Monday 21 December 2015

Happy 2016 !

Such a lot has happened since my post last Christmas. Mum has indeed settled well in her new home. She doesn't complain nor does she feel dejected by not being with one of us. She had an operation on February 14th to remove a wart on her face and she has continued to eat well, sleep well, enjoy a cuppa and a glass of sherry on high days. I do hope we can enjoy a sherry or brandy with her on Christmas Eve. Last year it was a mad dash to get her decorations from her so-silent house, put them up at Atholl House and get some colour in the room that was to be her new home.

This year I got decorations and small Christmas trees up for her on December 1st.  She doesn't want me to write her Christmas cards - I did about 60 or maybe 80 for her last year - but I can write and thank senders in the new year.

It should be a good journey on Christmas Eve - the annual great north trek - well to Tettenhall ! - except for the complication of Richard's own treatment. The discovery of very early-stage prostate cancer cells in the summer has meant Richard now has a daily visit to the hospital for radiotherapy. Even on Christmas Eve he has an appointment so we now have to work round that - plus taking the cat - and fitting carols and midnight mass in. At some stage we will need to eat. When did Christmas Eve suddenly get so busy? When illness took priority!

Last year  - on Christmas Eve - we sat in the smokers area on the decking outside at The Oddfellows - feeling like neither fish nor fowl - trying to get everything done and fitting in. But it was hard seeing mum and keeping things light-hearted. At least this year we are all more used to her situation and we have the importance of Richard's own health worries to concentrate the mind. It does help put things into perspective.I hope mum can enjoy something of Christmas and that her room still looks jolly with the decorations.

Other things have happened in 2015 - and they are non-health-related events!

We have a new, improved roof and the beginnings of a new kitchen. The garden has been tended and repaired, no little visitors are gnawing away in the kitchen this winter, and I hope to get round to sprucing up the bathrooms in that haitus between Christmas Sunday and New Year's Eve. I've enjoyed seeing the girls for exam prep and  have got back into the discipline of book group. Walking around town has been much more fun this Christmas and the pub quiz team has expanded to eight of us! Swimming has been slow but that is certainly a resolution for the New Year for me - just do it! The delight that is our great neice is an area of fun I have yet to explore properly - but photographs of little girls - especially of your own flesh and blood - are always good. Great aunt - that's me!

As 2015 ends I can reflect on the improvements in my writing - I haven't entered competitions just had professional help to work my words into something publishers will like. My brain, at least, is kept active. Physically I'm nowhere near as tired as I was this time last year and I am aiming to walk more and trying harder to eat non-fattening foods. Food-watching rather than dieting. Time will tell whether my regime is working! I do enjoy Christmas baking, though. But I have to resist the temptation for over-indulgence ...

Back to thinking about fun ...
Mum's house needs little attention from me now. I hope to get bark down on more of the flower beds and do a little cutting back just before we drive home after Christmas. That will be another task completed. When Richard's treatment ends I hope we can relax properly and go away. It is our thirty-fifth wedding anniversary. That's a long marriage and, along with Christmas and my BIG birthday in March we should sink some money into just having a lot of fun. 2016 - this is our year!!

Happy Christmas one  and all 🎄