New Life Now

Good morning from a very warm and cosy kitchen, Gingerbread coffee being sipped as I type, and have finished a large pile of ironing. I have been chatting with my therapist, otherwise known as my decorator, who is nagging me to blog about our new life, so here we go.

Have I mentioned that Hubby has retired? YES! So in the space of a few months I have gone from a Weekend Wife to Full Time Wife. At first, whilst I was more incapacitated, it was brilliant – He is a good cook, and makes a great pot of tea, and very good at making me do my exercises. Now? Oh he is still a great cook and tea-maker, but I am mobile now so he has backed off his administrations.

To give Hubby his due he has been writing a report which has meant he has been very busy in the study, so I have concentrated on exercising down the other end of the house ( yes, we are very lucky to have that big a house…think of the bills etc before you start wishing or feeling envious!)

What I really wanted to share is that having another person in the house is great; having the person you have loved, and been loved by, for 34 years, is a real gift. It is different in many ways, and brings into relief how lonely I had become over the past 8 years since my mother’s death. Now there is someone to chat to first thing, to be quiet with, to laugh over the things we do differently from each other now. We are very lucky.

HOWEVER, with all this companionship comes the change to a routine I have had for over 12 years. Both of us are changing our routine, I know, I know, but from my point of view it’s me who is compromising more. (Should I have given you the “Moan Warning”?) To Hubby every day is Saturday ( thank God it’s not!) but to me its a normal week day, but with added distractions.

Before my knee op and The Change I could get to the pool almost every day just before 7am to get in at the right time; now we get there about 7.30, 3 days a week, which changes the routine in the pool as it is busier by then. Breakfast doesn’t end until about 9.30 – however I am getting great coffee with it as He is a brilliant barista! Also there is someone to rant to over the morning paper and The State Of The Country.

Driving…IT’S MY CAR!!!! Now that I am mobile and able to drive I am going to have to assert my ownership of the radio as well as the wheel!! There is an automatic movement from Himself to the driving seat, and whatever my male readers may say I am a good driver! Love him to pieces, but IT”S MY CAR…he has his own!!!!!!!!!! And breathe….

Putting the breakfast bowl above the dishwasher and expecting it to get it washed! See Michael Macintyre the comic doing a fab impression of his wife re this!! OMG!!!! And as for waiting until he comes down before we have breakfast together…what takes him so long?? He’s not putting makeup on!

When I’m doing the ironing ( which I quite enjoy, whilst watching NCIS on DVD of course) I am not going to drop everything to go for a walk because he feels ready now. When I finish the ironing I will be very happy to go for a walk, but by then He has probably started doing something which will have to be finished before we can do anything else. (I know, it’s the same thing)

When we saw each other just at weekends I automatically changed my routine for him, making sure anything not involving him was done whilst he was away, which gave me a certain mindset. Now that we are together I need to change that mindset so that I feel it’s ok to go off and do what I want to do without feeling guilty at leaving him behind. I’m sure this will happen over time, but I may need some outside help with this. He is delighted that I do go and do things that I love, see my friends etc. It doesn’t bother him at all (yet) which is lovely. He is encouraging me to plan trips away on photo shoots etc – this way he can go off on golf trips without feeling guilty, which is fine. It’s all give and take, in’t it.

Ok, Moan over, because as I type all the irritation leaves me ( for the moment), and I am smiling at the thought that, despite these minor moans, we hopefully have many years ahead to get the routines sorted, to enjoy the little things as well as the big ones. Here’s to The New Life.

Lx

Professionalism

Its a big word, which sadly seems to be going out of style in this modern age of emails etc.  Ok, so I am in my “Grumpy Old Woman’ mood…but I’m not really! I just think that we have got out of the habit of replying to emails professionally!!

