In the shoes (“because I’ve got no boots!”) of … Gill’s Mum

My Whose Shoes? tools are all about seeing important issues from different people’s perspectives. Well, here my 90 year old Mum tells us how she feels about being “banged up” in her house for nearly a week as the snow continues to fall. I am delighted that Mum wrote this before she saw my post yesterday and so it is not written in response.
Just Mum’s viewpoint…

jailIt is a good job I don’t have a picture rail or I would be up on the wall, running round it! All because of the weather – this wretched snow! I can’t get out! And I do need to get out.

I miss my little trips on the bus every day, talks with other bus-riders and visits to the library. Also I need the exercise. Walking round the town keeps my legs going. Not to mention that going out gives me an excuse for not doing all the little boring jobs I should be doing!

However, I really shouldn’t grumble, I know I am very fortunate. I have very good neighbours who help with the shopping and ask me in for coffee. I have a wonderful daughter who phones daily and comes when she can. We have magnificent arguments on diverse subjects but I’m not allowed to argue about GOING OUT!!

In any case, I can’t – I can’t get my old boots on – or at least have no certainty that I could pull them off again. Therefore, I am stuck – grounded!

When I can go out again I shall make a bee-line for the shoe shop. And will probably find that they have completely sold out. If I remember rightly that is why I have no wearable boots now. I forgot to persevere in buying them last time it snowed heavily.

IMG_6963TV is awful. All repeats of repeats, very few watchable programs. Thank heavens for Magic Music and a good supply of books. Oh, and I can always go and look at the snow for as long as I like! It’s not going anywhere!!

Luckily it thawed enough yesterday for me to take Mum to the library and shops … food shops, not shoe shops 😉

Still trying to persuade Mum to start her own blog as her posts have attracted a lot of interest. Please post your comments and show her how social media and blogging can be another way to link with the outside world as the snow falls…  Gill 🙂

About Gill Phillips - Whose Shoes?

Passionate about personalisation in health & social care. Creator of Whose Shoes? - an imaginative approach to helping people work together to improve lives.
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19 Responses to In the shoes (“because I’ve got no boots!”) of … Gill’s Mum

  1. Anne Cooper says:

    Hi there Gills Mum,
    Loved your blog this week and am sorry you are ‘holed up’. Your blog is important. It reminds all of us about what happens when you get older. When I grew up I lived in a small village. Even as kids we knew where the older people lived and we were brought up to clear their pavements in front of their house. It was just what we did – I feel saddened that some of this seems to be disappearing!
    But you do need some new boots! What about having a look online? I know it’s difficult buying shoes and boots online (I need to try on too!) but if the shops are out of boots and you know what you like/want?
    Anyway the snow should thaw today so I hope you get out and about soon.
    Ps my mum was the local librarian too and specialised in the talking books. She knew everyone’s favourites! She listens to them now – she’s 73! X


    • Whose Shoes? says:

      Thanks for all the comments. I shall look forward to sharing with Mum later. She is still not online properly – but that is one of MY resolutions for 2013!

      This was part of our “#Twitter convo” earlier, Mum.

      Let’s set you up with a Twitter account too!

      Hmmm, perhaps a step too far just yet… 🙂


  2. Anne Webster says:

    Lovely blog, seeing through the eyes of Gill’s mum. Has inspired me to encourage my mum to get online, and I will be showing her the blog this weekend. So many people must feel trapped in their own homes and alone especially this time of year. What a wonderful way of helping address that and connect people.


  3. RichardatKF says:

    Dear Gill’s Mum

    I enjoyed reading your blog. My Dad (a bit younger than you, 86) has also been very frustrated because of the snow and not being able to get out. He lives in an isolated village but has plenty of friends and neighbours (and his son and daughter!) to get things for him – especially his daily newspaper. I hope you keep writing.

