Well I have had a break and feel much better for it I can tell you. I expect that most if not all of my lovely readers will have moved on and forgotten all about me, but hey ho, if you neglect people, what can you expect? and that is just what I have done, neglected people. It was an exercise in self preservation and had to be done I am afraid - for my sanity and well being. And sanity and well being restored - I am back. Well ... tentatively. And for a specific purpose.
Sooooooooo much has happened since I last talked to you all. Let me see. I was last here in July of 2011. Mmmm...
1. I abandoned my largest allotment due to so much to do on both of them and the garden that I couldn't cope. I harvested an enormous amount of fruit and vegetables as well as foraging for wild stuff and made several cupboards full of chutney, jam and alcoholic beverages such as plum brandy, sloe gin and green walnut wine.
2. My injured son got married (again). A difficult story this one, his first marriage having fallen apart due mainly to his injuries and her difficulty in coping - no blame, just awful and sad. The new wife - lovely, intelligent, caring and encouraging has nurtured a new man into existance and we are all so happy for them both. Aren't women wonderful?
3. In November, said son and my husband treked to Everest Base Camp in Nepal (obviously), taking 21 days to reach their goal (along with dire horrors (the trots basically), vomiting (altitude) and headaches (again altitude) to raise more funds for Help For Heroes. They got back just as the run up to Christmas began in earnest.
4. I stupidly, in a moment of envy at all the fun husband and son seemed to be having, agreed to do a charity trek across Jordan (100 km) in October - for Help for Heroes of course. I have to stress here that I am not fit - walk only about 3 miles max with the dog who has quite little legs and tires easily. I also feel that I have asked family and friends for far too much money for Help for Heroes as it is so fund raising will not be easy. Anyway putting the difficulties of all of this aside...
5. Christmas comes. All seems well with the world. Husband returns to work after the festive season to be given his redundancy letter - effective immediately, and not much in the way of redundancy pay either. And at his age (not really old but not a young guy either) a new job at the same pay seems a tall order. Within an hour of this news we have decided to pack up, sell up and buy a small holding in Spain. Yes Spain, not Portugal as we originally planned. And basically as soon as we can get the house sold - we go. Our very small pension will stretch much farther in Spain.
6. The next day husband's youngest brother has a stroke and rushed to hospital. Now he is normally very fit and healthy and only 49 years old - exercises regularly etc... bit of a shock I can tell you. He has come out of this really well considering 1 in 3 people die from the initial stroke and of those who recover, 1 in three have permanent lasting disabilities. Apart from a slight weakness on his left side he has made a really good recovery. Phew. Of course his job - driving lorries for Tesco is going to be a problem, he isn't allowed to drive hgv vehicles for some time. But, he is alive! Which is the main thing. Now, the universe has seemingly given me my wished for dream come true with the little farm (just waiting for us to sell our house so we can buy it) in Spain, so what could the message be in this event? Well... life is too short to spend it doing stuff you don't like and not following your dreams.
7. Mother in law about to go to New Zealand for a month to visit husband's sister who moved there at the beginning of last year. Mother in law getting on now, and not taking the getting older process very well. She is lonely and unhappy and of course nothing we can do can really change that. We have always said she is very welcome to come with us when we go, but of course she doesnt want that kind of life. She doesn't know we are going earlier than planned. And we haven't had a moment to tell her because of upset of younger brother's stroke. But we have to tell her soon because she is about to fly to NZ for a month.
8. The process of cleaning up the house prior to getting the estate agent in has begun. Isn't it crazy how you don't really notice how out of date your decor is until you start thinking of moving? And blimey, the stuff we have accummulated. It's frightening. And so many of the things that we thought would be essential when we have our little farm, now seem to be totally superfluous. Well. Ebay is a wonderful thing for decluttering. And cleaning.... who knew that my house was so dirty? Well truth be told I did. I'm a bit of a slut when it comes to housework I'm afraid.
9. No. two son has a panic attack in the night which involves us calling a doctor out. Mmmm. His acute anxiety disorder hasn't surfaced for nearly three years, until now. University looms for him this year and until then the plan was that he comes with us to Spain - and comes back during the hols too. Seems simple enough. Except that this has been his home for 16 years and he of course is starting to feel, well ... homeless. And our getting excited about packing up and leaving hasn't helped. Do we abandon our dreams and stay here for our son? Mmmm.... no. it is really hard but we can't help him by mollycoddling and treating him like he was a small child. We are trying to make sure that he has as many safety nets as we can provide for him, siblings here in the UK able to help if needed etc.. but ultimately he has to do this himself. This is taking the edge off my excitement about leaving. And bringing home to me how much I have put down roots here too... it won't be easy to go. But we don't want to stay.
10. No. two daughter has already got a job and moved out of the house so we don't have to worry about her... do we? Please... a little break here would be good. Anyway... am I still going to do the Jordan Trek in October. MMMmmmmm.... I think so. I am trying to get some corporate sponsorship of some kind which will mean that I don't have to worry about fiddly-ass fund raising while moving house abroad. I will simply concentrate on getting fit and then come back to the UK for the flight to Jordan. Oh and on the getting fit front... have I started walking any distance as I planned to do during January? Have I ....***** bleep. Watch this space... more to follow... with photographs too, I hope.