Depending on your point of view yesterday I was being nosey or looking to the future. I went to have a look at a new care home that is opening shortly on the outskirts of our village. It is going to offer residential and nursing care for both frail elderly and those with dementia. I had heard that the fees are to be 50% more than those of the home that my mother was a resident in. So I was curious to see what residents will get for that extra £350 a week. But I didn't really get to see it. I had gone on the wrong day. The open day was Sunday. It hasn't taken me long as a rookie retiree to lose track of the date. As there was no one around and the door was open I managed to have a nose around some of the rooms. It looks rather like a five star hotel. However, some of the finishing touches in the bedrooms, such as tables over the beds, are not something that you would expect to find in a five star hotel. Anyway I am hoping that a lot of water will flow under the bridge before we need to seriously think about a care home.
To be honest I am struggling a bit with this retirement game. Things did not get off to a very good start with my mother dying just before I finished worked and husband is still at home cluttering up the cottage. I was pleasantly surprised by the number of cards and letters that I received from friends and family, in response to my mother's death. My mother's generation don't do e-mail and I have had to respond the old fashioned way. Now, I have almost got the spare bedroom clear of my mother's clothes. Most have been distributed to the local charity shops, but before I was able to do that I had to remove the name tapes from them. It just took a couple of snips to remove the name tapes that I had sewn in, but the ones ironed in by the home were a different matter. It was as if they had been set in concrete. I had to resort to using a marker pen to black out her name. Then there was the issue of what to do with Mum's ashes. The undertaker had brought them round and dumped them in the garage next to the ashes from our log fire, which we spread around our roses. I found the idea of having her ashes in the cottage a bit spooky and was not sure what to do with them. Thankfully my brother collected them a few days later. He has plans to scatter them down in Devon.
Well, what else have I been up to? I am slowly getting through the back log of jobs around the cottage and am enjoying being able to spend more time reading, as when I was working a considerable amount of time had to be spent reading my professional journal and keeping myself up to date. I have also managed to spend a bit of time in the garden when the weather has permitted and am looking forward to spending more time out there, now that the days are getting warmer. In an attempt to prevent the days from all blurring into one I have started to go to a class on a Tuesday morning. I reckoned that by doing so I should at least know when it is Tuesday. The topic is flower arranging, which I have done before. The teacher is the same. The venue, time of day and classmates are different and I was surprised to find that one of them lives in the neighbouring village. Today we did a Continental Parallel arrangement, which I find difficult to do. Also I am not a great fan of modern arrangements but I am quite pleased with this morning's effort.