Showing posts from October, 2023

Progress of Sorts

  Reverting to our headache of an oil leak , there was finally progress this week. Firstly we had confirmation that the loss adjuster has approved the strategy for the installation of a new waterpipe as well as the clean up operation. Secondly, but perhaps more ominously, the loss adjuster's surveyor visited primarily to take photographs in case the proposed works cause cracking or other damage He didn't simply confine himself to the areas where the digging out will take place inside and out, but also photographed the rest of our downstairs including the rooms that were decorated only a few months ago. Thank goodness we have had the foresight to hold back on replacing the soft furnishings and lighting, although we have been hoping to escape with dust rather than fractures to the walls. Resilience and optimism remain high even if we struggle to gather clouds with silver linings. It's not how we would have planned this stage of retirement  but we have to appreciate what we do

A Distraction

  Somebody recently told me that they'd enjoyed modelling, participating as a favour at a charitable event for the first time this summer. Handbags, sunglasses and high heels with quick changes in between each outfit. In retirement I'm keen to try many things but I'm definitely not glamorous enough to ever consider stepping onto a catwalk, so felt in no way tempted to give it a go. Earlier in the month , however, I referred to my need for active diversions to the ongoing headache caused by the oil leak. Last week, I too found it in modelling. In my case, however, it was of the clay variety when I signed up for a Highland Cow Sculpting workshop. Didn't I just love it. A far cry from the plasticine of my childhood, clay is altogether more malleable if somewhat messier too. I even got to play with an extruder in order to create all that long hair. My piece has now gone to be fired and although there's every probability that it will have crumbled before we're reunit

Dem Bones

  Of late, suffering from the anguish of various aches and pains, I've been reminded of the lyrics from Dem Bones. With a pain from the hip to the knee, I seem to have had more than an implicit understanding that the knee bone is connected to the thigh bone and the thigh bone to the hip bone. Of course, in my case the cause has been primarily muscular but it still hasn't prevented those lyrics going round and round in my head.  My knees suffer from degeneration and arthritis mainly as a consequence, I suppose, of  numerous meniscus tears. There's a long history there with incidents going back as far as my twenties with disco-dancing, skiing and even wind-surfing. As somebody recently said to me, "Well at least you had lots of fun damaging them!" Frankly, I'm not sure that was necessarily case; certainly not the time my knee gave way jumping down from the airport shuttle bus on the way to the Alps and I arrived in the resort already hopping on one leg and never

A Close Escape

  What is it about water that entices us? Like all living things we need it to survive but how often have you read claims about its healing powers and the sense of well-being that it brings? The health claims extend to a myriad of wellness spas, not to mention the explosion in popularity of wild swimming. I cannot claim that going in search of running water is part of our strategy to build resilience . Indeed a brief trip last week might be better described as an escape from the issues that are besetting us. However, it's amazing how spending the night in a small hotel less than 40 miles away really satisfied that desire for peace and contentment and not just because we had tap water that we could actually drink and clean our teeth with!   After meeting a friend at Barnard Castle for the day, Mister E and I headed onwards up into the heart of Teesdale. We were blessed with benign conditions and as well as clean drinking water, soaked up the sight, sound and majesty of not one but t

Building Resilience

    Life has a habit of throwing misfortune our way. Retirement is no exception to that rule and indeed as we age we are more likely to encounter and face the demise of loved ones, health issues and increasing frailty of body and even mind. There are also those day to day issues that we might find harder to deal with, not to mention the unexpected shocks and surprises ready to leap out when we least expect them. The main advantage we have in retirement is a lifetime of experience in dealing with adverse circumstances. We are now in the advantageous position of building on that experience and developing still further our resilience.  Action for Happiness identifies resilience as one of the 10 keys to a happy life. Resilience doesn't mean that we are no longer impacted by awful situations but instead that we can overcome both the crisis and the stress and anxiety it brings to us, enabling us to move on positively, build on our fortitude and learn from the ordeal. Sinc