Christmas, The Holidays How are you spending them?

This was going to be my “Happy Christmas” post when I began it last week.

We are still enjoying or enduring the Holiday period here in the U.K. As we head now towards New Year. I am grateful for the fact that I am enjoying it.

This Christmas I knew would be vastly different for us and I honestly did not know how it would go. After the year that we have had it couldn’t help but be. It is the first one where we have not had Kato physically with us, he was here only in spirit. He entered my thoughts daily and although I looked for signs I did not see any. However I still felt that he was part of the family here enjoying Christmas morning together.

The past week we have been getting ready for the occasion and I have never felt so unready before. I went for a job interview the week before and it went well. I came out with such a positive feeling about both the job and myself and hoped that I may be offered one of the two positions they had spoken about. That weekend, my partner told me to call my friend who was emigrating this week and book a ticket to visit her. It was a wonderful thing to do, I feared that she would be too busy but she jumped at the suggestion. So I had a fabulous time with her and her family before they went, I came back having felt such love, I was on cloud nine.

On coming home I tried to fit in getting the house “Christmassy” but had only just enough money to get food and a few small gifts for family, so had to buy gifts wisely. Whilst my partner and I sold a few items, the people came to collect. The truck went this week, I didn’t feel stressed about letting it go. The relief that we would have funds for the shortfall again this month outweighed that.

It also meant that Hope, my Beautiful blue car has been brought out of the garage and I  able to drive her again for the first time in months again thanks to the assistance of friends who made sure that she was safe for me. I played Santa and delivered gifts and cards on Christmas Eve and got to see and hug another friend I have not seen this year.

So being broke has been the new norm for this past year along with so many other emotions. But as we end the year I can’t help thinking we have lost a lot of people. Not just the ones who are old, but the ones who are taken far too soon. When faced with this situarion, you cannot help but rethink how you wish your life to be as the new year approaches.

I did not hear about the job, but that did not stop me from applying for many more this week. At some point, someone will offer me one, when the time is right so I must trust that the right one will come along too. It felt like I have turned a corner being invited for an interview can do that to you. Lift you up spirits and all and make you concentrate on the positives.

However recently my partner has been ill, he is feeling very stressed out about making ends meet but it has all come together just in time and he is wondering where the next bit will come from, looking for things he can turn around for a little profit to keep our heads above water until that elusive job comes along. But his heart is heavy and it’s making him tired and he is in pain with the various health issues he has and damage to his body over the years. He has been told to take it easy by the doctor, but the doctor knows that he doesn’t know how. Which can be a bit of a cycle for him, it also makes me worry about him.

This Christmas we did not get fancy gifts for each other. He bought me something lovely when we were in Scotland in the Autumn and I have kept it for Christmas. I bought him something he needed, a pair of boots to keep him comfortable whilst we walk the dog together and our present to each other was our beloved Roki. For Birthday, Christmas and my Birthday. No other gift is necessary as we have the love and happiness that he brings us. We collected our new baby seven weeks ago and he is the family we craved to have again.

We awoke on Christmas morning and all piled onto the bed for a big family hug. The day was mild and bright and we made plans to go out and see it. I did not spend the morning wrapping gifts for others as I had in previous years. I had managed to wrap the few that I had bought and most had already been given by then.  We sat talking, played music and had a lovely breakfast of smoked salmon omelette which is an all family favourite. I thought about the big Meal that I would make later and planned to speak to my friend to wish her a safe journey.  Our Christmas Day was non eventful to the outside world but just right for us. We sent and received messages of good cheer to family and friends but to see the face of your child as you give him presents on Christmas Day was just the perfect way to spend it.

Our boy had two fleece blankets which were donated by the emigrating friend and he was so thrilled with them. He had a rope toy which I had given him a couple of days earlier when I had returned from my trip and a woven cloth toy, which in our house is known as “A wonderful fling to be flung” which my mother had made for him. He also had some treats and was so ecstatic that he didn’t know what to play with first. So he just decided to pick up as many as he could at once, throw them all into the air and then roll on them. He is happy. I sent a message to his old family Thanking them for the most wonderful gift to us and received a touching response.

