This is my little bit of indoor Spring in the middle of Winter! One of my aunties always sends me a bowl of Hyacinths for Christmas. It's the woody bowl one with the deep pink bulbs in - I've never had such dark ones as that and they are lovely and the perfume - you could float on it. More pink ones of my own planting either side of it, and two Cyclamens to the left, with a tiny Morrisons' indulgence of a £1 pot of tiny daffodils (Tete-a-Tete)? I had to keep Theo off the bulbs when they first went on there as he thought that the bowls were for him to perch on to follow the windowsill birds more efficiently!
Healthwise, I hope I am starting to mend, although the pleurisy pain is worse at times now I am on a regime of different antibiotics (500mg Amoxillin 3 times a day) plus the Steroids still, although I can start reducing the dose of those from tomorrow. I have to be careful not to eat a big meal as that presses on my lungs which is rather painful. Anyway, I am still feeling positive, taking various immune-boosting pills, eating as naturally and healthily as possible, and looking forward to the future. I am stopping myself from worrying, and trying to organize myself and declutter.
Ah, decluttering. That has to be done with my husband's help as I can't bend or lift. However, we have gotten rid of several boxes of paperbacks to the charity shop, and sold some boxes of good books, plus china, treen, lamps etc and have just left another few boxes in auction to go. So there is more room in the junk room. I have even - gasp - been up to the attic and sorted through my craft books and made a pile of 25 books which I know I am very unlikely to refer to/want to use ever again. I hope to find them new homes at a summer car boot sale. I will probably go through my wool stash too, as it has reached the 2 metal trunk stage. Time to reduce!
Last week I sent off ALL my wine making equipment to the Green Charity Shop in Llandeilo. Now I have to be more or less teetotal, there is absolutely no point in wine making, although I have been doing it for about 40 years now, and mum did before me. All the demijohns and equipment took up so much room, but at least now someone else has the benefit and I am sure it was snapped up, just as my soap making equipment was when I donated that last year.
I am forcing myself to let go of the past. Back in the 1970s, when I first discovered John Seymour's Self-Sufficiency, watched the Good Life, and took on board all the interests which have sustained me down the years, crafts and making things were very much under this same umbrella. Spinning, weaving, dyeing, knitting, crochet all came under the wool heading. I had spinning lessons from a friend, and bought a table-top weaving loom, which lived in the attic for nearly 20 years until last year I acknowledged that I was never going to do weaving. It was too time consuming, and - as our eldest daughter sagely pointed out - I didn't really have the temperament for all the setting up and planning. She had a point! I put the loom in auction and knew I had done the right thing.
When mum was still alive, I went on a 6 week course to learn how to spin, and bought my own Ashford wheel. Whilst I have used it, life gets in the way these days and we are more involved in the antiques sides of our interests these days, and with a view to having less (and not feeling so guilty about crafts not being done) I have decided that the spinning wheel, my books, and associated little looms and things, will not be coming with us when we move. They could make someone else satisfied, and indeed,the moment I mentioned that I would be parting with them, a friend spoke up straight away! So not only do I get some money (which is going to be my spending money when Eldest Daughter takes me to Florence in March), but I get a visit from Kim (yippee) and I make a friend of hers very happy and I feel less guilty myself.
We have made the decision to put the house on the market for 1st April, rather than 1st March, which gives me time to recover and allows more time for us to get the house pristine, and the garden tidy, just a bit at a time. We have also looked at the few suitable over-wintering listed properties on line which suit our needs, trying to be as sensible as possible so won't be viewing the one which can only be accessed by stout 4x4 or a helicopter (but it was SO pretty and the VIEWS!) That feels a real positive and we will do two lots of viewings and meet up with a good friend in the area at the same time. All these properties are on the Herefordshire/Gloucestershire border centred on Hay-on-Wye.
That's another bit of letting go for me. I have realized that Devon and Somerset, however much I want to move there, aren't the best place for us to relocate. Somerset seems to have fewer affordable properties of the sort we want, in the area we want, and whilst Devon has plenty of them, again they are generally further away Westwards and Northwards from the real area we need to be and from good road links. Plus, "life" is so much busier in the areas we have looked and we are used to a much quieter pace of life, away from the crowds. I had set my heart on Devon - going home to my roots - so this has been a very very hard truth to accept... I can't explain how important that was. How I could FEEL Devon pulling at my heart strings - even when we were driving towards it I could literally FEEL the connection. It was so hard to deny, especially in the name of common sense.
We need good road connections though, to see family and friends, and family and friends are so important to us as we get older. We need to be in an area we like and know, and would be happy to live, where the pace of life is not so dissimilar to around here - market towns and not urban connurbations. Somewhere beautiful, with the sort of historic houses, churches, towns we have enjoyed visiting these last few years from our base here in Wales. Now that the decision is made, I feel much happier about it and focused, and we are hopeful that with the new agent (a pro-active one who WANTS to sell our house, and who has a London market) we may just achieve a sale this year. Keep your fingers crossed for us.
By the way, our son is having the time of his life in Oz, and as long as I don't know what he's up to until after he's done it, I can cope without worrying!