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Quickasyoucan

Mo, I hope you are doing ok. I know the weather is bitter in Kent where we hail from so I hope you and B are not snowed in.

As DG says time goes fast 23 Feb is the day I lost Jake and 24 I flew to the uk to see Dad.

Life keeps going but I still miss them both every day.

When you feel ready would love news of Boris. Btw what colour is he just so I can picture him in his sleeping bag xx

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I was prepared for the huge gap in my life, and for the tiredness and misery of arranging the funeral and so on.


But nobody told me about the general incompetence of the major utility companies. I've been on the phone nearly all day talking about broadband, gas and electricity. I was tired of it after 15 minutes, but had to keep going. As soon as I sorted out a broadband deal and put the phone down, someone from the same company phoned me and completely contradicted what the first person had said. And don't even let me get started on energy companies.


I'm going to have a stiff drink and a little lie down now. If you don't hear from me again it's because the phone has been cut off and I'm living in the dark.


Would anybody like a stuffed meerkat?

Love, Mo


PS - Quickly, Boris is a red-and-white point Siamese, which means that he's creamy coloured all over, and red and white around the edges. If you want to join his fan club it's £1000 a year and you get a free photo on his birthday.

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Quickasyoucan

Mo, if dad were alive he would regale you with tales of incompetent utilities after mum died. Even the funeral home stuffed up and sent the donations to the wrong charity and we had to ask for them back!!

How did I not know Boris was cat royalty? A siamese, all your tales fall into place now. He sounds v handsome. And a thousand pounds sounds like a steal! My pets currently consist of 2 'real' pleather dog doorstops. That's all the responsibility I can handle for now! Sending you courage in your administration battles xx

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Sounds familiar. All those years ago when First man died I phoned mortgage company and duly received suitable condolences and thanks for notifying etc and said they would write. They then proceeded to charge me an extra month because I hadn’t notified them and refused to back down. I finally tracked down the letter they’d written at our previous address. You’d think they’d know the address of the property they’d given the mortgage on! So yes sadly these things are a real battle and new methods of communication don’t seem to have made any inroads on stupidity! X

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  • 2 weeks later...

It's not that I'm not speaking, it's just that I am trying to find a new normal. There must be a normal somewhere and I daresay it will take a couple of years to find it. Meantime I am dealing with things as they happen.


My new car is nice. It's small and white and buzzes about with me in it quite happily. It was a relief to trade in Peter's car; I didn't like driving it very much and it was very long, being an estate car. He'd has the rear windows tinted extra heavily because of carrying golf clubs around and reversing it was challenging and liable to attract an appreciative audience in Tesco's car park. A bit like squeezing the QE2 into a small parking space. Anyway, I traded it in, along with my little Citroen C1, and now I've got something a bit bigger than the C1 and a lot newer. Having worked in the motor trade for 50 years I can't really get enthusiastic about cars, but it goes and stops at more or less the right moments so that's alright.


Despite knowing that it's silly to make major decisions immediately after a bereavement I have decided that I must sell the house. I am waiting for the Will to be finalised (takes a while in Scotland, because no matter what you leave and to whom, the deceased's children are legally entitled to one third of the moveable estate. It's called Ad Legitim). So I'm not sure how much money I will have, and in any case this house is too big for one person. The garden, which I have lovingly tended for 40 years, is becoming a burden too. The utility bills are high (although they should get lower now that I have changed suppliers). Perhaps I read too many Women's Weeklies at the outpatients clinics, but I yearn for somewhere 'cosy'.


I've decided to remain on the Golf Tournament Committee for another year to see how it goes. Despite never having played golf in my life I was co-opted onto the Committee about 10 years ago because I could type (allegedly) and because I am very bossy and Get Things Done. It also means that the rest of the Committee can go off to the bar and talk about Important Golf Things and leave me in solitary splendour in the office to get on with the admin work. It was a struggle last year because Peter was poorly, but if I don't continue I think there is going to be a great big gap in my year.


I was advised not to refuse any invitations, so when I was asked out for supper by my last employer I went. It was nice to talk about past times, and dish the dirt on other staff and recall some of the more ridiculous things that happened during our time there. I've also managed swimming nearly every day, it's good to see the girls again and they are so kind and understanding. Several of them are widows too, so they know how I'm feeling.


