04 October 2015
Hello world. Not sure if anyone will be left to read this as it has been such a long time since I last wrote anything but... if anyone is interested, I'm still around. Settle down with a cuppa kids, this is shaping up to be a looong read!
A whole helluva lot has happened since the last time anything got posted here, and if I can stand aside from the chaos for a moment to report back, the vast majority of that journey has been positive. Some stuff not so, and some pretty rotten (as life tends to be), but I'll get to that. Let's start off with the good stuff.
The move from our former flat and an end to living in the 'not very exciting' flatlands of Cambridgeshire territory went ahead just as May came to an end. Janey Mac, but that was a hard slog! However, my darling lovely hubby and I now benefit from land which has height as well as breadth. I always knew I'd missed hills, but didn't realise quite how much until we came to Nottinghamshire.
This is definitely a big plus. I really love seeing the play of light and shadow across distant hillsides on the walk downhill into town. I love the feeling of 'making an effort' walking uphill back from a shopping trip - especially carrying bags of heavy shopping. I love the fact too that I can do this relatively easily, and that probably tells you something as well.
Despite the multiple (and seemingly never ending) stresses of:
- downsizing (a LOT!)
- shedding much-loved possessions (aaargh - books!)
- making the move to a very much smaller flat in a completely unknown area
- knowing no-one at all
- quitting my job (hmmm, some definite pluses and minuses here)
- getting accustomed to being at home all day (for now, anyway)
- my lovely hubby's retirement and a lack of 'routine'
- finding 'trustworthy' contractors to rip out/replace a very tired and crappy bathroom and kitchen (all within our rather restricted budget)
- the dust, disruption, and glitches & hold-ups of the work taking place
- the joys of searching (unsuccessfully as yet, dammit!) for a new job
and SO much more, I'm still here.
Better yet (and I'm actually quite surprised to be able to say this), there hasn't been any significant change to my weight. Blimey! My clothes still fit me (now they've been unearthed from somewhere within the depths of a gazillion boxes!). I'm still fairly fit for an ageing former-fat lass too, as shifting furniture, those jolly old boxes, and so much more hasn't killed me off yet. Yes, I know I 'could do better' and could do with a bit of (er, lot of) toning but I promise that will come as life settles more.
I can happily report that, having moved to a new area, our health has been thoroughly checked out by a new GP practice. Hey, both of us are doing pretty darned well, even with our kooky way of eating which completely flies in the face of all NHS advice. Yep, we're still low carb, high fat and adequate protein munchers, and loving it.
We're well, that is... with one small proviso. We're waiting for an MRI scan for lovely hubby as there's a niggling concern about the underlying causes for his increasing hearing loss - the upshot is they are hoping to rule out something sinister behind it. This is a regular source of worry to me in the dead of night at the moment, but my tame angel assures me it'll all be fine... honest guv'nor.
But back to the positive stuff - counting those blessings that remain as a daily memorial to and reminder of my darling Mum. Oh yes, I did get that tattooed on my back by the way. I'll see if I can be brave and put a photo up at some stage.
After a bit of a shaky start I'm beginning to love our new home. Although compact and bijou the flat is fine - secure and warm, and a permanent place to settle for the future. Although we are not 100% done yet and still have the bedroom to de-box and organise, somehow, we have carpet on the floor at last (I could not have begun to understand the joy of this statement until we'd lived in a bare and echoey box for months!) and fresh clean paint on the walls. We now have hot water, a shower, a fully workable (and whizzy) kitchen, our beloved pictures on the walls and our remaining books beautifully arranged on the shelves (now this has made a real difference for the better).
We are a little way off a main road into the city so everything we could wish for is pretty close by, and the transport links are really good too. Great now and a definite bonus for the future as we get older. We look more or less southwards out onto an old brick-built mill building (converted to flats) across a grassy slope with trees gently beginning to shed their goldening leaves (in the sunshine at the moment and it is beautiful). We even have bats performing a synchronised fly-past each evening - now there's a joy to watch indeed. We have a colony of argumentative magpies visiting every morning to scavenge and squabble, and even the occasional visit from a jay and a couple of squirrels.
As life always goes though, not everything is entirely rosy. My dear friend is having a pretty bad time after her surgery (which thankfully went well) ever since the path lab reported back with less than positive news from the biopsies. She's now subsumed within a welter of ongoing and traumatic treatment, with none too jolly prospects and a lot of pain, and trying hard to stay positive. It's hard as there's nothing we can do to help in any way.
We also just lost a friend from our old neighbourhood, a little over a week ago. A lovely, smart, sophisticated, funny, incisive, gentle gentleman who was a real high-flyer back in the day. He'll be sadly missed, by us (lovely hubby was especially close to him) but especially by his wife. Again, it's hard knowing there's nothing one can do to be of any real help. Life really does suck sometimes.
I've been finding I miss friends and colleagues from my former life more than I thought would happen, so feel/have felt slightly isolated at times. Logically speaking, I know this will doubtless change when I do find work and develop some sort of social life (and by that I mean regular interaction with a range of people, rather than going out and about on the town) in this new area. Until then though it sometimes feels just a tad lonely - that means the dreaded black dog sniffs around whenever he gets a chance. At times he gets the upper hand, but thankfully not for too long.
Until I'm working again finances are a bit of a concern too, but these negatives notwithstanding I think we made the right decision to move. It's been a long journey, and one which isn't over yet, but on balance life is pretty good. I think we can settle down and feel at home here and one of our big worries about growing older (the old insecurity) has been lifted from us.
A very nice thing on the horizon is a visit from my sister later this week. She hasn't been able to come until we were a bit more organised and I'm really looking forward to a few days catching up, sharing time together and relaxing. Glad we always have the phone to keep in touch but a big sis hug is always best.
Right, enough of me blithering. As I usually say... onwards, ever upwards.