Circumstances changed for me during the week after I had already written part of my blog. I have decided to leave what I had already written in as it is the truth and I don’t believe in editing out the truth.
A quiet week alone
Well Bobby and I are on our own this week. Jar is going to Austin, Texas on Monday and Tuesday and then San Diego, California on Wednesday, Thursday and then flying home on Friday. It will be a long week for him as he is up at 4.00a.m. on Monday to get his flight after camping all week. He will also be three hours behind so will be mildly jet-lagged when he gets back. So what does the week hold for me and Bobby all on our own? Started the week with absolutely no plans, except having some lie ins in the mornings. No need to get up at 6.30a.m. when Jars alarm usually goes off, so just decided to let my body decide when I get up and plan each day depending on that.
Got woken up on Monday morning with Jar getting up and didn’t really get back to sleep properly. Lay in bed until 9.00a.m. but wasn’t really resting. As I was so late getting up I missed all my usual classes at the gym and just could not get myself motivated to just go to the gym or go out running or on bike. So I decided to listen to Mrs Mac and just have a lazy day in the house. Just sat around all afternoon either reading or knitting while watching Dance your Ass Off – a tv program where larger contestants get points for dances as in Strictly come dancing but also points for their weight loss – it is strangely compelling while sitting knitting. It was also useful to get some diet tips from it. I have decided to change my diet as I have not been eating properly lately. I find that I have no appetite in the heat so tend not to eat much during the day and then just a big dinner in the evening as I am making it for Jarlath anyway. Because I am only snacking during the day my energy levels have been low and I think my metabolism has slowed down. My new diet is to force myself to eat more and especially more fruit and veg to raise my metabolism and to give myself more energy to work out more and be more active. I am trying to eat several small snack meals a day with several of them being fruit, veg and nut based but it is hard work making myself eat as I don’t always feel hungry in my tummy. So far I have managed it and already feel fairly energetic but not sure how much of that is psychosomatic!
On Monday evening I had the movie Akeelah and the Bee to watch. This was recommended by someone on RISI after I posted that I had just watched the National Spelling Bee on tv a couple of months ago. It starred Angela Bassett and Lawrence Fishbourne who also starred together as Ike and Tina Turner in their story. It was a lovely little movie and was more enjoyable because I had actually seen the real Bee. Worth a watch for a light movie.
Tuesday was a rather dull day. Went to a definitions class with Josie at the gym to tone up my muscles. My new diet must be working because instead of feeling knackered after it I had enough energy left to go into the gym and do a run and some biking to work on my cardio. After that I decided to wash both the cars as the big one had got really dusty from the camping trip at the weekend. It was really hot and humid outside but kept cool by getting myself soaked by the hose, I was already dirty from the gym so didn’t really mind too much. Lucky I did decide to wash the cars because while doing the little one I noticed that the tags at the front were hanging off. They had only been put on by the garage last Friday so on closer inspection I saw they had been put on really shoddily and had actually scratched my paintwork as well as hanging off. I phoned the garage and will have to take the car in tomorrow for them to look at and, hopefully, fix – major inconvenience.
The highlight of Tuesday was going to my first book group meeting in the evening. I had been invited along by Joel whom I had met at Thursday yoga classes. The group has been going for 15 years and they meet every month to discuss their latest book at each others houses. The members that turned up for this weeks meet were (the ones I remember the names of): Joel, Ellie, Virginia, Anna, Carmella and Jane. I drove to Joel’s house and we walked across to Jane’s and she then drove us both up to Ellie’s place for the meet. Some wine, biscuits and cheese and pear tart were laid on for us. Joel said they lay on basic refreshments so that nobody starts to get competitive about it. The book we were reading was The Ladies Man by Elinor Lipman. I went in not having enjoyed it at all and thought it was a thoroughly pointless read with no real story and no conclusion. The opinions were totally split with some finding it hilariously funny and others, like mine, not enjoying it. The discussion really helped me to appreciate the book more and while I still didn’t enjoy it I could see some funny parts in it after discussion.
It is funny as the entire book group members were animal lovers who either owned cats or dogs and they were all rescued animals rather than bought from breeders. What is it about booklovers that make them such animal lovers as well who generally adopt unfortunate rescued animals!!??