I felt ready to clear Peter's room and get rid of lots of clothes, so that's what I did. I also gave the room a proper clean by moving out the furniture and getting into corners. Peter couldn't abide anybody 'fiddling about' while he was poorly - quite understandable. I have never been the house-wifey type, but I did get some satisfaction from a clean and tidy room and well-polished furniture. My step-son has taken all Peter's DVDs and CDs; Peter and I had very different tastes, so I'm happy about that. I also gave him Peter's photograph albums (mostly army, climbing and skiing) and his Dad's wedding ring and presentation gold watch for enduring the same employer for 30 years.


So I have continued the theme by unloading lots of bits and pieces that I don't want. It will make down-sizing easier, and while I'm in the mood why not ?


I think I experienced raw grief and anger when Peter was diagnosed. This is a different kind of grief.


It's good to touch base with Planet PC.


Love, Mo

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That's exactly it, Mo - the new normal. I am still establishing mine. I have been occupied doing admin too and have just received the Grant of Probate. I have also done 2 Powers of Attorney,

Health and Financial, so just some i-dotting and t-crossing and then I have to find something to

occupy myself, apart from going on holiday! It's an excellent idea to stay involved with the Golf

committee, something else to think about.


The grief thing hits at odd times and in funny ways. I don't think it will ever go away. I find the

evenings the worst and first thing in the morning when I wake up. I don't have a Boris - that's a

step much too far!


Please feel free to contact me via the office if you would like to.

Much love, Sandie

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I too yearn for some cosy little cottage. Phoebe and I are rumbling around in a large 4 bed detached with a sizeable garden...but I just don't have it in me to uproot her, this is the only home she's ever known and it's paid for, so it'll do for now.


You sound as if you're bumbling along ok, Mo...


Vx

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Hi Mo you seem to be doing OK adjusting to your new life. That's how I described it to a friend when Allan died...."a strange, new life". Not one we want but we have no choice in the matter. You've done well to keep exercising every day. I was like Snow White at first and cleaned and polished, rearranged furniture and painted the kitchen. Then I stopped and seemed to spend most of my days just sitting and thinking and only doing the bare minimum. I got very low and weepy and eventually went for anti depressants. I know they're not everyone's cup of tea and I've never had them before but they are helping. That awful heavy feeling has lifted somewhat. Anyway Mo, if you feel the need to have somewhere smaller and cosier, then do it. We don't have to live by the rule book.

Love Vee xxxx

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Yes, Veebee, it's a kind of Limbo time. I've almost cleared out his room, just a few clothes remaining. Every Christmas I used to buy him a flowery shirt, and I just couldn't make myself give them away or put them to a charity shop, so I've cut them up and will use the bits in some patchwork.


In fact, the whole duration of his illness felt like Limbo time. I knew what was coming; whether or not Peter knew was immaterial because for most of the time he steadfastly refused to acknowledge PC. It was almost as though it was me having to attend clinics, and he was accompanying me, instead of the other way round. On his way to the Hospice, in a fairly lucid moment, he asked me to do the agenda for a meeting which he was going to Chair in February.


I am still trying to find a routine; swimming from Monday to Friday is good, because otherwise I could go a whole week without speaking to anybody, and my friends at the pool couldn't be nicer. I was a bit worried that I wouldn't be able to afford the membership, but Peter's pension scheme made a miniscule provision for me, so the subscription is covered and might even stretch to a season ticket for the big council-owned leisure centre as well, which offers classes in just about everything. Even line dancing (!). Or lap dancing, as an elderly friend used to say when asked what she did on Tuesday afternoons. My hard-working sewing machine has gone in for a much needed service, so I will be able to start doing alterations and stuff once it comes home again. I have had a couple of wall shrubs cut down by a young neighbour, and once the permafrost over the garden recedes a little I will need to ponce it up a bit for the sake of would-be purchasers once the house goes on the market.