For instance: our wonderful new conservatory ( Hubby keeps on calling it an Orangery…I am rolling my eyes as I type) is now finished and is almost everything I dreamed it would be. In fact I have to restrain myself from saying “I was SO right to have this done” every time He and I sit in it. It now needs an energy rating thingy so we can get our building regs etc finished off. The conservatory company arranged this, but didn’t bother to tell me they were doing it. The first I got to know about it was a phone call whilst I was driving from some chap called “Steve” saying could his chap come at a specified date…his name was Alan. I asked Steve to call me back, which he did later, and I expected an email from the main company to back all this up. No such email arrived.

At the specified time a man turned up in a high vis vest, and a clip board, and proceeded to ask me for plans of the house, any drawings etc. I was rather confused as “Steve” had lead me to believe this was just for the new bit. Perhaps I should have looked into it beforehand, but when I questioned “Alan” he said some chap called Steve, he didn’t know from where, had asked him to do this. I gave him a coffee whilst I tried to get hold of the conservatory folks and “Steve” with no luck; Steve tried to sell me food supplements in the meantime, telling me I had a weathered face which needed collagen!! I called my husband who immediately said “no, ask him to leave; we don’t know who he really is, and don’t let him take photos of the place.” … so that plus Hubby’s comments lead me to ask “Alan” to leave as I was not happy, and wished for official confirmation etc. He left shrugging his shoulders.

I eventually got the right person at the conservatory company who told me it was all above board, but agreed it had not been handled very professionally, and we would re-book it all but with confirmation emails about everything.

Now, am I being rather old-fashioned? Am I to let any Tom, Dick, or Alan into my house on a telephone call, to take photos etc? I don’t think so!

I am not really a shrinking violet; if I sat on someone I’d probably break their ribs ( if I could reach high enough to get them on the ground!) However it unnerved me that there was no official documentation about any of this. What if I had been a little old lady? No, I am NOT that yet, thank you very much…I can hear the sniggers at the back! It really hasn’t taken that much effort for everyone involved to email me their details etc this time, so why wasn’t it done in the first place?

I also have to get a fob re-sent from a key company because they didn’t inform me it had been sent and I needed to be in for the delivery! I really am rolling my eyes at this one!

Ok. rant over. However folks, can we just make sure everything that needs to be confirmed in writing/by email is done so? That way nobody’s time is wasted!!!

I’m climbing off the soap box now…could someone just lend me a hand, it’s a bit high for me…someone?…anyone?…hello?

Lx

 

Just Daydreaming…

Do you daydream? Are you conscious of drifting away during a particularly boring task and imagining something completely different; or are you a very ‘present’ person?

I thought I was a complete daydreamer, with a great imagination, able to whisk myself into any number of scenarios where I was the heroine of various situations…of course, I was always tall, slim, fascinating, in total control…yep, completely daydreaming! As a young girl at boarding school, not very popular or cleaver, I was adept at slipping home in my mind, winning loads of prizes, being discovered as the new acting talent and winning Oscars etc…I can still feel that joy of imagining Derek Jacobi ( who gave us a talk at our drama club, and patted me on the head, *sigh*) introducing me as the greatest leading lady of the future…if only Mummy had let me go to drama school, damn her eyes! Hand on forehead at this point please.

The recent photography assignment of film stills has challenged me somewhat, and I have realised that I have stopped daydreaming – that my imagination has somewhat closed down! Disaster!! Why has this occurred to The Greatest Creative Mind The World Has Known….Ahem, sorry. Back to reality. I have been pondering this and have come to several conclusions ( depending on which persona is doing the pondering, Darlink! See Zsa Zsa Gabor).

The nicest reason is that I have such a lovely, comfortable life I no longer need to daydream. Sounds pompous and self-satisfied, but I don’t mean it to. We have both worked hard in our own way to get here, and it fulfils several of my childhood daydreams.

The not-so-nice reason is that if I dared to dream about life with two living children I may just tumble back into the dark. So we are not going THERE! Manga ( my maternal grandmother) always banged on about counting your blessings, and she was so right!

What has taken the place of my wonderful inner cinema? You are on it! I disappear into the internet, FaceBook, Pinterest, other peoples’ blogs…I am actively blocking my daydreams by looking at others’ lives, zoning out of mine without giving myself my lovely alternatives. That has to change!!

