After a break that’s been far too long, I have come back here.
Things haven’t been all rosy since last we spoke – my lovely mother in law passed away in early December – bastard cancer. We had her funeral on December 23rd, and have been working through sorting out her estate since then. Most of that is done, and her house will be sold in early October.
The first 4+ months of this year were spent looking after No2 dog, who managed to snap both her cruciate ligaments, and needed two major orthopaedic operations, to set her right again – and each one meant a minimum of 6 weeks cage rest – and we kept her on cage rest between the two operations, as that seemed kinder than letting her out, and then putting her back in after the second op. She is now back to near-normal – she just needs to build up her strength and stamina again.
Latest drama has been my mum selling her house (where she’s lived for over 43 years, and where my dad died) and moving to a retirement bungalow near my sister. I have been in the shit for not going down to help her declutter the old house (apparently she hopes that, one day, I will know what it is like to be old, in pain, on my own and having to deal with everything. Thanks ma!
She had a meltdown the day before the removers arrived – she didn’t want to leave her house, her garden, her friends – it was all too much – and I can understand that. It is difficult, making such a big move at any age, but when you are in your 80s, and going to somewhere where you don’t know anyone, it will be really scary. She did go ahead with the move – as she’s told me since, though, she was following her head, not her heart, and I am worrying that she will regret the decision, and won’t settle in the new house – and what she, and we, would do the, I really don’t know. It would not make financial sense for her to sell up, and move back closer to where she used to live – just because of the costs already incurred in this move and those that would be incurred if she moved again – but if she doesn’t settle where she is, and make some new friends, I am worried she will get depressed. Gah – I don’t need this.
We did go and see her last week – I drove down, and met N part way (it is a heck of a long way from Glasgow to Buckinghamshire), and my sister let us use her house whilst she and her husband were on holiday – otherwise it would have been prohibitively expensive to do. We spent two days doing jobs around her house for her – putting up shelves, putting up the airer over the bath, and painting some of her bedroom furniture. She still needs to finish the painting, but didn’t want me to plough on and do it all, as it would have meant more paint fumes in her bedroom than she could have coped with. But what’s left to do is not too difficult or heavy for her.
I went on to Southend for the weekend, after we’d seen mum, and caught up with some friends who I haven’t seen since I moved, 7 years ago – and some who I have seen once or twice since we moved. It was a good weekend, lots of fun, but as I am not used to socialising so much these days, I did find it all a bit much, and was glad to be home. But the socialising is not over – I was 50 in December last year, but as my mother in law was so ill, we didn’t plan a party then – the right decision, as it turned out – and so I am having an Official Birthday this weekend – a party at a local coffee shop. It will be good fun, and I am looking forward to it – but I am also slightly looking forward to the peace and quiet afterwards, when things go back to normal.
Not that they will be going back to normal – it is actually all change here. No1 son got his degree this year, and has a place on a commercial graduate scheme for the next two years, working for a rail infrastructure company – so he is moving to Kent on Sunday (wahhhhhh). No2 has two more years of university, and No3 finished school this summer, and is off to Aberdeen university in a week or so’s time. No2’s term starts a few days later, but basically, by late September, all of the boys will have moved out – either permanently or for term time. With N working away from home a lot (his job has changed, so now his office is in London, and he’s spending 3 days/2 nights there a week, at the moment, plus working from home, and doing maybe one more work day in London, or elsewhere, as a day trip from home), I am going to be on my own quite a lot.
If I am completely honest, I am not that happy about the prospect. I am worrying that I will not cope, that I will not find it easy to sleep when I am alone in the house (apart from the dogs, of course). I need to find the positives – I will have the bed to myself, I will get to watch whatever rubbish I want to on TV without anyone tutting or judging, and I am thinking of having a go at the 5:2 diet – if I only have to cater for myself, it won’t matter if meals are very low in calories, because I won’t be feeding a working adult or three growing lads. And hopefully, once it actually happens, it will be OK, and I will see that my fears and anxieties were unfounded.