Now I am shedding possessions at a fast rate of knots. With over 2000 books in my study it seemed sensible to cut them back a bit as my 'new' house (haven't even started looking yet, but it will be smaller) probably won't accommodate them. Lots of craft stuff has been advertised on Gumtree with varying levels of success. Peter's tools and equipment occupy a lot of space in the garage. I would prefer to shed them gradually rather than dump them because I'm forced to, so I've contacted a couple of local firms of electricians to see if they have apprentices who might like to come and take their pick.


I am so thankful that while Peter was feeling OK we did lots of things and re-visited all sorts of haunts from his youth. And because his activities as a youth were mostly outdoors (unlike mine, which were mostly ice rinks and shops) the mountains he climbed up or skied down are still there. And will continue to be there unless Kim Jong Thing gets an itchy finger and presses the button.


The major change so far has been to acknowledge that I'm on my own now. Except for Boris. Last night I tried to settle to watch TV and Boris spent the whole evening picking out toys from his toy box, bashing them up a bit, and depositing them in a large cardboard box on the other side of the room. It took a couple of hours. I need that box to post something in, so I'm hoping that tonight we can do the whole thing in reverse.


So I'll carry on marking time. It's odd not having anybody to look after.


Love, Mo

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How strange...I was just about to email you and then up pops a post!


It's good to hear you are getting on with it. I wish I had half your motivation to declutter...my house is just full of rubbish. I got rid of Nige's stuff the week after he died, but my ability to hoard total rubbish is astounding. I'll be on one of those programmes soon, manically clasping an old bit of paper as if it were life itself!


Sounds like Boris is keeping you on your toes...I wish my dogs would put their toys in the box (any box) instead of covering the floor with them. My puppy is trying my patience somewhat, but is so flippin' cute I can't do anything but love him. The guinea pig has a huge growth on the side of his head (it's actually bigger than his head now), so there is an imminent trip to the vets to have him put to sleep...he's an old chap at 7 years (and a bit smelly too), but even though I know it's for the best, I just can't bring myself to do it.


Time goes on...it's 18 months this month since Nige died and it still feels like yesterday...but then it seems like a lifetime ago. I miss him more every day.


I'm off to sweep and mop the floors now (most boring job in the world, along with ironing, cooking, hoovering and well...just cleaning in general).


Chin up lovely...you're doing ok.


Vx

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Where does clutter come from? We last moved house 10 years ago and got rid of lots of stuff and here it all is again. I like a bit of clutter though, although I wouldn't want 2000 books to get rid of as I'd start looking through them all and get nowhere. Good idea about Peter's tools.


A wagon ran into the back of my car last week so I'm now driving an all singing all dancing courtesy car. It has a button instead of a handbrake and my 9 year old grandson has taught me how to turn the radio off. I hate it but Allan would have loved it.I'm waiting for confirmation from the garage that the insurance will cover the repairs on my Yaris otherwise it'll be a write off. Apparently it may need a new back axle and wheel.


I think that after a bereavement being alone is a physical feeling that we're aware of constantly and I wonder if this will pass.


Anyway, I look forward to hearing about your lap dancing if you decide to partake...



Take care, you're doing well Vee xxx

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It must be the time for car accidents. Some idiot hit my car (whilst parked) a few weeks back, cleared off and didn't leave any details leaving me with a £750 bill for repairing it. My brother had a major accident on the M6 on Sunday, I've no idea how he made it out alive, with just a few cuts and bruises...his car ore or less disintigrated as it rolled down the embankment, taking trees out as he went. Then, when he reached a stop at the bottom, BMW assist kicked in and someone talked to him via the radio that they had registered a major collision and had contacted emergency services who would be with him soon (big brother is watching you!) and was he ok.


The few times I've had a courtesy car, they've always been the most basic little breadbin sort of car that you feel you could pedal faster!


Vx

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Ouch, that's really tough, Veema. I was stationary too and sat in the car but as least the wagon driver stopped, checked my car and gave me his details. The garage have called today and repairs are going ahead. Imagine having a car that knows when you've had an accident... amazing. Hope your brother's ok after that scary incident.

Vee xxx

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It must be something that happens when you're on Planet PC. Your car attracts random drivers who give you a mighty thump up the back. It's happened to the 2 Vees, and it happened to Peter and me. Is it our algorithms ? I blame nearly everything awful on PC but I don't think the insurance companies would accept it as a valid reason for a motor claim.