According to The Daily Mail ( ok, ok, I know!) there is a group of scientists who have discovered daydreaming stimulates the frontal lobes and brain activity http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2967732/Daydreaming-GOOD-boost-brainpower.html

In this study Prof Moshe Bar concludes that daydreaming frees up the brain to conclude the task in hand to a better standard. If a prof says its good then I’m all for it! I used to be able to control the topic of a daydream…wonder if I still can…last time I really went “off line” was some time ago, when I was weeding ( I can hear my gardener laughing) and then it was an argument! Lots of arguments with Hubby in my head which, of course, I won brilliantly, getting my own way on whatever the topic was…wonder if I can still do it? Only this time it will be an argument with the Project Manager regarding the new dormer roof – I better win that one!!!

What will you daydream about?

 

 

 

I’m In?

I am so excited!! I have put in a photograph from our Italian holiday to a competition and it seems it has been accepted!!!! WOOHOO!

Only now they want a biography to put next to the picture…no idea how many words or anything….I will send them an email asking (why didn’t I think of that earlier?) how long. In the meantime I am jotting down a few things, and I have asked various friends what I should include. Have you ever done this, asked friends to describe you? It is quite enlightening; those who include the things you have thought of and those who see you slightly differently, good or bad.

We see ourselves one way, usually emphasising the weaker points (well, if you are British that is!) and almost afraid of pointing out the good things. I am lucky in my friends – they have highlighted some lovely things, and I am grateful to them. I do have to fight the instinct that this is just an ego boost (yes, I heard your comments!) but when I have to provide a bio it is necessary.

So here are my bullet points….

*B.Ed (hons), *Foundation of Art (Distinction), *various certificates of photography from my teacher (Andre Newson) but not sure to include these as not National awards.

Had *2 children whilst working at *The Economist, became an *Amateur Actor, took up *drawing, and then introduced to *photography seriously by a friend.

See my problem there? I start with concise points then the rambling chatty style buts in! I can’t help it!! 😉

Do I say I live in East Sussex and London? Do I bother to include that I run a holiday cottage? That I am lucky enough to travel with Hubby occasionally? Is that boasting?? ARRGH!!! My British Understatement Fairy is ruffling her wings at me!!!

Ok, I will put the kettle on and think about this seriously! I can, if the coffee is good!

What photograph? This one…Now one of my favourites that I have taken. I am thinking of making cards/notelettes of it. She was such a pale girl and her mum was taking the picture. It reminds me of times past, but also of so many windy holidays at beaches.

Ok…kettle going on, thinking cap on, laters reader!

Lx

Was it a Heart Attack?

The answer before we all panic is no.

For a few weeks I have been having odd pains in my chest, heavy crushing sensations, and odd pains in my back. I have been put on statins ( oh the side effects!), blood pressure pills, and stomach pills to help against the other pills! I hate taking pills and up to now have never managed to remember to take them for very long, so it is quite a feet that I am still taking them.

I have also had a CT scan to check the old ticker is in place…so much nicer than an MRI machine!! They had to put dye and beta blockers into me to get the picture…and all I can say is I am VERY glad the doctor warned me of the very warm sensation that occurs in one’s nether regions (such a lovely way of putting it, don’t you think?) when they hit the heart!! Golly, what a sensation! It was described as thinking I had wet myself, but it wasn’t quite that bad! No, much nicer! I say no more. 😉

Well, today I thought I was having a heart attack, so I called the doctor…eventually, after using my Nitromin spray, and resting for a while. He called me back and I described what I was feeling. Apparently it sounds like Coronary Artery Spasms which made me feel better, especially as I am alone this evening. I am sure if there had been another person here I wold have ignored the pain and just worried. We are still awaiting the results of the scan, but I am assuming it is not bad otherwise they wouldn’t have let me leave the hospital, would they!

So tonight, I shall be kind to myself. I will light the wood burner in the study, make some fab veg soup for supper, and put on the new Jason Bourne film ( which my men have already watched WITHOUT ME!!!) My dog beside me, a warm drink and Mat Damon…what more can a gal want?

