30 November 2017

scattered





These leaves will no doubt have disappeared by now, just like the last couple of months, blown away by the south westerlies of the last few weeks or the northerlies of the last few days. Autumn always seems to last that little bit longer in London: although we've had our first frosts and a scattering of sleet today, the monster mulberry tree next door is still green and it will be weeks before we can hope to see any afternoon sun through the bare branches. But winter is definitely here. For the first time for a good while we have weakened and flicked on radiators, lit candles and set light to the pile of lavender cuttings and orange peel in the grate to get a fire going. It has been a most wondrous, colourful autumn this year yet I was rather looking forward to spending some time indoors catching up on those various collections scattered around the house calling out "Me Next! Read me. Make me. Write me. Cook me. Clean me. Mend me."

It turns out that they will have to wait a little longer. My mum tumbled down the stairs at home a couple of weeks ago and has been in hospital ever since recovering from pneumonia (it was several hours before I found her), a fractured pelvis, delirium and the all round ghastliness and indignity of being old, bed ridden and reliant on the thoughtfulness of others. Luckily there has been plenty of that. Meanwhile, my own thoughts, like various belongings, have been scattered and unfocused. Keys and gloves have gone missing and turned up in unexpected places. We have variously run out of milk, porridge, coffee this week because the shopping list has been left on the fridge and not lodged in my memory. More surprisingly, I find among all this schmozzle that it is the first day of December tomorrow.

So goodbye Autumn, hello Winter. I'm hoping to come across some winter comforts in the run up to the solstice. I might even find the time to stop and take pictures and pop in here. Not so much an advent calendar,  just a collection of things to ease the dark days ahead. Join me.



10 comments:

Val said...

I'm sorry about your Mum and hope she gets better soon. I'm not surprised you lost focus it's such a worry and Mid-Winter and Christmas are suddenly on the doorstep.
I need a notepad on the wall that is capable of reaching out and giving me an occasional slap ..or at least a determined whisper, to remind me of all the things that should be in the front of my head... perhaps that should be a notepad attached to my shoulder like a pirates parrot?
I hope you manage to fit in some fun and restful things for yourself and shall enjoy reading about what you get up to when you get the chance to write. You draw very clear pictures with words. Best wishes.

colleen said...

Thank you, Val. I like the idea of an interactive notepad, especially one decorous enough to give a determined whisper. E versions probably already exist, don't they? No doubt I'll be sticking to the list stuck on the fridge for now. I love a written shopping list and I'm always intrigued by those I find in supermarket trolleys. It's like peeping into other people's lives. There was a play on the radio recently about a grieving woman who used other people's lists because she couldn't face writing her own while she came to terms with her loss. Rather clever.

annjennyg said...

So sorry to hear about your mum. Sending best wishes for a speedy recovery. Lavender and orange peel burning in the grate sounds lovely. I can almost smell the delicious fragrance. Hope you manage to fit in some of those winter comforts. x

E15 kids said...

So sorry to hear about your mum. A series of events and infections meant that my mum spent a lot of time in hospital in the last couple of years of her life (she died almost two years ago). My mum went on to develop vascular dementia but before that properly took hold repeated urine infections made her delirious which was quite scary. The whole situation was exhausting, so please take care of yourself. I'm sure your grandchild's excitement will mean that the lead up to Christmas will be special. And I can recommend Paddington 2 if you want taking out of yourself! Best wishes, Joan

colleen said...

Thank both, Ann Jenny and Joan

Paddington 2 is definitely on my wish list for next week. I could do with a weep and a laugh in the dark.

Liz said...

Oh, gosh, it's so tough, for all concerned, when a close relative becomes infirm and frail. I used to imagine ageing as being a gentle downward slide but experience showed me it's more likely to mean a number of big step changes, after which nothing, absolutely nothing, stays the same. I can only echo what others here have suggested, to try to set aside a little time every now and again to do something you enjoy. And, yes, a good cry does help. Thinking of you and sending very best wishes to Mrs B.

Jenny Woolf said...

You have my sympathy. It is so difficult when elderly relatives start to need a lot of care, for everyone concerned. You will I think meet some good kind people on the way.

materfamilias said...

OH, I'm so sorry to hear about your mother. I hope she's able to regain strength and spirit. I also hope that you're able to be gentle with yourself. Take care...

Gina said...

Sending good wishes for your Mum's speedy recovery... is is not easy as our loved ones age. And I'll be here for when you pop by! Remember to take care of yourself x

colleen said...

Lovely people all - thank you so much for your wise and kind words.