Monday, 15 January 2018

Ruminations


15th November to 15th January - a long break from blogging. Only five followers have decided that this blog isn’t worth following now, so thanks to all of you who have stayed. This whole following stuff is a bit silly, I suppose, but there you go, silly is as silly does. Or is that silly too?

The year wasn’t even 12 hours old before I had the first accident: I broke a glass and caused a long, thin cut in my hand which bled a bit but has healed nicely. At least it wasn’t a mirror; anticipating seven years bad luck on top of the disastrous 2017 might have caused me to swoon and thus made burying the shards underground, by moonlight, hard to do.

I don’t do resolutions, but I did, sort of, this year. I was planning to stop being obsessed with the news, to leave Brexit and Trump to get on with things and concentrate on more pleasant aspects. There aren’t any. Brexit is a catastrophe, getting more so by the week, because our government hasn’t the faintest idea how to go about saving our cake, never mind eating it too. And Trump? I thought if I can stop myself reading about him and he presses the nuclear button, at least I won’t know in advance that I am going to be annihilated. So far I haven’t had much luck, the stupidity and hatefulness of those lording it over us remains fascinating.

What a world we live in. Interesting times indeed.

How was your Christmas and New Year? Good? Glad to hear it. Contrary to expectations mine wasn’t too bad either. Friends rallied round and gave me meals, drinks and a cosy place by their fire. There were a few modest parties, some good conversations, good food, plenty of books, schlock TV
and candlelight. Christmas day was a delight. Dinner, decent wine, poetry and Paddington Bear, the same kind of Christmas Beloved and I used to have.

There was something else which was good. My son came some ten days before Christmas, just for an over-nighter with a sufficiency of hours on each of the two days either side for us to have a comfortable and unrushed visit. He comes to ‘do jobs’. This time I didn’t have much in the way of ‘jobs’, he fixed a sticking music cabinet drawer and maybe something else minor which I have forgotten. There was, however, a pile of Christmas cards ready for distribution and we walked around Valley’s End, my son holding Millie’s lead and me popping up lanes and into courtyards to push them into letterboxes, introducing him to villagers out on similar errands every few yards. The great thing about the visit was that we reconnected; I had ordered a Nordmann fir, the first Christmas tree for several years, which was still sitting outside, undressed and unloved. Together we brought it in and dressed it with all the old family baubles, some of them dating back to my childhood, with coloured lights and all the usual kind of kitsch decorations. We had a wonderful time, listening to ancient carols and plainchant, eating Stollen and spiced biscuits and having a turkey dinner by candlelight and incense sticks perfuming the air. We talked comfortably. I haven’t felt as close to him for many years.

Both of us felt good, both of us hoped that this might become our own, private, tradition. We might even use the same tree. I am going to ask gardener to pot it on into a bigger container in the spring and then it can come back in next year, a foot or so taller.

My darling Millie is getting old, thirteen next month, according to her inoculation record card. I had thought she was ‘only’ twelve. She is doddery on her hind legs and she had a cancer operation just before Christmas. The wound has healed well and the current cancer has been removed completely. Unfortunately it is one of those that recur. Dogs are wonderful, she never turned a hair. Surely it must’ve hurt? Just a bit? She went in in the morning and the vet said to come back for her before nightfall. At three they rang: could I come and collect her, she had woken from the anaesthetic and wanted to get out of her cage. “She would be better off recovering at home and not to worry if she didn’t want to eat.” The first thing she did when she came into the house was to stagger to her empty dish and beseech me with big brown eyes: “where’s my dinner, I haven’t had a single crumb since yesterday evening!” She is still happy and keen on her food, so maybe she has a while yet. It will be hard when I lose her too.

More ruminations to follow, so don’t bother commenting just yet. That is if there’s still somebody reading.






35 comments:

  1. Lovely to see you back Friko - I'm sure it was comforting for you to spend adult time with your son, here's hoping your thoughts on a recurring tradition come true. Peace will come to you in 2018
    Take care
    Cathy

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  2. Always look forward to my visit with you. It sounds as though the holidays went well - just keep away from broken glass, will you? I'm glad Millie is still enjoying her meals and her home with you. Animals never complain!

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  3. takes more than a few months for me to give up on someone. glad to hear you holiday was decent and that your son came and y'all are getting close. my holiday was quiet since I don't celebrate it which is how I like it. quiet days when all the world is occupied elsewhere.