I am so glad I made that call.

Lx

Leaky Ceiling!

Oh Boy! What a weekend I have had! Yes, this is a very First World problem, and before I go any further I will say how grateful I am for the ability to have this problem, and the ability to solve it – but BLOODY HELL!!!!

This past weekend was one of those Golfing Guests weekends when Hubby has a competition and I play hostess and taxi service to the gentlemen. I love sharing our home with these men, who are generally very grateful, interesting to talk to, and highly intelligent. I have known most of them for about 15 years now and they always make me feel a great hostess.

We had had one Peter for Friday night, supper and Saturday breakfast (cooked). He and Hubby left at 8am and I pottered around until 10am when one of the wives ( and wife of our best man) came to visit for the day – We don’t see each other often but its always lovely to catch up.  We spent the morning at Great Dixter Christmas Fair http://www.greatdixter.co.uk as we sometimes do, and came home for lunch and to continue our chat. As I laid the kitchen table I noticed the runner was damp ( I don’t normally have one on, but I was feeling posh!) I looked up to find drips coming from the light fitting above. Long (very very long) story short, I couldn’t turn off the mains, I couldn’t get a plumber immediately, and after a lunch of watching the drips and feeling it was a little like water torture, my friend left early.

The first emergency plumber who was supposed to come between 1pm-5pm called at 4.45pm and said they would wouldn’t make it but could on monday morning. I booked them in and called another…they said they would be there asap and would text when on their way….nothing. When Hubby and guest no.2 came home they couldn’t turn off the stopcock either! SO I served them tea and toast, drove them to their dinner and collected them later…and still no plumbers.

Even the insurance company could not get an emergency plumber for that day. Sunday morning a lovely chap came from Plumber Emergency Company no2 – turned everything off, did as much as he could to try and work out which pipe was leaking, and left us Sunday afternoon none the wiser but al least the drip had stopped, and we knew it was not from the mains, so we had running water in the kitchen and one loo.

Hubby went to work unshowered ( he used his gym at lunchtime) and I soldiered on until a knight in shinning armour turned up at 4.30, and within discovered the leak – from a loo above the kitchen that is only occasionally used! I felt like hugging him, but left him unmolested, and instead enjoyed a long bath in celebration.

Now begins the chore of getting the ceiling and the lights sorted. We will be extremely lucky if it is done before our next golfing guests arrive in the first week of January, but to be honest I don’t care! The water torture is over and the insurance comapny has said they will pay for repairs. Woohoo!

At least I now where my stopcock is!

Lx

 

 

So, What Now?

What was your reaction to Trump being elected? I’m British, so we have had our “moment” with Brexit…I panicked, I cried, I thought it was the end of our country ( well, I am a dramatic one!), I had an awful moment with my friends who had voted differently from me…one of my very rare bursts of anger…and then the sun rose again, we got over it, we are getting on with sorting out our political situation here, for better or worse. My friendship with those gals has survived.

So, I watched the US Election …well, the end of it – that 4.30am wake-up that quite a few women of my age suffer. I panicked, I thought about the end of the world, I made tea, the World settled down in my house, and I breathed again. I am sorry for Americans, but then I remind myself there must be checks and balances within their system that will mean Trump will not be able to bomb anyone without his team behind him, allowing it.

This is where any American readers, or those better informed than myself will be yelling at their screens and telling me just how wrong I am; but my point is ( yes, there is one!) the world keeps turning, and it is now up to us, whoever we are, wherever we live, to make sure our bit of the world is a good one….

Be kind to each other PLEASE!!!

Do not HATE someone else ( or yourself)

Lets make our bit of the world the best we can…Small steps, small actions can mount up into one big action.

Yes, its one of those posts…you don’t have to like it, but I felt the need to write it! Breathe, and think. Breathe and act.

Go be awesome!

Lx

Am I Cured Now?

