My job is mobile and I split my time working alternate weeks in Norfolk and Nottinghamshire. I drive down country roads, enjoying rural England through the seasons.

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

The festive spirit...

... In which I am sadly lacking this year.

I don't know, maybe I peaked too soon - a couple of weeks ago I really was starting to feel quite christmassy. My shopping was almost done which is what usually heralds the end of my annual bah humbug phase. The decs and advent calendar went up, the cake made, chicken in the freezer and mincemeat bought and ready to be made into pies.

But this week, here we are just 8 or 9 days away and I'm right back to "can't be bothered" mode.

I have managed to wrap about half my presents, now safely nestled beneath the tree, the rest are lined up and ready to go, and I have (at last) ideas for those final 2 nightmare presents which have been haunting me these past few weeks.

But I just can't be bothered.

Please can we cancel it this year?

Merry Christmas one and all!

Monday, 12 December 2011

Lancaster blues

I often come back from Lancaster in an odd mood - it's hard to fully describe it, but it's partly to do with feeling a bit prickly, itchy, as if my skin and my life doesn't quite fit me properly.

And it's been the same this time. I had a great time, spent quality time with shell and her family, saw Ange looking better than I expected and shared a good day with her.

But since I came back, I've been like a bear with a sore head, and am ashamed to say I've been taking it out on my poor old parents.

Too tired tonight to write about the thoughts in my head right now - just wanting to remind myself to try harder tomorrow - to be a nicer person, to be kind.

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Annual Update

Just given this blog a bit of a tidy up and spring clean, so having done that, thought it might be a good time to actually add a new post and say hello to myself and my blog after yet another long gap.

I'm up on one of my increasingly rare visits to Lancaster, spending the weekend with Shelly and hoping to see something of Ange while I'm here.  In fact I came up yesterday with my parents and spent the night in a hotel on the outskirts of Chorley.  We were up for my Uncle John's funeral, which took place this morning, partly in the nice but freezing cold St Lawrence Church in Chorley, and partly at the wanting to be nice, but rather bleak and barren looking crematorium in Charnock  Richard.  It was a good funeral though - if that is the right way to put it.  My cousin Michelle made a moving memorial speech, the service was not too long, and not too happy-clappy, they even sang the nice version of psalm 23.

Funerals are odd things though aren't they?  You have the ceremony, the sadness, the formality and orderliness of the service(s), the funeral cars and processions.  And then comes the wake, which gets increasingly cheerful as the food and drink is consumed, and people settle down to a good gossip and catch up with rarely seen family members.  My mum's cousin Ann even brought along a printout of her family tree, which she has been researching, in the hope that she could fill a few of the gaps.

We're not a big family, though, and have never been one of those close clans - although I think my Uncle would have liked it if we had been.  When I lived up North, I used to see him and my cousins, especially my cousin Michelle reasonably regularly, but since I moved south, the only times we meet up are at weddings and funerals.  It's a shame really, but that's how it is.  At least there are a few members on my mum's side - on my dad's side there are none at all.  Or there are, but we have no contact with any of them and I wouldn't even know how to start to trace any of them. My dad and his brother were estranged for a long time, then achieved a sort of partial reconciliation, enough to resume annual Christmas cards etc. for a few years in the late 70's, but then  when  my uncle died and dad couldn't get back to the UK to attend the funeral, they cut us off entirely, even though mum and my sisters attended it.  After a few years of sending cards and letters, my parents gave up.  I can't tell if dad minds this or not.  I know he idolised his mother, but he's not a very open or caring man towards anyone outside the immediate family.  I think that it probably suits him fine not to have to think about any other family members.  But it did make me very aware that when his time comes it will be a very small funeral, and probably not much of a wake.

Anyway, that's enough cheerfulness for one day!  Time to publish - if I can work out this new look blogger interface.