Deborah here

A week has passed since I last wrote, but I have been busy. Or rather, my sister, Deb, has been busy, while I have been the gofer as well as  creator of tasks.

Deb arrived for a ten day visit on Friday. Since then she has sorted the garage shelves – again – and labelled its boxes, fixed the fridge door, fixed the bathroom cupboard doors, created more shelves in the bathroom and helped reorganise my disgusting amount of ”stuff” onto them.

Together, we did a major sort of bed linen – it’s amazing how single and double sheets and covers can get jumbled up – separating out  things only used when the kids are here – and we have vacuum packed about a dozen duvets of different tog measures.

After my initial offering of magret de canard, Deb has somehow slipped into the role of chief cook.  No surprise to others who visit me….  and because my sciatica is having a bad moment, she has done most Poppy walking.

Meanwhile, when not managing my complicated diary of medical paperwork and forthcoming appointments, I have swanned off to spend Saturday morning playing with the music school orchestra and yesterday playing with the other cello students.

What does Deborah do to relax? Well, when she is not reading one of the huge books she has brought with her, she beats me hollow at Scrabble or Boggle. I had one brief, sweet victory last night, thanks to two seven letter words and getting away with more two letter words than usual.  But maybe she was just being kind.

Does this paragon of a younger sister have any vices?  (We will gloss over the main one: that while nobly sorting out my house, her own remains in complete chaos.). Once again she has arrived with a blocked ‘good’ ear and is very deaf. Not strictly a vice, but it brings out the worst in me, as I fail to speak loudly and I forget to wait till I am looking straight at her before talking.

I said I could not have had the patience to be married to someone who was deaf, and we both remembered our grandmother, Tish, and her impatience with her husband often guessing wrongly what she had just said. Deb has been applying oil three times a day without any effect. After googling blocked ears we agreed all other home remedies are risky and she has promised to see a doctor when she gets home.

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