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  4. Glad to hear you had a nice holiday and a good time with your son. May you have many more sweet times together.

    May 2018 be a good year for you dear Friko ~ FlowerLady

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  5. Glad your Christmas was good and filled with time with your son.

    Being hungry is a good sign for Millie! :)

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  6. I am still here, and here I will remain.

    It is so good to read your news and know that you have been surrounded by the love of your son and friends and neighbors during the holidays. May 2018 bring you more of the same.

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  7. So pleased that you and your son gave yourselves the time to reconnect and, with luck, to start a new Christmas tradition.

    Glad too that you felt able to accept the invitations...they will have enjoyed your company as much as you did theirs.

    Good old Millie! Straight to the trough!

    And while you may command much of those who read and enjoy your blog, issuing a cease and desist order on commenting is beyond even your powers....

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  8. I'm always glad to read your news. Sorry about your hand, and Millie, though you both came through well. I hope you do start a new tradition with your son. Since I live in the land of 45, there is no escape...I'm very happy not to own a television. I hope the love and support of friends and neighbors will see you through 2018.

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  9. I am glad I found your blog. Interesting to hear your thoughts and I love how you tell your family stories - just sharing with friends! You make me feel very welcome here! Thank you!

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  10. Of course we are reading. And glad to do so. I am so happy that a new tradtion with your son may be at least in the germination stage. And that Christmas was surprsingly pleasant.
    And adore Paddington.
    Millie wanting food is an excellent sign. I am really looking forward to the next installment.

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  11. Good to see you back; I think 2017 was a rugged year for both of us. Here's to a happier 2018 and how good you and your son connected so well.

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  12. I always enjoy seeing a post from you pop up in my reader. Your Christmas ruminations warmed my heart. I'm glad you had that good visit with your son. May 2018 carry on in the same vein.

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  13. Only yesterday I was thinking "I wonder how Friko is, I should send her an email and ask", and there you are!
    Your son's visit sounds wonderful, I hope you can indeed turn it into your own Christmas tradition.
    Ageing pets, yes... I've not looked into having another cat since the last one died in 2013, old and frail and needing daily medication. Right now, it would be unfair to any animal to live with me, as I'm away most weekends and out for work all day every day. But I do miss living with a cat, and would really like a dog some day.

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  14. I am somebody and I am still reading! I wish you every comfort, Friko, and am so glad to see this post in my reader.

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  15. I too ignore your no commenting. Generally it was a positive account of your recent time, which is nice. Millie is only a small dog, I have assumed. Could be a good few years in her yet. And you. I think the love a son has for his mother is a bit different to most family relationships. Sons can be very and openly critical of the stupid old bat, the old girl, the old chook, but do so dearly love their mummy.

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  16. I'm glad you enjoyed Christmas Friko and so pleased you were able to reconnect with your son, the spirit of goodwill shone here, I think. (I ate Stollen too - love it!)
    Glad too that Millie recovered well from her op.
    Anna :o]

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  17. What a lovely Christmas you had. I think the tradition with your son should continue. And those wonderful creatures, dogs, just don't live long enough, but they are worth giving our hearts to anyway. Glad to "see" you back, Friko.

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  18. I know what you mean. I haven't paid constant attention to the government since Watergate. I try to stay away but crazy stuff happens with Trump almost every single day and he is so scary--a loose cannon. I need to try to just stop and ignore it all, too.

    Reading about you and your son's Christmas just warmed my heart! So happy for you both. Friends encircling you around the holidays. Glad Millie made it so easily through the surgery. Blessings. True blessings all. May this be a better year for us all. :)

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  19. Always happy to see a new post of yours pop up.
    What a soothing post this was, too - Images of a quiet Christmas with your son, a healing dog back at home.
    Happy New Year, Friko.

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  20. Yes, indeed, there is still somebody reading - ME! What an uplifting post to read. It felt very much like a Christmas greeting. I love that you hand deliver your cards.
    I want to thank you, Friko, for posting your good times and your not-so-good, knowing the grief and sadness that has been with you. My sister passed away after a horrible battle with pancreatic cancer. She died the day after Christmas. Your posts, this post, gives me a measure of strength for the days ahead of me.

