It was Neez's birthday yesterday, and she wasn't sounding so great for a birthday girl. There are a number of government agencies who are supposed
to be helping her with support and re-housing for her and the babby (due June 17th). They've given her nothing but the runaround, grief and stress. They pass the buck from one to the other, no one writes the supporting letters they're supposed to, and last week a counsellor who'd fucked up starting crying in apology during Neez's session. Not what you want from your counsellor.
Still, Aunty Ion will be down to visit in a couple of weeks to help clean, paint and draughtproof the council house and do some shopping in preparation for babby Arran's arrival. I haven't seen Neez since her sister's appalling histrionic wedding last year, before she 'fell' (a wonderful term), and am very much looking forward to spending time with her. She and Dodo have a special bond, and he's very upset I'm not taking him down too. But there's not much room and the idea is to help Neez and not add social burdens.
I forced myself to go clothes shopping today, having bargained with myself that it would be limited to 1 hour and 3 shops. Just as you would bargain with a toddler. Moderately successful-
two pairs of loose linen trousers, a bias-cut brown skirt and a thin pink sweater for summer. I also impulse bought a new jacket, largely because my old one so badly offends R.. I suppose it is a bit old, smelly, scruffy and worn out, but I like it
. It's been a year since I bought clothes (new or second-hand) although mum handed me down some useful trousers and jumpers this year.
The need for new clothes is as much a comfort as a fashion/smartness issue. I spent a most uncomfortable nightshift working in too-tight trousers (which used to fit), as my waistline has increased a size since I gave up the Job from Hell. A healthy weight gain. But that night I had to construct a rubber-band bridge between the buttonhole and the button of the trousers, luckily covered by my tunic, which was when I knew some shopping was required.
Another gorgeous day outside, making the walk into town and back a pleasure, especially the front gardens in Marchmont. I visited R. (now recuperating at home under her mother's supervision), whose flat is filled with well-wishers' flowers. Meeting her for the first time, I found her mother absolutely charming, speaking in beautiful Czech-accented English. We spoke once on the phone when R.'s father died last year, but she was grief-stricken then. Now I realise from where R. gets her poise and her green cat's eyes. We've arranged a tripartite trip to the Botanics on Tuesday for R.'s first outing.