Skip to main content

A Summer Full of Memories

The last of our summer visitors depart and the house falls still. I can wake up gradually, slowly sipping my tea in bed rather than being on call the split-second I open my eyes and I no longer have to grab a nightie and cover up before one of the little grandchildren bursts into the bedroom. When I go for a run, glistening veils of dew spangle the fields and the tall spikes of fireweed are cloaked with clouds of feathery seed. There’s a melancholic sense of autumn in the cool morning air, but my head and heart are too full of all the memories we’ve made this summer to feel sad.

We started early with a long-overdue visit to Canada to spend time with my elder stepson, his wife and their son, (our one and only - so far - grandson) who made their home in Alberta five years ago. We began with some sightseeing, flying out to Vancouver and driving through the Rockies before meeting up with Gill, Dan and Harry. It was precious time and we’re so grateful to them for their generous hospitality.





Our other three children and their families have all made the long trip to west Wales to stay with us (not all at once - the house would burst at the seams). Our five granddaughters range in age from four years to seven months and I love seeing their emerging and very different personalities. Between them, they’ve bossed me about mercilessly, screamed blue murder, picked my house plants, had accidents (“tiny wee, Nana, tiny”) and ‘helped’ with the cooking, but, gosh, do they make me laugh!




Ma’s been to stay too, which was great fun and we’ve also found time to catch up with old friends. Throw in several races for me and, in Tom’s case, a 100 mile bike ride and it’s made one busy, happy and thoroughly memorable summer.




Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The Beast in the Drive

How, I wonder, biting back the tears, did I let myself become so afraid? I’ve never enjoyed driving, but I used to drive my daughters to school, get myself to work, take my dad to the Royal Marsden and squeeze into some horribly tight spaces in the hospital car park. But in the last couple of years, a dislike of driving has become a full-blown phobia, one that’s made me feel horribly guilty every time I have to ask Tom to take me somewhere and something that’s made me terribly ashamed of myself.

We live in a remote spot which we love, but there’s one bus an hour to the nearest town and the nearest train station is 25 miles away… yet the more I told myself I had to beat my fear of driving, the worse it got. Until last week. ‘You’ll be fine,’ Tom assures me, having given me a refresher tour of various switches. ‘Take your time and go off when you’re ready.’ He heads back indoors and I take some deep breaths and repeat my new mantra, I am a calm, confident driver… and then I’m off. I hon…

Roads to Recovery

Red
It’s my longest solo drive in a couple of years; I’ve dropped Tom off at St David’s for the start of his 55 mile bike ride, a training session for his RideLondon 100 charity ride to raise funds for Pancreatic Cancer UK. Now all I have to do is drive home. I still feel very anxious about driving but a couple of weeks ago I drove 45 miles by myself to collect Tom from Neyland so I know I can do it. I’m okayish, but still quite nervous… especially when the satnav lady tries to send me in an unexpected direction. I’m still wondering if I’ve done the right thing ignoring her when I notice - to my horror - that a policeman at the side of the road is pointing a speed gun at me. Even worse, it looks as if I’m just over the 30 mile speed limit. I think about turning round at the next roundabout and going back to beg for forgiveness, but manage to talk myself out of it. I’m so cross with myself I forget to be nervous so the rest of the drive is easy! I get home, ring my daughters and Tom, h…

Return to the Forest

Four days before we are due to go on holiday with Lily, Rose and their families, my lovely Aunty Vera - Ma’s elder sister - dies. I’m absolutely hollowed by grief and a cumulative sense of loss. Another part of myself has drifted away; someone else who tucked me up when I was a little girl and kissed me goodnight has gone. ‘But, Mama,’ Rose reminds me, gently, ‘think of the new little ones coming along.’

Our holiday, it seems, has come at just the right time. Lily and Russ are on their knees from worrying about Bee and baby Iris who both suffer terribly with repeated ear infections and, in Bee’s case, severe hearing loss. They badly need some light relief. Fortunately, Rose, Si and little Joy are doing well, but all of us, once we arrive at our Forest Holiday location in the Forest of Dean, start to feel better.
It’s exactly a year since we were last here. We had such a magical time that we decided to return (no, I’m not on commission!). Last year, Joy was learning to walk, this year …