Is there life other than my working life? Well, there is but there is no doubt that the time spent gardening or growing plants is most important to me. Having to spend more hours inside in the winter is somehow unsettling, mostly I feel unable to get much joy from anything I do at home. I might do some reading or some baking, housework is more likely to get some attention in the dark winter days. This year I have a new distraction…..a keyboard. When we first moved over to Warwickshire I had to give up my piano, there was unfortunately no room on the boat (which we lived on for five unpleasant years) Then the small house we moved into was, well, too small so I forgot about piano playing until earlier this year. There was a light bulb moment when I began to think about making music again. I was never very good but got as far as Grade 4 and enjoyed playing the piano but after more than 20 years of not playing a note and increasing arthritis I was in for a shock when I had a tinkle on a piano. My ‘talent’ was completely rusty, it was not encouraging. Then a friend stepped in by offering the loan of their keyboard. Slowly, there was some progress being made, some of the pieces which I’d played with confidence previously were playable again (after a fashion). So, after a few weeks and some advice from my brother and my nieces, I went and bought an electronic keyboard. I’m back to playing daily and might be getting slightly better.
I also go and see my dad once in a while, he had his 90th birthday on Monday which felt very special. I do like to spend time with him but it involves having to travel on the M1 which tends to get me a bit anxious but not doing it is not an option so with gritted teeth, loud music and, no doubt, high blood pressure I try to go once a month. Then there is my daughter who lives roughly the same distance away but in the opposite direction (which also means some motorway driving). She has fybromyalgia which is a debilitating health condition which in turn means that she can no longer drive very far. I go to see her maybe once a month too.
Roll on the spring!