St. Valentine and the kissing gates.

My new studio build is proving to be quite challenging time-wise. It is frustrating to me that I do not currently have a working studio, I will have a studio and hopefully some free time to be in it away from being my husband’s carer. I’ve mentioned before that Hubs is an Alzheimer’s sufferer.

Because my garden is bounded by a brook the studio foundations have to be with constructed with deep reinforced piles, the piles were put in by a specialist company and I was feeling optimistic that we are beginning to make the headway that I’d hoped for at the tail end of last year. However today something happened to demonstrate to me that optimism is not an option for those connected to someone with Alzheimer’s.

Today is 14 February, St Valentine ’s Day and today is the day that Alzheimer’s chose to demonstrate that my husband can no longer understand how a kissing gate functions.

For those not familiar with kissing gates, they are small gates (single) hung in a U- or V-shaped enclosure, allowing only one person through at a time. It means that the gate cannot be left ‘open’ and livestock cannot get out. Some kissing gates have a regular gate next to them, often that is locked but at times also left open.

With a friend we were slow walking our youngest son’s family dog in our village of Bugbrooke in Northamptonshire. The dog knows how the gate works and slipped through without aid, but even having seen the dog do it hubs was completely stumped. In effect a kissing gate is a fence if you do not know how it is supposed to function.

Hubs was perfectly familiar with kissing gates and has used them since coming to England as a young boy from Tuscany more than sixty years ago. However today the kissing gates presented a barrier to him like a solid fence, he just could not would figure out how to get through it.

We had to pass through two of these gates in our village for our walk, the first time I watched for a few seconds before helping him through, the second time I watched for slightly longer to see if he would figure it out but seeing him beginning to panic I guided him through.

St Valentine is a Saint, I am not. I felt irritation with my husband at the kissing gates. it made me feel as irritated as I have felt with the slipper /wellingtons saga we go through… but that is a different story…

I do not need anyone to tell me I have to have patience, I know I have to have patience, but patience is finite and runs out no matter how determined I am that it shouldn’t. After hubs was through the second gate, I looked at the gate for a few seconds and could see how it had suddenly become another major barrier instead of a portal or way through. I felt like raging at fate, but I don’t have the energy anymore to rage at fate, I’m too busy opening kissing gates.



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