December 2018 A year of Firsts

The main focus of my life is still mum at 91 and her new house. Overwhelming at times, irritating occasionally, delightfully distracting at other times, sometimes fulfilling, often emotional.   This Christmas will be her first Christmas in her new home and the first time she has moved into a new home without dad. Her everlasting list is always waiting for me!

More firsts : My two new grandsons Monty and Isaac are approaching their first Christmas and Steffan and Kayleigh are parents for their first Christmas- mum and dad. It’s the first Christmas together for all four grandchildren. It’s the first Christmas for my two sons to both be dads. There’s probably more firsts but I can’t think of them at the moment.

Christmas day was lovely cooking in mum’s new kitchen and having time to spend with Monty. Boxing Day was good in Cardiff too with Rhodri and the three other grandchildren and see how R&S, H&K get on so well. 11 of us now. I will buy less presents next year. I will not be disappointed again. I must learn from my mistakes even at 64!

I had a wonderful walk on the beach on the 28th on Swansea Bay after a great lunch in Diablos on the marina with S,K&Monty. Really good conversation and relaxation. And collecting shells. Thinking of my gran. She loved doing that yet I never knew what she did with them.

My brother and partner arrived for New Year so he’s helping with jobs at mum’s house which takes the pressure off me for a few days. Introduced him to my favourite pub The Tap in Brecon and some amazing walks. I’ve had no contact from my older brother or his daughter. Sad.


December – the end of my fourth year of retirement

Took my grandchildren and husband to see my two paintings in the Cardiff gallery – MADE in Roath. Another special moment for me.

Continued to hunt for a bungalow for my mum to buy so she can move closer to me. It’s such a big step for her at 90. Also it’s difficult for me too. So many worries about this.

Christmas arrived at speed. Christmas Day at my son’s house was new this year – manic with 2 very excited grandchildren. Boxing Day with my other son and his two great dogs was just as good. I think I actually enjoyed Christmas!!!!!!!!

Now I need to think about the last four years. What did I plan to do when I retired?

1. Clear out all the mountains of STUFF I brought home from my Art room and office after 100 terms at the same school.

2. Swim or walk somewhere every day.

3. Play for a minimum of one day per week with my granddaughter – no rules.

4. Find out about volunteering to help somebody.

5. Join in with a kindness every day.

6. Have lots of long lunches with other retirees/escapees.

7. Sleep in. Get up later than normal alarm setting – later than 7 am.

8. Think and do art.

9. Plan visits abroad

10. Phone mum every day.

11. Don’t die yet.

12. Laugh with someone more often.


Well what a list…….

I have made a start on number 1. Plenty to do.

Completed and continuing number 2-5.

Number 6 – occasionally – need to do that more.

Number 7 – Alarm set to 7.10a.m. by hubby but I don’t get up then, listen to the radio, read, get up slowly.

Number 8-11 completed and continuing.

Number 12 – still to do.

I don’t think I’ll add anymore goals that’s certainly sufficient for the moment!