For those who are regular readers, and who know I have been “in therapy”, here is an update…

If you are a new reader, have a flip through the last few posts and you will find that I have had at least a year of depression, that resulted in my seeking help from a therapist. She was brilliant for what I needed at the time ( that sounds very bad English!), and helped me to climb out of the “Slough of Despond” that I had fallen into.

So here I am now, having passed the two rotten anniversaries of my Father’s 20th and Daughter’s 13th deaths. Both days were sunny and filled with love rather than sadness. Always a good alternative!

What changed? Well, obviously the therapy, which had me acknowledging the type of relationship I had with my parents, acknowledging what a tragedy we have suffered, and trying to discover Me. However it seemed we were wallowing in the past, and I am normally very much a Face Forward person. I prefer to think about the future rather than reliving the past. I am sure those of you who understand how therapy works would say you have to study the past to understand the present, and I think I do.

In trying to find my path forward I have also gone to both Homeopathy, which seemed to help lift my mood ( and was told I was at a crossroad in Life), and then had to go to traditional medicine as I was suffering chest pains and tightness…never a good combination! A few weeks into taking statins, blood pressure pills ( it was 185/? after trying to park at the hospital!!), and stomach pills I have to admit physically I am feeling better…emotionally too!!

Yes folks, Life is looking better!! WOOHOO! There is still much to do…I am obese, I have lower back ache, probably from sitting on my vast bottom too much, and I still get out of breath ( poor lungs have so little space amongst the fat). BUT my knees aren’t hurting (fingers crossed) and my ankles don’t lock so much nor are so swollen. The dog still looks at me longingly for walks…we are going as soon as this is posted. I am facing a skiing holiday in February with sinking heart but I will have a go…so long as I can get into my ski-stuff!

Otherwise, I am back doing my drawing, photography courses, and beginning yet another clear-out of clutter (it’ll never end!). We are moving Forward. Am I cured yet? No – not sure I ever will be, is anyone? BUT I am going in the right direction!!!

Coming with me?

Lx

I’m Proud Of You

Have you heard this much in your life? I haven’t to be honest. It wasn’t something my parents said…it could have been a generation thing, or just not something that entered my mother’s head…it could be that I just don’t remember.

It is something I say to my son quite a lot. I AM proud of all that he is achieving, and has achieved. Not the least being to live a regular life having lost his sister when he was 13. Hopefully no-one would look at him and say there goes someone in grief…something I hope for all 3 of us, to be honest! He hasn’t become addicted to drugs, become a mass murderer, or anything…as far as I know!

Today he begins a new job, leaving shift work behind and starting a Monday-to-Friday lifestyle, which hopefully will be good for his soul.

Telling our children we are proud of them surely can’t be wrong? When my two were young it seemed all American children were encouraged and praised for any little thing, and we British parents were rather reticent about it. I certainly have changed…I wonder if everyone has too? Or was it just in my family that praise was scarce?

So, incase you have no-one around to say it to you…I am proud of You!      ( I’m proud of me too)

Go be awesome.

Lx

Oh God- it’s sunny!

I can hear the rest of the South East cheering, packing up their beach gear and cutting the sandwiches…actually, does anyone still do that?

Here I awoke crying. I’m better now, having WhatsApp’d a couple of friends, and switched off the news. For some the sun brings out the best. Today the sun made me feel very down. Don’t ask me why – if I knew that I could do something about it. Is it my vast flabby body? My aching knees? The voice of my husband in my head pointing out I wouldn’t feel like this if I’d exercised more? He does it out of love, no really, he does! Also he is obsessed with exercise…OCD obsessed! Talk about Jack Sprat and his wife, that’s us! 

Something has been cancelled today and in a way that frees my morning. I am trying to look upon it as a good thing. I won’t have to drive to another town, park, walk to the coffee house…is it sounding sincere? Didn’t think so. I was looking forward to catching up with a friend, but her business changed that – we will do it in a few weeks time, hopefully. Meanwhile, I need to go vote in the local elections, shop, get petrol & diesel so I can mow the lawns, walk the dog, actually mow the bloody lawns, and then just bloody get on with stuff! AND CHEER UP!!!!!! 

