Monthly Archives: April 2010

Difficult weekend

Apologies that this is quite an un-cheery blog. I don’t know that I know where to start. This weekend was not up there with the best.

On Friday we set off for Swansea from Reading, motoring happily down the M4. Somewhere just beyond Bath we had a tire blow out. In the outside lane of the motorway. At rush hour. We noticed something wrong with the car, rattling noises and then major swerving across the lane, at which point Chris braked, and before we knew what had happened we had spun round 180 degrees and smacked the passenger side into the central reservation. We ended up sitting in the middle of the motorway facing the wrong way, which was a tad unnerving! We’re both fine though, the only effect on us was a bump on my elbow where the bone met the car door quite forcefully. For a number of reasons, not least of which very very good luck, the accident wasn’t as bad as it could have been. The traffic was slower so we weren’t going as fast as we might have been, there was a temporary central reservation with a band of gravel next to it which slowed us down completely so we didn’t hit it at that much speed. And it all happened just between the Bath and Bristol junctions so we were near to Chris’ parents house, where we got towed once the recovery van turned up. The amusing moment was once the highways agency people had stopped the traffic and got us back to the hard shoulder, they announced they would just ‘clear the motorway’, produced what looked like large brooms, and proceeded to sweep the M4 in front of 3 lanes of traffic!! In the end, we made it relatively unscathed to Chris’ parents house where wine and food awaited us. What was still a very scary experience could have been a lot worse.

On Friday night we also found out that my Grandma was not doing well, and the doctors had said that there was nothing else they could do to help her, and the end was not far away. On Saturday morning she died. She had been taken back into hospital last weekend with pneumonia, and was retaining a lot of fluid which was getting into her lungs. She had stopped eating and wasn’t able to take most of her medication. From Friday night my dad and his siblings decided to stay with her 24 hours a day so that she would have someone with her at the end. Sometime just before 8am on Saturday her breathing slowed and she just slipped away. It was the most peaceful we could have hoped for. She wasn’t scared or in pain, and by then she wasn’t even really aware of what was happening to her, so she wasn’t terrified and knowing what was coming. She was sleeping lots that night, and each time she opened her eyes there was a face she knew. And now she is no longer in pain or fear. She was 3 months from her 99th birthday. She had 5 children, 14 grandchildren, countless great-grandchildren and a few great-great grandchildren. She knew all their names and birthdays, and enjoyed nothing more than being surrounded by her family. She lived a full and long life, and it doesn’t feel heartless to say that this was the right time. We will miss her, but I know that now she is at rest. Please keep the family in your prayers. The funeral will be next Monday.

The weekend, though extremely difficult, was made easier by some truly wonderful friends, who gave us lifts in the absence of our car, made us food and cheered us up. Wine was drunk, stories told and hugs given and received. The best place to be when life throws these things at you is surrounded by friends.

Outfits and other fun

I just realised when I came to write this post that I haven’t been back since just after we moved house. There are photos of the new place, and of the chaos which ensued in the moving. I plan to get around to posting those this week, to show off our lovely flat 🙂 We’re very pleased with it, loving having more space, and getting used to this idea of a spare room which is handy not only for guests but also for storing all sorts of junk important and useful stuff.

Anyway, trying to think about what else has happened in the weeks since I last posted.. my new job is going really well, I’m really enjoying being in a job where the work is interesting, the people are friendly and I feel accepted, and where the work I do is valued. It’s such an enjoyable experience it makes the still long commuting more bearable! My journey to work involves a train to the main train station and then a fairly pleasant 25 min walk to the office, which is really good and actually helping me feel less tired rather than more. And the exercise is no bad thing either!

In the last few weeks I have also been shopping for bridesmaid dresses for my two friends who are also getting hitched in the next year, and happy to say that both have excellent taste so no friendships are to be tested by huge peach meringues 😉 The wedding planning madness continues as the first of the weddings approaches, and after that it feels like things will gradually gain momentum through the second and before we know it it’ll be Christmas and I’ll be wondering how much pudding I can eat and still get in my dress!!

Talking of which (shameless girly moment, apologies!), I went and tried on the dress again yesterday, just to show my parents, not for selfish I want to see it again reasons, honest. But I was able to take a couple of accessories with me which I’d thought might work, but guessing from bad phone pictures and uncertain memories isn’t very easy. Anyway, I’m absolutely thrilled cos it all just came together perfectly, exactly right, it could have been designed that way. And the shop was virtually empty so there was plenty of space to see it properly. Can’t put photos here of course, if you want to see let me know and I shall send pics!

And I wasn’t the only one trying on outfits this weekend. Chris went off to have a hunt for his own wedding attire, with the help of Never Conforming and her missus who came down for the weekend. They went off to the local suit hire shop and spent what sounds like a happy hour or so trying on various combinations of suits, waistcoats and neckware, and came back more or less decided on an ensemble which is good news. I have no idea what of course, mutual surprise outfits is much more exciting (and NC has seen my dress so can be the informed opinion!). And he’s quite enjoying getting his own back for the teasing about my dress by suggesting he’s quite keen on the toastmasters outfit.. mm gotta love those gold buttons!!