Sunday 12 October 2014

This ageing thing.

I'm getting old. Well of course I am although the correct phrase would be getting older. We all are. Every second of every day.  But sometimes, like when your godson turns 18 you are reminded of the process.  

We went to a lovely family party for his birthday yesterday but it was a reminder of how quickly those 18 years have passed. But by virtue of a photo wall we could also see all the things he's done during that time.

Nick's mum was there and she hasn't been well lately. By the time she went home she seemed unwell again but it was difficult to tell how much of it was due to exhaustion.  She is 86. Old. But still mentally alert although physically frail. But she loves to see all the extended family and sometimes tries to stay too long at these things.

I think we can all be guilty of that, frightened of missing anything.  Although some things, for example your children's drunken behaviour, is best not witnessed.  Watching all our children and their cousins developing into fine young people is a blessing. But suddenly we find ourselves as the older generation and it doesn't always sit well with me.  Where did the time go? How much time is left? What should I be doing with my time.

A crossroads is approaching.  I used to enjoy my job and look forward to going to work. I'm not able to say that at the moment. For lots of reasons. But it is not a nice feeling.  So that raises questions. Should I change jobs? Scary, as the grass may not be greener elsewhere. Should I retire? Financially it could be viable but I'm not sure I'm ready for that.  I think I need to give things time and see if they improve. Change is a scary thing.  We've had enough this year already with the first marriage in our immediate family, another being considered and the empty nest to contend with.  

I just need more time in the day to get everything done but this time thing - it's all rather elusive.


Wednesday 8 October 2014

How do you wash up?

We're getting used to our empty nest.  Mostly it's fine.  No more issues over how many dinners to cook and less laundry to do.  We've still seen quite a bit of the kids as well, even providing beds at times. One problem we do have is scheduling the dishwasher.  It always needed running once a day.  Now there are only two of us that isn't always the case so we are getting out of sync.  On occasion the dishwasher is not full enough to run but we need the pans or utensils in it.

I think we might have to invest in some more pans etc.  The alternative (having to wash up) doesn't bear thinking about!

Sunday 5 October 2014

Sabbatical is over

Well a nine month gap is a long time to be missing.  Fortunately I have not been gestating a baby. My twenty something kids would have probably been horrified at the prospect.  I have been working, a lot.  A new headteacher with new ways and a new broom takes a bit of getting used to.  We are not there yet. Not even close.

Work life balance seems to have gone down the pan which is something I need to address as a matter of urgency if only for my sanity.  So a  return to blogging is required.  Plus a move away from the bottle.  The red stuff can be very tempting after a long day.

But I do have a lot to be thankful for, just need to remind myself sometimes.

We had a lovely summer break.

We travelled to Barre, Vermont, USA for our youngest son's wedding.  It was beautiful.  There were tears but much laughter and a great time was had by all.

We were made to feel so welcome by our new family members.

We enjoyed time in Washington DC, Philadelphia and New York.

We also spent a week away with Nick's extended family which was lovely although late night revellers and early rising toddlers didn't allow for too much sleep 😜

We're awaiting the arrival of our new daughtier-in-law when, as she put it, the Queen lets her in.  Her visa application is taking a while.  We hope she will get here for late October as her parents have planned a visit for then and we're also planning a family event for them as well.

My daughter has just got engaged.

We have an empty nest.  Not exactly thankful for that but what's the point of raising children if not for them to become confident adults who can survive on their own.  They all seem to be doing just fine without us but we won't be downsizing just yet as the spare beds still get used regularly.

Well a quick catch up.  Hopefully it won't be a one blog post wonder.

Wednesday 1 January 2014

Are you a pedant?

I’m definitely becoming a pedant in my old age.  Although my husband is still worse than me, often picking me up on things I say.  The BBC have come up with a list of the 20 most overused words from 2013 as follows:

Twerk – must admit I looked this one up – was fairly sure I knew what it meant but didn’t want to show my ignorance by asking anyone!
Selfie – not in the habit of taking photos of myself so this one won’t be creeping in to my vocabulary
so (must admit I’m guilty of using this one, even at the start of sentences!)
quoting someone else
doing – hmm this one does creep in
absolutely – and this one
responsible (not a trait to put on your CV according to the article)
anyway – guilty of this one too                                          
yeah-no – my husband will say I definitely do this!
hashtag – I do have a twitter account but it lies very dormant so I don’t have much use for hashtags
amazeballs – if this one every passes my lips hopefully it will only be because I’m quoting someone else, probably not in a good way!

Full details can be found here:

They’ve also come up with 20 of our most hated clichés:

and 50 office-speak phrases you love to hate:

The fog is lifting....

For those of you who've followed me for a while you will know that in the past I've been an "I hate Christmas" type of person.  For various reasons Christmas was always a stressful time of year for me.  Partly because working in a Catholic primary school means Christmas is pretty much forced upon you very early but mainly because the last few years have been hard due to the deterioration of my Mum's health.  Consequently I was always burying my head in the sand and trying to pretend Christmas wasn't coming so that I ended up doing everything at the last minute and giving myself even more stress.  Last year was the first year without Mum so that made it all a bit sad and I was still doing it all last minute.

This year was different.  Maybe because the stress of hosting Christmas was taken away - we all went to Nick's sister's house in Brentwood.  Also we were having our youngest son's girlfriend here from America so I couldn't really be a grinch.  But mostly I think because I felt I could look forward to Christmas without the guilt of enjoying myself while Mum was being taken care of by other people, or just not there anymore.
So yes I think the emotional fog is lifting and as it lifts it's slightly scary to see just how thick and dense it has been.

Christmas was lovely!  And I wasn't doing everything quite at the last minute.  Lots of presents were ordered in advance online.  Cards were written and despatched quite early - no need for any 1st class stamps this year and the overseas ones will hopefully have arrived in time too.  (Many years I've been considering swapping them for New Year cards as I've posted them after the deadline date!)

Although we were dining out there were still some things to be done so Christmas morning was a bit hectic.  We were asked to cook and take a turkey with us, plus a tray of canopes and broccoli.  Trying to fit all that in with church, picking up Rebecca and her partner and present opening was a challenge.  But let me tell you, enough broccoli for 35 leaves a lingering smell in the car!

One thing I didn’t plan in advance was freezer space for the turkey.  I happened to be out shopping one evening and saw that the supermarket had lots of frozen turkeys but only a few really large ones.  I decided to get one while I could.  Driving home I was a little concerned about whether I had space in my freezer.  Well I did – just!  I had to take the bottom drawer out and just cram the turkey in the space.  I advised my husband of this telling him he would need to be careful when opening the freezer in case the turkey jumped out at him.  His response was that he hoped not as it was supposed to be dead!

It was a lovely day though with so many of the extended family together.  39 of us, four generations sat down to dinner.  It was a little cramped but the food was actually hot – a bit of a feat considering the logistics but we work well together. 

One of the highlights of the day was after dinner we had present opening – we had done a secret santa so that we all had something to open and our host Martin dressed up as Father Christmas.  He was quite inebriated by this time and complete with a split in his pants he had us in stitches!

Karaoke completed the day and then most of us crashed out to grab some sleep before starting all over again on Boxing Day.  Being one of the older siblings has its advantages as it guaranteed us a bed.  The youngsters had to haggle for the sofas and floor space.

After a cooked breakfast some of the more energetic people went out for a walk.  We then had a late lunch of turkey broth plus other leftovers.  It was a lovely relaxed day.

All in all definitely a Christmas to remember.