Sunrise, today, 12th December 2017
(the little white marks on the left aren’t UFOs, but reflection of my camera in the windowpane)
The above photograph was the view from our sitting room about 7am this morning. I love to see the changing light and there was a streak of dark pink just above the horizon, as if the sky had received some expensive blusher.
I would like to start by thanking all of you for your kind good wishes. I am feeling much better but this cough and cold is really tenacious, it’s claws have been deeply embedded and it has been very reluctant to release them. However, last night I slept for the first time in six nights and woke feeling if not thoroughly refreshed, at least better than I have done in more than two weeks.
Indeed, I’d forgotten quite how awful the common cold can make you feel and even now I feel tired and, as yet, unable to make a start on all that now needs to be accomplished before Christmas. But hey, why worry? If things aren’t done, then they aren’t done. None of it really matters.
I must tell you, first of all, that I have heard this week from a very dear friend. But first, a little background information. The friendship started when I was sent, about 20 years ago, by our county magazine to cover an event at my friend’s country house hotel (or “friends’ hotel” as she owned it jointly with her husband.) We had not met before and even though on this occasion she and her husband had to deal with lots of media people from TV, radio and the newspapers, we hit it off right away as the saying goes and it was the beginning of our friendship. Not only that, they kindly invited us to stay, not only as journalist-and-husband but also as friends, often test-driving newly refurbished rooms so that we could point out – if there were any – little snags that needed attention. And then, in 2015, they sold their hotel and emigrated to Australia. At that time they hadn’t a forwarding address so I couldn’t write to them, and as time went on I thought, well perhaps they want to cut all ties with the UK and start afresh, and if that’s the case, so be it.
But this wasn’t the case. In her Christmas card my friend says they have been settling in during the past 18 months and who would’ve thought retirement could be so busy? Well, all of us who are retired could’ve told them that, couldn’t we? Not only was I (and also my husband) delighted to have heard from her, but also she has sent me a lovely little pouch/make-up bag, one made by Artists of Yuendumu, and royalties from their products directly benefit the artist and their community.
Even though we’re more than 12,000 miles apart, what’s a few miles between friends? True friendship transcends distance, doesn’t it?
Indeed, it is the kindness of friends that make our lives special, isn’t it? I have also received a gift from another friend, who knew I had recently bought some blue & white Burleigh pottery and so when she saw a packet of their paper napkins, she bought them and sent them to me.
Please don’t think I am implying that friendship means receiving a present; I love to hear from friends regardless of such things, but how lovely when, out of the blue, something arrives in the post indicating that someone has thought of you.
Right now, my husband is doing the ironing. That isn’t just friendship, it’s simply being practical but also showing thoughtfulness while I’ve been unwell. He also made breakfast for us and, for once, we had a cooked breakfast as this is an exception, not the rule: as there was some cold mashed potato left from yesterday’s supper, he fried that and we enjoyed it with a fried egg. Oh, after not wanting any food for several days, how good it tasted. I must be on the mend!
Coincidences always amaze me. Our card from our friends in Australia mirrors so much detail of the card I have chosen to give to our little grandson this Christmas. OK, the Australian card has a ‘snowman’ made from sand (a ‘sandman’?) but, my goodness, the similarities: the stance of Father Christmas, the hat on the snowman, even his expression!
Soon, some home-made tomato and courgette soup will have heated through for our lunch, and then I will curl up and read the paper.
I will leave you for now with a photo of the lovely white hyacinths that are scenting our sitting room.
I’ve had to prop them against the wall to prevent their heavy blooms from falling over, but oh, how lovely to have the scent of hyacinths again!
Until next time.