It was late evening by the time I had prepared and cooked our Christmas meal which meant we were up until very late and watching the films on the TV till the early hours. It didn’t matter so much. On Boxing Day I collected my brother and took him to our sister and her partner’s house for a feast. It was lovely, I haven’t seen any of them in months it was just nice to sit around and enjoy a meal, we also watched a funny film and laughed together.

They say it becomes different as you get older, but that is the true meaning of Christmas to us. We have love. We are not in Scotland for the first time in three years we have stayed at home. That in itself felt a little  bit odd but less stressful for me as I didn’t have to pack or travel Christmas week and it never quite feels like the holiday until you arrive at your destination.

My good intentions as to how we should spend Christmas did not come about, again we did not decorate the house for the occasion. My partner said it wasn’t important and we just ran out of time before the big day. This Christmas was about sharing Love and Time, after all who knows how much of it we have left, that was the most important thing and we achieved that.

So however you have spent yours and however you choose to spend the holiday time you have left, I hope that you enjoy it.

I want to Thank you for following my blog since I began in February, for the friendships that grow along the way and the support that you have shown me over the past few months.  I hope that we all continue on our journeys through the next year and find new inspiration, experiences to write about and I will enjoy hearing about yours.

The Daily Post – Festive

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Going Native

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The Back Garden…

 

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From the Front Step.

This is our view as we arrived at the cottage. It’s overgrown, more so than last year when we arrived midsummer I think, but it will soon die back again and we won’t have time to clear it all on this short trip.

But we are home.  I wonder how long it will be before we have gone native.  It used to take Kato about 24 hours, before he got used to the sights and sounds around him.  A huge sleep in our house and out to his favourite spot to look at the view, followed by a walk around the perimeter.  Figuring out what had changed whilst he was away.

This time it was just us walking about. We opened the house up and got the luggage in made a cup of coffee and sat out on the step. Looking at his favourite spot.

Suddenly my partner jumped up, come on. It’s time.  He got the ashes we had saved for the purpose and we stood by his favourite spot and said Welcome Home our Darling Boy, you will always have a part of you in Scotland as we scattered them to the wind.  I prayed that he would be happy to be here, that he would now rest wherever he wished to be and that we would still feel his presence whenever we needed to.  We wiped away tears, as we have done every day since then as we spend time here, it hasn’t got any easier for us that he is no longer here.

He is in our thoughts constantly. I guess that we are still in grief for our boy, despite our attempts at carrying on.

So, about going native…

How long did it take? Well we still felt like holiday makers for a couple of days, we got supplies from the shops and funny looks because our accents are so different coming from the south.  But within about 24 hours, a few of the local phrases and the hint of an accent had begun to creep into the vocabulary.

The water up here is different in taste. The air is clearer and the light brighter, but it always feels like home at a slower pace and we settle right back in.

I realised yesterday that I have not looked in the mirror for five days, there is one on the wall, but it’s positioned a little too high for me to see into, so I haven’t bothered.  Normally this would bother me, on trips to the shops etc, but this time it hasn’t.  I only put on Mascara to go and visit one of my friends the other day, other than that, my face has been completely free of make up and it hasn’t bothered me at all. But I do remember to use moisturiser each day and cleanse the soot off at night.

I did look in the mirror yesterday after that thought occurred to me, but only since I had been collecting kisses from puppies at the supermarket and needed to wash it.

I have the wild hair to go with it, but am happier than I have been in months.  It’s so good to be away from the normality, back to basics and thinking about what we use and recycle up here.

I saw a field mouse run through the back of the house the other night in the old croft. It was only out the back but I will have to keep an eye and make sure that our food supplies are kept secure, last night as I sat in the caravan one ran over my foot out from under one of the seats, startled that I was there.  Usually by this time of the year, it would have the caravan to itself and all would be quiet, almost hibernation. I don’t see the point of setting traps when we do not live here all the time, it’s only one or two in different places and as long as I don’t keep food where they can get to it, I see that they have as much right to shelter here as I do.

Meanwhile we are enjoying the peace and serenity of the place with all the wildlife that surrounds us.  As my partner sat enjoying a cup of coffee, a whole family of deer, Stag, Doe and Fawn wandered up to take a look at him and meet him on the path outside our door.