I don’t like feeling The Black Dog, as my mother and Churchill called it. No-one does. For me it comes and goes, sometimes in the space of a few hours, sometimes a few days. As I get older the dog gets blacker. I know in my heart that if I got on with everything I need to get done, moved more, and got thinner and fitter, then my moods migh lighten. There is no guarantee, but doctors, fitness experts etc tell us the chemicals our bodies produce after exercise are like a natural happy pill…I am NEVER taking happy pills, by the way before one of you mentions them…I can’t even regularly take vitamins, I’m hopeless at it! 

So, today’s rule is No TV until Pointless at 5.15pm. OK? I can have the radio, my Audio books, anything else, but no TV…hopefully it means I won’t sit down until abou 4 pm, when I’m promising myself tea on the terrace with my knitting.

Place your bets, ladies and gents.

May your day be a happy one.

Lx

Is it You or Me?

Don’t Panic – I’m not breaking up with you!! I am starting 2016 with a rather deep question for you. When you talk to yourself…and don’t try to say you don’t – who exactly are you talking to? Do you say “you” or “me/I”?

This question struck me when I was giving myself a good talking to at the end of the year and thinking of how to enter 2016; what frame of mind did I need to encourage? This was, of course, being done at 4.30am as most middle-aged woman do. (what is it about that time??)

I realised I have been talking to “you”. This stranger, another person, who perhaps didn’t inhabit the head/body/soul that is Me. Was this the reason I have recently not appreciated myself enough; the reason for the odd depression blip, the occasional total lack of confidence?

I decided to experiment, starting there in the dark in bed, and I addressed “Me”.

“Hello, Me. Why am I awake?” (my head won’t shut up)

“Well, just remember I am a wonderful Gal who looks  crap with bags under the eyes. I love me so go to sleep whilst I hug me”…(zzzzzzzzz)

You get the picture… I then kept it going, talking to Me in the mirror even, and when there were quiet moments, checking in with Me, and trying to make sure I was “in”.

At first I wondered if this was counter-productive with my Yoga…after all, are we not supposed to be getting rid of the Ego and becoming One with the Universe? Then I decided that actually this universe is Mine, its how I interpret my Life, what I see, experience etc, and certainly I was feeling better allowing Me to exist in it.

The result of my experiment? I am happier, more centred, love my skin , finding it easier to appreciate who I am, and – really weird – I am finding it easier to accept compliments! (and there have been a few this weekend!)

So, go on, have a word with yourself and find out who you are talking to. You may be surprised.

Lx

 

Do you have an Itinerary?

As the year draws to a close Hubby and I have at last had a chance to look at next year’s dates…

Hubby is going to be Captain of The Oxford & Cambridge Golf Society, hereafter referred to as The Society  – actually I think that’s how everyone in golf refers to it! This is a 2 year stint, and one he is really looking forward to. He played for Oxford but will need to be impartial from a while, if possible…I don’t think I have to be tho!

So, after the last of our golfing guests left on Sunday hubby and I sat down with his blackberry and noted his Golf Itinerary for next year as far as he as it…

We got as far as September, and I began to feel a little sad.  Golf Widdow has not really been how I have thought of myself, and normally I am doing other things; but this time I realised I have nothing in my Itinerary yet! A few of the dates also include me, which is nice, but on the whole wives are not really included.

So, instead of letting the lonely feelings begin to drown me I am determined to fill my year and myself! I shall spend more time with Hubby during the week ( dog and holiday cottage willing!), and then make sure I am going away, seeing friends, and doing more photograph, art etc…

This sounds a bit selfish when I read it back, but actually its self-preservation, as well as marriage-preservation! I want the most out of this life now that there is less in front of me than behind, and I want to be happy and fulfilled. If I am then I will be a better companion for Hubby when we are together, and that in turn will make me happy!

So, after this I will be booking self into a photography course, perhaps making plans with friends who I will see this afternoon, and I definitely will do more entertaining!!!

Right World, be warned!

L x