September in Crete, October MegDays, November (60th Birthday), December 2014 Bucket list review

Dropped a patio slab on my shin and gouged a bit out – deep and skin off a large area. What a mess and soon we’re going to Crete. Many visits to local hospital – not healing quickly. Mum has to come with me to Crete as husband not able to sit on the flight. Managed to have a lovely time in Kalyves near Chania. Lovely apartment on beach and not far from village. Mum managed well. Some days hot others wet and windy. Walking on the beach was superb and I swam every few days which helped my wound but had to be sure no sand got in there. Wildlife was interesting – saw turtles and a kingfisher and even some sheep. Caught local bus into Chania for market day – really enjoyed both the covered market and the street market. Mum couldn’t walk too far but was wonderful. Watched the world go by in the bus station when we missed the bus. Felt very relaxed. Must return.

October – just enjoyed my Meg Days every week – walking around the lake talking to the geese and ducks, having a Welsh cake in the cafe and pushing her on the swings. Music sessions are funny – there is an interesting mix of toddlers who fascinate me. Meg is getting more confident and joining in. We painted a new picture or two every day – she’s so careful holding a small paintbrush, loves thick paint and just explores the surface and the movement. Gives me great joy.

November 2014
A week in Tenby in an amazing 17th century manor house was superb. Only down size was my cough/cold/flu. Walking on the beach – whether raining or windy uplifts my spirits, this place feels like home. Makes me feel grounded. Having the family around me makes me feel like we’re all linked strongly, stronger than anything else, worth protecting with my life. Eating pancakes in a cafe overlooking South Beach with my brother was so good. Playing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star on a baby piano with my 87 year old mum was special. Making sandcastles with Megan my granddaughter was great – even though she destroyed my best efforts immediately.

Started Samaritan training – so right, so me.

November 19th – Megan is 2 today – amazing. Felt so right to be with her. We went to the museum in Cardiff on the train. First time on a train she loved everything about it. We sat and drew in the geology section. Just perfect day.

November 26th – 60 today. Birthday meal last weekend was awesome – quite anxious about it but it was just right – family – Rhodri + Helen, Steffan and Kayleigh, Chris and friends who mean a lot to me. I actually enjoyed it all. Had lunch with friends in the week too so a long celebration. The only person missing was my mum.

December 2014
I managed to make the end of the training to be a Samaritan and survived my first duty. It was amazing. The training was interesting and very challenging but I was determined to do it. Something inside me made me drove me on to do it. I suppose its a need to help others I suppose. I’ve always felt that but it’s very strong at the moment. The other Samaritans are all interesting, different people too – very warm and welcoming. It’s a challenge being a new student too – unusual emotions appear. The other learners were so good to be with too. I know this is the right thing to do even though I have to drive 30 miles to do it each time. I worry about snow in the winter but look forward to the summer drives. I’ve not finished my stained glass window yet. It’s been interesting trying something new but I’m waning a bit – just want it finished in the new year then I might start some jewellery using glass or painting glass. Not sure whether a class is the right way to go but will stick it out for next term. Maybe a weekend course suits me better – a bit more punch perhaps.

My grand daughter continues to brighten up my life with her smiles and instructions. Watching her telling her teddies stories, concentrating and pretending to read from her books to them is so lovely. She dressed up in my large faux fur hat in front of the mirror the other day, then put all her teddies in the bed one by one and got in with them. When I”m on my own with her I can just watch and enjoy and have no worries – what a lift to my spirits she is. Can’t wait for the new arrival in January. Went to Pitt-Rivers Museum in Oxford – I love this place – inspirational and unique. It feels like I am going back centuries – not like other museums, much deeper emotions. Christmas was busy and I get stressed even when I try not to.

Let me look at that list again :
1. Clear out all the mountains of STUFF I brought home from my Art room and office after 100 terms at the same school.
Started but not finished
2. Swim or walk somewhere every day.
Swim every other day no walks yet
3. Play for a minimum of one day per week with my granddaughter – no rules.
Done – amazing
4. Find out about volunteering to help somebody.
Applied to train as a Samaritan – completed training and started duties – life changing.
5. Join in with a kindness every day.
Only once a week – still trying
6. Have lots of long lunches with other retirees/escapees.
Done some not enough
7. Sleep in. Get up later than normal alarm setting – later than 7 am.
Sometimes – not everyday – still an early riser
8. Think and do art.
Lots of thinking – started some.
9. Plan visits abroad
Success – Berlin, Crete, Spain – planning more
10. Phone mum every day.
Rarely miss a day
11. Don’t die yet.
Still here
12. Laugh with someone more often.
Still looking