Posts

Doomed!

Image
  Last week the media expressed an inexplicable degree of excitement in the findings of a study from Singapore that concluded housework increases cognitive function as well as physical health in the elderly. Darn, the justification for recruiting a home-help in retirement diminishes by the day. To  be fair, as we already know, exercise is good for you and housework, it seems, is just a little more of that, making up for any shortfalls in recreational activity. In fact on those rare occasions when I actually clean windows the Fitbit on my wrist automatically recognises it as swimming. The study, however, notes the meaningful nature of housework as a key component of daily living. As Mister E and I gambol through our dust strewn and untidy home in pursuit of more stimulating projects, could meaning be missing from our lives? Have the washing machine and vaccum cleaner released me to exercise in gym classes only to deprive me of purposeful and fulfilling action? I suspect not. There hav

Down the Aisle

Image
  (Image by ccipeggy at Pixabay ) No wedding march as I ventured down the aisle this morning. Instead I was following directions: straight ahead past the cornflakes and weetabix. Trouble was that aisle was busy, so in my case it was a left turn after the canned tuna and baked beans. The lengths some of us will go because, regardless of Storm Arwen, I was determined to get there. It wasn't an easy journey either with 2 fallen trees across the long lane that leads from the village to the main road and then, after leaving my car at my mother's home, a walk of over two thirds of a mile into horizontal sleet, the wind gusting around me.  Trying to be positive, it was a fantastic opportunity to put all my foul weather gear to the test and at least on the return leg the wind was with me. And the reason for putting myself at the mercy of the elements and a Saturday morning at the local superstore? Well it wasn't to buy coco pops, I can assure you! No, it seems all those COVID vac

A Day Out

Image
  There's nothing like a day out to boost the mood. When your destination is an unknown quantity that you have never visited before, it provides both stimulation and reinvigoration. The problem at the moment can be persuading yourself to enter potentially crowded places. However, on the basis that so many people are thinking likewise or sheltering from the cold, frequently a place that would normally be teeming with people can, contrary to all expectations, be deserted. So yesterday found me travelling again by train, this time to meet up with a friend for a visit to the Bankfield Museum in Halifax where an art exhibition by Kate Lycett had been recommended to us. Her paintings were an interesting mixture of  golden threads, geometric patterns, and landscape in an architectural style. I confess that after admiring her work, I subsequently wasn't surprised to discover that she had been influenced by an architect originally and had also specialised in textiles. The colours were

Changing Seasons

Image
  Say what you like but you don't properly appreciate the change from  autumn to winter until you are retired. I know when working there are the horrors of a commute through snow and ice on occasions, whilst retirement affords the opportunity to huddle indoors and avoid the harshness of the conditions outside. However, it is in retirement that there is the time to observe what's happening outdoors as the leaves change colour and fall to the ground, and also to participate actively in the transition from one season to the next. It's certainly not the role of a calm observer either. This week, conscious of a forecast which translates into winter beginning tomorrow with plummeting temperatures and no obvious recovery for the forseeable, Mister E and I have been in a mad rush to batten the proverbial hatches.  The garden has been put to bed with the sunken vegetable beds tucked up in weed suppression fabric and the containers with tender plants moved into the greenhouse. Shrubs

A Nostalgia Trip

Image
  (Image by Blende12 on Pixabay ) I still haven't given up on my desire for a clutter free home, where everything is in order and I know where it all is. Slowly we are getting there and the last week has seen progress in what we commonly refer to as the Store Cupboard: a large walk-in narrow room, shelved from floor to ceiling, although why we felt the need to cram so much into the standing space from which to access those shelves, I honestly do not know. I am proud to say that it is now tidied and a surfeit of unnecessary paraphernalia, buried in there for two decades has, at long last, found its way to the dustbin. Whilst I wouldn't automatically descibe myself as a hoarder, there can be no doubt that I have a soft spot for sentimental items. Luckily the ageing process seems to have toughened me over the years and the accumulation of memorabilia has slowly ceased or, as in the case of photographs, gone digital. It's many years now for instance since I divested myself of

Retracing Their Footsteps

Image
(Image by Clker-Free-Vector-Images at Pixabay ) It's that time of year where our normal pattern in retirement had been to take a long distance trip to break up the winter and escape the dark nights. No such luck this year and just like 2020 it is beginning to feel as though we are once again adrift and floating lazily along. Of course if we really need the stimulation of travel, we could take a short trip here in the UK but with daylight hours reducing rapidly and the late autumnal weather as always unpredictable, it does not appeal. Instead, I am easing myself back to exercise classes with swimming and water aerobics, as well as Pilates and Yoga and snatching, so far as possible, a daily session in the garden trying to get everything to bed before the temperatures plummet below zero.  It's a strange November with nasturtiums, dianthus and pelargoniums still blooming not to mention tomatoes continuing to ripen in the unheated greenhouse. Meanwhile we are starting to see slight

Shocking

Image
  (Image by Heiko Stein from Pixabay ) I never thought I was somebody who could be easily shocked but perhaps I am. Certainly my scream this afternoon drew a crowd of one, as Mister E came running to establish the cause of my distress. It was a mouse! Yes, I know it was more frightened of me than I was of it, but emptying a large plant pot in the garden I was not expecting to be confronted by something with 4 legs and a tail. In true feeble style, I did what generations of ladies before me have done and let out an enormous squeal. Perhaps I'm becoming jittery. Is that a common feature of retirement? I've no idea why it should be but I certainly jumped when a firework display began at the top of the road this evening. Of course, "Remember, remember the 5th of November," I thought, although I confess that I had momentarily forgotten, meaning that the sound of the explosion in the sky startled me. As a child I used to really love the whole Bonfire Night tradition. Now i