A disturbed night. Gill discovered that she was losing a lot of blood in the night and rang the out of hours GP service; they said go to Accident and Emergency. So she got a taxi and went in, but was back by 4am and I'm not sure what they did, if anything.
I got up at 7.30, to be heading off out of the house at 8.30 to go to Dewsbury. Gill had got up at 7am and made sandwiches for me, and plaited my hair which I can't do for myself... I got off in enough time to get the 8.58. The carriage I got on had a party of 9 Geordie women, all related, off to Manchester for their annual Christmas bash... shopping, a night out, good times. They were drinking Champaigne and eating fancy chocolates and biscuits... the party had already started. One of the women, Pink, chatted with me and expressed her desire to be less acquisitive, less materialistic. At one stage of the journey she suggested to the group that they ought to only give each other Christmas presents every 5 years. I enjoyed this 'people-watching' time.
I dragged myself away at Dewsbury and the Market Office was quite close to the station, about 5 minutes walk... I'd memorised the route last night on Googlemaps. The grotto was right next to the office, and the Kirklees Council team had brought the Santa Claus costume, so at 10.30 I got started... sitting in the grotto, with kiddies and their families being ushered in, for £2.50 per child, to have an audience with Santa, and a wrapped present.
It was fairly constant, with not many gaps, and I enjoyed it almost as much as the walkabout next week. The most interesting thing this time was the number of Asian customers, many obviously Muslim. This was curious, and my questions like 'are you all ready for Christmas?' were quite often met with a 'no', as they don't celebrate it. But the children are growing up in a culture with images of Father Christmas, so of course they want to experience it. I love our multicultural society. On a couple of occasions when talking with these people, I said I enjoyed Eid, which seemed to go down well.
There was one incident which was a bit disturbing. A pair of women came in right at the end of the day, with a 3 or 4 year old daughter, and one of the women's Dads. He was either drunk, or unwell in some way, and was very controlling, verging on the aggressive. At one stage he tried to sit or crouch down next to my chair, and fell backwards. He said he hadn't been out for 11 days and mentioned that he had diabetes. He also tried to grab and move the child but the mother wasn't having it and stopped him, told him off. It was by far the most difficult visit.
But this was quite close to 3.30, my finish time. I actually worked til 3.40, as the Harry Potter RoadShow finished at 3.30 and I got a few visitors after that.
But I got changed and away to the station for the 4.07 train, and I switched my phone back on and dozed. I tried to send Gill a text but for some reason it wouldn't send. Then I got a phone call from Ashley, one of our friends from primary school days. She'd taken Gill into hospital at midday and the boys were with her. She suggested that I might go to Ward 22 to see Gill, and then come to collect the boys.
So I cycled to the hospital and found Gill, who was in good humour, on her feet, and helping to look after another admission who kept threatening to get out of her bed. Gill told me the doctors didn't know what to do with her, whether to endoscope her to find the source of the bleeding, or something else. Gill told me to get back to the kids and to put £10 on her phone using a card in the hospital shop.
So I did that, and then cycled all the way along the Route 66 cycle path which was mega slippy along to Melrosegate, up Green Dykes Lane, down into Heslington, picked up a good load of logs, and then up Windmill Lane to Ashley and Paul's. The boys were pleased to see me, and had been impeccably behaved, even helping to break up ice on the path outside the house.
I thanked Ashley for all her help, and walked back with the boys. They went onto the computers and I lit the stoves, heated water for pasta, washed up, cooked squash, onion and tomato with herbs, and then boiled carrot, celery and pasta, and those two dishes were adequate for tea, eating at 8pm.
Before bed, we had 2 games of consequences, one a picture game with the theme of robots (good suggestion from our youngest) and then a story consequences which filled 3 sides of A4... meaning that each of us wrote 3 chunks of fiction making 3 funny stories.
Wheat sacks were warmed, hot water bottles filled, hot drinks downed, and they went to bed with no problems whatsoever. Magic!
I then washed up, put the logs in the front and bike away, watched a programme on body language and went to bed at my normal time.
I look forward to finding out what is happening to Gill tomorrow, and if she's in hospital all day, we might go in and see her...