Choice, Bond and bus tickets

Rang the Unit this morning to see if LB wanted to come to town with us and have some nosh out. He’d been to the farm on Friday and had been quite chilled over the weekend.

“Maybe. Maybe not,” was the answer. This means no. I rang back a bit later to see if he wanted us to get him anything.

“No, thank you,” he said to the staff member relaying the question.

“Can you ask him if he wants a t-shirt or a dvd, or anything?”

The answer was “DVD please.”

Rich, Tom and I went into town. Tom started chatting about when we’d gone to watch Skyfall with LB. I’d forgotten, but Tom remembered how LB had sat patiently in the dark waiting for the bright daylight fight scenes so he could read his bus ticket. Hilarious. Kind of.

There’s something here about choice and constraint. But also about difference and tensions around making sense of our lives and the social world we live in. I still think of LB as an unlikely ethnographer, but that doesn’t help us understand how he makes sense of his life. This remains a mystery really.

ryan5-264

May Day, Magnolia and Magdalene Bridge

No buses across Magdalene Bridge this morning as it was closed to traffic for May Day celebrations. So it was a beautiful walk from St Clements, up the High Street. Past revellers on their way home.

A rare ‘Who will buy?’ morning.

ryan5-259
ryan5-260
ryan5-261
ryan5-262
ryan5-263

Carfax, colour, sunshine and bubble gum

Carfax was a lively old space this morning. Sunshine, laughter, chatter and then a loud shout; “Oi! Stop eating that bubble gum!” The chunky hound under scrutiny assumed a “Who me?” expression. Soaking up the sunshine.

ryan5-257

The Unit. Day 14

I spoke to the psychiatrist this morning and got a proper update at last. LB has been much calmer since the first week, is undergoing continuous assessment and they are hoping to adjust his environment, rather than change him, to reduce the triggers to his aggression and anxiety. They are planning for him to return to school (for his non-school based week) after Easter and are hoping that he will agree to stay at the Unit, informally, at the end of this section in a couple of weeks time. The core ingredient during this time will be information gathering, past and present, from his family, school and the unit team.

What.a.relief. That sounds a sensible plan. And she sounded lovely.

Ten minutes later, Rich asked if I’d looked at the photography book I’d got for Mother’s Day.

“Eh? What book??” I said, looking over at the shelf he was looking at. WOW!! I’d completely forgotten about it. Mother’s Day was obliterated this year, as I’d scuttled up to Manchester early to get away from a raging LB. A long nine days before he was admitted. “Fab! O.M.G. What day is it????”
“April 3rd. Wednesday.”
OMG!!  I’ve got my hot rock massage today at 10.30!!!! Gotta scoot.”
“So today’s all about you is it Mum?” chipped in Rosie, ‘working’ (Candy *cough* Crush) at the kitchen table.
“Yep, bloody right it is.”

The £20 note and the Queen

Got on the bus this morning with a £20 note. And no change. Not a good move.

The driver shook his head. “No change.”

“Arghhhh.. sorry, I haven’t got anything smaller.”
“No change,” he said, poking at his change drawer.

The guy behind me was jingling some coins.

“Can I get the change in town, when you’ve taken some cash?”
“Doubt it. I’ve got no change so far. The best I can do is a change receipt.”
“Ooh, Ok.. What do I do with that?”
“Take it to our depot in Outer Mongolia.” (teeny bit of embellishment there..)
“Isn’t there somewhere  a bit closer to do that?”
“Gloucester Green.”
“Oh, Ok. I’ll do that. But if you’ve got the change when I get off, can I cash it in with you?”
“No. I wouldn’t have any cash left if I did that.”
“Well you ain’t got any now..”

Shrug.

“Ok, I’ll take the receipt. Thanks.”

Fifteen minutes I looked up from Candy Crush. The bus had stopped, not at a bus stop.

Eh? I looked out the window. Where are we? Dunno, but everyone was piling off the bus. Speaking to the driver in turn.

“What’s going on?” I asked when it was my turn.

“Detour. High Street’s shut. The Queen’s coming.”

ryan5-159
ryan5-153

ryan5-158

Strange times.