Last night in the twilight, of a beautiful moon we heard the owls as they flew across the garden, over the trees which bend to the wind calling out to each other, life continuing and nature at its best.

This morning, he called me to “Quickly come and look,” there was a beautiful bird of prey swooping down into the field, it was there for a while.  We stood and watched it in the sunshine before the rain came. I always collect the beautiful speckled flyaway feathers that I find, as there are often hawks here, occasionally Eagles fly overhead, but usually the smaller birds. I take the feathers back South to remind me, but it’s good to be back here in the midst of it all.

It is raining again, for the umpteenth time today, we have mist across the fields and the wind blowing the clouds across, it will pass and we will be warm inside.

The Daily Post – Tree

 

 

 

 

 

 

I Just Wanted to Thank You!

Thank you

Well, despite everything that has happened since the Good and Bad since I began this blog at the end of February this year I have now reached another one of my goals. Hooray! Another for the Yay list.

After setting up a list of Intentions – Things I want to do this year I have struggled to do so many of them, but goals are not easily achieved and I still have such a long way to go with them.  I am sure that many will appear in next year’s list too, but that is OK I have to remind myself that it isn’t supposed to all happen at once.

Yes, I have finally achieved the goal of 100 Followers here on WordPress.com and although I couldn’t quite believe it, I was met with the little red button to tell me this morning.

So I wanted to Thank you all for reading my blog, my poems, looking at my photographs over the past few months.  Sometimes my posts have been sporadic, with weeks apart when life gets in the way and I think I should write more.  I am grateful for the kindness which spurs me on when I am feeling low and the encouragements.  The Reader has become my substitute morning newspaper and I love reading what has been happening in the world.

I am grateful for the people who have chosen to follow, me and comment upon what I write. For the ones who have come like friends you look out for to see what they have been up to and who you miss when you don’t hear from them.

My Thanks go to Travelling Krishnaite – Shekhar Srivastava the 100th person to follow my Blog, for making my milestone and helping me to achieve a goal. Why not click the link stop by and take a look at the blog, give the posts a like or a comment.

Image: Morguefile.com

Who Will Buy? In the words of Oliver Twist..

It’s inspiration that we find in the strangest of places, today this tune and a couple of lines of it have been going around my head.

In the words of Oliver Twist…

Who will buy
This wonderful morning?
Such a sky
You never did see!

Who will tie
It up with a ribbon
And put it in a box for me?

So I could see it at my leisure
Whenever things go wrong
And I would keep it as a treasure
To last my whole life long.

Who will buy
This wonderful feeling?
I’m so high
I swear I could fly.

Me, oh my!
I don’t want to lose it
So what am I to do
To keep the sky so blue?
There must be someone who will buy…

I set myself a goal when I began writing this blog and post my own brand of poetry here. Finally, I would be doing something that I wanted to do.  That special thing, ME TIME! and who knows, somewhere along the way, someone might like it and read it.

To all those of you who have so far brightened my days with your likes and comments, it is appreciated more than you could know.  To the people who follow this blog, THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart, you give me a reason (and boy, do I love one of those) to go on with it.

So, I set about it.  Putting my thoughts on paper, (or laptop) random things, poems, feelings, photos etc and here we are, a few months later, although early days, I am making progress on to my next goal.

When I reach 100 poems that I have written, I will self-publish a book of poetry.  Some you will have seen here, some you will not. (After all, I have to hold something back) Like one last card to my chest, I sometimes get fed up with being the proverbial open book. So once I reach that 100, I’m actually almost there… Yay! I will start to select the few that will end up in my first book and I will have reached that goal.

I have a name, a format and a question…. Who will buy?  Then another, If it ever makes it to proper print, (hard copy) then should I wrap it up in a ribbon?

Since I am planning to self publish this book, I’d love to have a physical book for people to have, hold and share. If any other bloggers here have had any success in getting donations towards hard copy publishing and can give me any advice, it would be much appreciated.

