Friday 8th October

When a girl can't get to the salon the salon must come to her - Rose has been cut and styled, curled and blow-dried, manicured and pedicured and thoroughly pampered this week. Kicking all other well-wishers bearing flowers, food and presents into touch for Rose (not for me - please don't stop) Urban Retreats at Harrods sent us two fabulous members of staff with very busy diaries for a morning of fun. Rose enjoyed it a lot despite being in pain, feeling sick and having a headache. It was a shadow of the experience she would have had of old but it was a great morning and in her new sparkly jeans (never too ill for new clothes) she is looking gorgeous...

It was a very welcome distraction and took the heat off for me for a couple of hours to provide entertainment and pour oil on the million and one troubles that Rose has. She is very challenging now. And I choose that word carefully. Other options that spring to mind include difficult, demanding, mind-splittingly irrational, hideously rude, angry ALL THE TIME and so on and so on. She is more entitled than I can say in words to be all of these things - nothing is right any more because literally nothing is right any more. I am working harder than I have ever worked on my patience, on keeping my tone even and on smoothing over every difficulty but we lurch from upset to upset and by the end of most days I want to either weep, run away or hit her over the head with a mallet.

Refusing visits from her friends leaves her locked in an intense relationship with me but she is too confused/unwell/angry/disorientated to want reminders of the life that she is losing traipsing through the door to look at her. Suggestions of short, local trips for a hot chocolate or to drive to the park are met with resistance, the sudden onset of terrible pain, or a headache and postponed again. I have let her call the shots but she is only eight and a sea change is called for. We need a change of scene, new wallpaper to look at and Rose surely needs a break from a room full of adult visitors all day long - if that doesn't work either then we still have nail art, Sarah Jane Adventures and each other to fall back on. So with that in mind we are going tomorrow to see what Demelza House has to offer us. God help us when a Saturday afternoon family outing to a hospice feels like a lifeline.