At the end of the meet we had to give our book recommendations for the next read. Joel took a note of them all and then went away to check the availability at the local libraries as one of their rules is that you should not have to buy the book for the group but that it must be available free at the library. I plan to show them Bookmooch at one of the next meetings. I briefly mentioned it to Joel and she seemed quite interested. Here is what was put forward:
From Hazel (welcome Hazel!) The Book Thief - Markus Zusak Tipping the Velvet -- Sarah Waters (a few copies available in Mont Co. library) Never Let Me Go -- Kazuo Ishiguro (available) Buddha Da -- Anne Donovan (available) A Prayer for Owen Meany -- John Irving (a few available, most checked out -- must be reading list, is mass market paperback too and therefore not expensive) Blind Faith -- Ben Elton (not in Mont Co. library -- no sense of humor apparently)
From Carmella Raymond Chandler (she will identify a title) Girl with Dragon Tattoo Brat Farrar (available) and Mrs. Pym Disposes (only 2 copies in Mont Co. system) -- Josephine Tey
From Virginia Club George -- Bob Levy (non-fiction) (4 copies available in Mont Co system)
From Jane Precious Bane -- Mary Webb (a few copies available)
From Ellie White Tiger -- check if this is the right author -- Aravind Adiga (holds, none available now) City of Thieves -- David Benioff (holds, none available)
The group chose The Book Thief as the number one choice and Girl with the dragon tattoo as second but unfortunately when Joel went and checked availability both of these were out at the libraries in the local area with long wait lists on them so we are currently voting for one that is more available. Next meet is 15th September which works in really well with my holidays then.
Wednesday morning and so much for long lies, I woke up at 7.00a.m. after having earache most of the night. Got up and went to an aerobic and sit up class which got me started for the day.
Managed to contact my sister on Skype. She is back from Spain after staying at her villa for the school holidays so I have not seen the kids for 6 weeks on the internet so I was quite excited. Managed to see Amy, Greg and Owen who have all grown so much in 6 short weeks and were all very excited about seeing their Aunt Saucy – Kyle wasn’t there. I could have cried just seeing their wee faces and them telling me they missed me and love me. Anyway we dispatched with the kids as my sister and I had some serious discussions to have. My Mother is dying, well we are all ultimately dying, but she has now given up the will to live. She lives in a nursing home and has Emphysema but my sister says she has gone downhill in 5 weeks since she went to Spain. She has had a series of chest infections which are making her breathing worse; she can no longer walk as she now has complete atrophy of her leg muscles from not using them and is not eating. She was borderline anorexic before the summer and must weigh less than 5 stones now – she was 5 foot 8 inches in height so this is very low. My sister visited the head nurse and Doctor in the home and they say there is no point now in going into hospital and they will just give her care to keep her as comfortable as possible and try to get some food into her – but my mother is very stubborn and will refuse help. I now have the dilemma of whether I should get a flight and go and try and see her before she dies or do I just wait and go over for her funeral. It sounds awful putting it down on paper in such a cold manner but I have a fairly “unique” relationship with my Mother and it is not as simple a choice as most people would have. I would welcome opinions and advice from you guys on this matter. Jar is being very supportive and says it is up to me no matter what it costs and he will come as well if I want him to.
Thursday I did my usual favourite yoga class and discussion afterwards. It is the Indian festival of Rakhi/Raksha Bandhan:
India is a country rich of festivals. Its culture is so rich that it celebrates a festival almost every month. Moreover, people of India are so lively that they celebrate each and every festival with lot of enthusiasm. One of such festival is Rakhi or Raksha Bandhan, which reflects the sweet and sour relationship of brother and a sister. Though brothers and sisters share and enjoy the bond of love between them throughout the year, but Rakhi is the day when they get an opportunity to express their tender love and feelings for each other. Rakhi also makes them commemorate their loving memories, loyalty, closeness, trust and friendship that is ever lasting and pure.Raksha Bandhan is celebrated every year on 'Shravan Purnima' (Full Moon Day of the Hindu month of Shravan), which generally falls in the month of August. On the auspicious day of Rakhi, sisters wake up in the morning, take bath, offer prayers to the Almighty and visit their brothers to perform the rituals of Rakhi. The ritual of Raksha Bandhan essentially includes tying of sacred thread (which is called 'Rakhi' or 'Raksha Sutra') by the sisters, on their brothers' wrist. Before tying Rakhi, the sisters would perform an aarti, apply tilak (by mixing rice grains and roli) on their brother's forehead and then offer them sweetmeat.After the ritual of tying Rakhi is over, the brothers would give their sisters some gift or money and promise them to help them when ever they need and protect them throughout their lifetime. In fact, offering gifts to sisters is a tradition of Raksha Bandhan. Year by year, the enthusiasm amongst the brothers and their sisters, to celebrate the festival, is increasing. It is clearly visible from the wide variety of Rakhi, Raksha Bandhan gifts and sweets flocking the shelves of the stores, during the holiday. The festival bears social significance, because it symbolizes the importance of relationship between siblings.
