I've been making notes over the last month to make sure I remember all that's happened, so that I can include it in this blog… trouble is I've forgotten where I put the piece of paper! That said, reading all your lovely responses, and adding my own twopennyworth, has given me a pretty good idea of where I left off last time, so Kathy's dinner party it is…
As Kathy and I have nine days between our birthdays, she kindly decided to arrange a joint celebration, and so our '102nd birthday evening' was put in the diary. Of course with shifts the way they work at QVC Towers, it was a miracle we managed to find Simon and Debbie free as well, but Kathy organised it all. Having decided on the main course, I offered to bring the starter and Simon made the dessert… Debbie? Chocolates of course!!! :)
I also made Kathy a cake as a surprise, although having scouted around I could only find 5 of the 102 candles required… which probably wasn't such a bad thing because we'd have needed a fire extinguisher rather than a few ladylike puffs to put them out! It was a cracking night, and so good to have reason to laugh out loud, and just enjoy being together, which we all did
The following weekend was Mother's day, and Lucy had told me several weeks in advance not to plan anything – she'd even written it in red ink on the calendar to reinforce it! The most taxing thing I had to do on the day was decide which wig to wear!!
Seriously, it's a very odd thing losing your hair (and mine had completely gone by then) not just getting used to this Yoda type creature that stares back at you from the mirror, but the fact that with the smallest number of wispy hairs still hanging on resolutely to your scalp, you keep finding hair everywhere!!
On the pillow, in the bedside drawer, on the kitchen and bathroom floor, attached to the back of my dressing gown: you name it, there it was! I gathered up as much as I could and put it in the garden, as a friend of mine had told me the birds like it to line their nests with, and I rather liked the thought Unfortunately I forgot to tell Jack this, and so it was churned into the lawnmower along with my grass cuttings… best laid plans eh?
I was picked up Lucy and Rich, and taken to meet Sam, Jack and Ruth at a local animal farm. It was the same one I used to take my three to when we first moved to the area, and now 15 years on, we were going to feed the rabbits and the lambs! I loved it
I was spoiled rotten with presents too: Lucy gave me an embroidered sampler that read 'Just because you are the most wonderful mum' and also a waistcoat. Sam got me flowers, chocolates and the DVD set of Planet Earth, because I'd stayed with him and watched it when I wasn't too well.
And Jack had chosen a beautiful silver bangle with clear crystals set across the front of it. I was then treated to a three course meal in our favourite pub (where I had my 50th birthday) and they all came back to mine so we could watch a film. Perfect
I am still managing my mile and half walk almost every day. Some days it's harder than others, but it's a joy in the sunshine. I see horses, baby rabbits, ducks, and am watching the lane change from spring to summer with all the blossom.
The sheep that were across the road from me in the winter were taken to another field to have their lambs, and then returned a few weeks ago. How sweet are they?! Bloomin' noisy though. Debbie Greenwood caused a fracas when she came to visit me, and shouted "Mint Sauce" at them! I was mortified…
The pair of us were also a little shocked to see lambs attempting to jump on each other in a way we felt at their age, they shouldn't have had the urge or the need! However, our fears were allayed when I saw the farmer throwing handfuls of their feed into the air, most of which landed on the lambs' backs… untoward behaviour explained!
I am now the proud owner of three wigs – one real hair, thanks to QVC, and although initially it feels a little odd to wear them, it's a jolly sight warmer than not! Pipa, bless her, bought me a huge bag of scarves as an alternative, and they are beautiful. Certainly a great deal more feminine than the hat Sam loaned me when I called him, far from well, complaining of the cold. He stayed with me that evening, but told me it was like sitting next to Elmer Fudd… I retorted that a deerstalker wasn't quite what I had in mind…
I'll leave you this time with the words inscribed on two silver bangles that Lucy bought me for my birthday this year. I wear them every day, and sometimes when I can't sleep I put them on at night. For all those of you who read this, and continue to keep me company on this blog, with your letters and cards, and your constant communication, thank you… this is for you: 'Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul, and sings the tune – without the words, and never stops at all'.
With my love, Ali xx