Monday, 29 February 2016

Memorandum Monday

Monday has rolled around again, and that means it's time to
join in with the lovely Sian and
 share something that I've learnt over the weekend.
When feeling sad and miserable is currently your de facto setting,
 hanging out in bed is the preferred option. 
Going to bed before your 9 year old son is optional.
I had my iPad Mini (for the first two episodes of the OJ Simpson drama),
 my notebook from the Store of Utter Gorgeousness 
and a box of hankies for my snotty nose.
{Socks knitted by Sian.} 

You can see what Sian discovered over the weekend here

Friday, 26 February 2016

Farewell

Mum's funeral was held on Wednesday afternoon.
Although very cold, the sun came out.
~ view from Mum's back door ~
The Brainy One and I had travelled up on Tuesday evening, along with 
my friend-who's-like-my-brother.  Other good friends, who had also travelled up on Tuesday, were staying in an hotel a mile from Mum's house and invited us to join them for breakfast on
 Wednesday morning.  That was such a thoughtful gesture and I'm so glad that we accepted.
Five cooked breakfasts ordered and consumed.  
Mum had left detailed instructions of how she wanted her funeral to be: 
a short service at the Crem and a longer Service of Celebration at her church.
 I wrote the family's eulogy and The Brainy One delivered it.  
He did a brilliant job, speaking for ten minutes.  Mum had requested something that showed 
she hadn't always been boring.  It was hard turning turning hilarious family stories into something that other people would find amusing, or at least smile at, but I'm proud that I achieved that.
Mum's favourite flowers were yellow roses and they're what Dad always bought for her.
There were two sprays: a large one from me, my brother and sister, 
and a smaller one from the two grandsons.    
 I bought a single stem home with me last night. 
  Mum had stipulated that there shouldn't be too much black ...
 "Your dad always said black didn't suit me" ... and one of her favourite poems was Warning by Jenny Joseph ... "When I am an old woman I shall wear purple."  
I was fortunate to receive a number of supportive messages on Wednesday morning.
The best one?  
Just four words ... you can do this.

And I did. 

Thursday, 25 February 2016

Things He Says | The Love Edition

Him: " Mum, do you love me?"
Me: "Yes."
Him: " I don't blame you!"

Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Snap #5

Helena has a new photographic theme for 2016:
 Snap, a visually linked group of 2 to 4 images.
Yesterday I attended the interment of Grandad P's ashes in the cemetery at Chelsea.
I was extremely honoured to have been invited by his family.
 
You can see more Snap images here.

Tuesday, 23 February 2016

Here or There?

When a parent is ill, if you don't live locally, it's difficult to know how to divide your time.
I spent most of January with Mum, coming back to London for the weekends,
but every time I left, I wondered if it would be for the last time.
Because The Brainy One works for himself and his business is traditionally quiet in January,
 he was able to hold the fort at home while I was 250 miles away.
But it wasn't easy by any stretch of the imagination,
and it was hard on The Boy Child.
I spent the weekends listening to him tell me that he hated me 
and that I should just go back to Granny.  
Over this last fortnight, I've thought about whether I should have done things differently,
and the answer is no.
I put The Boy Child and The Brainy One first throughout December, as per Mum's wishes,
and I believe that I made the best decision about January, based on the information available
from family members and the doctors and nurses caring for Mum.
Doesn't stop me feeling guilty about whether I could have handled the situation differently. 

Monday, 22 February 2016

Memorandum Monday

Monday has rolled around again, and that means it's time to
join in with the lovely Sian and
 share something that I've learnt over the weekend.
Life does indeed go on.
We honoured a long-standing invitation
 for cousins to come and visit.
It wasn't always easy, but the world didn't end because I laughed.

You can see what Sian discovered over the weekend here

Friday, 19 February 2016

Five on Friday | Half-Term

It's been difficult to manage half-term expectations when I feel so sad.
I've been lucky that The Boy Child is still happy with the more ordinary activities.
1) Hanging out in a coffee shop.
2) Lunch out.
3) Braving the cold for a sunny walk with the pooch in the park.
4) Clothes shopping for The Boy Child.  He's had yet another growth spurt.
 5) Book browsing.  
I hope to have a more exciting time lined up for him during the Easter holidays. 