I have got a thundering headache, entirely self-inflicted. Last night a friend called round clasping a bottle of wine, and, as we all know, wine doesn't keep once it's opened. I'm always wryly amused by those Handy Hints and Tips which advise you earnestly to freeze left-over wine into little ice cube trays so that you can pop a cube into your sauce or stew. What left-over wine ? It's only the second lot of alcohol that I've had in 18 months or so and it went straight to my head. So I feel quite fragile this morning and am not too sure about driving - I FEEL fine, but suppose one of these random idiots hits me up the back and I get breathalysed ? So that's why I'm at my desk and not at the pool. Most of the drunk driving prosecutions happen on 'the morning after' in this part of the world. The pool can wait until after lunch.


Yesterday's meltdown was because I suddenly realised that Boris wouldn't buy me a card for Mothering Sunday this year. I find that there is an almost daily meltdown over something or other fairly trivial, but on the whole I can usually have a good weep, rebalance my chakras, have a strong cup of tea, cuddle my cat, and get back to my new normality. More or less. There is a strong possibility that today's meltdown will involve a brilliant blue sky, crisp cold, and the realisation that today would be a day when a youthful Peter would be packing skis and boots and heading off to the hills. And there isn't even any left-over wine to take the edge off.


I am shedding large chunks of my life. I have given away all my crafting stuff, and other peoples' shelves and cupboards are now groaning with reams of paper and card and stamps and inks and embellishments. Nature abhors a vacuum, as somebody very clever said, so the space released has filled itself up (how ?) with fabrics and patterns and patchwork and threads which up until now have been crammed into tiny spaces. I've kept my paints and sketching things, and about half of my books, so there is at least room to swing a co-operative cat in my study. I've even found my PC keyboard so can type in comfort. (Memo: do not buy a cordless keyboard because with a desk like mine you can lose it when it's not attached to the PC). Once I have money sorted out I shall redress the literary balance by having a massive shopping session on Amazon to fill up my Kindle. I'll keep up photography and writing too.


The reason for all this manic sorting out is that I have been looking a properties which might be suitable when I downsize. "A second spacious double-bedroom" in estate-agent-speak means a gloomy little room into which my desk would barely fit, let alone a sofa-bed - which was my cunning plan for a guest room-cum-study. But I don't want to look at possible places too thoroughly, because I might find the absolutely stunningly perfect place and then have a problem selling this house.


I've even made a start on the garage. Why do the males of the species accuse you of being a hoarder for saving a useful half-full reel of thread, and then fill the garage with screws and nuts and bolts, and bits of ironmongery ? And fluorescent tubes, which are difficult to dispose of. And tool boxes. And very possibly Shergar and Lord Lucan as well. I have an electrician coming round this evening to help himself to tools which he will distribute to various apprentices so that should relieve some of the burden, but there are still the 30 tins of paint each containing half-an-inch of solid matter. And everything is on high shelves and heavy. Never thought I would hear myself saying that I need a man, but, actually, I need a man. Just to move stuff.


Shut up Mo, you're wittering about nothing. Again.


I am going to get busy with the black plastic bags now, and clear up more metric tonnes of stuff.


Enjoy your day, Love Mo X

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Hi Mo, How well you are doing, its nearly 3 years since I lost Trevor and even though the house is a bit emptier than before we still haven't made it to the back of the garage. I agree 1000% about the nuts bolts and bits of wood, metal. and don't get me going on the tins of paint!!!!, actually

I feel better just knowing there is someone else with the same problem I thought it must only be us.

We have a double garage with an apex roof, Trevor very cunningly made this into a storage area with planks of wood so there is still some of that to explore too, we have sorted the area we can see but we will have to put the daughter in law up there, she is the only one small and able enough, and see what she can get down, at least the sun is shining so that might get us started, fingers crossed.

Keep up the good work, the meltdowns are par for the course, on Sunday have a glass of wine, and get

lots of Boris cuddles. sending lots of cyber (((hugs))) love sandrax xx

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Heck, Sandra, I forgot about the garage roof. The roof struts are bending gently in the middle from the weight of the stuff stashed away. I can only report what I can see: the canary's cage (Sonic died while we were on holiday causing enormous distress to the child who was minding him), lots of cardboard boxes, about 50 fluorescent fittings and their associated tubes, enough timber to build the Shard several times over, and remnants of long-past hobbies. Not my hobbies. The men of the family. There used to be three of them: Peter, my father, and my step-son. Which may explain the volume of boy-toys and archaic tools which litter the garage.


