Ibiza with Olivia in 2017
At car collection on Tuesday evening in hotel reception I was waiting impatiently as the previous customer went on and on with the EuropCar man about which beaches to see, etc.
When discussing the required fuel return amount, there was much confusion, the man said it was 1/8. So, I asked if it was nearly empty, he said no, it's almost full. I found it fascinating that we drew 180' different viewpoints on such a seemingly simple matter. I asked the guy to setup Satnav with the hotel as 'Home' and San Antonio as the first destination - he couldn't do it. I was anxious that I wanted time to play with the Satnav and car controls, but time was past eight and I wanted to get us out. In hindsight, I should have just taken more time. TomTom took us cross country to San Antonio so I bailed out and played it safe on bigger roads. Headlights were a problem coming back - I couldn't understand the controls for lights, door mirrors, cooling, windows and seat recline. It took well over one hour to get parked in San Antonio, I was close to bailing out but knew I couldn't - for Olivia and for my own mind. I eventually parked up, then walked twenty mins to Burger King, but was aware I hadn't checked if parking was free. Olivia wanted to order what would turn out simply as fries in a chicken sauce / outer - I corrected her and we got a proper burger! I wouldn't have relaxed during the evening with my parking ticket doubts, so we walked back for a further twenty minutes to check if we needed a ticket. Of course it was fine - and I learned that unless there are blue lines around the parking space it is free. Olivia was just brill, no fuss at all. I took about twenty photos to help me not forget the way back to the car - way over the top but I was taking no chances.
My spatial awareness memory is really atrocious, but I cope with it. I still can't remember ways around the hotel pool / bars, etc. or best way down to the beach. My first awareness of the severity of my deficiency was with Ruth in going back to our hotel in York - I just couldn't get it. Ruth knows how I used to be brilliant at this stuff. I now have to really think very, very hard about places. When I park the car at the supermarket - I take a photo. I used to carry London and the tube in my head very easily. I used to walk eleven miles to the office for goodness sake - what other birk would do that! I do acknowledge that London is generally still ok, about 50% of what it was, but probably still miles better than most people.
Olivia and I were mistaken for a couple in San Antonio, I had to teach Olivia to completely ignore people, by using zero eye contact. If asked a question, she mustn't even respond with a "No". We sat at a pub table with a drink (Coke) in San Antonio Ramblas. Olivia said she felt awkward being there with her dad, I was impressed that she is comfortable enough with me to say such a thing. I got photos of Olivia at Eden and ES Paradis - she was gonna SnapChat them.
Satnav getting Home was wrongly programmed so I did my own thing for Cala Llonga by street signs - so eighties.
Somewhere on the journey, at 2330, I was repeatedly flashed by a car. It felt like the kind of thing someone does to you if you have your headlights off at night. Although I couldn't see the road ahead being lit by my headlights because there were streetlights, the little tops of the bug eyed headlights were illuminated and the dash lit so I simply assumed all was well. Nevertheless, I stopped and checked and they were indeed off. I hadn't used the simple check of the green headlight indicator on the dash. I'd been driving for well over an hour around in the dark around a twisty San Antonio with no lights!
When I pulled in and parked up at the hotel I was so delighted and proud of myself. Much more so that my first or CISSP or senior work roles. I feel today was as big a challenge as I could practically face.
It's really sunk in on how much I massively rely upon Ruth, just enormously. Simple things like organising rental cars - I couldn't have done that in Germany or Kefalonia. I think that with Ruth taking responsibility it has been a huge weight off my shoulders. I was always so easily confident about driving on holidays abroad that I never really got it how others couldn't be the same. I do now, and deffo don't want Deb to go through this experience in the Canaries in May 2018. She must also go all-inclusive as it takes so much pressure off with Olivia, even to allow a skipped breakfast 'cuz you know it's easy to get lunch if she's hungry, etc. Olivia was knackered when we got back and went straight to our room. I went to the bar for a well-deserved San Miguel. Olivia asked if she could skip getting up for breakfast and I just take her some croissants. Brilliant thinking, she's really smart in these little ways.
I'm more passionate about note taking diaries than ever, I thought it would have worn off. I do it even if the outcome means broken sleep - the irony of this note!
I know my current sleep deprivation isn't good for me and I'd like it to improve. However, I know I can't defeat it so I determine to roll with it and not stress over it. I've noticed that I subconsciously engineer a nap time into my afternoons.
Deb and Olivia have had some lovely long phone chats (in privacy), their relationship seems to be really great. Deb said to me that she even misses simple things like cooking for Olivia, very sweet. When walking in Eivissa around the castle Olivia simply stated "I miss my mum, can I talk to her." It felt really special and far more important to her than big ticket items like Hard Rock Cafe. The conversation ended up with Olivia sarcasm about a broken leg that Deb got really anxious about. Never mind, they did sort out the 'confusion'. I keep seeing insight into a wonderful daughter.
Love and respect. I know Olivia has always loved me and her mum. Discerning respect is more difficult and I imagine that is 100% normal. But there have been little insights into Olivia's personality that demonstrate how much she respects us both, regardless of how horribly difficult and self-centred she can sometimes be.
Olivia asked me a little about Ruth's growing up and she said how Ruth always gave the impression of being so calm and in control. I told Olivia despite appearances that may be to the contrary, everyone, Ruth included, have to deal with upsetting life situations. Sometimes we cannot avoid being in pain and upset, but it's how we then cope with difficulties that defines us IMHO. Olivia asking about Ruth made me think that deep under the surface there is respect and acceptance.
I lost towels twice and didn't beat myself up, I lost sun cream and likewise. It's weird to get a balance between advance note taking and accepting losing things. On Thursday before going to Portinatx, Olivia was getting ready and I felt tired at about 1000. I simply came in off the balcony and lay on the bed as Olivia carried on. I woke at 11am, no drama, I must have needed it. A similar thing happened on Friday where I felt tired and advised Olivia I may need to sleep, she just went onto the balcony saying nothing and just watched the world go by without her iPad - she made no drama about it, she just did it