The ten minute job


Registered User
Nov 26, 2018
Portsmouth, South Coast
"Hey, luvvie, I'm just popping into the garden to do a little bit of sorting out" I say brightly.

"I can help you with that" you reply.

"Oh it won't take me more than 10 minutes - I'll be back indoors before you know it." I respond.

You look at me, those empty beseeching eyes spearing my heart.

"Oh, OK then. That would be helpful. We just need to move some bricks to the other side of the patio. We can then stand the plant pots on top."

Fifteen minutes later, in record time, we have you in suitable garden clothes and shoes. You decide you need to visit the loo before venturing into the garden.

Another ten minutes pass and I call upstairs. "Are you ready?"

"I can't find it!" comes the muffled reply.

I dutifully trot upstairs - fearful of just what I may find - to discover you rummaging in the wardrobe, the contents of which are scattered over the bed. It seems you're looking for 'it' but can't describe what 'it' is. We search fruitlessly for another five minutes.

I suggest we leave it for now and continue looking later when we've done the ten minute job outside. You look doubtful but follow me anyway, stopping to call in the bathroom on the way.

Another ten minutes later, fully dressed, shod and bathroomed we go into the garden. You decide to re-arrange the garden chairs then pick up the broom to start sweeping the path. The lavender takes your attention as you gaze at the cloud of fluffy bees earnestly doing their busy bee thing. Do you feel joy at the sight, childlike wonder, interest? Or are you simply staring?

I decide to start picking up bricks and get on with the job in hand.

You hear the clunking sound and want to help so with the dustbin, broom, lavender and bees now forgotten ask me what you should do.

I point at the bricks.

"Some of these need putting over there, next to the wall. We can make a stand for some flowerpots" I say.

"There?" comes the reply.

"Yes, there".

"By the wall?"

"Yes, that's right, by the wall."

You pick up a brick and carry it to the other side of the patio.

"Where shall I put it?" you question.

I bite my tongue and refrain from suggesting an anatomical impossibilty.

"Just pop it down by the wall, please."

You place the brick carefully, then turn it round, turn it over, stand it on its end then on its side. I take the brick, lay it flat and say "Just like this. Put the next one beside it so we make a little row".

You carry another brick from the pile to the wall.

"Where does this one go?" you query.

I show you where it should go and together, painfully slowly, brick by brick we lay a line of six. Then I say that we need to lay another line of six in front of them.

I show you what to do with the first two then you copy what I've done, but put the last four in front of and not on the end of my line of two.

I ask you to check the back gate isn't open and whilst you wander away I quickly move the last four bricks to line up with their counterparts.

Five minutes later, after you've opened, closed, opened then closed the gate again and stopped to check the bees are still busy, you come back. You've forgotten the bricks and don't notice the little sunny faced flowers in the pots lined up on top of them.

"What can I help you with?" you ask.

"Nothing, my luvvie, we're all done here" I say.

"That's good" you smile. "I like helping you".

I take a deep breath and smile back to you.

We go back inside - I make a cup of tea and settle you on the sofa.

"Hey, luvvie, I'm just popping upstairs to do a little bit of sorting out" I say brightly.

"I can help you with that" you reply.

I mentally imitate Edvard Munch's famous painting, The Scream.
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Registered User
Nov 16, 2016
Moreton, Wirral. UK.
That just says it all with just the core story changed from what so many sufferers and carers go through. Sounds easy and simple but WE know, excellently told.


Registered User
May 22, 2020
Hi AbbyGee , the theme of your post is very familiar.......add in ' we had a good day today didn't we? ' and you've captured us too !


Registered User
Nov 26, 2018
Portsmouth, South Coast
Hey, @Sarasa - I was thinking along the same lines, just for fun. I jot these things down as a way of mind-sweeping and to help get things in perspective. It's quite therapeutic. Perhaps I'll dig out some of the others and see if they can be made a little more readable and less - ummm - 'sweary' than they are at the moment. :)

Hayley JS

Registered User
Feb 20, 2020
Scarily you have pretty much just described my day, from brick moving to lavender admiration. Just one minor tweak, my Edvard Munch moment came at the all too familiar bright and breezy 'Now, what shall we do with the rest of the day' :oops:

White Rose

Registered User
Nov 4, 2018
How very well said @AbbyGee , we all know exactly where you're coming from. My partner has sadly gone past the stage of understanding even the simplest of instructions, although he wants to be with me all the time and 'help' me!!


Registered User
Sep 6, 2017
This is so true and how it is. The getting out of the door and the turning over of the bricks. If you don't live with this, it is impossible to understand.

@AbbyGee You have made me smile and want to cry at the same time. If you have more of these then you need to do something with them, I am not sure what but something.

I just read your post 'A day, one year on. It was me and dad.

Janey B

Registered User
Aug 15, 2019
@AbbyGee You have also made me smile and want to cry at the same time. You really need to do something with these posts they are such a poignant tribute to everyone caring for someone with Dementia.