Gowan and Robert ~ my Guardian Angels !

The first two in their heavy twin push chair

Concert from Vienna

a typical pram of the forties and fifties ~ ours was second hand and much like this

Wonderful music from Vienna ~ Strauss family and others ~ sheer delight.  Mary and Tom cleared the sparkly blue lights from the gardens to put them away for next year ~ will I still be around, I wonder ?   There were indeed two THOUSAND bulbs !!   Amazing !   All the children rang last night with good wishes for the New Year, bless them.

This is a time to take stock ~ my eye sight is very poor now, but thanks to the Kindle I can still read and through Kindle I am coming across new authors and enjoying them.   I am housebound, but in spite of this I am not lonely as I seem to have a good many kind friends who pop in for an hour or so.   Although I am frail and unable to walk round the house without grabbing onto things, I can still manage the stairs.   Financially I am better off than I have ever been ~ the allowances they give me amount to £300 per week so for the first time EVER I am not having to worry about money, meeting the bills, putting the heating on ~ so one way and another I feel truly blessed.   I can no longer carry a basket of washing out to the line to peg it out, but I generally do it in the evening after I've had a bath, and hang it on clothes horse in kitchen overnight ~ doing the washing has been my main function in life since I married at 22 ~ sixty fucking years !   Hanging nappies out in dead of winter and having to prise them off the line later freeze dried ~ how did we all survive without central heating, washing machines, fridges, and oh boy ELECTRIC BLANKETS ~ it is important sometimes to count our blessings, and New Year is as good a time as any.

Thanks to this, I am able to pay a friend to hoover through the house for me, and to change my sheets, and send bedding to the laundry, and employ Richard to keep the garden in good order (though I haven't seen him for several weeks so I hope he is not abandoning me ~ he now looks  after the gardens of numbers 3, 4 and 7Clarks Yard as well as mine).

It was when I joined the Chesil Dramatic Society in Winchester (and it took a fair bit of courage, that) that thanks to Fred my life changed pretty dramatically.   Having chatted me up at a last night party, he then invited me out for a drink which sounded innocent enough except that we drank the gin & tonic was in the back of his car before . . . I leave it to your imagination !   He drove us out into the country and set about seducing me ~ I guess I was weak to fall for his patter but after twenty-plus years of marriage I was eager for Life, for adventure, for an affair !  I'd heard talk at the Chesil that Fred was a wolf, that once he'd added you to his list of conquests, he'd drop you ~ "Watch him," my friend Janet warned me, "he's a wham-bang-thank you mam chap,"   but I was so overrcome with adultery that I took no notice and in fact thirty years later he was driving all the way up here from Winchester every few weeks for sea air and sex.  I don't think it was me, exactly ~ for all the wild years that followed, I'd never had an orgasm ~ Fred was determined to put this right if it was the last thing he did, but for once he was beaten.   Once or twice I had a go at him, pointing out that without that episode on Cheesefoot Head, I'd still be married to Howard ~ and probably still champing at the bit.   Dear old Fred.   Thinking back, I relusive ~orgasm ~ all to no avail ~ some of his efforts quite frankly disgusted me ~ I should have asked, Are you doing this for my pleasure or your own ?   But I never did.

The light has gone out in the sitting room electric fire ~ I must phone our friendly electrician on Tuesday ~ this happened once before and no-one could discover how to replace the bulb so that eventually I had to get a replacement fire which the manufacturer supplied free.   With the central heating, I don't often actually put the heat on, but the flame effect is cheerful.

Because my eyes are so poor I sent several e-cards for Christmas, and a whole lot more last night for the New Year ~ there is a good selection of Jacquie Lawson designs though some people think they are awful,vulgar !  Time for a bath before it gets dark and then I'll settle down for a read WITHOUT THE CHEERFUL FLICKERING FIRELIGHT !

Oh dear ~ I seem to have deleted my email web ~ eventually got back onto it but various things have disappeared from screen !!   How could I be so stupid !

Taking stock of the wider family, Ben graduated from Birmingham with a 2/1 in Politics, Dan is in his final year at York again doing Politics, Natie takes her A levels in the summer and is predicted to do very well and intends to study Maths and Accountancy, Doug is in the 1st Year Sixth and also doing very well.   Poor darling Georgie was diagnosed with Parkinson's and hopes to either switch to part-time with North Humberside CC or take early retirement.   Kate and Alan seem happy though she is always dreadfully tired ~ Alan takes responsibility for most of the domestic chores, bless him.  Will and Agi are fine ~ this year Agi had a trip to the US to meet up with friends from her Girls' Group.   And she went to Hungary for a reunion with her old school and college friends ~ they will all be fifty this year.   Another year has passed with no contact from my first born, Richard ~ sad but nothing I can do about it.  Three out of four is enough.   Double helping of Dad's Army.

Monday 2nd : 9'30 and Gowan was here ~ so happy to see himn ~ he and Robert were always down at Andersons at 7.30 when I went down for the Gatuardian ~ such good friends ~ caght up on his news ~ Sue came for a quick hoover round ~ another of these cold bright mornings which turn dark and dismal soon after lunch.   Up here because of blinding sunshine I have to work with the blind down !   I've done the ironing and after lunch (and a brief flop) I will have a serious blogging session.   I seem to have been neglecting it rather lately what with Christmas and all.   Have discarded last year's Dodo Pad and opened the new one ~ welcome 2017 !

For picture of Gowan, see the first blog, www.joypeach.com  number 29, Dawn Raiders, and description of our snatch and grab raid to recover my lovely green standard lamp from John's flat when his charming daughter refused to give it back to me when the poor old darling had become gaga and was being put into a home ~ it wasn't only the lamp  ~ his charming family were refusing to return other things that I'd lent John to make his furnished flat more homely !   Look it up ~ it was thanks to Gowan that I was able to retrieve it ~ I use it and cherish it every day !!   Nine years we had been together ~ scarcely a one-night affair ~ I was not a flash in John's pan !

The electric fire which looks so realistic but yesterday the light went out ~ it probably needs a new bulb ~ I'll phone the electrician in the morning

The elegant green lamp which Gowan and I rescued from John's flat when he went into Care ~ much to the fury of his daughter !

The stairs up to the attic ~ in spite of increasing frailty, I can still cope with both flights !