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A Quiet Day

I was by myself since maybe 9:30am today. We had a small party last night at home to mark the birthday of Mark who has taken to sailing recently, so that the other three friends were also sailing related, including Chris who became a keen sailor over ten years ago and bought a boat, Andrew whom we got him into the Aberdeen Boat Club (ABC) and has since become a part-owner of a boat, and Joann who is a Past Commodore of the District Rotary Yachting Fellowship. As these are all very good friends, we did not plan the details too much and left to almost the last minute what we could get from the Mei Foo fish market. Su got a good fish and some shrimps, which were to be the highlight, but while waiting for Andrew, we consumed so much other food and bubblies that we almost lost track of the fish.

Andrew was delayed because he had to take the boat to ABC before the storm hit us; and after a tiring and punishing day, he finally arrived, soaking wet and was looking for his phone. Mark and Joanne helped him to his car and found in it the phone – to everyone’d relieve – and the bubblies he forgot to bring up. The fish was more than excellent and we finished a few bottles of bubblies, beginning with the better vintage ones and by which time Andrew was too tired to stay awake. We set up what must be the smallest birthday cake with a candle for Mark to do the ritual before he retired, for he has a deal with his wife always to return home before midnight – the modern Cinderella, male version. Chris and Joanne stayed a bit longer as Andrew continued to sleep; and Su managed to get Chris to buy a copy of my memoir. After Chris and Joanne left, I did the dishes and put Andrew on the sofa with a blanket. It would be past midnight.

I woke up at 3:30am and did my rounds just to find that Andrew was also up and looking for his brolly to leave for his car to get home. We found out today that the brolly never left the car. Andrew was well, just simply too tired. I went back to sleep and got up just after 9am to find Su getting ready to leave home for the YMCA hotel where her brother Sam was waiting with their parents who had been staying, not exactly for a staycation.

Now, Su’s parents live in an apartment in Laguna City. The tenants of the flat below theirs complained about water seepage from the bathroom. To cut the long story short, Su’s siblings had organized for a contractor to do the necessary repair works and at the same time renovate the bathroom to make it elderly friendly, both parents being almost in their Nineties. The contractors estimated that it would take two to three weeks for the works; and the siblings, in consultation with the parents had booked them into the YMCA hotel, of which their parents are members and the swimming pool of which they often use. Things seemed to have worked out rather well, until the parents actually moved in. Father-in-law appeared to have adjustment issues and complained on various matters including places to eat and what to eat, amongst other things. More specifically, he said he needed to go into a hospital. For the past few days, Su had been trying to counsel the parents separately and had managed to ask her mother to come to Mei Foo for meals and to take home-made food to her father afterwards, her father having refused point-blank not to come to our place for food, even though he acknowledged later that Su’s food was much better than what he could get from the eateries near the hotel. Su and Sam had arranged to take their father to his favourite Union Hospital in Tai Wai today.

Which brings us back to 9:30am this morning when Su left Mei Foo while I was still in bed. Her parting instructions were to get $40 of eggs from the market and to feed myself. I got up around 10:30am to assess the situation. The Tropical Typhoon Signal No. 3 had been up and it was raining rather hard. I began to pack my gym bag, intending to have a session at KCC and eat there afterwards. I took time to check my phone and messages so that by the time I left the flat, it was almost 11:20am and raining harder than ever. The front entrance was flooded and our friendly gate keeper was busy trying to clear the blocked drains. He suggested that it would not be a good idea to take the car or go anywhere far. I mulled over his advice and landed myself in an eatery I often used for comfort food. While I was eating, I learned that the Black Rainstorm Warning had been issued; and I congratulated myself that I had made a good call of not going for the car.

Meanwhile, Su had brought food to her mother at YMCA hotel and the siblings had taken their father to Union Hospital for admission. The rain never stopped. I finished my meal, went to fetch the eggs and got home for a hot shower, after which I found that Su had asked me to get her some milk as well. Too late. I began to organize the appointments for the following week and was enjoying the quietness. I tried some exercise routines but didn’t get very far.

Su’s father was hospitalized and the medical team had organized a series of checks and tests for the following two days. The siblings continued to discuss how best to look after the parents, separately, and in the meantime, the way forward.

I got myself a double scotch on rocks and began typing out this blog. I have learned that a day often passed without notice and soon enough this quiet day of me by myself would be gone without me achieving a lot.  Su is still at the hospital waiting for some tests to be run on her father, and won’t be back for dinner for at least an hour or two. Tomorrow promises to be a long day.

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