Yesterday I took my dementing Mum to the Royal Free for her final appointment. It was a bit emotional really, because we said goodbye to a neurologist who got his head around her bizarre dementedness and agreed on a diagnosis I had flagged up almost 2 years earlier. He’d been super helpful and written a letter for me to send to the creditors when she got herself into a big financial pickle. But there’s no need to see him now, because there’s nothing that can be done for her. There’s no treatment or cure for FTD (used to be called Picks Disease) so it’s just a case of making the best of what you’ve got left.
On the way home, I got a call from an unrecognised mobile number. It was a lady saying she was from UK border control. She had stopped the house sitter who was due to stay at mine so I could head back to Bulgaria today. 😱
The house sitters are not paid. But they do have to look after my cat. Border control said this is payment (to them) as I let them stay at my house without charge. They were holding the house sitter on that basis.
When I got home I had a panic as I realised I’d just told someone all about my travel plans and actually had nothing to prove they were border control at all. They hadn’t validated who they were and had called from a mobile number. So I called the office at Luton and they tracked down the enforcement officer. All they’d tell me is that someone would call me back.
Two hours in and I got a message from the sitter, saying she was being held at border control but if I charged her (like air bnb) they would let her go. So I called them back and said I could do this. The enforcement officer said “but you don’t have Airbnb”
“Actually I do – I set it up before calling you back” (Cos I’m blonde but not stupid😉).
I also called the house sitting site I use, who arrange house sits all over the world and they said they’d never heard anything like it – and they should know!
Meanwhile I was scrambling to make other plans and at the 11th hour a couple who’s landlord decided to make a surprise renovation had been left without somewhere to live; got in touch. It took them another few hours to confirm if they could help and to check their references (and since they’re from the UK I don’t have an immigration issue!)
At 10:00pm the original house sitter got in touch again. She had been given a visa until the end of August but not until she’d been locked in room all day, searched, finger printed, and told that if she stayed at my house she would be arrested. She’s the same age as my Mum and now had no where to stay.
For the last 3 weeks since my Mum went into a home, I’ve been doing house clearance of her old house. It’s now empty. It does me no favours to have someone staying in it (in fact its slightly inconvenient) but I was hardly going to force this woman to stump up the money to stay in a hotel when she hadn’t anticipated her visit to the UK to look like that.
So the UK couple who have had a surprise temporary eviction are looking after my spoilt cat in my house.
The lady who has flown over to look after my cat is now doing me no favours what so ever, and is staying in my Mum’s old house. To be on the safe side, in case my border control officer friend reads this, I’m also charging her. £1. And writing her a receipt.
This afternoon I’m going to attempt to get on an aeroplane!!!
I sense there’s a strong possibility it will crash, be hijacked or land in the wrong country. I just wanted you to know know I can swim, negotiate and I know how to make a compass.
When it all goes fucked up, I can, independently figure out what to do. Even when the faces around me look blank and cannot help with ideas or practical solutions. It doesn’t matter because I will sort it out. Eventually. And sometimes, I’ll even sort things out for others along the way.
But it probably wouldn’t hurt at all if you wished me luck before I board my flight – just to be on the safe side 😆😉