Friday, 23 December 2016


Hello, after another lengthy pause on the blog. This has been a year when my attention has been fragmented across different issues and family members and consequently blogging has fallen by the wayside.

My father spent a couple of weeks in hospital at the end of last month and I stayed with my mother who has been diagnosed with Alzeimer's disease. My father is now back at home, well, but a little more confused than before so as you can imagine the situation is a very fragile one.

I have been trying to sort out some care for them which is proving difficult as they are both independent types who assure me they can cope on their own without help - not an easy situation.

The last few days have been quiet here though that may change as we feel the effects of the edge of the storms forecast for the north of the country.

Quiet seems appropriate for this solstice time of year, the darkest time, a time to withdraw and reflect. We are a small family and our Christmas is very low-key so I don't have to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the festival.

Sometimes I think that we make it just a bit too quiet, it can feel as if we are the only ones not invited to the party! Generally though I like the empty time at the end of the year.

2016 has been a difficult year for us, starting with the death of my father-in-law, followed by my husband breaking his leg, some job issues for our children and now the illness of my parents. I contemplate the best way to cope with the situation. Obviously I want to help, but such help has to be sustainable. Trying to balance caring and helping my parents with working, looking after my home, my immediate family and my own health is not easy.

I am going for walks in the countryside, taking photographs and trying to slow down as the year comes to an end.

I am hoping to blog more regularly next year. Introspection and withdrawal can lead to loss of connection and I value the connections I have made through this blog which is almost ten years old. Walking and photography are important ways to relax for me and the blog is a good place to record my pictures and thoughts.

I particularly like the photograph below taken during the darkest time of the year but showing fresh new shoots on the honeysuckle, appropriate as we head away from the winter solstice to longer brighter days ahead.

I'd like to wish everyone a Happy Christmas and a calm and peaceful 2017.