Monday 6th. January, 2014 – The Twelfth Day of Christmas and the decorations have to come down 


Mum and Rachel


Mum and Rachel have gathered before dinner for a preprandial sherry. Of course, as it is Twelfth Night all of the Christmas decorations have had to come down and Mum is sitting re-reading her collection of Christmas Cards. Every year she seems to send more than ever before but it is something she really enjoys doing. Today was also the anniversary of her wedding to my father sixty-nine years ago. They were married in Glasgow and travelled by train to Skipton for an onward journey, the following day, to Ilkley Moor.

Today was the day of the deliveries here in Mount Pleasant in 2014. The carpet for the summer house was delivered in the afternoon and the furniture for the summerhouse windows arrived in the same van. A small start to my collection of tools also arrived as did another book from Amazon, so we are keeping the van delivery system busy. Everything is now ready in the summer house for an early start to carpet-laying tomorrow morning. Rachel and Tom are on stand-by and I am really quite excited.

Today we worked on the electrics and also on some of the finishes. I learned how to use a saw. That’s true. I’ve had a saw in my hands many times in the past fifty years but I have never really known what I was doing with it. Today Tom taught me and I’ve got quite a sense of achievement in my little steps forward. I got quite cross that my own saw hasn’t yet arrived!

After dark I spent some time practising my ukulele and then in revising some of my Italian grammar (my two frivolous resolutions for this year). In the overall world view they are frivolous, but for me, newly retired, they are anything but and I am enjoying having time to devote to such things more than I can express. I have also decided to relearn the different parts I have sung in Gilbert and Sullivan – now I am really going back to far off days -- but singing is good for you, and I used to get so much pleasure from taking part in shows in our local theatre. It is easy to see why for so many people once they retire there is no time to do all that they want to do. It is quite easy for me just now because I get outside ‘to work’ in the daylight and then come in when it get dark and have a couple of hours before dinner to enjoy these new hobbies. What it will be like in the summer when the nights are light and the pull of cricket draws me down to Chester le Street I really don’t know; and there will be boats and barges to be sailed and dogs to be walked. Retirement has so much to recommend it!

After supper at the farmhouse Rachel and I watched Bletchley Circle – a mini-series set in London in the 1950s and based on a group of former code-breakers who have got together to try to save a colleague before she is executed – yes, we used to do things like that in our country too. The programme was very good.

Afterwards I walked the dog and was glad to get to bed.


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