A nice electrician came round on Friday and took away anything which could still be used, including a few tools for his son who has just started his apprenticeship. Next door's daughter's boyfriend is a joiner, and he came and took away lots of other tools, and I discovered the socket set which I used to use on my first Mini. (I have my own pink toolbox inside the house with hammer, pliers and all sort of other useful things in it, but I still find that the heel of a shoe is pretty good for bashing nails in with).


So I went off to the local recycling centre with a jig-saw and lots of other detritus, and was accosted by a man who wanted the jigsaw. (The jigsaw is the kind you cut holes with, not the sort you lose pieces of), and while he was looking at it his wife shouted at him to stop nattering and help get this pigging chair out of their van, and the pigging chair was a super office chair, far better than mine at home, so we did a swap. Only I think it's called swishing now. Or is that only clothes ? Anyway, now I'm sitting in comfort while I type.


You would think, then, that the garage is now looking pristine and empty. Only it's not. It seems to be fuller than ever, and now the heap of rubbish is embellished by the old office chair plus a lot of other stuff which I haven't dealt with yet.


My concentration is poor. I start a job; make masses of mess, and then can't face cleaning it up so I start another job in a different room. I suppose it's taken 40 years to fill this house up with stuff, and it's not going to get manageable in 2 weeks, but everything I pick up has a memory and a meaning. Not always a good memory - like the 4 rolls of wallpaper which Peter bought cheap (no wonder) and I refused to hang because it was so ghastly - but a memory all the same. I have found a family portrait which Peter wouldn't let me display so it was banished to the garage. I've taken it out now, and dusted it off, and the colours are as fresh as they were when it was first painted, but I feel guilty when I try to hang it in case Peter is watching.


I'll go on with the garage in fits and starts; my study looks beautiful and SO tidy that I'll never find anything again. It's been a dumping ground for the duration of the illness and littered with thread from all the manic sewing I did while my guy was in bed. The sewing machine is in for a service now, it's practically worn out.


The thing I can't move is Peter's bath towel. It's still in the bathroom, along with his dressing gown. I don't even want to wash them so I think I'll leave them where they are. Funny what gets to you, isn't it ?


Hope you're all OK.

Love Mo

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I wear Nige's pyjamas. His bedside cabinet is exactly the same as the day he died (and gathering dust), with his watch, his clock and his box of pills.


I think he would be fuming at me for all the money I have spent doing stuff that he would never let me do (new bathrooms being one...but there's nothing wrong with the ones we have...yes, but they are old fashioned and not at all my taste) and buying the new car and the new camper (hardly used). I think buying and changing things is a coping mechanism...I feel ok when I'm in the throws of a project...cleaning up after it isn't great though.


You get through however you need to.


Vx

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Mo, Trevor's dressing gown was behind the bathroom door until my Son and his family moved in at the end of August, so don't worry yet. When I finally moved it to the bag to go to the recycling bin, I then took the bag to the recycling at our Adsa, by the time I had done my shopping it was dark, the bag was

so full so I heaved it into the bin and left. The next day when I went into the boot of my car, there was

the dressing gown! its still there 6 months later, I just felt it was a sign! stupid I know but that's how it is.

The more you post about your garage the more I feel Trevor and Peter were kindred spirits my son can't quite believe there is someone as bad as his Dad for hoarding things. This is the problem when we come to clearing out every single thing holds a memory as you say not always good, but still a memory much love sandrax xx

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Sandra and Veema, thankyou for understanding and identifying so closely. It has been an awful day. I woke up crying, I'm crying now, and I phoned two friends and cried down the phone at them. I was running low on petrol so had to go to a different petrol station from my usual one because I was still crying and I didn't want to upset the sweet lady in the BP station who always asks how I am.