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  21. Of course we're still reading! I'm so happy to hear about your Christmas, and particularly to hear that Millie is doing well. I can't believe that my Dixie Rose is older than Millie, by five years. She has a bit of arthritis, and I think a tiny bit of confusion from time to time, but she's still able to jump up onto her sofa and chair, can use her box properly, and still eats and drinks with out difficulty. The best thing I did for her was to purchase an electric heating pad that's designed for animal -- very low wattage, so it's safe, but enough to warm beautifully when she lays on it. It took her about a day to figure it out, and now she's more comfortable in our cold weather than I am. Perhaps I should buy another, and put it on my computer chair!

    I just learned a new flower this year: Nigella, or "love-in-a-mist." Do you have it in your garden?

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  22. Well, I'm still reading and I'm going to comment now because you never know if you might miss a rumination or two. But I have to say that if you could see me at this very moment, you would notice wet tears in my eyes, so touched by your son's visit and your celebration of the holiday together and reconnection. What a beautiful gift that was for you BOTH. And tears for sweet Millie. Thirteen -- for a big dog. It must have worried you terribly for that will one day be a heartbreaking loss. I hope she has many more moons of Millie joy in her. I know she's getting the best care and love.

    Now, keep away from broken glass, my friend! And try to turn off the news. Just wait for the air raid sirens, duck and cover and hope it was another false alarm.

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  23. Yes, most of us are still here... even those of us who lurk and read, but don't always comment. So very happy that you had a good Christmas and you and your son had some together time. Those times warm the heart. As for Millie, she may still have some wonderful years left to enjoy with you. I'm hoping (and praying) that 2018 will be good.
    And agree with the "interesting times" comment... and try my best not to think about it.

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  24. So good to hear you had a decent Christmas, I hope poor old Millie hangs on a bit longer for you! Happy new year let the rummunations continue:)

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  25. Of course we are still reading and happy to see a post from you! Sounds like you had a nice holiday season. We're in the deep freeze right now and ready to move on into Spring.

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  26. So lovely to hear from you again, friend Friko !!! ... Wishing you and Millie a very happy New Year from cat Theo and cat here in deep freeze country ... smiles ... I visited with my son Paul and daughter in law Leanne and their cat Benny in Florida for XMas, and then went on to do some island hopping in the Southern Caribbean Sea ... liked St Kitts and St Lucia the most ... 3 more years of work and maybe then can settle down there somewhere ... smiles ... by the way Paul and Leanne and Benny are travelling North America in their van for a year ... please visit their Instagram address ... @paulleanneandavan if you like , and also my own travel blog if you like ... http://ckpeacemaker.wordpress.com/ ... Much love for you and Millie ... Always, cat.

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  27. Ah you're back and in good fettle.
    I wouldn't abandon you. Your writing bewitches me. Always.

    On to a brighter tomorrow.

    XO
    WWW

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  28. Hi Friko - me I'm reading ... just had one of those candle things to deal with ...and lots of letter writing or emailing still to be done ... so glad you're around, and this was lovely to read - very comforting ... cheers for now - Hilary

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  29. So good to see your electrons again, Friko. I hope your happy time with your son is the first of many. Christmas traditions have changed in my family as the family has expanded, there's always room for a new one.

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  30. My first appreciation is always for your writing, although it's inseparable from what you write about. But the bit about card delivering and tree-decorating and dinner and candlelight and talking quietly filled up my heart. This is something so elemental, essential and necessary. I'm very glad for you both.

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  31. I've always enjoyed your posts and feel for what you have been through as a widow myself. As for Trump, I'm in the US in a "red" area of an otherwise lovely state. It can be difficult with all the crazy ridiculous stuff he says and does and seeing people around me (mostly seniors) support him. Something I will never understand. Take care and keep blogging.

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  32. I read! :-) Gerne und mit Interesse!

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  33. So glad to see you back blogging and commenting on what is your "new normal." Thank you and Every Blessing from Freda

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  34. so good to read your words
    I smile
    no death of a loved one
    but have made a change for the cold winter.
    Keep writing.....

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  35. I know nothing of following blogs, but took a long hiatus myself. I'm so glad you had a good Christmas with your son. It sounds like it was healing.

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Comments are good, I like to know what you think of my posts. I know you'll keep it civil.