The last two weeks or so are a good example of such ups and downs, with definitely more ups than downs, so here is a brief (at least I'll try to keep it that way) summary:
The week before last, I only worked on Monday and Tuesday, and had the rest of the week off. I spent those days off doing such nice things as going shopping, having cocktails and resting.
My Mum went shopping with me, and showed a lot of patience in moving with me from one shop to the next, finding the items I was trying on in a different size and so on. I came home with a pair of shoes, a pair of grey trousers (for the office) and a dress - and in need of a nice mug of coffee on my settee!
The shoes. I am going to show you the dress in another post, and maybe the grey trousers, too.
On the following day, I went for lunch at my Mum's. Before climbing the stairs to my parents' place, I stopped at the ground floor flat of a friend of my Mum's who had asked us for a glass of sparkling wine. We shared that with her and one of her cats (don't worry, of course the cat did not have any of the sparkling wine - but she threw down and smashed one of the glasses shortly after this picture was taken).
She's a Maine Coon, her name is Velvet, and she's just beautiful - and of a very pleasant, easy-going disposition.
While my Mum was getting lunch ready, I took this picture of her balcony. Today, when I went there for my lunch break again, the beautiful hibiskus had been moved to its winter place in the staircase, and the flowers were almost all gone. It is, after all, November.
Later, we met up with my sister and went to have cocktails together, something we had not done in a long time. It was a proper girls' night, with some giggling and several drinks for each of us. The one I am holding there is what I almost always have at that place. It is called Bounty and tastes just like the chocolate bar of the same name: of coconut and chocolate. Its colour is a creamy white with a light brown chocolaty tinge, not yellow at all - that's just due to the very low lights at the bar.
Friday was spent relaxing, cleaning and shopping for food, and on the Saturday, RJ and I finally went dancing again, for the first time since June or July! We had a great time on the dance floor.
I had one more day off on the Monday, but ended up with a headache bad enough to keep me from working on the following Tuesday. By Tuesday evening, I was right as rain again. And no, that headache had nothing to do with sparkling wine or cocktails!
|The mulberry tree in front of my living room window|
|The quince tree next to it|
Another neighbour had by then wrapped the dead cat in a towel and removed it from the road. I asked to see it, so that I could identify it, and immediately recognized it as not being Lucky, but another cat I'd often met and sometimes stroked on my way to the supermarket. Once I said which cat it was, the neighbour with the towel had a closer look and said that I was right; it turned out the knew the name of the cat (Krümel, which means crumb, a German nickname for someone really small) and was on first-names terms with its owner. He now had the sad task of taking the dead cat to said owners and break the sad news to them. I went home, still a bit upset, but also glad that it had not been Lucky - and even more glad that poor little Krümel was already dead by the time I got there. It would have been unbearable to find him still alive, knowing there was nothing that we could do, the injuries were too serious.
Adding to my sadness was that I thought of Steve more than usual; it would have been his 45th birthday.
Friday, November the 1st, was a bank holiday in my part of Germany, and I was glad to have another day of rest.
|RJ and I wore matching outfits.|
On Saturday, my parents, RJ and I attended my Godmother's Golden Wedding. It was a nice day, starting off with a church service, during which the "Golden couple" renewed their marriage vows. The choir sang, the old church was warm and cosy, and I felt rather moved by some of the lines in the songs and in the prayers. For me, it was the first time after 43 years that I was back at the church where I had been baptized.
The reception after the service was good, too; there was plenty of delicious food, conversation with many people, some of which I had not seen in 20 years, and some games and performances by the couple's children and grandchildren.
Sunday was another Good Day. It was sunny and very, very windy, and RJ and I went for a long, wind-blown walk across the fields. At times the wind was so strong I could lean into it without falling over!
This week, I am back to my normal work schedule. Today is the 4th anniversary of Steve's death. It does not feel different from any other day, but of course that bizarre evening, the 5th of November 2009, is very much present in my mind. Nobody could have predicted the events of that day, or how my life changed after that. What I feel today, more than anything else, is immense gratitude towards all who were (and still are) there for me - not only during the first few hours, days and weeks, but also in the months that followed, and still bear with me when I keep mentioning Steve in (almost) everyday conversation. And of course I am thinking of Mary, my mother-in-law, a lot today. I have written about her a few times already; you can read one of those posts here.
Oh dear - this post has become much longer than I thought. If you are still here and have not fallen asleep from my rambling, congratulations - you've made it! Today's post ends