All this is because Boris didn't give me a card for Mothering Sunday. Isn't that pathetic? I got a happy step-mother's day email which made me wonder what he wants now (aren't I nasty?) but even that didn't help. Peter always bought a card from the cat for birthdays and Christmas and other notable days. So I rolled my sleeves up and got stuck into the 40 years of junk that is clogging up the garage, and two kind and tall neighbours came and helped and a third one offered stupid suggestions and generally supervised the procedure. Despite my assistance they managed to get down the stuff that was in the rafters and they shared the booty between them. And all the time tears were pouring down my face and I wiped them away with filthy hands and beautiful I was not, as Yoda would say.


I'm still leaking now. Boo and I are tucked up in bed and I've promised to help a friend with a tiresome job early tomorrow morning so I'll take a sleeping pill and try to get off to sleep soon. I'll be dehydrated if I keep on crying and Boo will be a soggy moggy.


Night all.

X

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Oh Mo...its so hard some days.


Phoebe bought me a little notebook and pen for Mother's day so I've decided it's going to be my little book of positive things. I've been terribly down in the dumps these past few weeks, so hoping that if I can pick out some positive things from each day and write them down I can focus on the good in my life rather than on the 2 special chaps that are missing from it. I miss Nige every day, but I really miss my Dad, him dying has made everything hundreds of times worse. I love my Mum, but her inability to function on her own is like a ball and chain, awful as that sounds and it's bringing me down. I think you just expect parents to always be there because they always have been. My Dad was the one that was there for me when Nige died, so it's an extra large gap that he's left by bloody dying too!


Tomorrow is another day, maybe you won't cry as much...maybe you can find a positive thing, tiny as it might be.


Vx

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A couple of years ago I stopped at the side of the road and changed a wheel for a lady who had a flat tyre. Actually, her car had a flat tyre. She looked more or less OK except that she was a bit flustered about it all.


So can anybody explain why, when I had a flat tyre in Tesco's car park today, I burst into tears and started phoning people ? And when somebody asked my number so that they could call me back I didn't know what it was ? Why didn't I just open the boot, get out the spare, and do the necessary ?


Because I'm still on Planet PC, that's why.


Today's positive thing for Phoebe's Little Notebook is that I did actually have my phone in my handbag. It wasn't still in the fridge, which is where I found it this morning when looking for the milk.


x

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I think all our 'independent woman who can do stuff' capabilities fly of into the ether with the spirit of our loved one. I used to be able to do all things practical (Nige didn't have a practical bone in his body, although he did try), now I can barely knock a nail in to put a picture up!


My positive thing for today (so far) is that Gus (puppy) didn't totally show me up at puppy class...in fact, he was used to demonstrate a few things!

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Today's Positive Post for Phoebe's notebook is my having spotted an Officer of the Law pointing a speed gun at me while disguised as a garden hedge. Fortunately I was able to moderate my speed before I got into his range.

The very last thing I need right now is a speeding fine. And that lucky escape cheered up an otherwise mediocre day.

X

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Ha ha...you do make me laugh.


A policeman once jumped out with a handheld speed gun whilst my Dad was riding his motorbike...Dad thought it was actually someone shooting at him, swerved and crashed. Luckily he wasn't hurt, but it could have been fatal.


Vx

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Reality is spending two hours tidying up the garden and not having anybody to say what a difference I've made. Or turn the tap on for me because I'm muddy up to the elbows.


Reality is having a boiled egg for my tea instead of cooking a Proper Meal. With vegetables.


Reality is picking up the laundry basket and discovering there’s hardly anything in it.


Reality is not having anybody to cut the fingernails on my right hand.


Reality is sleeping for seven hours at a stretch at night.


Reality is not hearing a sharp intake of breath when I pull out briskly at a roundabout.


Reality is writing something that won’t flow and not having anybody yell at me at 2 in the morning to stop typing and come to bed NOW.


Reality is not having to drive home with wet hair after the gym or swimming, because it doesn't really matter when I get home now. Except for Boris's tea time.


Reality is not having a next of kin.


Reality is doing terribly grown-up things all by myself.


Realising that my posts have now lost any point, and are simply a recital of, “... and then I went to Tesco's ...”


Reality is finally understanding that I have to find a new 'normal'.


So that's it, folks.

Over and out.


Love, Mo

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