Showing posts from December, 2013

Edging my way to feeling

For weeks the weather has been playing an alternating game: a day of calm, blue sky, still trees and winter sunshine, followed by a day of wild wind and rain, making the yew tree stream and lash its branches while the kitchen window streams water. Weather makes a difference up here.  Filling the bird feeders, going for logs, shutting up the chickens: there is no escape from wind and rain when the storms come.  When it is still and sunny you stand and look at the view, notice the birds whipping in and out of the hedges, watch the buzzards soaring or stalking. But I am shut in a bubble of grey, wrapped in slightly grubby cotton wool.  I can see the blue stillness or the driving rain but somehow I can't tell the difference.  I take my camera out on a perfect day, hoping that the effort of making myself see will help me break out of my cocoon but I can't be bothered to look at the pictures when I come back inside. I need to look after the living, I can see that, so Ian and I dr

A hymn to my mother

My mother, Joan, died unexpectedly on the morning of the 14th November 2013.  My parents had decided to move to a flat in supported accommodation where they could have help with the care my father now needs.  Having decided that this was the best course of action, my mother tackled the move with her customary determination, organisation and flair.  It would have been such a good place for both of them.  They had been there ten days, all the boxes unpacked, pictures still stacked against the walls waiting to be put up, when my mum came into the room where the carer was getting ready to give my dad breakfast.  "Can you get some help?" she said.  "I think I am having a heart attack." She died in the air ambulance on her way to hospital. The last three weeks have been full of arrangements for her funeral and arrangements to put in place the care my dad will need if he is to stay where he is, which is very much what he wants to do.  He is facing his own loss with imp