Before we leave the Dodo Pad (and before I decide what to do about a life time's editions) let me just mention the useful division of each page ~ a WEEK per page ~ to start with I allocated them thus : a column for me, for Richard, for Georgie,
for William and for Kate ~ I don't think Howard was ever included, he had his own desk diary down at school. Gradually the picture changed, the family shrank : Richard went to Uni, Georgie went to Australia ~ then I divorced their father which
left columns for me, Will and Kate ~ and when in turn both kids went off to Uni, I could indulge myself with all five columns of the desk diary ~ at that point, I used them as morning, afternoon and evening with overlap as required, and that's my method
Mary and Terry move away tomorrow and Peter and Margaret at no.7 invited the three of us in for a drink so that was nice ~ the Sainsbury's delivery was due between 4-5pm so left a note on door, and sure enough the delivery man popped
up the steps, I went down to let him dump everything on kitchen floor and back to party. 5.15 and felt I must come home and put groceries away ~ then did the ironing ~ having finished soup at lunch time, wonderful veggie stew for supper which had
been in cool oven all afternoon.
Now 8.30 and I must have a bath before starting on STOCK TAKING ~ I was grateful to Peter for coming down the steps with me and seeing me safely inside as thanks to their good red wine, I was feeling a bit wobbly ~ Margaret's
hair looked particularly pretty today ~ M&T could talk the back legs off an elephant, but then this was their last stand in Clarks Yard !
Saturday 3rd : 4.30pm : number 4 now empty
~ Mary & Terry have lived there nearly as long as I've been here ~ twenty-odd years ~ it will be strange without them. Now for stock taking :
Looking back over 2014, things I am trult thankful for :my new hip ~ bless you Mr Andrews .
~ I had begun to think I could not carry on in this old house with these steep spial stairs, that I'd have to sell up and find a sheltered flat, but since the op I am as good as new ~ Praise the Lord ! Next, my wonderfully improved financial
situation thanks to Mo from DAG who got the Attendance Allowance for me which has made so much difference ~ for the first time in years, indeed the first time in my adult life, I am no longer sick with worry about money. I'm so pleased that two
years ago I started blogging ~ it enables me to let off steam about things and record remembered highs and lows ~ whether or not anybody out there actually reads it, no matter, though I see that as today I have had 162,154 visits to the site, though this does
not mean that many readers of coursw, most of them will have come back time and again ~ even so, pretty amazing for an unknown old biddy like me ~ apart from family and friends, all my readers must have simply stumbled over the blog somehow ~ amazing !
I'm particularly thankful to my children ~ Georgie, Will and Kate ~ who each came turn-and-turn-about to look after me when I got back from hospital, leaving families and their own busy lives. And thanks to my wonderfully improved finances, I am
able to send bedding to the laundry, employ Richard Eshelby to take care of my tiny garden, and dear Sue comes every Monday to hoover through ~ all of them pure god-sends as I get frailer. In addition to Richard and Sue, I seem to have several very good
friends locally : Ellen, Barbara, Annabel and Dave, Lucy, Annie-over-the-wall, Chris and Anthea higher up Church Street, Parry and Jean in the other direction, never mind all those further afield : Lloyd, Rita, Liz, John in Wells,
Lalage, John in Winchester, Willi & Vera in Germany and a good many others. Although I don't bother too much with Christmas cards, to my astonishment I had over 40 which is pretty amazing as old friends regularly disappear from the face of
the earth. Peter and Margaret the owners of number 7 are very good friends, and so are the darling grandchildren they sometimes bring with them. And any day now Tom and mary will be moving into the White House and actually living in it ~ over several
years it has stood empty for most of the year apart from two or three holiday lets (mainly Willi & Vera who absolutely loved staying there with it's enormous kitchen, perfect for parties !) The bad news is that the man who has bought number
4 ~ Mary and Terry's place ~ plans to use it as a holiday let, starting almost immediately. Apart from Vicky next door, for the time being this will be the only lived-in property in Clarks Yard which is an awdul shame ~ yards in which all the cottages
have been turned into holiday lets are not the same at all !
And the negative things that came in 2014 ? Not many actually ~ OK, untilOctober 30th when Mr Andrews did my hip op I had been in considerable pain and had been housebound
for several months ~ but that's all over and done with and I'm walking normally again and I'm getting my life together again. What else has happened ? My poor darling Georgie has been diagnosed with something which may (or hopefuilly
may not) prove nasty ~ for now she is carrying on with life regardless but the possibilities are very worrying. Annabel, who helped me cope with hip pain, is sending her healing every week which does seem to be making a difference.
