The second contributory fact for my 80 day absence was the premature closure of Mr P’s family house in Pau. Mr P’s aged aunt’s health had deteriorated to a stage where she needed more in-depth care than his equally elderly mother could provide.
We have always been aware that this situation would arrive in the near future — but were caught napping when it rapidly loomed upon us out of the blue and we had to take a dash to France.
Finding a suitable nursing home for elderly people is difficult at the best of times — finding one that accepts patients with Alzheimer’s, and provides compassionate understanding care for them, is even worse. Luckily, we had the help of one of Mr P’s brothers who took care of most of that for us . A deal was struck he would sort out their aunt and we would sort out their mother.
A suitable residence was found for their aunt, not far from where the brother’s family lives — which would enable him to visit her whenever he went to see his daughter and granddaughter.
We then had the task of packing up mother and her possessions and returning her to the apartment in Lisbon.
The Good — well, we did it — it took us awhile and happened in a very ramshackle manner. We moved ourselves with the help of a cast of extras. One ancient tractor, a front-loading “bin,” two borrowed trailers, the land rover, some Bulgarians, our neighbour Manuel and our friends Joachim and Zee.
Last night, we had the most amazing nearly full moon, with the exact time of the full moon in the early hours of this morning when all sensible people are asleep — the light was excellent so I took the opportunity to snap away at our last full moon from this house.
Big boxes, little boxes, round boxes, wooden boxes, plastic boxes, crates, chests and of course a suitcase or four, plastic bags a plenty and of course a kitten or five — yes it is official — we are on the move. Official tenancy starts 1st June — we have until 31st May to pack up the contents of the house — that is my job — and all the agricultural equipment, a dead car or two plus all the tools and spares and their housing as well as our tractor. There is also a garage to clear — thank goodness that is his job!
Remember me? I am the Alentejo cat that might be getting new pets — the tall one and the red one. They have been coming to see me most days and have been leaving me food. I was very glad of it when it was raining all the time — they even left it on the porch so it would keep dry for me.
Now it is sunny, and I have spent my time trying to catch these two birds on the fence — so far they have eluded me! They are crafty; they steal my cat food and fly off just as I pounce. I am patient though and, like me, they hang around most days.
On July 1st or August 1st of this year, depending on how things go, I will be moving into an apartment in a co-op building in the Kew Gardens area of Queens, G-d willing. It has been nearly a year since I moved back from Seattle and this is only the first apartment in which I am actually going to be not just temporarily dwelling.