Sunshine at last.

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It has finally arrived, Spring has landed with a truly incredible burst of sunshine and warmth typically just as the schools go back for the Summer term. After weeks and weeks of grey, wet and thoroughly depressing weather it is a real pleasure to wake up to clear blue skies. The land has also sprung into action with blossom bursting out all over and the fields are full of tractors and massive pieces of farming equipment sowing and planting at speed.

We are halfway through our break from the AP and the LSO and myself are enjoying our freedom despite the pressure put on us by the new boiler work.  Although the diet is not exactly on hold it is a bit intermittent. As well as eating out we have found it difficult to deal with the lack of movement on the planned improvement. It has finally got underway beginning over a week late and stuttered along for the first few days as the builder fitted in other jobs that had also been held up by the bad weather as well as his dental appointments. It is just not true that doing this keeps the clients happy and we were beginning to get increasingly upset by the delays and the lack of action. I eat when stressed. I know it’s all a bit pathetic really but sadly true but I will get my act together again.

Hopefully the small building will be completed by the weekend and the new boiler and tanks should be in place and up and running by the end of next week. Well, that is in an ideal world which unfortunately is not inhabited by builders it would seem.

Never mind, at least for another two weeks we can still enjoy having our personal space back, eating what we enjoy and doing things spontaneously.

The sunshine? That’s just a bonus.

 

Friends are like stars….

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…..you don’t always see them but you know they are always there. This rather lovely statement was given to me earlier this week as a gift to hang in my studio and the best thing of all about it is that the friend who gave it to me really means it.

Our eighty year old farmer friend was also waxing lyrically the other day and saying how important friends are and when you find someone to love hang on to them because they are extremely precious. All wise words and all true. The world would be a much emptier and lonely place without friends. Friends care for you and accept you for what you are; they are not critical or manipulative but are there when you need them. I had always considered the AP a friend before she came to live with us but that feeling has sadly long gone, driven away by her selfish determination to dominate us. She constantly tries to be in charge when in fact she is here as a guest and should have more respect for us and the fact we have put our lives on hold to look after her.

The house is a pleasure to be in at the moment and the LSO and I are enjoying being able to do what we want and eat what we like and it’s a great feeling but our planned boiler replacement is still delayed because of our awful weather and that is worrying. We only have a small window of opportunity to work in and that is gradually becoming eroded. A friend is coming to stay in ten days time and I can see us boiling water for washing and if the weather doesn’t improve, huddling around the wood burner to keep warm. I think I heard the LSO muttering that we need to put the summer weight duvet on but that might not be such a good idea at the moment.

My cheery statement that Spring is in the air in a previous blog seems to have been in part a bit hopeful. Still, despite the weather I am thoroughly enjoying our short spell of freedom.

 

Take a deep, slow breath.

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Breathe in, breathe out, slowly and steadily clear the mind of troublesome feelings. An activity I need to follow with some conviction because I can feel the fog is closing in again.

Having experienced a wonderful sense of freedom last week when we handed the AP over to my cousin and his wife, I now am suffering from a real knot of anxiousness. I woke up last night and cried for no apparent reason and I can only surmise that having jumped, be it briefly off the treadmill, everything that has happened over the last year is catching up with me.

We had planned to use the early part of our month of release having a new boiler installed but that, due to the bad weather has been put back and our window of opportunity is getting very narrow. It has also meant we have had to alter and change other plans which has helped to create an intense feeling of irritation and a kind of helplessness because it is out of our control. The month is slipping away and we are not achieving what we had hoped to. This is all adding to my sense of angst which is all encompassing and just to add to it all the weather is dull, grey and damp again. Even the two terriers seem affected by the weather; it really can’t be much fun for them trundling around in the cold through the mud and puddles.

One small light on the horizon is that despite the Easter revelries I have not lost any weight but equally I have not gained any so I am back on track again. My next day of fasting is Friday but I have planned some sensible and low calorie, low carb meals between now and then.

In the meanwhile I will practice slowly breathing in, breathing out, relaxing the shoulders and letting my mind drift on a sea of calm. That is until a dog barks!

 

 

Live for the moment.

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I totally agree with that sentiment but do also realise that it is sometimes an impossibility because life just isn’t that straightforward. Oh that it was!

The AP is now safely delivered to my cousin and his wife in Scotland and the LSO and I are enjoying a break from the crippling routine that looking after the AP has forced upon us. We have a really busy month in front of us but can plan and do things without any restrictions and it is a most liberating feeling.

Waking up in the morning is a real pleasure and there is a lightness in the air. Sadly, it is a fact that the AP’s presence is like a constant dark shadow permeating the whole house. It really should never have been this way but our constant battle to stop her trying to rule our lives, to dominate and manipulate us is responsible for it all. Even when out with others every bit of conversation is always turned round to be about herself and I guess that like a small child or a teenager the AP has become the centre of her own universe and just wants everything and everybody to satellite around her. Unfortunately she wants to include us in her claustrophobic environment and seems unable to comprehend that we have some life to live yet. She has had a good long life and is extremely lucky to be so well looked after but why is she unable to accept all this with some grace? I doubt I will ever have the answer or a solution to the problem other than when inevitably, the AP finally departs.

But with four weeks of unbridled freedom in front of us we are determined to make the most of the time. I had almost forgotten how much I loved living here but fortunately my enjoyment has not been destroyed, just buried. I can plan my meals with pleasure and hopefully keep losing weight too without the feeling that my every move is being scrutinised.

Spring is definitely in the air in every sense of the word.

 

Freedom.

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Such a sweet sounding word for me and for the LSO. Tomorrow we begin our month of liberty, release and the right to do what we want, when we want to do it. It seems to have been a long time arriving and latterly the time has not passed quickly but I know the coming month will.

The AP has not been quite so vociferous about her month in Scotland as she has been in previous years but that is because we have taken no notice of the rather unpleasant little asides that get muttered at intervals. Things like ‘you’ll be glad to have me out of your hair’ or ‘it’s difficult to pack for a whole month’ as if my cousin and his wife don’t have a washing machine and it’s not as if this is the first time she has been there either. We have been treated like servants with a continual string of demands made without much in the way of please and thank you and although I would like to think that it is just a foible of old age I know in my heart that it is very much how she now thinks of us.

Sad but I suppose inevitable. The AP always hated sarcasm and has always said in the past that it is the lowest form of wit but now she resorts to it as a way to get at us, thinking it clever but it only comes over as hurtful. Last week it was the turn of the LSO who had gone to the pharmacy to collect some hearing aid batteries for the AP. He managed to get a month’s supply and when told, the AP did say thank you but followed it up with ‘Oh, and you managed it all on your own then?’ said in a silly little voice. The one that is used when seeing chips on the plate, ‘oh goodie, chippies’. Fortunately the LSO didn’t retaliate.

It’s all so trivial really but when you live with this constant battering it’s hard to see things clearly and I am only too aware that the LSO and I desperately need this break if only to recharge the batteries ready for the month following our much needed breathing space.

The beginning of May will be the celebration of the AP’s 100 years. The LSO and I will become chief cooks, bottle washers, bed makers, chauffeurs and general dogsbodies whilst watching the AP gushing over everyone and playing the grand old dame for the benefit of the audience. We know that the minute everything has settled back to normal the AP we know and tolerate will return, pompous, vain, snobbish and capable of being extremely unpleasant.

Oh well, we will just have to smile sweetly and open another bottle!

Twenty-four hours to go to liberation.