    Best wishes


  4. Suzie B says:

    Dear Gill’s Mum
    Can’t tell you how much I loved reading your blog, such honesty and humour…most of all I liked that you reminded me that age is purely and simply a number. I hope you get those new boots soon (why don’t the shops anticipate poor weather and get more stock in?). If you get time when you are not out and about, I’d enjoy reading more blogs from you…
    Very best wishes for the snow to thaw soon,
    Suzie (44 year old mum, friend, daughter, NHS worker, cinema lover, shoe hoarder)


  5. Sisterplum says:

    Lovely read, have been grounded to for day, after reading your wonderful blog I am off to the library. Shame I can’t address you by name, only as Gill’s Mum. Keep us updated and hope you get your boots. Kind regards x


  6. 197liz says:

    Hi Gill’s Mum
    Last night I attempted to start blog writing, I wrote 3 versions and binned them all off! You see I didn’t know where to start or what people would like to hear. Well if you can engage with social media this successfully and write something that we have all enjoyed reading I’d best get back to the drawing board and have another go. We’ll have to get a club of all the snow bound parents and get them blogging!! We’d have quite a community and then hopefully no one would feel so isolated in these circumstances. Anyhow what size are you? I seem to have tons of boots on the go here!!!

    All the best with more blogs!
    Take care


  7. Jo Moriarty says:

    Hello Gill’s Mum – I have a friend whose mum is in the same position as you. Luckily, the snow’s gone where she lives so I hope the forecast of more snow for you proves wrong. I agree with Annie about helping to clearing the pavements in front of people’s houses – that would make a huge difference for everyone.


  8. Martin Brunet says:

    I’ve loved reading Gill’s blog about the snow and now your reply, thank you! I only hope I can cause my children as much anxiety about my determination to keep active when I’m older as you do!

    On a serious note, there is a real danger that we can be so worried about our older people coming to harm that we won’t allow them to take any risks and then so restrict them that we destroy their health in the process! My biggest concern for my older patients is when they stop doing things – I hope you get some boots for next time!


  9. Whose Shoes? says:

    Thank you for all the comments – please keep them coming! Mum will post a reply when we get the chance. I am encouraging her to get a bit more interested in the internet but… “we’ll see”…

    I really do agree with Martin that taking risks / carrying on doing the things we love is what makes life worth living. I have tweeted Martin’s comment “My biggest concern for my older patients is when they stop doing things” and will include it in Whose Shoes? as it is such an important point. And thank you Anne for sending Mum tips about how to buy boots online… 😉

    You will all be pleased to know that Mum is indeed out and about again. AND that she thought it was hilarious that I was discussing her lack of boots with… a doctor who tweets as Doc Martin (@DocMartin68) 🙂


  10. Peter Gordon says:

    Lovely post by your Mum. We have a picture rail. I am trying to resist!

    It seems like a lifetime ago, but when I was a paper-boy in Edinburgh there was an old lady (she seemed really old to me then but I was a teenager then and my vantage was NIKE trainer filled!)

    Anyway this lady came to the door each evening as I delivered her paper and gave me an apple. I loved this ‘old lady’ and her name is now part of a piece of ‘garden poetry’ under our old apple trees.

    Gill, your Mum’s words toom me right back to conversations I had then with my old friend and me in my NIKE trainers!

    Peter Gordon

    P.S the philosopher Mary Midgley uses a similar metaphor for seeing the world from different perspectives: one is through maps and the other through different windows of an aquarium.


  11. Brilliant blog – Bravo Gill’s Mum!!! Glad the snow has gone & you are out & about again. I worry about my mum going out in the snow & ice, but she has these brilliant things call YakTrax that fit onto her boots & give lots of extra grip in snow & ice. So if you do manage to get those boots, get some YakTrax to go on them! Good luck, keep warm & well & keep blogging! 🙂 Beth (a fellow blogger!)


  12. Whose Shoes? says:

    And, because I am trying to convince Mum that her blogs are indeed sparking some real interest… here isa tast of some of the early comments on Twitter. Since then a #GetGillsMumOnTwitter hashtag has started … more about that anon 😉


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  14. Maureen Grove says:

    Dear ‘Gill’s Mum’, I have enjoyed following your blog posts so much that I have sent them to my 28 year old daughter who lives in London to read – when I told her about you on the telephone last night, I just couldn’t stop giggling about your beautifully written post – please keep them coming! With very best wishes, Maureen Grove.


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  17. I think I drive my 87 year old Dad mad, trying to keep him ‘safe’ which for him means mollycoddling him. So thanks for reminding me, though yøur lovely blog posts, that he has his own life to lead and make decisions about and that I should bite my tongue and really enjoy and admire his independent gutsy spirit. It’s hard though when he climbs ladders and saws tree branches and goes out in awful weather…. but I am proud of him and know I am not as brave. I will try to be more like him (within reason – as he IS the most stubborn man that was ever born!) It is hard when I see him tired looking after Mum though.


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