Can really not think of any other negatives. Oh ~ having decided that I am really past it, I backed out of the Robin Hoods Bay Victorian weekend where I've done my ribbon readings for ten years or more. And this was the last time I will open
my house to the public on the Heritage Weekend, which is a bit sad ~ I've loved doing it, and everyone is so keen to hear the Sanders stories etc ~ but had Kate not been here this September I could not have coped ~ all I had to do was sit there spouting stories
while Kate bless her dashed upstairs and out on the yard as required to fill in the history of the yard and this house ~ she was an absolute gem.
Another wonderful thing was at Easter when Will, Agi and Natie (14) came up for the weekend and spring
cleaned the house from top to bottom ~ they worked like slaves, all 3 of them, having arrived on Friday afternoon and setting off for home (St Ives, Cambridgeshire) after lunch on Easter Monday. If anyone makes any remark about cobwebs, I
present them with the cobweb brush and tell them to deal with them ~ one good thing about being this age is that I can't see cobwebs, I can't really see dust ~ so why worry about perfection ?
Georgie comes up from Driffield every few weeks for
lunch and a chinwag so I see more of her than either of the others ~ as long as she is allowed to drive, that is !
But more in the plus column : Will & Agi's boy Ben is in his second year at Birmingham University doing Politics. Kate
and Alan's eldest Dan, having had a gap year, is in his first year at York doing Politics and History. The next two, both bright as buttons, are working towards O Levels and presumably university too.
Oh ~ I nearly forgot to
mention the TWO recent floods ~ both down to my carelessness ~ hope it is not an indication of dementia ! But thankfully, I am in a position to pay someone to paint the kitchen ceiling, which would not have been the case till recently.
dear Lord ~ the Ebola patient, a nurse just back from Africa, who seemed to be OK in a London hospital with barrier nursing of the most intense kind, is tonight reported to have deteriorated and is now in danger ~ she had been out there nursing
Ebola patients for some weeks.
Oh ~ on the negative side, I was forgetting those photos I seem to have lost ~ I hope to God I haven't thrown them away by mistake, though can't imagine I could be so stupid.
That's enough for tonight ~ I'm well
into the Alexander McCall Smith updated version of "Emma" ~ and no, I found all my Jane Austens have such small print I couldn't face struggling to read her "Emma" and plunged straight into his version which is both clever and amusing ~ we've no end of his
work ~ John and I would always give each other another of his titles for birthdays and Christmas ~ ah me !
Had to sort out the flowers Georgie brought me on Christmas Day as half of them were wilting but still have one jug full ~ white flowers and ferns
! What with those, and the tulips Liz brought on Christmas Eve, and my basket of hyacinths (which are now into their second flowering) I've not had so many flowers in the house since John's daughter used to send bouquets for her "w s-m" for my birthday
and at Christmas, always with loving messages such as "Thank you for loving Daddy", "At last someone loves him," etc ~ but the minute the poor old dear was ill and had to go into a home everything changed and for all John's family I was the black sheep, the
shameless hussy, the scarlet seducer, the money-grabbing harlot !! All very sad and upsetting, but there you go . . .
Ellen was rather pleased to tell me she'd been up our 199 steps to St Mary's Church on the cliff edge, which reminded me that
soon after I came to Whitby, worn down with money worries and fighting Tony Oakes the rogue builder, I got very fat. t that time everybody was on about "stepping" as an exercise ~ right, what could be better than those 199 steps ~ so every morning around
7.30 I'd make a pot of tea and leaving it on the Aga to brew I'd go up Church Street, up the 199 steps, along by the donkey field, and down to Green's Yard which would take exactly 12 minutes ~ and home feeling quite self-righteous and a pot of strong
tea waiting for me. In the Dodo Pad, each morning that I did this, I took to just scribbling in "199" at the top of the column ~ and over 4 or 5 years I rarely opted out ~ only if there was snow or ice ~ and it certainly did wonders for my
figure ~ that and swimmingwith the Old Fogies (Over Fifties) every Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings ~ and now here I am weighing scarcely 10 stone !!
I've only just noticed that the snowflakes have disappeared from the blog ~ did
simplesite cancel Xmas decorations (of which we had four choices) on Boxing Day or New Year's Eve ? I rather liked those whirling snowflakes and hope you did too.