For those of you who may now have the tune whizzing around your head, here’s a link to the words.  Who Will Buy… From Oliver Twist, by Lionel Bart

 

 

 

 

The Music of The Hills

6 (6)A storm is brewing, keep things close at hand.
The woods gently sing their quiet song.
The wind is blowing across the top along the land,
Begins it’s low howl it resonates deep and long.
Building itself up, as though to make an entrance,
Bending trees along the way, start to sway and dance.
Reaching it‘s crescendo thunder crashing through the hills,
A dramatic drum roll there it’s mad frenzy sending chills.
Hurling itself up before swirling around the ledges,
Nature singing out from the safety of the hedges,
Cattle calling across the way, invisible in the mist.
Lovers lost to it’s emotions, meeting for their tryst.
Eerily silent once again, this weather is a curse,
before tinkling raindrops signal the next verse.
Thoughts are stirred up taking you right back,
For a moment, you temporarily sidetrack.
Lost up there in music, a world away from your own,
As they rest again exhausted, the hills will sigh and moan.
This is the music of the hills,
Pay close attention to how it feels,
Of all things fierce and good.
Played out by the Orchestra of the Wood.

The Daily Post – The Music of The Hills

Intentions – Things I want to do this year

On the 28th of February I wrote out my list of Intentions, So of my list of 100 things I wish to achieve this year, Here’s a list of my “Yays”! so far…

And, Yes I actually have a column marked Yay on the list, for when I’ve done it.

Set up an Etsy shop to sell Vintage clothes – Now I have to sort the clothes
Write a Blog – So far so good, I started it the day I wrote my list..
Write more Poetry – Loving this bit!
Stress Less – The Blood Pressure has gone back down.
Organise my Partner’s paperwork – I do love a bit of Admin
Start to Feel Good about myself again – Little steps
Practice Gratitude – Every Day Essential

My list is continuing to grow as I do, along with new goal setting along the way. I am also leaving the old ones in there too so who knows how many there will be on it by the end of the year and how far I will have come. I only had 10 months, but four months into the year, I’m still confident I am going to achieve good things.

I did the same thing last year, I achieved 20% of what I set out to do. This time since I started from a low point, it also includes some of the little things and some really big stuff!

#thingsarelookingup #LittleSteps

Her Memory of Tennis in the Sunshine.

Initially there were several reasons as to why I began writing this blog. It started out in my head as an outlet for deeper feelings and how I would deal with them as they sprung up, like loose floorboards in an old house and hit me squarely between the eyes, often catching me unawares. I think that over time it will grow into far much more than that, as it has already shown signs of doing.

Today I am feeling as though another reason for writing this will be to remind my partner and I years from now, what was going through our heads, the memories we have made and the ones that we have cherished.

Since Alzheimers is a genetic disorder, there is some concern on our part, that it may follow down the line over the course of time and this may serve to remind us of some of the wonderful times we have had and how loved we both are. I would love to write his own story, and share his memories which seem far more interesting than my own, but he is not inclined to allow me at this point. It would make interesting reading though but he remains a very private person.

Last year we finally lost his mother to a lengthy fight with Alzheimers Disease, she lived a life which had been both tragic and wonderful at times. She lived to what is considered a good age, but unfortunately she could not remember most of it. In latter years, when I visited her sometimes her eyes would glisten and a flash of a memory would return, along with the excitement of being able to share it with someone. On the occasions whilst she could still tell me, snippets of stories would come back to her and she would recount them, although sometimes they would be all intermingled. To me it didn’t matter how she remembered them, whether they were entirely factual or not, it just proved that her brain was still working, despite some short circuits and that she was in there somewhere. She was a good friend to me and I have been thinking fondly again about her today, as I often do. It was devastating when she could no longer speak to share her thoughts, my last conversation with her was in October 2014 and after that her silence was awful, which the chatter of others around her was deafening, she passed away in March 2015.

She often told me about the Grand old house in Kent where they used to live as children, it was where she had grown up with her two brothers before the loss of her beloved mother in her teens, it was very clear that she was happiest there. They had a large house with Tennis courts out the back and she was playing tennis in the sunshine, they backed onto woodland behind the house and the trees offered dappled light across the house and shade when out on the court. She often spoke of the tennis courts, she must have enjoyed the game. I think it was due to it being a bright sunny day today that, it reminded me of this.  It would be a wonderful day to play tennis, I would have loved to have played the game with her.