For the most part being a carer's suited me fine ugg . You could even say it's brought the best out of me. But some people just aren't cut out for it, and for them the whole thing becomes a real struggle. For a while at least, you're demoralised. Some of us learn pretty quick how to deal with it. But others--like Laura, say--they never do.
No wonder they end up feeling frustrated and blaming themselves when things go wrong. I try not to make a nuisance of myself, but I've figured out how to get my voice heard when I have to. And when things go badly, of course I'm upset, but at least I can feel I've done all I could and keep things in perspective.
Even the solitude ugg boots , I've actually grown to quite like. That's not to say I'm not looking forward to a bit more companionship come the end of the year when I'm finished with all of this. But I do like the feeling of getting into my little car, knowing for the next couple of hours I'll have only the roads, the big grey sky and my daydreams for company. And if I'm in a town somewhere with several minutes to kill, I'll enjoy myself wandering about looking in the shop windows. Here in my bedsit, I've got these four desk-lamps, each a different colour, but all the same design--they have these ribbed necks you can bend whichever way you want. So I might go looking for a shop with another lamp like that in its window--not to buy, but just to compare with my ones at home.
It was almost like she'd been sitting there waiting, if not for me precisely, then for someone more or less like me from the old days. And now I'd shown up, her first thought seemed to be: "At last!" Because I could see her shoulders move in a kind of sigh, then without further ado, she reached over to open the door for me.
We talked for about twenty minutes: I didn't leave until the last possible moment. A lot of it was about her, how exhausted she'd been, how difficult one of her donors was, how much she loathed this nurse or that doctor. I waited to see a flash of the old Laura, with the mischievous grin and inevitable wisecrack ugg boots ireland , but none of that came. She talked faster than she used to, and although she seemed pleased to see me, I sometimes got the impression it wouldn't have mattered much if it wasn't me, but someone else, so long as she got to talk.
"No. Funny, but I've never even glimpsed her."
"Yeah, it's funny. You'd think we'd all run into each other much more. I've seen Hannah a few times. And Michael H. too."
Then she said: "I heard this rumour, that Ruth had a really bad first donation. Just a rumour, but I heard it more than once."
"I heard that too," I said ugg ireland .
Laura looked puzzled. "But you and Ruth, you were so close."
"Yeah, I suppose so. But like with you, Laura. She and I weren't such great friends by the end."
"Oh, but that was back then. She's had a bad time. And I've heard she's had trouble with her carers too. They've had to change them around a lot for her."
"Not surprising really," I said. "Can you imagine? Being Ruth's carer?"
Laura laughed, and for a second a look came into her eyes that made me think she was finally going to come out with a crack. But then the light died, and she just went on sitting there looking tired ugg bailey button .
I turned in my seat to face her again. "Yeah, it's really strange," I said. "I can't really believe it's not there any more."
"It's so weird," Laura said. "I suppose it shouldn't make any difference to me now. But somehow it does."
"I know what you mean."
I remember my first response when he told me this. I said: "But what'll happen to all the students?" Roger obviously thought I'd meant the ones still there, the little ones dependent on their guardians, and he put on a troubled face and began speculating how they'd have to be transferred to other houses around the country, even though some of these would be a far cry from Hailsham ugg classic tall . But of course, that wasn't what I'd meant. I'd meant us, all the students who'd grown up with me and were now spread across the country, carers and donors, all separated now but still somehow linked by the place we'd come from.
So we just kept walking, the clown and me, on and on along the deserted pavement still wet from the morning, and all the time the balloons were bumping and grinning down at me. Every so often, I could see the man's fist, where all the balloon strings converged, and I could see he had them securely twisted together and in a tight grip. Even so, I kept worrying that one of the strings would come unravelled and a single balloon would sail off up into that cloudy sky.
Lying awake that night after what Roger had told me, I kept seeing those balloons again. I thought about Hailsham closing, and how it was like someone coming along with a pair of shears and snipping the balloon strings just where they entwined above the man's fist. Once that happened, there'd be no real sense in which those balloons belonged with each other any more. When he was telling me the news about Hailsham, Roger had made a remark ugg classic short , saying he supposed it wouldn't make so much difference to the likes of us any more. And in certain ways, he might have been right. But it was unnerving, to think things weren't still going on back there, just as always; that people like Miss Geraldine, say, weren't leading groups of Juniors around the North Playing Field.
She told me I was looking better than ever, and that my hair suited me really well. I said nice things about her too, and for the next half hour or so, I think we were genuinely delighted to be with each other. We talked about all kinds of things--Hailsham, the Cottages, what we'd been doing since then--and it felt like we could talk and talk forever. In other words, it was a really encouraging start--better than I'd dared expect.
That may have been fine as far as that first meeting was concerned. But once I officially became her carer, and I began to see her regularly, the sense of something not being right grew stronger and stronger. I developed a routine of coming in three or four times a week in the late afternoon, with mineral water and a packet of her favourite biscuits, and it should have been wonderful, but at the beginning it was anything but that ugg classic cardy . We'd start talking about something, something completely innocent, and for no obvious reason we'd come to a halt. Or if we did manage to keep up a conversation, the longer we went on, the more stilted and guarded it became.
It got to the stage where before I went in to see her, I'd sit in my car for several minutes working myself up for the ordeal. After one particular session, when we did all the checks on her in stony silence, then afterwards just sat there in more silence, I was about ready to report to them that it hadn't worked out, that I should stop being Ruth's carer. But then everything changed again, and that was because of the boat.
GOD KNOWS HOW THESE THINGS WORK. Sometimes it's a particular joke, sometimes a rumour. It travels from centre to centre, right the way across the country in a matter of days, and suddenly every donor's talking about it. Well, this time it was to do with this boat. I'd first heard about it from a couple of my donors up in North Wales. Then a few days later, Ruth too started telling me about it. I was just relieved we'd found something to talk about, and encouraged her to go on ugg boots sale .