Tuesday, 27 May 2008

Holiday Arrangements

We have been planning our holiday; we're going kayaking up the Amazon river in boats we've made ourselves from hollowed out logs using traditional methods and tools such as the jaw bone of a Jaguar we've hunted with blowpipes. We will be camping on sandbanks and only eating food we've gathered for ourselves. Oh no, sorry, that was last year. We're going to Wales. My mum has a little house in a holiday village at Freshwater East near Pembroke. It's very nice, just a couple of minutes walk to a child friendly beach, and surrounded by more castles than supermarkets.


The downstairs of the house is accessible with the judicious use of a wooden ramp custom made by our friend, Martin. There is a downstairs bathroom and a bed in the corner of the lounge come dining room come kitchen. When it stops raining it is a lovely place to be.


Of course, going on holiday, like most aspects of my life requires advanced planning. In the past Polly has done the work of two carers, getting me up and putting me to bed, as well as the usual day to day care which, because we are away from home and our usual facilities, is that much more difficult. A few years a go we hit upon the idea of hiring in homecare while we were in Wales. Easier said than done, but we managed it (well to to be honest Polly did) and it made a huge difference. It cost a fortune but at least Polly actually got to have a holiday. And then, in conversation with a social worker, we learned that we could temporarily transfer our 'care package` to Wales at no cost to us. Yippee! Last year it worked beautifully and the Welsh agency went above and beyond the call of duty. So this year we thought we'd do the same. Simple. Of course it wasn't.


Social services suffered a kind of collective amnesia. “Are you sure that's what happened last year?” And “Er. . .So how do we arrange that then?” And “When exactly will you be moving to Wales? We'll miss you.” And eventually, “Ah, Polly, we've arranged care provision for your son... Your husband? Are you sure? Really? I just assumed. . .”


In the mean time – it's half term and so the boys are at home. Just after lunch today S, who was sat next to me, was concentrating very hard and counting, “23. . . 24. . . 25. . . 26. . . 27.” I asked him what it was that he was counting. He looked at me in surprise, rolling his eyes at my ignorance. “Numbers, Daddy. I'm counting numbers.” He sighed. “1... 2... 3...”