To everyone who keeps uptodate with my blog I have to apologise for the erratic entries you have been getting of late. I'm afraid it is still down to the same old thing - the grieving process and how I am handling it. Just when I feel I have weathered the worst and feel I am starting to get on with things, back it comes to slap me down. In my last blog I told how October was the month Tom and I started going out together. It was also a month we came to love. A lot of people feel depressed when the clocks go back and the bad weather comes. Tom and I loved all the seasons and the clocks going back spelled a time of cosying up and feeling secure with each other, loving the fact that we were safe, warm and together whatever the weather threw at us. It was a magic feeling and this has caused me some anguish this year. The mist that lies on the fields in the Autumn brought back my first memory of Tom taking me up the Silverburn River. The mist was low on the field and it was beautiful. I took a picture of him which I still have and it was so atmospheric. All these memories are lovely but also agony when I no longer have Tom with me. October was also the month I eventually persuaded Tom to go to the doctors when he was getting short of breath. He insisted on stopping smoking before he went and all that caused a delay, I don't think with hindsight that the outcome would have been any different with the type of cancer he had. So there you have it, I have been having and I still am, a bit of a weepy time and have been busy trying to lift myself with alsorts of impulsive things which work in the short term and along comes the tears again.
Not long after my last blog I felt I was getting more depressed as the week went by and on the Friday I decided I would try and nip over to Blackpool to see my brother John and his wife Helen who were in Blackpool on business. They live in Germany and I hadn't seen them since my Step Fathers funeral 2 1/2 years ago. They are both in the army and John is now a Major. Anyway he said he could see me on the Friday night and Saturday and then he would be travelling back to Germany. In half an hour I had booked a plane, a hotel room, arranged for Karron to look after my animals and cancelled any appointments I had for the next 2 days. I flew out on the tiniest plane I have ever been on and returned the next evening. Everyone knows my fear of flying but a strange thing has happened since I have lost Tom. I seem to have lost my fear of most things, flying, wasps etc. I don't know whether thats because it all pales into insignificance or that I'm not bothered about things without Tom. Actually I'm not being totally honest on that score. On the flight out I prayed all the way up and kept my eyes tightly closed. I relaxed for a little and then the same praying and eyes tightly closed scenario followed the descent and landing. I felt quite pleased with myself that I had done it. I had a good time whilst I was with John and Helen and we spent Saturday at an outlet centre in Fleetwood and had lunch sitting beside the marina. The trip back was little bit different than the flight out. For one thing, Blackpool airport was all but shut down with everything closed and notices up saying the Check-in desks would open at 7. Sure enough they did and whilst I had no opportunity to have a cuppa whilst I was waiting, that was rectified after check-in when I was told to go into the executivr lounge. There before me was every drink under the sun but my eyes looked no further than the vodka on an optic. Once I had checked that it was ok to help myself I got myself a vodka. A happy chap leaned over me and said "Have a double love, yer not paying!" I didn't need telling twice. A double it was and a can of coke. I knocked it back in time to get onboard the plane and I have to say my return trip was much more relaxed as I watched the Blackpool illuminations, the little boats at sea and eventually the lights of the different towns on the Island. So hopefully I have truley got over my flying fear and I am sorry it hasn't happened whilst Tom was alive.
I have more or less bought another camper which I pick up a week on Friday. I decided on upgrading the camper when I realised I would be sleeping out and my present camper wasn't bought with sleeping out in mind. It was purely for Tom and I to spend days out with the Skipper and have a little relaxation at the same time. Now I have 2 dogs and also like to take Orry with me and so a bigger camper was needed for the sake of comfort. Its gorgeous and I have put pictures on to show you it. It is 3 years older than my existing one and its only costing a few thousand to upgrade.
I have also booked a few days in Dublin at the end of November for Toms mothers birthday. She will be 82 and is Irish. I thought it would be nice to take her to Ireland so she could spend some time with her sister and I have booked the Gresham hotel. My friend Eileen is coming as well so we can have a mooch around the shops whilst Nel and Kathleen spend a more sedentry time together. Eileen has never been to Ireland, Nel wouldn't be able to travel alone and I will be going to Ireland for the first time without Tom and need to do things for the first time. Needless to say, we are all excited and looking forward to it, though I don't think Eileen will be too chuffed after spending a couple on nights in a twin room with my snoring.
Yesterday I went to Marksies to buy some new furniture for the conservatory. I still use it as my relaxing room and the front room still remains Toms room complete with models and bar. I find Toms room the most peaceful in the house and I couldnt change anything about it. Pauline has just called and we are going to have a bit lunch and then look for some new stair carpet.
If you're wondering why I'm spending so much at the moment, it's a case of getting everything done, paying off the mortgage and any outstanding loans etc before deciding where to invest what is left from my pension payout.
5 hours Later
Well, we only got as far as having a bit of lunch and doing a bit of shopping in Castletown. I felt more like enjoying the Autumn sunshine with the dogs than picking carpet. Even that was delayed as I realised that Quilliam the cockerel needed his dressing changing on his footwhich he has due to bumble foot. I try to keep it clean and it is notoriously difficult to cure, but I have managed it before with a hen although it took 6 months. The good thing is that once the cockerel is caught, if he is laid on his back you can do whatever you want as long as you don't hurt him. He lies as good as gold and very still. Once Quilliam was sorted the dogs and I walked up the river whilst I collected grass for Gertie the goose off the river and seed heads for the aviary. Gertie is coming along fine and knows where everything is in the garden. The Gander of the same breed which is still on the river is having a bit of a problem with balance on land. I mentioned it to a friend at the vets today just in passing and she told me that lead from the fishermen can cause it in the river birds. Unfortunately once has bird has been affected, the damage is permanent. For the moment he is managing very well and comes to the fence and has a chat to his girlfriend each day. He does have another mate on the river, so he is still very happy.
Last Saturday about 6 of us went to a pudding tasting night at the Ballasalla Church hall which was held to raise funds for work in the Catholic church in Castletown. The hall was packed and we had 45 puddings to try and taste. I only managed 8 as I have a hiatus hernia and I daren't really eat late. I wish the tastings were held at midday and I could really get stuck in. I was impressed how the Ballasalla Church went out of their way to help another church of a different persuasion in a different town. I loved the Churches working together like that with nothing but Christian charity being meted out in good measure.
The Ballasalla Church often have something going on like the French night the other week. I think the pantomime Character night in December will be good, but I don't know if I have the bottle to dress up like one. I'm sure Eileen will badger me to do something mad.
I was asked to become a commitee member of the Friends of the MSPCA who are presently busy raising funds for an indoor exercise building at the MSPCA. It will also be used for dog training with the the animal behaviourist and it is envisaged that it may be used and opened up for other things. Some of the committee members have a permanent stall at the Milan Vetinary Clinic in Castletown. I have just managed to get a whole load of £1 coin token keyrings with different designs for them to sell towards the fund raising and I have also handed over some Cd's of Tom reading his monologue "Home" with the background tune of Ellan Vannin. It is special for those who love the Island and Tom captures his love of the Island and why in the words that he wrote. Unfortunately I am also on the CD and Tom would kill me for saying that, but I dont't think I do the song justice. I felt that the one I sung which again Tom wrote the words of, should have been sung by a man. Anyway it was something we did together and we had fun doing it as we did wwith everything we undertook.
Anyway, it is time to call a halt to this blog for now. This is Barbara on the most beautiful banks of the Silverburn River, busy, sad, happy, fundraising and missing Tom oh so much.