It has been so lovely not to have to rush up to get children off to school. I am officially working until tomorrow evening but I am still able to enjoy a bit of a lie in. I say “enjoy”. I don’t know that I really enjoy a lie-in. I always feel that I could be doing something more productive, but I do like to read for a bit and get up in my own time rather than at the behest of the clock.
Today, T, A and I popped to Whetstone to see my Nan before Christmas. (Note, this is where the “officially working” bit comes into action – I am able to take the odd hour or two here and there so long as I catch up with everything that needs doing. At least that’s how it works in my head.) Historically, Nan has spent Christmas at mum and dad’s. She would occasionally go to my aunt’s but she preferred Christmas with M&D and then would go to my Auntie L’s for New Year. Two or three years ago it was decided that the journey to M&D’s was a bit much and the fact that they only have a downstairs toilet was a concern. The stairs had also become a bit much to handle and so it was decided that Nan would spend Christmas with Auntie L (who had previously moved into a flat – no stairs or toilet issues there). We were all a bit sad that Nan would not be coming to stay any more but all completely understood her reasons. This year she is going to Auntie L’s again, but has been unsettled about the prospect and has not been feeling 100% her usual self. She’s had some dizzy spells and I’m sure was not relishing the journey (it’s only half hour tops but, at nearly 95 years of age, ten minutes probably would seem a long time).
It was lovely to see her, as it always is. But I was, again, reminded how frail she is looking and how she really does seem to be her age. Nan has always been very young at heart and sprightly. She never looked her age until very recently. This recent spell of feeling a bit off par just brings it home to me how very precious every visit and every phone call is. She was thrilled with her M&S voucher and box of chocolate coated ginger. She gets mum to buy her nice food from M&S through the course of the year with the numerous gift cards that she receives. Today, we had the “counting up of the cards”. When P and I were young children it was always our job to go around her living room counting up the Christmas cards. She once received over 100. Today’s score, totted up by A, was 77. She explained that she has, of course, lost a number of friends over the years. But she has also made new ones I am sure. While we were there she was visited by her neighbour (who has a key and checks on Nan every morning and evening) who clearly thinks the world of her; and another neighbour (a young woman in her pyjamas) who wanted to give her a box of chocolates to thank her for being so nice and taking her parcels in for her. I know I have said it many many times before, but she is a very special lady and we are all very thankful to still have her.