Life seems to be flying by at an alarming rate of knots, so it’s very important to take every opportunity you can to spend time with elderly relatives. Despite the fact I hate going into the town centre – even more so right before Christmas – my mother was keen to meet up and take a wander around the shops, which is exactly what I’ve spent the day doing.
She’d announced on arrival that she wanted coffee and toasted teacakes in M&S when it got to lunchtime, so it was just as well I hadn’t made other plans. The weather was bitterly cold but that’s to be expected mid-December, but we’d both wrapped up warm… a bit too warm as it turns out when we eventually sat down to eat. Mum was then kind enough to loudly point out my rather rosy cheeks in case anyone in the cafe hadn’t spotted them yet.
Although she’s perfectly steady on her feet considering her advancing years, I couldn’t help grabbing hold of her near roads; guiding her like a wobbly toddler until safely across to the other side, much to her annoyance. However, I think she was glad of a sit-down when her bus finally arrived to take her back home.
In many ways today was nothing out of the ordinary, just a mother and daughter walking around town together for a few hours, but as the years go by I’m ever more aware that we need to cherish these moments while we still can…
My boobs are still tanned from my recent escapades in Gran Canaria, and the New Year has only just begun, and yet there I was in an NHS facility getting my fun-bags flattened like pancakes while a young Irish girl in a white coat physically manipulated my upper body into machinery.
The walk to the ‘mobile screening unit’; by which I mean a large caravan in the car park of a sports complex; was made all the more exciting by the fact that Mother Nature had decided to whip up gale force wind gusts, ensuring I arrived looking as if I’d been dragged through many hedges backwards. C’est la vie.
I have no concerns regarding the appointment as it was simply routine, and it’s extremely important to agree to these procedures in order to ensure that all is as it should be. Despite my wishes to see a lot less of the NHS in 2018, this is one procedure I didn’t actually mind undergoing – it’s far better to be safe than sorry…
I’ve enjoyed some quality time with my family this week and it’s been extremely rewarding. At the weekend I spent a whole afternoon with my gorgeous twin daughters; putting the world to rights and catching up on all their news over cups of hot, sweet tea and fancy biscuits; and today I’ve spent several hours with my elderly mother celebrating her birthday.
I met mum off the bus in the town centre and we had our usual browse in shop windows as we passed them en route to the local park. It’s mild for the time of year so we were able to perch ourselves on a bench overlooking lovely autumnal scenery while enjoying a good old natter about anything and everything. As the town hall clock struck twelve we sauntered towards a nearby cafe for coffee and baguettes, and once sustained off we went again for a further wander through the town until it was time for her to catch the bus back home.
I’m so lucky to have my mum still with me and even luckier to have produced such beautiful, intelligent and caring children. I really do feel extremely blessed…
For the past fortnight I’ve been working 6 days a week, so the fact that this is a Bank Holiday weekend is very welcome indeed. It’s been busy in the office, and also exciting with the arrival of my brand new computer with shiny new keyboard and mouse along with two great big monitors, but nice surprises aside it’s actually a welcome relief to finally be able to spend a couple of days in my much-neglected garden.
In my absence, however, Mother Nature has decided to spoil me, and when I stepped outside this fine, sunny morning I was greeted by the sight of dozens of bright orange Californian poppies, stunning giant red ornamental poppies and delicate blue love-in-the-mist. It appears that many of last years plants have self-seeded, and the mixed wild-flower seeds I randomly scattered at the end of last summer are now flourishing.
The universe sometimes has unique ways of rewarding those who go the extra mile in order to improve their own circumstances, and while I’ve strived to undertake more responsibility in the workplace, despite also undergoing numerous medical tests for ongoing health issues, I’m now reaping a few of the benefits…
With a hectic pre-Christmas schedule it was impossible to find a mutually suitable time to visit my mother before the big day this year, therefore a compromise had to be found. After much thought I suggested we indulged in ‘afternoon tea’ at a posh hotel fairly close to where mum lives, so that we can enjoy a good old natter whilst indulging in a bit of luxury. Thankfully she agreed to this idea and so today I set off early, in sub-zero temperatures, to catch the bus.
Her little face lit up as I was dropped off, and we immediately began putting the world to rights. After an hour of thawing out at her place we hopped into a taxi which took us to the hotel, where I’d reserved us a table overlooking a pretty pond. Despite having walked past there literally hundreds of times, my mother had never stepped foot inside, so to be able to finally treat her to a little bit of luxury was wonderful.
Afternoon tea was sublime; delicious food and drink and excellent service, I really couldn’t have asked for more from them. Of course, mum was chuffed to bits and even though we didn’t manage to see each other before Christmas Day for the first time in my life, today has more than made up for it. When life gets busy it’s sometimes a little too easy to sideline people in order to fit everything in. However, family is very precious, and it’s vital to make sure that you somehow MAKE the time to be with those you love…
What better way to spend a day off from work than to meet up with both the older and younger generations of your family for a few hours catching up with each others news. I’d arranged to spend time in town with my elderly mother, but she had no idea that her twin granddaughters would also be there to greet her. The look on her face was priceless when she stepped off the bus and saw three smiling faces. The sun was shining and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky as we walked around the park admiring literally thousands of glorious yellow daffodils, while laughing at the antics of the resident grey squirrels.
Lunch was provided courtesy of a quaint little independent cafe in the town centre, where we ate delicious freshly made sandwiches and paninis washed down with coffees and milkshakes, before a leisurely stroll around the shops. By mid-afternoon it was time for mum to catch her bus back home, so we waited with her until it arrived. Then it was hugs all round before plenty of manic waving as her bus pulled away. I really do appreciate how lucky I am to still have my mother here, and that I have extremely loving and caring children to share her with. Some days I really do feel blessed.
It’s only now I’m getting older that I realise I’m actually turning into my mother! There’s no getting away from it; as the old cliché goes “The apple never falls far from the tree“. After spending the morning accompanying mum around town on the hottest day of the year so far (or to be more accurate, listening to her reject endless cafes for no logical reason until I practically drag her into one before I faint from dehydration), I feel that I should apologise profusely in advance to my daughters for when I inevitably go doolally as I too approach my twilight years. Wow, that ‘little old lady’ can say some wildly inappropriate things at times!
I’ve clearly inherited my love of going on long walks from my maternal line, although I was somewhat bemused to discover that although in her 70s she apparently has far more stamina than me, resulting in my not-so-subtle hints about her ‘having a rest‘ falling on selectively deaf ears. Despite my blisters however, I’m hugely grateful that she’s currently in good health, and I obviously hope that she remains so for as long as humanly possible. As we grow older it slowly dawns on us that our parents are not going to be around for ever, and time spent creating happy memories with them now, while it’s still possible, will be something special to look back on when they’re sadly no longer here…