March and Mothers

This year I decided to visit my mum on Mother’s Day. At 89 it’s important she’s not alone on that day. We went to her church and watched the local primary children sing, read poems and give every woman a bunch of daffodils. It was surprisingly lovely. I always visit my dad’s grave when I visit the church in Bilsborrow, Lancashire and, though I don’t believe in an after life, find myself talking to him in my head.  She’s a little frailer this year but still lives independently and is a visitor for Help the Aged – she visits a lady called Monica who is over 90 for them. We had a gorgeous walk on the prom at Lytham St Annes, remembering when I brought my children there and we marvelled at the old white windmill. When we got to St Annes we walked a little way on the beach and had our coffee from Gran’s blue flask. The weather was kind to us, with bright blue skies although it was cold. The rest of the week I tried to sort out her phone – a trial with Talk Talk – a boring but predictable and infuriating saga. we worked on a corner of her garden which she is finding more difficult now.

This month has been frantic planning and organising a trip with Year 10 pupils to visit Helsinki – a mini International Youth Meeting with our group and a small group of students from Pielavesi in Finland at Easter. More hours than you can imagine has been put into the planning of this trip as it is a new city for me to visit. Normally I just change planes there and see the airport shops flash by as I dash for my next plane to Kuopio. I have been meeting the students every Tuesday and Saturdays bag packing and for a sponsored walk along the canal.

I managed to get to see the David Hockney exhibition in Tate Britain as well as see my University friend Lindsay. I spent a day drawing in the V&A which was a delight for me. It’s such a special experience – I treasure it. My drawings are better than last year.

I finished my “White landscape” painting at last and put it in the Women’s Art Exhibition in the Theatre Frycheiniog. Where they hung it was beautiful. I was proud of this painting even though it is so simple, so I was worried about the reaction from people, but I needn’t have worried. I think most people liked it. I’ve painted three small white paintings on tissue paper which I will frame or hang on a narrow pole later this year. It has given me a real boost of creativity.


September Escapades

Had hoped to be in Crete, but no chance. Surrounded by damaged human bodies!
Spent first day of September in hospital at a fracture clinic with mum – better than we’d thought, but 6-9 weeks for healing everything. C still has bad back so no flying. No Crete. Wonder if I could escape for a week away on my own – I’ll start planning!

Today there is an eery mist surrounding everything. Woke early but mist did not clear for hours. This is how I feel at the moment. Still grieving.

Planning some talks to sixth form students to go on an International Youthweek in Aurich, northern Germany. This will be different as I normally take students I know and these are from two different schools. Wondering about the difference – a new experience since retiring. Exciting or scary?

My niece had a baby girl last week – Matilda. Hope to see her in November.

My grandchildren freaked me out early in September – felt so useless, I couldn’t get anything right when I looked after them. This was a first and it really upset me. Surely I can do this. This week it was much better but exhausting. I don’t want any pointless battles. Must plan some surprises for next week.

Been picking blackberries in Cardiff, in Brecon and near Llandovery in the sun. I’m addicted. I love it – time stands still, you hear the birds singing, you watch life passes, then you can make jam or jelly – it’s just sensational. Everyone should be doing it – why aren’t they????

Drawing more trees this month – but not many……