Thursday, 18 February 2016

A Promise Kept

I have a cousin who likes to sew things.
She works mostly in felt and always hand stitches everything.
During a visit to my mum in hospital, she showed off a coin purse she had made for me. 
For no other reason than she could (make it, not show it off).
 Apparently my mum was delighted with it
 and made all the right noises of approval ... 
 ... she then handed back to my cousin, paused and said,
 "Ruth's favourite colours are pink and purple."
The day after mum passed away, my cousin sat with me, my aunt and uncle, 
her hands busy while we talked, laughed and cried 
and kept her promise to make me one in the 'right' colours. 


Wednesday, 17 February 2016

Snap #4

Helena has a new photographic theme for 2016:
 Snap, a visually linked group of 2 to 4 images.


Three shots of my mum
back in the day when the world was black and white.
You can see more Snap images here.

Tuesday, 16 February 2016

Cachirulo is One

Our great nephew turned one on Saturday.
 He appeared to have a good time at his birthday lunch.
I certainly did; I ended the day legless.
{But, you know, extenuating circumstances.} 

Monday, 15 February 2016

Memorandum Monday

Monday has rolled around again, and that means it's time to
join in with the lovely Sian and
 share something that I've learnt over the weekend.
I've been overwhelmed by the amount of kindness, support and love
 that's come my way this last week from this wonderful blogging community that we call ours.
Cards, emails, texts and calls; so many that it's been impossible 
to respond to you all individually.
Please know that I have been grateful for each and every one of you.
From the bottom of my heart, thank you. 
You can see what Sian discovered over the weekend here

Sunday, 7 February 2016

Her Name was Margaret

My mum passed away on Saturday, 6 February 2016.
Her name was Margaret.
She featured on my blog a lot over the years,
and it's only right and proper that her final chapter be recorded here.
She received a late diagnosis of cancer in mid-December 2015.
She chose not to share her story outside of family and close friends.
She died as she lived: with strength, grace, love and faith.

This is our beloved; this is our friend. 
Song of Songs 5:16

There will be no blog posts this coming week.

Friday, 5 February 2016

Be Visible in Your Story

Does it happen to you?
You know for certain that you have a photo of X,
but for the life of you, you cannot put your hand on it.
I have a small project in mind where I need 72 photos,
with one person appearing in all 72 images.
It's been no easy task, I can tell you. 
While rummaging through stacks of dusty papers and cards,
I came across this.
Sent by the lovely Sian back in the summer of 2014,
it's a timely reminder.
.We memory-keepers write down our stories and of those we love.
We take photos.  Thousands of photos.
We make physical memories with pretty paper and those thousands of photos.
And yet we forget to include ourselves.
My point is simple...
 be visible in your story.
In whatever form your memory-keeping takes.
  

Thursday, 4 February 2016

Outlander

Late last year, we were given a month's free trial to Amazon Prime.
We used it primarily to order Christmas gifts: one click 
and the goods arrived within a few hours, postage free.
We did, however, also find the time to browse the Amazon Prime subscription TV channel.
And what a treat that turned out to be ... because we discovered Outlander.
The series is based on the books by Diana Gabaldon, and I first read them in the late 1990s;
so far the producers have been pretty faithful to the story.
The Brainy One summed up the general plot thus: ... "so, she gets into trouble and he has to rescue her ... and then she gets him into trouble and she has to rescue him".
That's about it, if you discount the time travel ...
I've just reread all eight books over the last two months and it's a lot of reading.
A. Lot. Of. Reading.
Book 9 is due in 2017.
So much reading in fact that I am deliberately not reading anything right now.
Jamie Fraser.  Doing it for you?  Or perhaps not?  

Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Snap #3

Helena has a new photographic theme for 2016:
 Snap, a visually linked group of 2 to 4 images.
 
As dog owners, we're in the local park whatever the weather.
You can see more Snap images here.

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Ten Equals Seventy

Our beloved pooch turned ten years old yesterday,
which makes him seventy in human years.
We can't remember what life was like before he was part of our family.

Monday, 1 February 2016

Memorandum Monday

Monday has rolled around again, and that means it's time to
join in with the lovely Sian and
 share something that I've learnt over the weekend.
Always check the timings of a kid's party before leaving home.
That way, if you turn up an hour early, you'll be prepared for 60 minutes
of moaning and whining from The Boy Child. 
You can see what Sian discovered over the weekend here