Saturday, 9 October 2010

Goodbye Mum and Thank You

I loved my mum, but we were not close, or perhaps we were just too similar. We never seemed to agree on anything and I felt I never measured up to what she wanted. I couldn't wait till I could leave home and I did so at 16, going out to work to make it possible.

It sounds like I didn't like her but that isn't true, I loved her we just couldn't live together. Once I had left home we got on fine, and in fact just afterwards my mum was in hospital and my dad and sisters had moved to Gloucester and I saw her more than anyone else. I thought I was doing it out of duty but she loved me for it and I know she still talked about it.

When my dad died she was devastated and she did come and visit me often and she loved Brooke her first grandchild. When we as a family moved just a few doors away from my mum, I thought everything would be OK, but it was like when I was a child again, we were too close, physically and mentally.

Brooke loved her and they often travelled together to Singapore where we have family. Over time we moved to N Ireland and mum would come visit, I would look forward to her visits but as soon as she arrived I would be checking her return flight time

So we loved each other but were not close. I think she wanted me to achieve the things she wanted to do but put her family first. I know she was very proud of what I have achieved and especially proud of Brooke.

When she was taken ill a year ago, I found it very difficult to visit, I would sit on her bed in the hospital or in her flat and not be able to say anything. I wanted to, I rehearsed what I would say but I couldn't say anything. My sister tells me she didn't mind she just wanted me there.

Her being ill was terrible and it made me reassess my life and take the step to do something about my weight which had in the past played such a big thing with her health. I would visit, say nothing  and then spend hours crying afterwards. When she became housebound at the end of last year I bought her a PC knowing how much they can help those who feel cut off. Again she frustrated me and would hardly ever use the Internet but she loved playing games on it, things that kept her mind active.

In July there was an occasion when I could have visited and decided not too, I was very tired and didn't feel I could visit. I apologised and she said it was OK, but I found out she was very upset. I sat down and poured my heart out to her in a letter and then the following week went to see her and we had a good talk and a good cry.

I thank my God that when she died last week, I was close by and able to get home quickly, but I thank him even more that we were at peace together. I also thank him for my friends and for Brooke who helped me get through the last 10 days.

Goodbye mum, I love you.

Sunday, 5 September 2010

A New Experience

I have horrible feet, hard and dry and spend a fortune in creams to keep them acceptable. My ex husband used to call them my hoofs; he was always such a charmer. Anyway I have found a new way to treat them and I love it.

I was recently in Singapore and whilst walking around Holland village I saw this advertised. I had heard about it and thought 'Why Not - let's give it a try'. So in I went.

A fish pedicure! lots of little fish that nibble your feet. I know it is starting to reach the modern world but apparently the Chinese have used them for ever.

At first I was very nervous but the disclaimer you sign made me laugh so much:

Then after washing my feet the nerves returned and I very gingerly put my feet into the water. At first I was rigid with my shoulders hunched but after 5 -6 minutes I relaxed and then started to actually enjoy it. You can't really get a good idea from the photo as the flash goes off a split second before taking the picture and that frightens them off.

My feet felt great afterwards but I think I would love this for a girls' night out. Sitting around the pool with a good glass of wine having a great gossip.

Sunday, 28 March 2010

The Joy Of Giving

A long time ago I wrote about my Silversurfers, a small group of residents in sheltered accommodation who I am supposed to be teaching computers. However teaching is pushing it a bit, it is far more about having fun now.

Unfortunately the people who run the accommodation have really tied down the network, and every time we try something new it is blocked, this is a real shame but we are working on it.

They are competent to use email and google, and they follow my blogs. If I am going away we have a look at where I am going and have a look around the hotels etc. Sometimes they even send me an email.

One lady Rita, has a sister in Australia and we have had a virtual walk up her street and you can almost see into her house. Her husband suffers from alzheimer's and lives in a home on the same site. She needed support and we searched for support groups locally and found one. She gave them a call and now not only did she go along to their meetings but they come and collect her.This would never had happened without the Internet

Another lady Jean, is very happy 'surfing' and has picked a few weekends away from the Internet, she still not happy to use the Internet with her credit card but more than happy to use it to plan.

The third lady Katie, is new, she had retired to Florida but recently returned, and she used to work in the local library and was already a computer user but we need to start all over again, she uses hotmail for her email account and unfortunately hotmail is one of the sites they are locked out off.

Over Christmas the first two ladies have got themselves wee notepads and 'pay as you go' broadband. The sister in Australia is now ill and Rita wants to be able to talk to her, today we are successfully learnt to skype each other across the room.

Last week we looked at the iphone and they had a conversation with a friend of mine from Scandinavia, this really opens up the world for them and widens their view of the world.

They love following Stanley and I brought him in once and they love it. When I blogged about them they were over the moon.

What do I get out of this? I feel I am giving something back and enjoy seeing them feel part of the modern world. If you get the opportunity to do something like this, take it, you will feel better about yourself and you make a real difference to them. Also they always greet me with a lovely cup of tea and a bun.