Yesterday, New Year's Eve, TLH and I decided to visit his mum to give her her christmas pressie and take her out to lunch. However seeing as how she still lives in his native homeland, visiting her involves a total of at least six hours driving (3 hours both ways). It's a long old haul and even in a car as comfy as ours, you still end up with aching anatomy. Still, despite the driving rain and spray on the motorway there wasn't actually too much traffic so the journey was relatively quick.
TLH's mum, by her own choice, decided to move into a nursing home a couple of years ago now - she was (then) recently widowed and not so nimble on her feet, and the house was too big for her to maintain - and I have to say it really seems to have agreed with her. Yes, there was obvious trepidation on everyone's part, not least due to the media horror stories of terrible nursing homes, and sadness and anxiety on her part on leaving the house where she had lived for the last 50 years but the home that she chose, after visiting several, is absolutely lovely. It has a terrific atmosphere, all the staff are friendly and kind, it's very clean, modern and cosy. There are endless activities put on for the residents several times a week. They have a vegetable garden, and there's chickens and ducks scratching around, and his mum's social life has expanded exponentially. You see, the town where she lives is quite small and she's lived there (or nearby) all her life. She was also one of the town's school-teachers and, consequently, knows absolutely everyone, and all their family, and their neighbours and all their families too. And they all liked her as well, so what we're finding is that not only is she now getting visits in the home from her own family and neighbours, but also getting visits from other residents' family members because she'd taught them in the past! And she loves it! She used to get visitors when she lived in the family house but not nearly so many as she gets now in the nursing home. I'm so pleased it's all worked out for her, and that she found such a lovely place to be.
Anyway, that was a bit of a side track but the upshot was that we ended up not doing anything for New Year's Eve because we were, frankly, a bit knackered by the time we got home. We managed to stay up until midnight and toasted in 2013 with a cup of tea (we know how to party) and then I went to bed. Phew! Rock 'n' roll!
This morning was a very lazy affair and I made an American breakfast for us - pancakes, sausages, crispy bacon and proper maple syrup - because, well, we like them a lot, hadn't had one for ages and we've been doing marathon TV watching sessions of all 5.5 series of Breaking Bad and watching Jesse and Walt eating at Dennys diners had reminded us of actually just how much we do like them.
And now, of course, I have a whole bottle of maple syrup that we'll need to get through. I suppose I'll just have to get more pancake mix....
A short while after, TLH's sister first-footed it through our door but didn't bring us a lump of coal (isn't that what they're supposed to do?) but we gave her a cup of coffee anyway.
After she left I decided that, as the weather was so beautiful today, I'd go for my first run of the year. Just a short one, to see how lumpen I felt having not run at all since 17 December. Answer: Extremely. Did 2.5 miles but wasn't exactly quick and did walk most of it back but at least I got out there and have made a start on my 250 miles in 2013 challenge. Only 247 to go!!
So, as I type, TLH has taken himself upstairs for a nap and I'm about to take the opportunity to try and catch up with a bit of the telly that I've taped over the last week, while I gird my loins to cast on the Celestarium shawl I told you about in my last post but as that involves learning a LOT of new things (like how to use double pointed needles, and then using circular needles, and reading a chart, and adding beads as I'm going along), it's a bit daunting but faint heart ne'er won fair maid so I'll take a deep breath and have a go.
26th OCTOBER BAKERY LONDON, W12
4 hours ago