Sadly the end of the road for TC fix and modify, etc

Writing this blog entry is one of the saddest things I have had to do. After over 6x years of doing my level best to make errant TCs see sense, I must bring it all to a close.

Life’s never-ending and forever unfolding tapestry of change has conspired to pull me down.
Let’s be sensible here; it was bound to happen - my parents are now 89 and 90. Dad being the toy-boy of a mere 89 (90 in May) is in pretty good health considering but sadly Mum at 90, has not known who I am, or who she is for a few years now. Dementia is horrible with the empty shell it leaves behind. Mum’s life has no quality to it now and appallingly she is in a waiting room. By circumstance she is 4 hours drive away from where I live, here in York. Dad is nearby, about 30 minutes travel and so to move Mum would be hard on him and peculiarly cruel on Mum. She has settled.

I saw her on Easter Sunday and found her slumped and asleep in a fireside chair. No fire but the eternal sodding TV talking to a room of vacant faces.
Poor Mum looked like she had melted into the side of chair, face drooping and her whole body slumped into the side.
A mug of cold tea on the table in-front of her.

I tried to wake her... she started looking troubled and slapping my hands away, all without opening her eyes. I called and I tried to lift her... light as a feather... more hand slapping.

Good grief, what am I doing here? This is Jessie, not my Mum. I left the flowers and her favourite liquorice pieces, thanked the staff and left.
Mum’s one true fear was to be reduced to this shadowland existence. For her body to be running on autopilot with no one at home. If her younger self could see her older self as she is now, she would have found a way to shoot herself.

We are all star-dust but what complexity of decisions ever made this conclusion? Is this making me a better person, seeing my own mother reduced to an unknowing husk? It is certainly making me more understanding.

We ALL have a ‘sell-by’ date and I have not done enough yet...

Tom, my middle son, is still married to Abbie, mother to my two granddaughters. They each want a divorce but cannot agree on various things, money and child access, for example. I am trying to not get involved and be a good Grand Dad... very hard indeed. Both girls are excellent at Chess, about which I completely approve. I made the rash promise to “Make them each a Chess Set”.

Where did that come from? I have found something to fill the TC fixing gap - making ChessKits!
The chessmen are a Lanier-Graham design and the chess boards are complex folding constructs. Big board in a little box and pieces that fit together into a rectangle. 9x9 and 7x7 on one side - SuperChess (extra ‘Fairy Piece’ - combination of Bishop and Knight) along with ‘Congo’ on the 7x7 board and conventional 8x8 on the other side. The board is a perfect square made from 6x pieces (I have done 4x and 9x square constructs - 4x is too small, and 9x square prices is too complex to build easily), so 6x rectangles is a good compromise.


The odd piece in the centre is the ‘Prime Minister’ - combo of Bishop and Knight.

The final straw came when Fiona was in a very bad car smash a few weeks ago. Very nearly decapitated by a free-wheeling 1.5 ton animal trailer crashing into her head-on. The car was chopped in half, top to bottom and it was only the airbag going off that pushed Fiona’s head back as the trailer peeled the roof off. It clipped the top right of her head as it went over. The car was shattered to pieces. Good job it was a Honda, they don’t break apart.

So, I shall give my time to my family.

To all my customers, I wish you well. You have all been a joy to work for. I have met some of the very nicest people ever.

Chris Fackrell