This discussion was interesting to me as I had actually been in Delhi, India during this festival 4 years ago so I could give a personal insight into what happens that day. We also discussed the masculine and feminine yin and yang and whether they still have the same meaning in today’s Western culture where the male /female split of nurture and strength isn’t always as defined as the description of yin and yang would suggest. Again very difficult for me to put the discussion into words but it was very interesting. Joel from my book group made it to yoga so had a nice chat with her again as well.
After yoga drove up to meet Kim for lunch. It has been a while since we have been out together as we have both been quite busy, particularly at weekends. Just went to a local Asian restaurant and had a nice lunch special and some chat. We are meeting up with her, her husband and loads of friends on Saturday night to celebrate her husband’s birthday. We are going to a place in Dupont Circle called Café Japone, which is a Japanese restaurant and karaoke bar. Watch this space to see what song I sing.
Picked up the photos from my Waterproof camera today so here is the link to them:
Good Luck to AngelicFi and Jim on getting married in Lusty Beg, Ireland today. Mary (Irishmist) and Catherine (Katieqr) are attending the wedding and I am sure we are all looking forward to seeing the photos as I am sure Fi and the ladies will look like a million dollars in their outfits.
So please to hear the news from Elaine (Dingsy) about her stable test results. Long may it continue going well for our resident lab rat.
Well received a call from my sister to tell me that my Mother had died suddenly. It came as a shock despite my previous posting. I guess I no longer have to make the decision about whether to visit as fate or timing, whichever you believe in, has made that choice for me. Like I said before I have/had a complex relationship with my mother (my whole family actually) so not sure what to think or feel at the moment. I guess my natural feelings will come to the fore once I get over to the UK and the funeral happens. Unfortunately, Jar is on the West coast at the moment so I only have Bobby for company until Friday afternoon. I have managed to get flights for myself and Jar on Saturday arriving in Glasgow on Sunday morning, you don’t want to know what they cost but that is kind of irrelevant at the moment, I will worry about that once we get back. We are only staying until Thursday as Jar has work commitments here, I am extremely grateful that he was able to cancel his work trips to come back to the UK with me. I was all for going on my own but he would not hear of it. Also managed to book the pet sitters for Bobby, luckily I was organized ahead of time for my holiday in September on this front because they have my keys and the details so can come and do an emergency five days next week so one less worry for me. I must say that the friends I have already made in the US are proving themselves to be very good friends and are all being very supportive to me and offering to help out if they can. It’s at times like these that you get to really appreciate friends even if they are relatively new ones. I also thank all RISI friends for their kind wishes on the forum. I will be fine, I am fine as I am in coping mode. My Psychologist once said I am at my strongest in a crisis and when things are going wrong and require strength and organization. It is when everything is going right that I tend to break down and sink into a Depression. I am sure once I get back to the US I can deal with that!
It’s funny trying to pack for this trip home. For one it is 14 degrees back in Scotland while it is 28 degrees here, so I need to start looking out my “winter” wardrobe and thinking about wearing “real” clothes again and not just shorts and vest tops and Birkenstocks. My feet will probably cramp up if I try to put them into proper high heel shoes!! I hope I am not coming across as cold or crass here. Part of my way of coping is to write everything down in this blog and to just get on with things, I have never been one for sitting around and weeping over something I can’t now change – except during Depressive episodes. Picking up Jar from the airport in a couple of hours and can’t wait for a cuddle and just to be held and get some human contact. On the plus side I get to spend five days with my niece and nephews and will get lots of cuddles from them.
Well thought I would go ahead and still post my blog this week as I believe it should be warts and all. I will be offline for sometime and hope everyone stays safe and well. Xx