mind was dark in 2018, we laughed every day a hundred times. If only Lee had come back to the UK with me, but his parents were living in Portugal, and hey it’s a lot more sunny than London is.
Obvs Gina is just as good ( in case she reads this post !! )
As for Laaminlin, don’t consider a job in caring or catering. I’m sure you have other skills though – like drinking wine and going to the supermarket EVERY day to get the things you could have bought any of the last times you went there.